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).
Built in conjunction with the Kawasaki Ninja 400 sport bike, the Z400 is the naked option for the street for new riders, short riders, and riders that want to do more with less.
This means that the 2019 Kawasaki Z400 has a 399cc parallel-twin engine, that produces 45hp (33.4 kW), which is a 6hp increase over the 300cc model that it replaces.
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.
Team Green surprised us last year, announcing the Kawasaki Ninja 400 sport bike as a successor for the still fresh Ninja 300. For bonus points, Kawasaki brought the Ninja 400 to the US market, where it has displaced its smaller rivals (do you see what we did there??).
Now it seems that Kawasaki is ready to bring another 400cc sport bike to market, as a filing with the California Air Resources Board (CARB) tip-off the upcoming Kawasaki Ninja ER400DK.
In Kawasaki-speak, the “ER” designation has been used for many of the company’s naked motorcycles over the years, so putting two and two together, logic would dictate that a naked version of the Ninja 400 is on its way for the 2019 model year.
The new design brings the R3 closer into the rest of Yamaha’s supersport family, particularly with an intake shape that looks inspired by the Yamaha YZR-M1 MotoGP bike.
There is a split on rumors as to whether the rest of the machine will get an update as well, specifically the frame and engine, though we can expect some some minor refinements to the overall package, no matter what the case may be on that front.
LED headlights and lighting all around have been tipped, and we wouldn’t be surprised to see an updated dash as well.
Is Ducati thinking about making a 300cc sport bike? Is it going to do so in India? With Hero MotoCorp? That is the talk of the motorcycle industry today, though this isn’t the first time that this idea has been floated in the two-wheeled rumor mill.
The reason this rumor keeps coming around is that Ducati seems to be one of the last motorcycle brands really to adopt the small-displacement motorcycle strategy.
Motorcycle manufacturers are continuously investing in motorcycle models that would sell well with entry-level riders or in developing nations. This has lead to a boom in motorcycles that that are under 400cc – most of which are produced in Asia, though also sold in the western markets.
Despite Ducati’s continued commitment to staying out of the 300cc displacement category (it does have the 400cc Scrambler Sixty2 though), rumors continue to speculate on this future for the Italian brand, this time with Hero MotoCorp in the picture.
Episode 81 of the Two Enthusiasts Podcast is out, and it is a marathon show – right at 2.5 hours in length. Because of that duration, we cover a huge range of topics, the first of which is a little news about Harley-Davidson, and the growing American trade war.
Jensen’s travels then took him to Milan, where he visited Pirelli’s world headquarters and testing facility, which was a unique experience in seeing how tires are evaluated and produced.
Lastly came a trip south to Sicily, to visit the Metzeler/Pirelli R&D testing facility, where Jensen rode the entire Metzeler tire range up a volcano…no seriously.
Back home in the USA, Quentin was doing a bit of racing, as he lined up on the grid in OMRAA’s 250 Ninja Cup. He then played on the other side of the wrench in his travels to Pikes Peak, spinning wrenches for Michael Woolaway, who raced a custom Ducati Hypermotard up the Colorado mountain.
At the same time, Jensen was in Laguna Seca for the World Superbike weekend, and the following Pirelli track day. There, Jensen got to ride two very unique motorcycles: the Kramer HKR EVO2 and the BMW HP4 Race. A short review: they did not suck.
Since Quentin recently also got a chance to ride the Kramer, the two trade notes on the show about this interesting single-cylinder motorcycle, and how much fun it is to ride smaller-displacement motorcycles on the track.
Like we said, it’s a marathon show, but we think you will find all the topics not only interesting, but the stories entertaining.
You can listen to the show via the embedded SoundCloud player, after the jump, or you can find the show on iTunes (please leave a review) or this RSS feed. Be sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter as well.
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It has been a motorcycle that we have long waited for, but it seems that the KTM 390 Adventure is finally set to debut. Based on the KTM 390 Duke platform, which currently shares itself with the KTM RC390, the new ADV bike targets the small-displacement adventure-touring segment.
This means that at the core of the KTM 390 Adventure model should be a 373cc single-cylinder engine, making roughly 43hp. Multiple spy photos of the bike have been spotted over the years, which show a long-travel machine that should be fairly capable off-road.
“With the 390 Adventure we would be making our long awaited entry into the niche premium dual-sport segment which is a very apt segment for Indian roads,” said Bajaj SVP and KTM India boss Amit Nandi, in a statement reported by several Indian publications.
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.
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.