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Honda SP 125 First Ride Review: Picking Up Where the CB Shine SP Left Off

Honda SP 125. (Image source: Anirudh Sunilkumar/News18.com)

Honda SP 125. (Image source: Anirudh Sunilkumar/News18.com)

We recently got our hands on Honda's replacement of the CB Shine SP, the SP 125 and here's what we think about it.

The CB Shine is indubitably one of Honda’s most popular motorcycles in India and in order to up the ante and add a bit more zing, the company introduced the CB Shine SP that came with an extra gear and an improved premium quotient. However, as manufacturers prepare for the upcoming BS-VI norms, Honda has decided to replace the CB Shine SP with this, the SP 125. And we are here in Mumbai to see what it’s all about.

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While the motorcycle comes with a new moniker, the underpinnings remain identical to the CB Shine SP. So let’s begin with the changes at the outset. In terms of styling, the SP125 comes as a brand new motorcycle. It gets newly styled LED headlights, LED taillamps, new tank extensions that give it a much sporty appeal. The SP 125 gets a long seat but lacks in terms of breadth. While we thought the seat could have done with better cushioning, the ergonomics more or less makes up for it.

Honda SP 125. (Image source: Anirudh Sunilkumar/News18.com)
Honda SP 125. (Image source: Anirudh Sunilkumar/News18.com)

The motorcycle comes with new and simple switchgear that comes with good fit and feel. It also gets an Integrated headlamp beam and passing that completes three functions with just one switch. Just as the Activa 125 BS-VI, the SP 125 also gets the silent start feature that eliminates gear meshing sound by using an ACG motor for ignition. Honda has also graced the SP 125 with a new fully-digital instrument cluster that shows a plethora of information including Range, Real-Time mileage, Gear position indicator and two trip meters. The unit is readable and offers good visibility.

Honda SP 125. (Image source: Anirudh Sunilkumar/News18.com)
Honda SP 125. (Image source: Anirudh Sunilkumar/News18.com)

So how is it to ride. In a nutshell, and as the headline suggests, I can just end the case by saying that the SP 125 picks up where SB Shine SP left off. But there is much more to that. In its BS-VI avatar, the SP 125 comes with fuel injection technology that returns an acclaimed 16 per cent more fuel efficiency. Apart from that, the FI has also greatly helped with the engine’s refinement as well. For a 125-cc motorcycle, the SP 125 is surprisingly peppy. It has good low-end torque and can cruise at 30 to 40 kmph in fifth gear.

Honda SP 125. (Image source: Anirudh Sunilkumar/News18.com)
Honda SP 125. (Image source: Anirudh Sunilkumar/News18.com)

Given its commute friendly purpose, the SP125 ships with suspensions that are set on a softer side. This absorbs most undulations on the road and not become a nuisance for your shoulder or back. The disc brake at the front provides ample feel and has a good bite too.

So there it is, the Honda SP 125. While it is true that the motorcycle comes at a significant premium over the outgoing Shine SP, it should be noted that such a price hike could be expected from a majority of models as manufacturers as make their shift. But keep that aside and what you have is a loaded motorcycle that comes with new and advanced features. This combined with the plush commuter-friendly ride makes up for a motorcycle that is definitely a bang for the buck.

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