Niall's Spin: 2006 Honda CBR125R review

If you're a biking novice, perfect your skills with this baby Honda, which seems far more simple than complex.

Click to read: Honda CBR125R owners reviews, Honda CBR125R specs and to see the Honda CBR125R image gallery.

CONSIDERING I'M RARELY on small road bikes, I've spent a fair amount of time on this best-selling little gem from Honda.

First off, absolutely anyone can ride the baby CBR, as proved by both our '0-180mph in a day' biking novice Peter Fickling and my own 12-year-old son, Taylor, who has had hours of fun on one of these at the Ron Haslam Race School.

Ron uses them for his 'On Track' experience for young biking novices, involving riding skills lessons in the paddock followed by laps of the Donington circuit. They're also increasingly the tool of choice for many learner schools across the country. If you're new to biking, the chances are you're going to cut your teeth on one of these.

With bang up-to-date styling, a low seat height and weighing just 124kg, the CBR125R appeals to the learner masses. The 125cc, single-cylinder engine has an electric start, so you don't have to do a balancing act to kick the thing into life before setting off, then, once you're rolling, the power delivery is super-linear with no surprises to catch out the unwary - unlike the old two-stroke 125s that were trickier to master.

Having only 12bhp is a good thing here since you're constantly using the gears, which is great practice for when you jump onto something bigger.

As with most 125s the handling and suspension is faultless - there's not enough weight or enough power to upset the chassis - and the skinny OE Bridgestone tyres have 10 times more grip than you'll ever need. When it comes to slowing down you can easily stop on a sixpence using just the front brake, but if you do use the rear pedal the balance seems just right.

And don't think you'll get bored with the baby Honda - as soon as your basic riding skills are perfected it will be time to get up on the pillion foot pegs and practice your wheelies.