With the explosion of electrical bicycles, bikes, and scooters, it’s important to ask your self if the inconvenience is actually well worth the many hassles that at the moment include them. On this context, the dialog is about city transportation, not about highway-capable machines. We’re speaking about attending to work, to highschool, working errands, and the advantages of discovering loads of parking within the metropolis. There are a ton of inner combustion choices that aren’t solely competitively priced, however get wonderful gas effectivity and supply comfort that the electrics can’t at the moment match.
Honda’s Trail125 is an ideal instance, a contemporary interpretation of a tried-and-true platform that obtained so many riders on two wheels because the Path collection, beginning again in 1961. The extra issues have modified, the extra they’ve remained the identical. The Trail125 affords the identical utility, glorious gas mileage, and enjoyable demeanor because the mannequin all the time has. For 2023, the engine will get some updates (which we are going to contact on shortly), nonetheless, our check unit is a 2022 mannequin.
First, let’s speak concerning the engine, as a result of that’s what actually units the Trail125 aside from the EV crowd. At its core, you’ve got a 124.9cc air-cooled single, with an overhead cam with two valves. Not like the CT90 and CT110 of 5 many years in the past, the Trail125 will get Honda’s PGM-FI gas injection. Energy is shipped to the rear wheel by a four-speed semi-automatic transmission with an automated centrifugal clutch. For 2023, Honda has modified the bore and stroke measurements from 52.4 x 57.9mm to 50.0 x 63.1mm and elevated the compression ratio from 9.3:1 to 10:1. In any other case, the 2 fashions are nearly equivalent. They even have the identical claimed peak energy and torque.
Associated: 2021 Honda Path 125 Overview
One of many single greatest attributes of the Trail125 is its simplicity. No want to fret about if it’s absolutely charged; simply flick the important thing on, hit the starter, and also you’re in enterprise. With 1.4 gallons of gas and a recorded 112-mile common mpg, vary is usually pushing 160 miles. When bouncing round city on brief journeys is the conventional use case, gas lasts a protracted, very long time. Like weeks and even months.
Most of our time with the Trail125 this go-around was spent excessive within the Colorado Rockies with a storage base camp at 6,600 ft. The final time we put the pre-2023 technology on the Cycle World dyno in Irvine, California, it produced 7.9 hp at 5,710 and seven.4 lb.-ft. of peak torque at 4,650. At greater than a mile above sea stage in Eagle, Colorado, it’s unlikely making fairly that a lot energy.
Pleasant is a phrase that completely describes the Trail125. The straightforward auto-clutch means you don’t have to show a brand new rider easy methods to feed out a clutch lever and roll on the facility. It’s merely gasoline it and go, after which seize the subsequent gear. Close to scooter simplicity, however extra participating. Impartial is on the backside after which 4 shifts up, which suggests “motorcyclists” will often discover themselves shifting right down to impartial after they thought they had been in first should you aren’t counting shifts. To maintain progress easy, backing off the throttle after which making your shifts retains the auto-clutch from getting jerky. Whereas blipping the throttle on downshifts only a contact makes these gear modifications easy and lurch free.
Round city, the Trail125 is mild, nimble, and simple to experience. It weighs a claimed 259 kilos with a full tank of gas, and carries that weight low. The Trail125 flicks by means of 90-degree corners with ease and makes mincemeat of the roundabouts that litter this small city. An ultralow first gear permits fast getaways from stops in an city setting. One other fashionable addition that the previous Path didn’t have is ABS on the entrance brake, which is a twin-piston hydraulic unit biting on a 220mm disc. Out again is a single-piston hydraulic unit and a 190mm disc, however with out ABS, which is simply superb by us, as we’d choose having the ability to lock the rear wheel when using within the filth.
Talking of filth, the Trail125 doesn’t shrink back from it, in actual fact it welcomes it. Single-track, double-track, filth roads, we rode all of it. The important thing right here is to recollect what the Path is, it’s not an off-road bike, so should you experience it with some sympathy, it’s going to pay you again with competent efficiency. Exploring rutted-up two-tracks, it’s important to simply be aware of among the greater erosion ruts and never get sucked in too deep. And since wheelying throughout them isn’t an possibility, slowing down and making deliberate decisions is a good suggestion. Comply with that logic and the Path does an incredible job of chugging alongside. Gearing for this sort of using is good, with first gear low sufficient to get you up steep inclines with out subject, whereas second and third appear to be the 125′s candy spot.
Even in some muddy and free sections, the Path affords a whole lot of confidence with chunky 17-inch IRC GP-5 tires doing a superb job of maintaining you on line, whereas the suspension does a stunning job of sucking up the rougher hits. However the place the Trail125 excels is on filth roads, that’s its glad place. It’s right here that 35 to 45 mph appears about good, not feeling sluggish and but having one thing in reserve—a sense that you just don’t get on the asphalt. One place it’s actually good is over washboard roads; it by no means will get out of practice even should you hit an enormous unseen pothole, and the mix of the comfortable seat and plush suspension (with round 4 inches of journey up entrance and three.5 within the rear) gives an amazingly snug experience. It’s very secure, but agile on this setting. Hit a bit little bit of sand, no downside. A little bit of mud, not a problem. Fifty-plus years of refinement has ready this machine for all of it.
OK, not likely all, however on the path there may be little to complain about. In fact, there must be some compromises someplace, and that’s once you get out on two-lane roads with 45 to 55 mph velocity limits. It’s right here that requires both tucking into the draft of the automotive in entrance of you, or barely holding up visitors when pushing its personal wind extensive open at 50 mph. We’ve seen speeds previous 60 mph, however that’s solely been with the advantage of a downhill slope or a tailwind. Plan accordingly. So, for positive that is the place the Path is a bit out of its component. However on the flip facet, it’s a street-legal machine, which is one thing that almost all ebikes can’t say for themselves, and the Trail125 will trounce any Class 2 (restricted to twenty mph) or Class 3 (restricted to twenty-eight mph) ebike.
One of many single greatest options on the Trail125 is the massive rear utility rack, which makes the little Honda a really gratifying errand runner. Have to go seize a pizza, a 24-pack, or throw a GSX-R1000 wheel on the again for a tire change, we did all of it. It’s someway a lot extra satisfying to hop on the Honda than hearth up the truck for these straightforward errands. Even in chilly spring temperatures, the Path fires proper up, idles completely, and pulls away and not using a single grievance.
After spending months and months with the Trail125, we fell in love with it. It’s humorous how many individuals are drawn to it, and they’re often shocked once we inform them it prices lower than $4,000. You actually can’t get a good mountain bike for that form of cash anymore, not to mention a good-quality electrical bike or pedal-assist bicycle.
With the Trail125 you get wonderful utility—enjoyable transportation, dead-reliable Honda efficiency, an excellent backroad and campground explorer—all in a street-legal package deal that sips gas extra effectively than the very best hybrid-car misers available on the market. As for our argument as an alternative choice to the wave of ebikes which might be invading each city in America, we’d make a powerful case that they don’t stand an opportunity of competing with the simplicity, comfort, and efficiency of the Trail125. The one query now’s deciding what to do away with to make room for one in our storage.
2022 Honda Trail125 Specs
|Engine:||SOHC, air-cooled single-cylinder; 2 valves/cyl.|
|Bore x Stroke:||52.4 x 57.9mm|
|Transmission/Remaining Drive:||4-speed semi-automatic/chain|
|Cycle World Measured Horsepower:||7.9 hp @ 5,710 rpm|
|Cycle World Measured Torque:||7.4 lb.-ft. @ 4,650 rpm|
|Engine Administration/Ignition:||Absolutely transistorized|
|Entrance Suspension:||27mm fork; 3.9 in. journey|
|Rear Suspension:||Twin shocks, preload adjustable; 3.4 in. journey|
|Entrance Brake:||2-piston caliper, 220mm disc w/ ABS|
|Rear Brake:||1-piston caliper, 190mm disc|
|Wheels, Entrance/Rear:||Wire spoke; 17 in.|
|Tires, Entrance/Rear:||IRC GP-5; 80/90-17 / 80/90-17|
|Seat Peak:||31.5 in.|
|Gas Capability:||1.4 gal.|
|Common MPG:||112 mpg|
|Claimed Moist Weight:||259 lb.|
Helmet: Arai XD4 & Corsair-X Nakagami-3
Jacket: Alpinestars Oscar Trucker
Pant: Alpinestars Alu Denim
Gloves: Alpinestars Halo Leather-based
Boots: Alpinestars Quicker-3 Shoe
Goggles: 100% Racecraft 2