We are not sure how big the market is for a 125cc adventure-tourer, especially in the European Union. Close to zero, perhaps? Yet, we are very excited about the Honda CB125X concept (along with its fraternal twin, the Honda CB124M concept).
Maybe the Honda CB125R platform is the wrong starting point for this project, but we like where the Honda Motor Europe R&D team finished with this build.
The CB125X is a clean and attractive motorcycle, and we would romp through every river crossing we could find on this small-displacement thumper.
What you are looking at is a Honda CB125R…well, it was the retro-modern 125cc street bike, until Honda Europe R&D got their dirty little mitts on it. Rethinking the pint-sized machine, Honda has created a very fetching concept motorcycle, which it calls the Honda CB125M.
Honda pitches the CB125M as a supermoto, which makes sense with the bike’s 17″ wheels front and bike, but we think the format lends itself more to a mini-moto machine (we were actually surprised to learn that the Honda Grom was not the basis for this concept).
Either way you look at it, the Honda CB125M Concept is pure sex. It’s one of our favorite machines shown at EICMA this year. There is a growing movement in the small-displacement space, sub-300cc, and Honda is all over it (be sure to look at the Honda CB125X concept too).
One of the few surprises at the INTERMOT trade show in Germany, was Team Green’s release of two 125cc motorcycle models: the Kawasaki Ninja 125 and the Kawasaki Z125. The bikes are basic in their concept, and will be headed only to the European market.
Kawasaki hopes that the Ninja 125 and Z125 will be the ideal option for those with A1 or A2 licenses in Europe’s tiered motorcycle licensing program, though the Japanese company didn’t discount some interest from older riders who are looking for something smaller in their garage.
That is a fair goal from Kawasaki, because despite the budget-focus of these 125cc machines, the quality of the bikes is quite high, and we were most impressed with the fit and finish found on the 2019 Kawasaki Ninja 125.
Kawasaki has two new motorcycles for young riders in Europe, the Kawasaki Ninja 125 and the Kawasaki Z125. We have already shown you the fully faired Ninja 125, and now here is the naked version of that platform, the Z125.
As you would expect then, this A1/A2 license compliant machine features a 125cc, water-cooled, single-cylinder engine that makes 15hp and 8 lbs•ft of torque. Wrapped in a steel trellis frame, the 2019 Kawasak Z125 tips that scales at 323 lbs at the curb, fueled and ready to go.
Debuting at INTERMOT, the Kawasaki Z125 represents Team Green’s commitment to new two-wheeled enthusiasts, and the motorcycle looks like a solid choice for beginners, as well as veteran riders who are looking for something smaller in their garage.
Kawasaki calls it “the toughest choice”, but we call it smart bike-building for the younger markets. Team Green’s big reveal at this year’s INTERMOT show was a Sophie’s Choice of 125cc machines, the Kawasaki Ninja 125 and the Kawasaki Z125.
As you would expect from the name, the 2019 Kawasaki Ninja 125 is a fully faired sport bike with a 125cc single-cylinder engine.
Designed for new riders, or veteran motorcyclists who want something smaller in their garage, the Ninja 125 looks like a strong offering for two-wheeled enthusiasts.
“How many axes does the IMU use?…And who makes it? Bosch?” asked a journalist during our press launch briefing for the new Honda Monkey. That journalist was yours truly. I am that guy at the Monkey launch.
To be fair, my curiosity was mostly personal. After all, one of the cheapest motorcycles in Honda’s arsenal comes available with IMU-assisted ABS, while more than a few of Big Red’s full-on sport bikes in the lineup do not…how weird is that? Please tell me more, Honda.
But, the question strikes a larger tone when it comes to bikes like the Honda Monkey: the tech specs don’t really matter. No one cares. The appropriate measuring stick for a bike like the Honda Monkey isn’t an objective one that is found on spec-sheets and lap times, which is a tough pill to swallow for a detail-oriented motorcycle journalist.
To that end, I am not sure if the Honda Monkey is a good motorcycle. But more importantly, I am not sure that it matters. Let me explain.
It has been 44 years since Honda offered the Super Cub on American soil. That is a pretty astounding thing to say, when you think about it, because the Super Cub is the best selling motorcycle in the world – with 100 million units sold, as of 2017.
Needless to say, the Honda Super Cub is beyond iconic, and it is the go-to people mover in more countries than we can count.
Now helping Honda fill-in a price-point hole in its motorcycle lineup, the 2019 Honda Super Cub C125 will be one of the cheapest motorcycle that Honda has to offer inside the United States, with an MSRP of $3,599.
Built using the same 125cc single-cylinder fuel-injected engine that features on the Grom and Monkey bikes, the Honda Super Cub C125 features a step-through body design and clutchless semi-automatic transmission, as well as ABS as standard.
There is something about the Honda Monkey that we find adorable and appealing, as we did with the Honda Grom, of which the Monkey shares a platform (namely, its 125cc single-cylinder engine with DOHC).
So needless to say, we were thrilled when we heard that Honda would bring the Monkey into production, and today we get confirmation of news we expected: the Honda Monkey will come to the USA as a 2019 model.
Priced at $3,999 of the USA ($4,199 if you want ABS), the 2019 Honda Monkey will be available in October, and come in two colors: red or yellow.
When the Honda Grom debuted, we didn’t know what to make of it. A mini-moto for the street, the 125cc motorcycle was unassuming, underpowered, and oddly positioned. We loved it, and so did you.
Now with the space heating up with competition from manufacturers like Kawasaki and Benelli, Honda is having to defend the niche that it carved out with the Grom with a new model.
Big Red is doing that with the 2018 Honda Monkey.
We have been speculating for some time whether Honda would bring its monkey bike concept to market. As we predicted, the model wasn’t destined for the 2016 model year, but now two years later, and with the Honda Grom at the end of its product cycle, the 2018 Honda Monkey is finally ready for primetime.
I won’t rehash too much of what we have said about how the Honda Monkey is a master-stroke from the Japanese brand.
Simply stated, the Honda Monkey builds off the popularity of the Grom, adds in some retro flare (which is so hip right now), and creates the potential for an all-new “You Meet the Nicest People on Honda” moment. Now it’s time to put those words to the test.
If you think that the 2018 Honda CB1000R is a fetching motorcycle, then we’ve got some more good news for you, because Honda Motor Europe has debuted at EICMA two more bikes with its “Neo Sports Café” aesthetic: the Honda CB125R and the Honda CB300R.
As you can discern from the names, the Honda CB125R and Honda CB300R are street bikes that shares a lineage with the Honda CB1000R, albeit in 125cc and 300cc packages, respectively.
As such, the 2018 Honda CB125R is basically a redesigned CBR125R (a model not available in the US market), while the 2018 Honda CB300R is a repurposed to create the Honda CBR300R.
It looks like Europe’s new Euro4 emissions standard has claimed its first victim (if you don’t count the exhaust pipe on the Ducati 959 Panigale), as neither KTM nor Husqvarna will be producing their 125cc two-stroke enduro models for 2017, and the foreseeable future afterwards.
The move is a euros and cents decision, and a slightly complicated one at that, but it boils down to the fact that making the small-displacement smokers meet the more stringent Euro4 emissions requirements was financially prohibitive.