Motorcycle Owners Club

Honda CG125 but also some universal motorcycle information

Givi A601 Screen Review

Also see Motorcycle Universal Screen Review and Givi A660 Review


The screen is 36.9 cm high (from top of headlight part to tip of screen) and 42.5 cm wide.

Design

The screen is designed to look good on a Custom bike.
The sacrifice for looks is wind noise and stability.

The screen makes the bike much more stable than without, but no were near as stable as the Givi A660 screen for example.

The wind noise off the top of the screen is also nowhere near as good as the Givi A660 screen,
if the screen is as low as your chin area, it's very noisy,
bad turbulence air gets under and in to the helmet (need ear plugs or very good seal around helmet and neck)

Review

This Givi A601 Review was done on a Honda CG125 motorcycle 2004 to 2008 version (125cc 4 stroke with less than 11hp).
Without a screen its normal top speed would be around the 65 mph mark.
But that could drop to as low as 50 mph against a very strong headwind.

Please note, when you go past peak engine revs the power drops off dramatically since it's a push rod engine,
so it does not matter if it's a 60 mph back wind and downhill,
when you hit peak engine revs the power drops off and stops you going much faster.
So when I say top speed increases by so much, that's of course until you hit peak engine revs,
so top speed increases by so much is only when you have a head wind.

I tried the screen for a few hundred miles and this is what I found.

The Good

Top speed with a normal coat was 10 to 15 mph faster than without a screen.
Top speed with a leather coat was 5 to 7.5 mph faster than without a screen.

Even with a leather coat on and my chin on the petrol tank without a screen,
the screen gave at least 3 mph more speed and no need to put my chin on the tank.
With the screen on there was no change in top speed if I lowered my body since my body was already protected by the screen.

With the screen on, leather coat and done all the things in the Improving Performance page,
the bike no longer really benefits from sitting behind a 56 mph lorry to increase the top speed against a very strong head wind.
The screen actually gave more of a speed increase than no screen and sitting behind a lorry (within your braking distance)
in very strong head wind.
So at last against a very strong head wind (you can only manage 60 mph),
you can easily overtake a lorry while it's accelerating,
or against a strong head wind overtake the 56 mph lorry with the bike managing 65 mph.
And after you have overtaken the lorry,
you will be able to at least manage and keep up 60 mph even with a strong head wind and uphill.
The speeds above are for someone around 5 foot 10 inch tall and around 11 stone (70 kg).
Since the bike is small and underpowered, if you are significantly larger or heavier you will be slower.

Even with leather coat on, fuel consumption improved by 5% even though bike was travelling faster,
so after several thousand miles the screen would pay for itself.

The bike was around 15% more stable in near gale force side winds.

Going round corners was more stable and faster due to less wind resistance,
which creates in effect more power from the engine to pull you round the corner
and the wind cannot push you in another direction as much.

The Bad

The increase of speed puts far more stress on the brakes,
you have to put the brakes on harder and watch out for brake fade when back wind.
If in doubt start braking earlier than normal.

The increase in speed could tempt you to cruise the bike above 65 mph,
I advise against going past this speed for a long time since it will increase engine wear substantially.
So go above 65 mph for overtaking traffic only.
What causes the engine wear is not only the extra high engine revs,
it's also the longer you're at those engine revs the more heat build-up you get.
I personally would never go to 70 mph since the engine revs are far too high,
going past this speed even for a quick test is crazy unless you do not care about engine life
(to far above 70 mph could cause engine damage).
I personally cruise on normal roads at 60 mph (to protect engine),
on dual carriage ways where the speed limit is 70 mph
I often cruise at 63 mph if traffic is fast moving or even 65 mph for short periods.
I limit my overtaking speed to 66 mph.
With prolonged high engine speeds,
the oil you use and changing it earlier than normal is critical, see Which Oil quality to use in the Servicing page.
With the best oil, if the majority of the mileage was done at 60 mph with a substantial amount above 60 mph
I would change the oil every 1500 to 1750 miles.
All of the above speeds are based on the 5 speed gearbox and using 5th gear, a 4 speed gearbox could easily be different.
The 5 speed bike was the Front Disc Brake model, to see the RPM of the engine have a look at the MPH to RPM page.
For all other models of Honda CG125 look at the speedometer,
look carefully and it should show you the maximum advised speed in every gear.

Since the wind hits the screen instead of your body,
you do not feel the direction, strength or gusts directly, but instead feel detached.
This requires some skill and time to learn,
I would not recommend someone who has very little motorcycling experience try it in strong winds.

The handlebars shake when sitting behind a lorry in the wrong place and with the wrong wind direction.
It's not enough to affect the bikes safety, but it's enough to unsettle you at first until you learn how to stop it.
It only happens if the wind is strong enough, the direction is perfect and you're also the correct distance from the lorry.
This is because the screen is large and wide and is connected to the handle bars,
the lorry creates air turbulence which flows off its left hand side slightly faster or slower than its right,
which hits one side of the screen at a slight different time to the right.
If you change your distance from the lorry the problem will disappear, you can also let a car or van behind you overtake you,
the car or van will break up the wind enough to stop the handle bar shake,
you can then overtake the car and the lorry without handlebar shake.

Also see Motorcycle Universal Screen Review and Givi A660 Review