The wait, and the speculation, are over. The Honda Trail 125, aka the CT125, is coming to the US market for 2021, with availability this fall.
The Trail 125 broke cover during the Tokyo Motor Show in the fall of 2019. While it only has modest specs (it’s based around the Honda Grom engine), it grabbed consumer’s attention immediately. After further appearances on the motorcycle show circuit, it was obvious there was plenty of demand for the retro scramblerette, but initially, Honda only confirmed the bike for Asia, then Australia. Would US customers get the shaft, missing out on the machine? Turns out that Big Red has heard the buyers’ pleas, and is bringing the machine here in coming weeks. The MSRP will be $3,899 US.
Why all the fuss over such a modest machine? Simple—the Trail 125 is basically the old CT90/CT110 design, but updated with a newer engine and some electro-trickery. The original CT line ran in the US through the 1970s and 1980s, and until fairly recently in other markets (Australia, in particular). It was a simple approach to dual sport motorcycling; the emphasis was on rideability, not speed. Instead of long-travel suspension, the CT line was built around ease of use, with semi step-through frame and clutch-free shifting. The engine wasn’t particularly powerful, but that didn’t matter to hunters, fishermen or cottagers, who wanted a bike that could handle basic transportation duties in rough terrain, but didn’t need high-speed offroad capability.
The new Trail 125 has an air-cooled single-cylinder engine with clutchless shifting and a kickstarter, just like the old CT models. Modern touches include EFI and offroad-friendly ABS, likely a similar system to Kawasaki’s Bosch-derived ABS in the KLX230, which works very well. The engine supposedly makes 8.7 horsepower and 8.1 lb-ft of torque, but given the amount of engine upgrades for the Grom, no doubt that can be improved.
For more deets, visit Honda’s website.