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Here’s How The Honda CG125 Fares Against Its Rivals

We pit Honda’s newest retro bike against its desi competitors, the TVS Radeon and the Honda Shine, to see how it performs on paper

Honda’s Chinese affiliate company Wuyang Honda recently launched the gorgeously retro CG125 Special edition in the country. It looks like the spiritual successor to the Hero Honda CD100. We pit the new entrant against its desi rivals, the TVS Radeon and the Honda Shine, to see which one fares better on paper.

Engine

SpecificationsHonda CG125 Special editionTVS RadeonHonda Shine
Engine125cc, single-cylinder, air-cooled, fuel-injected engine109.7cc, single-cylinder, air-cooled, fuel-injected engine123.94cc, single-cylinder, air-cooled, fuel-injected engine
Power9.92PS @ 8000rpm8.19PS @ 7350rpm10.7PS @ 7500rpm
Torque9.5Nm @ 6500rpm8.7Nm @ 4500rpm11Nm @ 6000rpm
GearboxNA4-speed5-speed

The Honda CG125 Special does not make as much power and torque as the Honda Shine, and moreover, it’s rather peaky, with the peak output figures arriving 500rpm later than the Shine, meaning you’ll have to work the engine to get the most out of it. The TVS Radeon has the obvious displacement disadvantage when it comes to the output figures. However, its peak torque arrives much early down the rev range, which should theoretically make it a sprightly performer in the city. 

Underpinnings

SpecificationsHonda CG125 SpecialTVS RadeonHonda Shine
FrameSingle cradle tubular frameSingle cradle tubular frameDiamond type frame
Front suspensionTelescopic forkTelescopic forkTelescopic fork
Rear suspensionTwin shock absorbersTwin shock absorbersTwin shock absorbers
Front brakeDrum130mm drum/ 240mm disc130mm drum / 240mm disc
Rear brakeDrum110mm drum130mm drum
Front tyreSpoke wheels with tubed tyres2.75-inch tubeless tyre, 18-inch alloy80/100-18, tubeless
Rear tyreSpoke wheels with tubed tyres3-inch tubeless tyre,  18 inch alloy80/100-18, tubeless

Since the trio are commuter motorcycles, they share a similar suspension setup to ensure a comfortable ride quality. The optional disc brakes in the Radeon and Shine should offer much better stopping power than the drum-brake equipped ones. 

Staying true to its retro genes, the Honda CG125 makes do with spoke wheels and tubed tyres. While spoke wheels can handle bad roads better, the tubed tyres will not offer as much puncture protection as the tubeless ones on the TVS Radeon and Honda Shine.

Dimensions And Features

SpecificationsHonda CG125 SpecialTVS RadeonHonda Shine
Wheelbase1200mm1265mm1285mm
Ground clearance165mm180mm162mm
Fuel tank capacity8.2 litres10 litres10.5 litres
Seat heightNANA791mm
Kerb weight110kg116kg (drum) 118kg (disc)114kg

The Honda Shine’s longer wheelbase should offer better straight line stability whereas the short wheelbase of the Honda CG125 should ensure better cornering agility. The TVS Radeon’s high ground clearance should make it a breeze to ride on bad roads. The Honda CG125 is the lightest of the trio, so this coupled with the short wheelbase should make it easy to manoeuver in tight spaces.

Coming to the features, the Honda Shine is the most feature-packed one among the trio thanks to the inclusion of silent starter, engine cut-off function, and engine kill switch. The TVS Radeon isn’t too far off when it comes to features as it gets an optional USB charging port in the headlamp cowl, and Eco and Power indicators that show how frugal/ aggressive the user’s riding style is. The Honda CG125 Special is the only bike in this comparison to have a tachometer. Its instrument cluster also looks a lot more old school compared to the Radeon and the Shine.

Price And Verdict

Honda CG125 SpecialTVS RadeonHonda Shine
CNY 7,480 (Around Rs 90,042) Base Edition: Rs 59,925Commuter Of The Year edition: Drum: Rs 70,116/ Disc:  73,116Dual Tone: Drum: Rs 71,016/ Disc: Rs 74,016(Ex-showroom, Delhi)Drum: Rs 74,943Disc: Rs 79,343

The Honda CG125 Special will not be launched in India, but fret not, as the Japanese bikemaker is working on an affordable commuter for India. We wish the upcoming Honda bike looks as tastefully retro as this one. Those who are not willing to wait for it can go for the TVS Radeon as it offers a great balance of peppy performance and frugality. That said, for those who are in the market for a no-nonsense, refined 125cc commuter bike, the Honda Shine is the best bet. In fact, the Shine has been by far the best selling 125cc bike for several years now.

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