Now that's how to prep a bike for learners

Honda’s special training-editon CB125F

IF you learnt to ride anytime in the last 40 years or so there’s a good chance your first tentative wobbles were made on some variant of Honda's CG or CBF125. The latest version – the CB125F – carries on the tradition and a special version aimed specifically at Japanese motorcycle training schools has just been revealed.

While the CB125F might already be familiar to us, the bike isn’t sold in Japan so this machine, exclusively to be sold to training facilities over there, is the only version that will be seen on those shores. You might notice that it’s not quite the same as the ones in your local dealer, too.

Those massive crash bars are certainly a wise addition, standard on the 800 bikes that Honda hopes to sell in Japan this year, since they’ll spend their (short, painful) lives being abused and crashed by riders who’ve never straddled a bike before. But what’s going on with all those lights on the front?

It turns out that each coloured light – red, orange, blue, green, cyan and white, with the a matching set on the rear of the bike, too – has a specific meaning and automatically comes on when the trainee rider does something. One, for instance, comes on when the brakes are applied, allowing the instructor to know even if he’s riding in front of the pupil. Another one lights when the engine stalls. Honda hasn’t released details of the other functions but presumably there’s a clutch light, a neutral light, perhaps one attached purely to the rear brake pedal, and maybe others to show if the bike is revving too high or too low. The result is that an instructor can see things that the learner rider is doing wrong that wouldn’t necessarily be immediately obvious.

Beyond all that, the bike also has a switchable speed limiter allowing it to be restricted to 30km/h or 40km/h if needed, and the CB125F’s standard gear position indicator is probably handy for learners, too.

While it’s a model that will only be sold in Japan, and those extra lights would make it illegal for on-road use over here, the idea of clear external indications that a learner rider is making mistakes seems like one that could be useful.

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