It goes without saying that the neo retro craze has taken the works by storm. With nearly all manufacturers offering one flavor or another of the modern bike, classic style recipe, it would appear that neo retro bikes are here to stay. The styling exercise which was previously found on high-displacement, premium machines, has trickled down to smaller, more affordable entry level machines like Yamaha’s critically acclaimed XSR155.
Unavailable in the local market, unfortunately, is Honda’s range of small bikes which sport their neo sports cafe styling similar to the Honda CB650R. In other Asian markets like Indonesia and India, Honda has a direct competitor to the XSR155 in the CB150R ExMotion. Likewise, in the European market, Big Red has updated their smallest offering geared towards beginning riders with A1 licenses: the CB125R.
Interestingly, the Honda CB125R is quite possibly the best performing 125 cc motorcycle out there. With a single-cylinder, DOHC engine, the baby cafe racer pumps out 13.1 hp and 11.6 Nm of torque — performance figures closer to that of its 150 cc rivals. In fact, it produces more power than the Yamaha Mio Aerox, which is rated at 11.3 hp from its 155 cc engine.
Unfortunately for us, the chances of Honda launching either the CB150R ExMotion nor the CB125R in the Philippine market. Realistically speaking, however, if Honda were to launch a small neo retro bike, our bet would be on the CB150R ExMotion, as it stands up nicely against the Yamaha XSR155.