Honda’s pocketful of mini motorcycles has struck a chord with young and old riders alike. The re-imagined Monkey 125 tugs at heart strings that remember the golden 1970s while providing thoroughly modern, compact and funky urban transport for riders of any age. The MSX125 Grom serves up left-field, customisable style for ‘Generation Y’ but also as perfect paddock transport in the worlds of car and bike racing.
For 23YM a new bike joins the fold. The ST125 Dax fully owns the genuine authenticity of the 1969 original* but brings thoroughly 21st century performance from chassis, engine and ergonomics. The most recent version of the Dax was produced from 1995 to 2003 for the Japanese market. The more recent European success of its siblings has hastened its return and its mischievous charm and easy-going riding proposition bless the ST125 Dax with an extra layer of desirability.
Of course, nostalgia will play a part in the Dax’s appeal to riders now in middle age – riders who may have owned a Dax in their youth and are pleased to see it return. Equally, ‘retro’ is important to younger owners; that’s real retro, not faux. A certain style sets some machines apart and the Dax has just that in abundance thanks to the form of its iconic T-shaped frame. Which is also how the bike got its name: extending from under the seat to the handlebars, and sitting atop the small 12” wheels, the look is reminiscent of the universally-adored Dachshund. Or Sausage Dog, to give it its everyday English name…
Unique, easy, usable and great fun. That’s the new Honda Dax. A faithful old friend is back.
The Hornet’s brand-new engine packs a great deal of Honda’s engineering prowess into a small space. Headline numbers: 755cc parallel twin-cylinder, 67.5kW peak power and 75Nm torque. With wet weight of 190kg it has a class-leading power-to-weight ratio of 0.36kW per kg / 2.81kg per kW.
Compact, competition CRF-derived Unicam eight-valve cylinder heads employ downdraft air intakes and a Vortex Flow Duct to ensure optimal combustion. A 270° crank delivers feel and character; the primary drive doubles as balance shaft while an assist/slipper clutch manages a six-speed gearbox. Electronic rider aids thanks to Throttle By Wire (TBW) include 3 riding modes (plus USER mode), 3-level Honda Selectable Torque Control (HSTC), Wheelie Control with 3-level Engine Power and Engine Braking adjustment.
To maximise the new engine’s potential, it’s housed in a totally new steel diamond frame, which is extremely light weight thanks to optimisation of wall/pipe thickness and stiffness. For optimal agility and rider feedback, suspension is top quality: Showa 41mm SFF-BPTM USD forks and rear shock operating through Pro-Link. Dual four-piston, radial-mount calipers stop hard while the tyres are sized to provide perfect levels of grip and agility – a 120-section front matched to 160 rear.
The rich specification list is headlined by a 5-inch TFT colour display which supplies vivid information delivery and management of all systems, as well as the connectivity of Honda Smartphone Voice Control system for both Android and IOS devices. All lighting is LED; the indicators auto-cancel and also include Emergency Stop System (ESS).
A range of accessories, including a quickshifter, soft luggage, engine protectors and cosmetic enhancements are ready to go (see full list below: 4. Accessories).
The 23YM CB750 Hornet will be available in the following colour options:
Pearl Glare White with Metallic Red Flame frame and anodised Red forks
Graphite Black with Metallic Red Flame frame and anodised Red forks
The Transalp’s design projects an unmistakeable feeling of adventure touring in a package that works superbly on the road. The long-legged stance makes a strong statement of adventurous intent, while the fairing and screen work together to deliver wind protection without bulk. The overall look is sleek, simple and clean.
The engine packs a great deal of Honda’s engineering prowess into a small space and provides strong response across the rev-range – just what’s needed for either solo or two-up touring. The all new 755cc, parallel twin-cylinder unit (shared with the new CB750 Hornet) produces 67.5kW top power and a strong helping of torque right through the rev range, peaking at 75Nm. Refined settings of the Throttle By Wire (TBW) system orientate the engine character towards touring and comfort.
Compact, competition CRF-derived Unicam eight-valve cylinder heads employ downdraft air intakes and Vortex flow duct to ensure optimal combustion. The 270° crank delivers feel and character. Electronic rider aids run via Throttle By Wire (TBW) and include 5 riding modes, 4 of which contain pre-set combinations of Engine Power, Engine Braking, ABS and Honda Selectable Torque Control (HSTC) with integrated Wheelie Control. The 5th ‘User’ mode allows the rider to fix their own preferred combination.
Handling is light, nimble and confidence inspiring. The steel diamond frame is light weight thanks to optimisation of wall/pipe thickness and stiffness. For supple on-road performance and off-road bump absorption, suspension is top quality: Showa 43mm SFF-CA USD forks and rear shock operating through Pro-Link. Dual two-piston calipers provide efficient stopping power while the tyres – 90/90-21/150/70-18 front and rear – deliver versatility on or off-road.
The rich specification list is headlined by a 5-inch TFT colour display which supplies vivid information delivery and management of all systems, as well as the connectivity of Honda Smartphone Voice Control system (HSVCs) for Android and IOS devices. All lighting is LED; the indicators auto-cancel and also include Emergency Stop Signal (ESS) technology to warn other road users of sudden braking.
A range of accessories, including quickshifter, soft and hard luggage, rally/touring equipment and cosmetic enhancements are ready to go for an owner’s preference (see full list below: 4. Accessories).
The 23YM XL750 Transalp will be available three striking colour options including, of course, the beautiful Tricolour paying homage to the original XL600V, marking the return of an icon.