Honda CBF Stunner Review

20/09/2008 - 16:37 | ,  ,  ,  ,  ,  ,   | Dave

What?            Honda CBF Stunner 125
When?           On sale now
How Much?    Rs 59,037 (OTR Chennai)

Build Quality and Styling

Bajaj predicted that people are bored with 100cc bikes and higher capacities bikes are the way to go. Starting with this strategy of replacing 100cc's with 125's, we had the XCD and the Flame and now Honda has given us their piece of cake - CBF Stunner. It looks nothing like the ones present in the market, it has an almost mini-Karizma look about it. So is the new kid on the block got any 'go' to match the 'show?' We find out what the buzz is all about.

They say that 'first impression makes the best impression' and in this case, it is 110% true. When you look at any vehicle, the first thing you notice are not the features, not the price, not the economy, nothing but the way the thing looks. You assume things are much better than they actually are once they look great. You think the Stunner should have some 200cc+ power pack and stuff, but it actually sports a modest 125cc engine. The CBF Stunner scores a cool 4.5/5 in the styling department. The aerodynamic front fairing, the girlfriend impressing stepped seat which is the first in its class, yellow springs, racy side panels all add up to make this one hell of a great bike. The Discover, XCD and the Flame are all way down in this department. The stepped seats are a welcome addition which will go down very well with your girlfriend ;)

The bike also sports matte black alloy wheels and a potent 240mm disc brake which add to the list of features. Sorely missed are digital instrument clusters and tachometer which would have added a few more brownie points. The toe only shifter is sporty but may not go down well with aged people (which this bike is not after). The instrument cluster is a carry over from the Shine with some minute modifications. You also get the aircraft style fuel filler cap which looks cool. The front and the rear look good especially in red or yellow paint schemes that is available for this bike. The rear lights and the shape of the fairing are distinct and the indicator lamp pods look like aliens!

For a bike of such high caliber, we found that some parts were sub-standard. The choke lever was wobbling a lot on our test bike as were the switchgear which were below-par. The plastic parts around the instrument cluster felt a touch flimsy. The foot pegs are made of steel which are a sore sight as they are on aluminium mountings.The quality of parts, the paint quality are all top notch and the bike was smooth and vibration free.

Engine, Ride and Handling

The engine is a tweaked version of the unit on the Shine. The transmission though is all new and sports 5 speeds in the universal 1-down 4-up version. It puts out 11bhp @ 8000RPM and 11Nm @ 6500 RPM after the a revision of valve timing was performed on the Shine's engine.

The engine is butter smooth as is the transmission and make light work of travel. They work seamlessly and expect decent performance and economy. You might feel a crunch in performance at low RPM's (as torque is produced much higher) esp with a pillion and this only means dropping a gear which is a delight on this super smooth gearbox.

The ride is decent although not as spine friendly as the Discover. The handling and braking is very competent and the non-disc brake version that we test drove had adequate braking power although picking up the disc brake version is strongly recommended. Pillion comfort is a tad stiff but the pillion is seated much higher and this might pose a problem for some as getting up is quite difficult.

On the Road

Honda has come up with a real stunner of a bike. This is by far their best attempt after the Unicorn. This is sure to be a head turner where ever you go and is sure to get people talking. At Rs 50,037(on-road) for the Disc brake version with alloy wheels, it is on-par with the competition. It sports looks of a 200cc bike with none of the drawbacks save for some minor quality issues. At this price and features, the facelifted Discover comes very close but then, the Stunner wins by the tiniest of margins.

We would love to thank Mr.P.Velu (98414 39104) and Mr.Karthikeyan (9941906720) of KUN Motorcycles Chennai for their cooperation. Without them, this report could have never happened.  They were able to give us quite a lot of info about the bike. If you are in Chennai, and after reading our report, you desire to buy one, the right person to contact will be either one of them.

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