125cc Indian Bikes Comparison – A Comprehensive Shootout of Twelve 125cc Motorcycles

World biking community considers even a 200cc machine, a commuter. Scenario in India is different. We consider 150cc+ bikes as performance bikes, and 100cc bikes fall into commuter category. Wait! Does a 125cc manages to mix both the elements? Well yes! Most of the owners of 125cc bikes are young people who want performance and also need fuel economy.

125cc segment is growing at healthy rate, breaching the gap between 100cc and 150cc segments into it. Various companies are trying to churn more Horses out of it without compromising on fuel efficiency. A 125cc bike serves needs of a particular class who is a budget customer wanting to taste the budding adreline rush of the machine.

We will be putting a total 12 machines head to head in this shootout. Comparisons are made over 5 different departments. More you read, More exciting the shootout gets!

Our Contestants Are:

  1. Bajaj Platina 125
  2. Hero Honda Super Splendor
  3. Yamaha YBR 125
  4. TVS Flame
  5. Hero Honda Glamour
  6. Hero Honda Glamour PGM-FI
  7. Suzuki Slingshot
  8. Honda CB Shine
  9. Yamaha SS 125
  10. Honda CBF Stunner
  11. Honda CBF Stunner PGM-FI
  12. Bajaj Pulsar 135LS

Lets begin a healthy comparo between the beast machines, with description followed by a scoresheet!

1. Bajaj Platina 125

Bajaj and its experiments! Bajaj has always been an innovative company, which being Indian, we all are proud of. Bajaj has done numerous gambles in 100cc and 125cc segment, Platina is the product of the same.

Marketed as ‘Dumdaar Sawari’, The Platina 125 is not that Dumdaar after all, But is sure to Stun you with mileage figures. Platina is simple on looks, though a recent facelift made it quite interesting.

Platina makes 8.5 PS @ 7000 rpm with max torque 10NM @ 4000 rpm with its 124.6cc engine. Very few bikes feature 5 speed Gearbox in 125cc segment, Pl6atina belongs here. All black styling impart a rugged look to the bike. Bike features both kick start and electric start. Though, built quality is not that good and can be improved a lot. Bike takes your cash on maintenance, a peculiarity of Bajaj.

If you want a basic bike at cheaper price, can compromise on looks and maintenance, and expect sizzling mileage figures, Go get a Platina!

Official Link | BikeAdvice Review

Design & Looks: 6/10
Engine & Performance: 7/10
Comfort & Ergonomics: 6/10
Maintenance & Reliability: 6/10
Fuel Efficiency: 9/10

Total Score: 34/50

2. Hero Honda Super Splendor

Elder brother of the Legend, Spelndor. Super splendor is a pure commuter, sharing genes with HH splendor, and on its way to prove its value for money in every aspect. Super Splendor makes 9 BHP @ 7000 rpm with max Torque 10.35 Nm @ 4000 rpm with its 124.7cc engine. 4speed ‘Quantum Core’ Engine is nicely refined, thanks to the Honda technology.

The bike is simple in looks featuring black engine theme, tripmeter, pass-switch and large utility box. Hero Honda offers a 3years/40,000kms warranty which is sure to serve you better!

Bike doesnt impress you much with its performance, but is reliable and easy to ride for a-to-b commutes. If you want basic but reliable bike,with simple looks and superb mileage figures, Trusted Super Splendor will serve you well.

Official Link | BikeAdvice Review

Design & Looks: 6/10
Engine & Performance: 7/10
Comfort & Ergonomics: 6/10
Maintenance & Reliability: 7/10
Fuel Efficiency: 9/10

Total Score: 35/50

3. Yamaha YBR 125

YBR 125 is a basic bike in the segment from the Yamaha stables. It makes 10.88 PS @ 7500 rpm with max Torque 10.4 NM @6500 rpm with its 123cc engine. YBR features 4 speed gearbox with basic style elements.

Yamaha launched this bike to target executive customers in the segment, but YBR failed to report it on sale charts. Though Yamaha means good build quality, still needs to improve on aftersale service area.

This is another simple bike at cheaper cost and good mileage, having healthy competitors which is a downside for YBR.

Official Link

Design & Looks: 7/10
Engine & Performance: 8/10
Comfort & Ergonomics: 6/10
Maintenance & Reliability: 6/10
Fuel Efficiency: 8/10

Total Score: 35/50

4. TVS Flame

Flame is a decent bike with Sporty radical design which is surely attractive. Flame is a sporty commuter targeted at youngsters. It makes 10.5 BHP @ 7500 rpm with max Torque 10 NM @ 6000 rpm with its 124.8cc engine.

The engine is 3 valved, and bike’s performance is enough to tackle city traffic, but the bike’s vibrations can drive one crazy, especially if one is a stickler for refinement.

The Flame’s handling is quite all right, nothing to elaborate upon. It allows you to throttle out of city traffic and bad road conditions without much effort, that is, if you don’t mind the vibrations. Its gearbox and suspension are also quite satisfactory.
Bike features digital console, On-tank storage, electric start, tachometer etc.

TVS aftersales service is a downside for Flame. Flame serves as Sporty commuter compromising Engine refinement and services, but with impressive mileage figures.

Official Link | BikeAdvice Review

Design & Looks: 8/10
Engine & Performance: 8/10
Comfort & Ergonomics: 7/10
Maintenance & Reliability: 6/10
Fuel Efficiency: 8/10

Total Score: 37/50

5. Hero Honda Glamour

Hero Honda Glamour is hot selling bike from HH stable. Bike is goodlooking and reliable with HH service backup. It makes 9 BHP @ 7000 rpm with max Torque 10.35 NM @ 4000 rpm with its 124.7cc engine.

Glamour features a 4speed gearbox, all black body frame, and impressive graphics. Rest of the features are common and basic. Engine refinement is very good and maintenance is low as well. If you are interested in a a quite attractive bike with basic performance, reliability and good mileage figures, Glamour is worth a thought.

Official LinkReview

Design & Looks: 8/10
Engine & Performance: 7/10
Comfort & Ergonomics: 7/10
Maintenance & Reliability: 7/10
Fuel Efficiency: 8/10

Total Score: 37/50

6. Hero Honda Glamour PGM-Fi

Fuel injected version of Glamour. Glamour PGM-FI features same Glamour engine with 0.1 BHP increase, but Fuel injected.

Bike comes with set of advanced features like real time mileage indicator, bank angle sensor, malfunction indicator lamp, LCD fuel gauge etc. Bike is pricey, and not worth a go for a budget commuter. If money is not the problem, It could be a choice.

Official Link | BikeAdvice Review

Design & Looks: 8/10
Engine & Performance: 7/10
Comfort & Ergonomics: 7/10
Maintenance & Reliability: 7/10
Fuel Efficiency: 8/10

Total Score: 37/50

7. Suzuki Slingshot

A snazzy machine bearing weird name, ‘Slingshot’. Suzuki’s 125cc offering is a remarkable machine in terms of looks and performance. The design of this motorcycle is somewhat indicative of its bigger sibling, the GS150R. It makes 8.5 BHP @ 7500 rpm with max Torque 10 Nm @ 500 rpm with its 124 cc engine.

Slingshot features 5 speed gearbox, all black styling, uniquely designed alloys etc. The gearshift is also as smooth as the engine and doesn’t let any unwanted feedback come through. Handling of the SlingShot is quite impressive as the bike is utterly easy to ride and is capable of tackling city traffic with utmost ease. Its overall a good bike, but low on performance.

Official Link | Suzuki Slingshot Review

Design & Looks: 8/10
Engine & Performance: 7/10
Comfort & Ergonomics: 7/10
Maintenance & Reliability: 7/10
Fuel Efficiency: 8/10

Total Score: 37/50

8. Honda CB Shine

Shine is trusted engineering marvel from Honda Stables. It may not attract youngsters due to its subtle design but the bike is full of practicality. It makes 10.3 BHP @ 7500 rpm with max Torque 1.1 KGM @ 5500 rpm with its 124.7cc ‘Optimax’ engine. CB shine features 4speed gearbox, elegant graphics, maintenance free battery, viscous air filter, 3D Honda Emblem, TuffUp Tube etc.

Build quality with Honda tag is the key selling factor of CB shine. Almost every aspect of this motorcycle is enough to satisfy the needs a commuter. CB shine is a worthy buy having balanced statistics and features, but simple looks.

Official Link | BikeAdvice Review

Design & Looks: 7/10
Engine & Performance: 8/10
Comfort & Ergonomics: 7/10
Maintenance & Reliability: 8/10
Fuel Efficiency: 8/10

Total Score: 38/50

9. Yamaha SS 125 (a.k.a. Gladiator)

SS 125 (formerly known as Gladiator) is one of the top ranked bikes of the segment. SS 125 is powerpacked Sports commuter with Superb Design. It makes 11 PS @ 7500 rpm with max Torque 10.4 NM @ 6500 rpm with its 123 cc engine. The bike features Airflow filter, Stylish Muffler, Dynamic Sporty Graphics, Attractive Engine cowl etc.

5 speed gearbox allows the rider to make the most of a wide power band to experience excellent performance in both around-town and high-speed riding. With the Aerodynamic racy under-cowl, SS125 is ergonomically designed. Sporty Tachometer, Lowered front cowl, Lightweight Aluminum wheels and powered front Disc Brakes gives it a dynamic yet sophisticated feel.

The headlight cowl with a raised visor and its indicators and the retractable aluminium footrests, the exhaust muffler, the toe shift gear lever, all of them clearly give it a racing bike look. As per following the looks tradition of other bikes, as well the gladiator has a size like the 150cc bikes. The kerb weight is less around 128kg, making it easier to control.

SS 125 has a big bike feel, and does have cruising abilities. If you want a great looker, with optimum performance and build quality, SS 125 will do the job.

Official Link : http://www.yamaha-motor-india.com/product/ss125/index.html
Review : https://bikeadvice.in/yamaha-gladiator-ss125/

Design & Looks: 9/10
Engine & Performance: 8/10
Comfort & Ergonomics: 8/10
Maintenance & Reliability: 7/10
Fuel Efficiency: 8/10

Total Score: 40/50

10. Honda CBF Stunner

Stunning looks and Honda build quality. Honda CBF Stunner is an international standard machine which now after a facelift , looks even more ‘stunning’ than before! The CBF makes 11 BHP @ 8000 rpm with max Torque 11 NM @ 6500 rpm with its 124.7cc engine.

Stunner has basic but well sorted suspension, a wider tyre making it good at cornering. The CBF has a great Honda engine which is smooth and peppy, but vibrates at high speeds due to short gearing. After long term use, vibrations reduce considerably. The Stunner has good low down power and can even pull from low rpms in a higher gear which makes it a good city commuter.

CBF features 5 speed grearbox, tachometer, handlebar weights, ornamental undercowl, maintenance free battery, viscous air filter, half chain cover, Black engine treatment etc. CBF Stunner is the only bike in the segment to feature Both rear and front Tubeless Tyres, adding to its reliability. CBF is also the only Faired bike of the segment.

Stunners Stunning looks, big bike feel and sharp rear, comfortable split seat are enough to call it one of the Sportiest looking bikes of India. It also has a strong sales and service backup and not to forget Honda’s quality assurance. A great buy for the yuppie generation.

Stunner’s presence cannot be neglected while it passes by you, and is very low on maintenance. If you want a Sporty feel with your bike, and want low maintenance with impressive performance, CBF is for you!

Official Link | BikeAdvice Ownership Review

Design & Looks: 9/10
Engine & Performance: 8/10
Comfort & Ergonomics: 8/10
Maintenance & Reliability: 8/10
Fuel Efficiency: 8/10

Total Score: 41/50

11. Honda CBF Stunner PGM-Fi

Fuel injected version of CBF Stunner. It had an upper hand in terms of looks over old CBF version before Facelifted CBF was launched. The bike features bank angle sensor, malfunction indicator lamp, golden Engine treatment, etc.

Bank Angle Sensor automatically switches off the ignition & fuel supply when bike tilts over a certain angle. Engine is the same but tuned to 0.6 BHP increase making it to a total of 11.6 BHP.

Only noticeable advancement over carburetted CBF apart from FI is the fuel injected variant of the Stunner is free of vibrations thanks to the taller overall gearing. The Stunner Fi feels extremely refined even at high speeds. Honda has overpriced this bike which is the downside of the machine. Otherwise, its one of the best machine of the segment.

Official Link | BikeAdvice Review

Design & Looks: 9/10
Engine & Performance: 8/10
Comfort & Ergonomics: 8/10
Maintenance & Reliability: 8/10
Fuel Efficiency: 8/10

Total Score: 41/50

12. Bajaj Pulsar 135LS

Since when the LS has been launched, it has revolutionized the segment. Pulsar 135LS is a 4valve marvel from our very own Bajaj! Pulsar 135LS made bike enthusiasts raise their eyebrows by delivering 150cc like performance. It makes 13.5 BHP @ 9000 rpm with max Torque 11.4 @ 7500 rpm with its 134.66 engine. Astonishing! Isn’t it?

Pulsar features LED tail lamps, clip on handle bar, split seats, 5 speed grearbox, gas charged rear suspension etc. Basically, 135LS is styled over XCD Sprint. It has mixed style elements making it an awkward design.

Pulsar 135LS needs to work on build quality. 4 valves in same engine size made each valve smaller than conventional valve, so required performance is not achieved. Apart from this, Pulsar 135LS Outperforms every bike in this segment!

The Pulsar 135 LS shakes up the competition by delivering class defying performance, thanks to its light weight. Bajaj has priced this machine aggressively. Pulsar manages to give impressive mileage figures both in city and highways. Most of the owners confess that they neglected the looks for its performance.

If you want a performance machine with lots of gadget goodies, but a compromise on looks, maintenance and build quality, Pulser 135 LS is for you!!

Official Link | BikeAdvice Review

Design & Looks: 8/10
Engine & Performance: 10/10
Comfort & Ergonomics: 8/10
Maintenance & Reliability: 7/10
Fuel Efficiency: 8/10

Total Score: 41/50

Score-Sheet Analysis

  • Design and Looks department is shared by Honda CBF Stunner and Yamaha SS 125.
  • Both are promised to give you Sporty big bike feel.
  • Bajaj Pulsar 135LS rules the Engine and Performance department. Its actually outperforms many 150cc machines.

  • Comfort & Ergonomics crown is shared by our top 3 contenders.
  • Gas charged suspension does the job for P135LS.
  • Maintenance & Reliability is coined by Honda machines namely, Shine and Stunner siblings.
  • Fuel Efficiency department is ruled by Bajaj Platina and Hero Honda Super Splendor.

Overall Scores

As top 3 positions share equal points, We have different winners for different people with different taste. CBF Stunner PGM-Fi scores over carb version but not denoted the same, because Honda’s insane overpricing ruined the presence of this bike on streets.

Fuel injected version is impractical for Indian market and scores good on a piece of paper. Performance wise, Pulsar 135LS outperforms all 125cc bikes of the segment, but it lacks decent aftersale service, build quality and maintenance issues. Honda CBF Stunner is all about looks and build quality, but lags way behind in performance to Pulsar 135LS.

As Pulsar 135LS is priced aggressively compared to CBF Carbed version, its the most Value for money amongst top 3, and sale charts say the same.

We do not have a clear winner here, but by a whisker, Pulsar 135LS is the winner!

We hope you enjoyed our 12 bikes shootout! We would like to say that personal choices may differ over some subjects in the shootout. Kindly comment below about the article and your opinions.

Thanks & Regards
Pranav Kelkar

Edited by Deepak Raj

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