How to transform a 125 into a Scrambler for €1,500?

Conseils pour transformer une moto 125 cm3 en Scrambler pour 1500€.

The success met by 125 cubic capacity motorcycles is undeniable year after year, quite the contrary. At less than €3,000, accessible with a B permit and a 7-hour training course, they offer a popular alternative to traffic jams and public transport. Light , handy , economical , the 125 cm3 have real advantages to show.

One of these advantages, which will be of particular interest to us here, is the simplicity of its customization. Even if it means saving yourself the hassle of traffic jams, trips piled up on top of each other in metro trains, buses or trains, why not take the opportunity to buy and revamp a motorcycle into a 125 scrambler ?

To help you see more clearly, we suggest you follow step by step the transformation of a Honda CM 125 Custom into a Scrambler . To be totally transparent, and to precisely quantify the cost in parts and accessories of this preparation, we have selected products available in our shop.


From the 125 series to the 125 Café racer

The European 125cc market continues to evolve and competition intensifies with the rise of the Mash, Orcal, Keeway and other FB Mondial against the Japanese, Honda, Yamaha, etc. Whatever the desired style, road, trail, custom, or sporty, you will have a plethora of standard models available. Fashion effect obliges, the retro is not left out and the manufacturers offer their own versions of 125 vintages : 125 Scrambler, 125 Café Racer, 125 Flat Track.

Admittedly, the brand new Scrambler and flat track, straight out of the factories, find their audience. However, the very essence of the Café Racer remains the transformation of an old model to personalize it according to your tastes and desires.

The pleasure of riding a unique motorcycle , reinvented and equipped according to one's preferences, is beyond measure with a production motorcycle.

Afterwards, thinking about embarking on a preparation course can seem like a mountain to climb, a cost that is difficult to estimate. Of course, depending on the planned changes , some will require skills in mechanics, electricity, which you do not necessarily have (don't miss to read our article on the simplification of the wiring harness on this subject). Also, if your project involves complex modifications that are beyond your knowledge, do not take any risks and use the services of a professional.

However, in the majority of cases, you will be able to manage on your own and obtain results that will satisfy you and surprise many. Transforming a 125 into a Scrambler, for example, is clearly technically accessible and will prove to be a very good exercise for those who subsequently plan to switch to a larger displacement motorcycle.

The specificities of a 125cc motorcycle

We will retain three criteria that characterize the 125: their power , their maneuverability and their weight :

With 15 horsepower max , or even less for entry-level models, the 125 are preferred for urban traffic or short journeys. This obviously does not prevent trips on weekends or on vacation. However, for larger routes, prefer national and departmental routes. Forget the motorways, at 100 km/h, you will "quickly" find the time long and you will achieve substantial savings at the same time!

Their short turning radius (less true for the sports, road and custom versions) gives the 125s foolproof maneuverability to squeeze through traffic jams.

Depending on your morphology, the weight of the motorcycle can also be a selection criterion. An appreciable alternative to large cubes when it comes to maneuvering the motorcycle when stationary. (Remember to add the volume of the tank filled to the dry weight generally communicated by the manufacturers.)

What annual budget to plan for when buying your first motorcycle?

As observed previously, the 125 is often the first motorcycle purchased after obtaining its motorcycle license, or through a B license. An inexpensive motorcycle, especially for an occasion. It also benefits from an economical annual maintenance cost compared to its big sisters. But beware , the acquisition of a first motorcycle is accompanied by unavoidable additional expenses:

  • equipment : helmet, jacket, gloves, boots, rain protection;
  • consumables (maintenance): tires, brakes, filters, spark plugs, oil, chain kit, etc. ;
  • insurance : young driver, type of motorcycle, all risks, etc.

The selection criteria, the diversity of the offer, the price ranges do not reasonably allow an average price to be offered for each of its positions. 600 € of equipment, 100 € of annual maintenance, 300 € of insurance can be advanced, but it is preferable to bet on safety above all.

Between the asphalt and you, there is nothing except your helmet, your jacket, your pants, your boots and your gloves to guarantee your physical integrity and save your life . Think about it before equipping yourself.

Take care of your preparation to recover your investment on resale

125 honda scrambler forest

On the motorcycle side, the transformation of a 125 into a Scrambler does not represent a pharaonic budget, as we will see below in more detail. However, depending on the equipment and tools you have, we recommend that you estimate the costs to come to stay in the nails and control your budget .

The financial interest of creating a vintage motorcycle from a small displacement like a 125 cc is based on the good deal made on the purchase of the basic motorcycle and the possibility of a resale which will cover the investment (learn more in this article ). Indeed, a used Café racer 125 is a highly sought-after motorcycle today, especially if the modifications made are well executed.

Accessible with a simple B license, this engine is aimed at a very large clientele , female and male. Take care of your preparation, you will make people happy, and you will recoup your expenses to embark on a new preparation thanks to the accumulated experience.

Which base to choose for a 125 Scrambler?

When choosing the 125 that will be the basis of your Scrambler project, don't just look at the looks, but also at the potential of the bike and what you will do with it in the future. This is why, favor the acquisition of a second-hand 125, an old motorcycle, more classic and therefore less coveted. You will save a few hundred euros, your insurance will be lower and you will benefit from a proven and solid engine , even with a few kilometers on the clock.

Sites like Le Bon Coin are full of cafe racer ads. So, it can be tempting to buy a converted used 125 Scrambler, on which you could possibly put some personal touches. Note that a purchase of this type nevertheless represents the risk of having to repair hazardous modifications made by the previous owner(s).

Detailed and quantified example of a Honda 125 Scrambler preparation

125 scrambler preparation workshop

What better than a concrete example to illustrate the preparation of a 125 in Scrambler? Looking for crafting ideas? You want to know how much a self-prepared 125cc Scrambler costs. To provide as many answers as possible to your questions, here is our Scrambler 125 project, down to the smallest detail. We chose the 1992 Honda 125 CM Custom for several reasons:

  • the reliability of the Honda engine : 4-stroke in-line twin, solid and requiring little maintenance;
  • its availability : this model is easy to find;
  • its price : the 125 CM are negotiated around €1,000;
  • original parts : easily available and inexpensive.

The seat of the 125 CM is low (saddle height: 750 mm) and rather thin; to change it into a Scrambler and give a more upright driving position to this base chopper, we have revised the line as a whole. In order to allow you to follow in detail the different steps carried out, we suggest that you discover the modifications made to each area of ​​the motorcycle.

Each time, we will send you the links to the product sheets of the parts and accessories used as well as their prices. This way, you will be able to get an accurate idea of ​​the cost needed to complete this project.

The front part of the motorcycle

blackpines scrambler motorcycle preparation

For the front of the Honda, we worked on the headlight , the look of the fork tubes and the fender .

For the headlight , our choice fell on an LED headlight (€89.90) with daytime running light . This model is equipped with a protective grille that ensures a true Scrambler look. We installed it with black 28/34 mm mounting brackets (€14.90).

In order to preserve the fork tubes and accentuate the offroad look, we installed Scrambler 28/47 mm fork gaiters (23 €).

Finally, we shortened the fender and opened it up with a half Blackpines fir tree.

The cockpit

In order to optimize and personalize the standard cockpit of the 125 CM in the Scrambler version, we have changed almost everything:

  • the handlebars : a classic Scrambler handlebar (€31.90);
  • mirrors : pair of handlebar end mirrors (€45);
  • the handles : we opted for diamond-shaped , black handles (€16);
  • the indicators : the Bloom LED aluminum models from Brazoline (€49.99) were fixed directly to the headlight brackets;
  • the speedometer : to replace the original speedometer, which was far too bulky, we preferred a more discreet model, a mini speedometer with a diameter of 55 mm, black, equipped with three indicator lights: headlight, indicator and neutral (27, €90);
  • the switches : the original models are made of aluminum and are well made, we don't touch them.

Note : installing new LED indicators can sometimes cause faults. In order to guarantee correct operation, the original relay has been replaced by a special LED model (€16.90).

CM sides

Two thermal strips have been fitted to the original manifolds (2 x €19) equipped with black Megaton type silencers (2 x €79).

The two pairs of toe clips have been replaced by the Tracker (€39) and Scrambler (€19) models. The rear frame, meanwhile, has been modified and fitted with an LED frame loop integrating the indicators and taillights (€59).

For information : the welding can be done at home or at a boilermaker for less than 100 €.

The rear part of the motorcycle

For this preparation, we installed a custom saddle adapted to the frame (budget for a Scrambler saddle : between €300 and €400).

In order to raise the rear of the bike, the shock absorbers have been replaced by universal models of 325 mm (119 €). The license plate , meanwhile, was fixed on a Highway Hawk side support (€ 89.90).

For the rear fender , our choice fell on a custom fender (49 €), positioned in the curvature of the frame loop.

To complete the Scrambler look, two sculpted tires with nipples have been fitted (around €300 a pair): a BRIDGESTON TW 202 at the rear and a CONTINENTAL TKC 70 at the front.

Namely : like all parts of the bike, the frame, the rims and the engine have gone through the painting stage. Allow between €500 and €1,000 depending on the work to be done (sandblasting, degreasing, stripping, puttying, welding) and the finish of the paint.

End of our preparation, it's up to you!


What was once a production custom has been transformed into a very nice Scrambler to the delight of Élise, its happy owner. In order to summarize the budget allocated to the modification of this 125 CM in Scrambler, we can divide the costs into three main items:

  • the purchase of the motorcycle : For this model, count more or less 1,000 € , range of the occasion noted between 700 € and 1,500 €;
  • spare parts and accessories : here, the set, saddle and tires included, costs approximately €1,500 . Excluding saddle and tyres, we installed accessories for €886.39 ;
  • external work : welding and painting (between €500 and €1,000 depending on the service provider).

Of course, this budget is only given as an example and will have to be adapted according to your own estimates. The objective was above all to give you a more precise idea of ​​the envelope to be expected for the transformation of a 125 into a Scrambler.

The difference will be in the price of accessories and the need to call on a professional to take care of work that you cannot do.

Do you have a 125? Do you want to embark on the Scrambler adventure or any other preparation? Our team is there to listen to you, advise you : contact us, let's discuss your project.

And if you want to go deeper into the subject of Scrambler preparation, we invite you, if you haven't already, to read two of our articles :

How to transform your motorcycle into a Scrambler and at what price?

Which base, which displacement to choose for a Scrambler?

And more generally:

How to make a Café Racer: 5 mistakes to avoid .

1 comment

  • Philippe

    merci pour cet article, il va m’aider dans mon choix : un scrambler ou un bobber… voire un mix des deux….

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