Jan 19, 2011

23 Honda CBF Stunner/PGM-Fi Review

Review of both the 125 cc Honda CBF Stunner (carbureted) and the Honda CBF Stunner PGM-Fi (fuel injected) models..


+ Good looks
+ Comfortable & Sporty ergonomics
+ Good handling
+ Smooth engine (fuel injected variant)


- Vibrations at high engine revs (carbureted variant)
- Pricy for a 125 cc
- The CB Unicorn Dazzler should have got this styling

The 125 cc CBF Stunner was the first motorcycle from HMSI (Honda Motorcycles and Scooters India Ltd.) which proved that Honda was taking motorycle designs for India seriously. Just look at the products prior to the CBF Stunner i.e. the 150 cc Unicorn and the 125 cc Shine. Both the Unicorn & Shine were/are conservative in design to the point of being boring.

Therefore it was kind of a pleasant shock to see Honda launch the 125 cc CBF Stunner in 2008, it was as if HMSI wanted to prove a point to its detractors. Even harsh Honda critics like myelf (till then) had to appreciate the attempt HMSI had made in designing the new bike.

2008: Back in 2008, it definitely seemed that the new 125 cc Honda bike had a very good chance of making a big dent in the 150 cc category (read as the Pulsar 150 territory). After all it looked like a mini Karizma (thanks to its fixed half fairing) and being a 125 cc, it was expected to return decent fuel efficiency as well. There was no reason for anyone not to look at the CBF Stunner.

2011: I had read somewhere that the conservative Shine still continues to be the largest selling motorcycle from HMSI's portfolio in India..!!

What went wrong with the high hopes from the Honda CBF Stunner? I take a test ride of both the Carbureted and the Fuel Injected (PGM-Fi) variants..

Styling/Looks: Looks handsome and big for a "desi" 125 cc.

Without doubt the biggest calling card for the CBF Stunner is its "Karizma" inspired looks. The CBF Stunner was and still is the only 125 cc bike in India with a fixed half fairing. Unlike the other half faired bike in India (the Pulsar 220), the half fairing on the CBF Stunner is not a half baked job.

The CBF Stunner got a cosmetic upgrade in early 2010 which also included a Half Chain cover replacing the full cover of the earlier model. The 2010 CBF Stunner also got a engine shroud/belly pan and a tachometer on its instrument console.

2010 Honda CBF Stunner

The CBF Stunner PGM-Fi (Photo posted below) is almost identical to the 2010 CBF Stunner except with different set of stickers/color scheme, absence of a belly pan, engine finished in dull golden color and PGM-Fi branding on the side covers.

Honda CBF Stunner PGM-Fi

Ergonomics/Riding Stance: Sporty yet comfortable and much more involved than the 150 cc CB Unicorn Dazzler

Astride the CBF Stunner, one feels like one is riding a bigger bike. The riding stance is perfect, the rear set foot pegs give the involved "in with the bike" kind of feeling and the single piece handle bar is positioned at the perfect height. Not too high and not too low and just perfect for sporty urban street use.

The switch gear is a bit of a dissappointment as it has been borrowed straight from the 100/125 cc Hero Honda models like the Passion/Super Splendor. The right switchgear has just a simple self starter button. Like all Indian Honda/Hero Honda models, an Engine Kill switch has been omitted (even the Karizma does not get one)..!!

The carbureted CBF Stunner also gets its kick starter removed in its 2010 upgrade.

Honda CBF Stunner Switchgear

Clutch-Gearbox & Engine Performance: Perfect clucth and gearbox.

CBF Stunner PGM-Fi is a smooth operator. The carbureted CBF Stunner is not exactly smooth

Honda CBF Stunner PGM-Fi

The 11 bhp, 125 cc engine of the CBF Stunner is not exactly street scorcher but has got decent low and mid range grunt to easliy haul around two generous sized adults.

Engine smoothness is a quality which is almost "blindly" associated with any Honda product in India. I have lost the number of count i must have heard, "Oh its a Honda, the engine will be smooth..!!"

And it definitely is true for the fuel injected CBF Stunner. The engine remains smooth even when revved hard. As the fuel injected Stunner does not have a tachometer, I could not make out how much I revved the enigne. But the engine retained its composure even at speeds of 85-90 kmph (Speedo indicated) in top gear.

But the engine of the carbureted CBF Stunner has a different character. Things remains "Honda smooth" till about 5000 rpms (yes, the carbureted CBF Stunner comes with a tachometer). But when one reaches 5000 rpm, engine vibrations seem to creep in. And when one reaches 6000 rpm the engine vibrations become annoying and one doesn't enoy revving the carbureted engine as much as on the Fuel injected one.

The clutch and the 5 speed gearbox is perfect and there is nothing to complain about it.

Handling & Braking: Stable & neutral

The CBF Stunner rides and handles like a big 150 cc bike. It takes corners with poise and has got confidence inspiring handling. The front disc brakes makes short work of stopping the bike in terms of emergency.

Price: Bit costly for a 125 cc bike in India.. especially the PGM-Fi variant

CBF Stunner (Self start + Front Disc): Rs. 54,500 (Ex-Showroom Delhi)
CBF Stunner PGM-Fi (Self start + Front Disc): Rs. 65,800 (Ex-Showroom Delhi)

[Pulsar 150 Ex-Showroon Delhi Price: Rs 62,100
Pulsar 135LS Ex-Showroon Delhi Price: Rs. 53,000

Fuel Efficiency: Not checked for obvious reasons but I expect at least around 50-55 kmpl

Verdict: I was impressed with the Honda CBF Stunner. But the problem is that I was impressed with the fuel injected PGM-Fi variant. And honestly the price tag on that variant is too much of a stretch for a 125 cc bike.

Why did the CBF Stunner not yet become the highest selling motorcycle for Honda India? I can't tell for sure. Maybe its the high price, maybe its the lack of 150 cc equalling grunt. Whatever might be the real reason, it just goes to show that predicting the Indian customer is really a tough nut to crack.

But maybe.. just maybe HMSI might have missed an opportunity here by not putting the perky 150 cc engine of the CB Unicorn Dazzler on the body of the CBF Stunner.

Honda CBF Stunner, Technical Specifications:


Engine type: 4 stroke, Air cooled OHC single cylinder
Displacement: 124.7cc
Max power: 11bhp @ 8000rpm
Max Torque: 11Nm @ 6500rpm
Starting system: Self only (2008-09 edition had both Kick and Self Start)
Gear shift pattern: 1 Down - up
Headlamp: 35/35W 12V Halogen
Battery: 12V Maintenance Free


Front suspension: Telescopic hydraulic fork
Rear suspension: 3 step spring loaded hydraulic shock absorber with rectangular box type swing arm
Front tyre: 80/100-17 46p (tubeless)
Rear tyre: 100/90-17 55p (tubeless)
Front brake: 130mm drum (optional 240mm disc)
Rear brake: 130mm drum brake


Length: 2012mm
Width: 734mm
Height: 1111mm
Wheelbase: 1271mm
Ground Clearance: 173mm
Fuel tank capacity: 10 liters (2 liter reserve)

Kerb weight: 128kgs (2008-09 edition had a keb weight of 129kgs)

Honda CBF Stunner: Photos (Credits: Overdrive)

Honda CBF Stunner PGM-FiHonda CBF Stunner Instrument ConsoleHonda CBF StunnerHonda CBF Stunner

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This is to remind that the Views or Opinions in the blog are entirely mine unless explicitly stated. The Views and Opinions published in this blog should in no way be related to any other person or organization associated -- directly or indirectly -- with me.


Anonymous said...

A nice review S.P. bro.:-)
I think stunner hadn been major success because its very tall and priced nearly 150 cc bikes in India.

Also there is a typo-
"Things remains "Honda smooth" till about 5000 kms (yes, the carbureted CBF Stunner comes with a tachometer)."It should be 5000rpm.
I think the PGM-FI engine on stunner is same of PGM-FI engine of Hero Honda Glamour PGM-FI.
:-) :-)

S.P - Biker Next Door said...


Thanks for correcting me (once again) :-)

Shaiju B said...

I am a great fan of Stunner. It looks great for a 125cc bike. Yes it was indeed a pleasant surprise when Honda launched the Stunner. It was way a head of other 125s. But later on Honda diappointed us by lauching the not so good looking Dazzler. I was expecting Honda to design the Dazzler in the lines of Stunner. It would have been really amazing. Lets hope for the best !

Deepak said...

Pictures look awesome. You can improve the design of the blog.

Anonymous said...

honda can still launch dazzler engine with cbf stunner body as cbf stunner 150......

Sunil said...

YUCK!!! look at the plastic quality of the switches. I have also seen many CBF Stunner with platic which have become white after been in the sun.

So much for honda 'quality'

Anonymous said...

Y does .. FI version is better than normal one ... does the Fuel injection have that much impact on the engine....

does FI have that much impact in other bikes ... like apache ,karizhma, glamour....compare to the non ..FI bikes ...

praveen said...

You forgot to mentioned about tubeless tyres of this bike, i think this the first bike in 125cc category got the tubeless tyres. Lookswise is Better than Glamour, ride quality of this bike is upto the 125 cc, but it still misses some features like engine kill switch, digital speedo, hope so a 150cc engine if honda will adopt to this bike will bring a stiff competition to Yamaha Fazer.

S.P - Biker Next Door said...


Its true, the CBF Stunner is the first 125 cc bike in India to get tubeless tyres. I have mentioned it in the "Specifications' though.

Honda needs to be applauded for providing tubeless tyres even on the 110 cc CB Twister.


The CB Twister is a carbureted bike but it still is very smooth, even smoother than the carbureted CBF Stunner at high revs.

Just putting Fi doesn't guarantee a better engine. Overall its how the engine has been designed and tuned.

Jesvin said...

Hey I have a 2009 carbed stunner. I like to know how it compares to Pulsar135 especially handling, suspension and reliability (Bajaj may have gotten 1st two right?). Honda got the basics perfect (on all models) before they go for the frills (no snappy ads too). They could overtake the other companies to the top.

S.P - Biker Next Door said...

@Jesvin, who told you that the Pulsar 135LS has bad handling and not reliable?? Agreed that you have a 2009 Stunner but how can you make a sweeping statement for the Pulsar 135LS without owing it..??

Instead of speaking ill of another bike, it would be better if you have any comment to make about the review of the CBF Stunner that I have made above.

The Pulsar 135LS has sharp handling and has stellar top end performance. And after 1 and half years since launch, owners of the Pulsar 135LS has not reported any major issues.

Veerendra Giddaluru said...

P135LS is an exceptional bike from Bajaj.. to be fair, it's better not to compare with Stunner which lags a lot in performance department. To be frank Stunner comes next to P135LS, Yamaha SS125.

Tharukz said...

Yep... agree with both S.P. and Veerendra.

Prince Shakur said...

Dear Frnds Plz suggest me....
P Ls 135cc or Honda Stunner.....

Chandu said...

man go to stunner its well sutied for for tall fellows.even i own a stunner its really fabulous

Anonymous said...

Honda India is not at all interested in giving spare parts of any bike. I have Honda unicorn, spare parts are not available even with Honda dealer. This bike has plastic parts, which are not available all over the country. After one accident, your bike will be the ugliest byke. Hero Honda is more reliable company. I have companied the same to Honda. But till date I have not received any reply.

Anonymous said...

Stunner has bad mileage & maintenance. It also has vibration problem & chain use to get damages frequently. I had stunner CBF. I sold it & going to purchase good bike. I was using hero honda glamour before stunner & i was happy with glamour. Then i gave it to my elder bro & buy stunner. Now i am very unhappy with my decision.
Can any on please guide me, which bike is good in all aspect. My budget is around 50000 to 60000. Please don't suggest me stunner.

Jiten said...

Good Amazing. Nice Review

Anonymous said...

the bike is good....but the dealers are really doing FUCKING job....they even do not have any spare parts.....even after ordering through dealer showroom, i couldnot get it...i really felt bad for buying this honda bike only bcoz of these dealers.....though the bike is good....

Anonymous said...

i want some more colours,,,,,,,,

Anonymous said...

how much the bike in tirupathi

aditya said...

honda stunner cbf of wite coller. send wellpaper

K.Rajesh Kumar said...

Hi Dude this is Rajesh bond
Iam a reading all your valuable feedback of all the bikes, its really help everyone.
i am finaly come to the conclution from all my searching dazzler or stunner, and now iam fill up with stunner, kindly say that ( 2009 stunner had so many prob's( vibrating, milage, skirting in high speed) want to know abt now a days launching bikes ( stunner) is there still having the same prob's, iam i like to modify my bike after purchase, and just reply my doubs ok then on that day itself i ll book the bike, and iam 25 now this is the first bike iam gonna ride ( learning ) how come this stunner will help me out...reply iam waiting

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