The famed Honda Trail/CT is returning to the U.S. market. Honda has announced its new 2021 Honda Trail 125 ABS, based on the Super Cub CT125. The Honda Trail/CT series of motorcycles rose to popularity in the 1960s due to its light off-road capabilities and affordable price point. MSRP is $3,899.
From Press Release:
2021 Honda Trail 125 ABS
If there were ever a motorcycle made for casual trekking on- and off-road, one that harkens back to the golden era of motorcycling while incorporating the joys of modern design and technology, the 2021 Honda Trail 125 ABS is it.
Debuted in 2019 as a concept model at the 46th Tokyo Motor Show, the CT125 received rave reviews, along with requests for a production model. That wish is now granted with the introduction of the 2021 Honda Trail 125.
Much like Honda’s fun and nostalgic Monkey and Super Cub miniMOTO models, the new Trail 125 resurrects a time-honored brand by injecting a healthy dose of practical design and hassle-free technology to create a machine that honors the past while adapting easily to modern lifestyles.
Whereas the 2019 Super Cub C125 sought to serve the casual daily needs of urban riders, the Trail 125 expands that scope by providing features that make it just as capable in rural settings and on two-track roads and trails. This was accomplished by strengthening the chassis, increasing suspension travel, improving range and updating the electronics for virtually maintenance-free operation.
DESIGN / STYLING
The many improvements to the function and capability of the original CT series have not detracted from the distinctive CT design, which is carefully preserved in the modern Trail 125. With the goal of balancing the image of a tough-yet-modern machine, Honda’s designers simplified the surfaces of each part on the frame while preserving the symbolic elements such as the upswept muffler, air-cleaner cover, fuel tank, rear carrier, steel front fender, turn signals, footpegs and handgrips.
A 3-D emblem of the signature original Honda wing logo represents the traditional series model while the drop-shadow Honda logo, reminiscent of the CT-series, is attached on left and right side covers.
Electronic features include the following:
- 190 watt generator output
- Accessory charger
- LED lighting
- Large, square turn signals mimic the look of the older CT models and are durable for off-road use
CHASSIS / SUSPENSION
Compared to the Super Cub, the wheelbase of the Trail 125 has been lengthened .5 inches to 49.4, the front-suspension stroke increased to .4 inches to 4.3, ground clearance upped 1.1 inches to 6.5, and the seat height raised .8 inches to 31.5. Together with the following upgrades, these changes allow the Trail 125 to readily traverse uneven road surfaces and challenging terrain while still providing ample rider comfort and control:
- The head pipe is reinforced and the triple clamp redesigned to ensure a balance between frame rigidity and flex.
- An upswept bend enables the handlebar to be turned 45 degrees in each direction so that the rider can easily make course corrections at low speed.
- Dual-sport-style knobby tires mounted on 17-inch rims with stainless-steel spokes offer traction and long life.
- Disc brakes front and rear ensure excellent braking power even when luggage is loaded; ABS is standard.
- The reshaped seat is narrowed at the front to facilitate foot reach to the ground.
Enlarging the fuel-tank capacity to 1.4 gallons (.4 gallons larger than the Super Cub) increases range when fuel stations are few and far between. The high-mounted air intake and upswept exhaust enhance low-end power and are consistent with the CT lineage, and the engine guard adds protection from obstacles like large rocks and tree stumps.
ENGINE / DRIVETRAIN
As with the Super Cub C125, the Trail 125 engine is a 125cc four-stroke, single-cylinder overhead-camshaft design operating two valves. Programmed fuel injection (PGM-FI) with automatic enrichment and electronic ignition ensure trouble-free starting and efficient operation in every conceivable condition. The Trail 125 has a longer intake and tuned exhaust for enhanced low- and midrange power, as well as a three-tooth larger rear sprocket (39 teeth) for lower gearing—all changes that are ideal for trekking and touring on forest-service roads and trails. Like the Super Cub, the Trail 125 uses a four-speed semiautomatic transmission.
As a package, the Trail 125 pays tribute to the original CT line while embracing the convenience and performance of modern technology, making it a great tool for riding around town or exploring the wilderness.
The locking aux fuel tank is missing and starting is by kick only? Guess I’ll re-read it to see if I missed that spec. Biggest omission (unless I missed it, too) is the dual range tranny although it is also unclear if the bars can be turned 90 degrees for RV transport.
It has both electric and kick start in case your battery died. I have seen an auxiliary tank in the foreign markets which is pretty big.
There was a trail 90 back in the 60s .does this model resemble that with a bit more upm? I owned a 90 and it was a great combo off on.road unit.
It looks exactly the same, I couldn’t afford one back then but I know every detail of this bike. The Day after the Oct 12th wind storm in the Northwest back in the early 60s the 50CC Honda trailbike was the only thing on the road, because it was light enough to lift
over fallen trees and there were hundreds of those on every road. I’ll be getting the 125 as soon as they get one in stock. I’m 73 now so don’t really need a bigger bike anymore, and I live in the mountains so this will work great for me going into town when I need too.
Any possibility of a manual clutch option?
I’m almost certain you could fit one from the grom. Or after market for a grom. Same engine.
At least one other review reports that the CT125 has a manual clutch and not the centrifugal clutch(less) set-up of the CT110.
Correction: Duh, the pictures do not show a clutch lever on the left handlebar — nor a secondary rear brake lever. My bad! Scott (above) may be right on.
Can’t help think how much more useful this bike would have been if 150 to 175cc. Just needs a little more power.
Plenty of bikes with “power”. $3000 to $4000 for a new Honda that will run for the next 20 years and be ridden by everyone in the family – I agree with their call on the size/power. One of those “flat” plastic gas cans will fit nicely on the counter top behind the seat (along with a blender and a battery powered bluetooth speaker). All hail to the thigh burn scars of another generation!
I agree, it’s a shame! 175 would’ve been perfect. Bikes need to be able cruise at 55 to be safe on the road.
Welcome back! Great for learning, nice for camping , run errands , go to hike a park, get the wife interested in riding, tote it on a receiver hitch carrier, send it to college. My first bike was a ’66 black Honda 90 with regular clutch and high fuel tank, you could hold 55 mph on the road or ride in a field just for fun. 20 yrs ago my kids and wife learned on a 100cc Kawasaki. I’m very happy to see some choice returning to the sub 300cc bikes in this country again. Of course there are legitimate reasons for bigger bikes and I have a couple but for local errands they usually sit and I take a 150cc scooter.
Can you research and provide Japan’s President of motorcycle division? I need to correspond directly with him.
I look for your assistance being a “rider magazine”.
Most Humble Appreciation!
Mr. Satoshi Nakamoto is the prez
A few hundred dollars more buys a Z400, or any number of larger displacement HIGHWAY capable motorcycles. I really like this bike, for a grand less, maybe.