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ADV BikesHonda Trail125 Returns For 2023 With Engine Updates And A New Color

Honda Trail125 Returns For 2023 With Engine Updates And A New Color

The efficient, fun and friendly trail bike is back for the new year.

Published on 04.18.2023
2023 Honda Trail125 trail motorcycle

Honda’s revived Trail125 has been a big success with riders since its launch back in 2020. Inspired by the original Honda CT models of the 1960s, the Trail125 exudes nostalgia with its classic look while being a solidly-built, utilitarian machine that can be used for urban adventures and casual off-road treks. Approachable, simple, fun and versatile, the new bike harps back to the 1960s “You meet the nicest people on a Honda” advertising slogan. 

For 2023, the Trail125 gets the 124cc air-cooled, two-valve, overhead-camshaft, four-stroke, single-cylinder engine that the Super Cub received in 2022. Fuel-efficient and durable, the powerplant combines the bottom end (with redesigned crankcases) from the Japanese-market C110 with the SOHC, two-valve top end of the Grom. The engine produces useable, enjoyable power all the way through the rev range, while still offering impressive fuel economy.

2023 Honda Trail125 trail motorcycle

Compared to its predecessor, the 2023 Trail125 is more undersquare, with a 50.0mm bore and a 63.1mm stroke (previously 52.4mm x 57.9mm), and compression ratio is 10.0:1 (previously 9.3:1). According to Honda, state-of-the-art programmed fuel injection (PGM-FI) has automatic enrichment and electronic ignition, ensuring trouble-free starting and efficient operation in all conditions.


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Compared to its road-going cousin, the Super Cub, the Trail125 has a longer intake and tuned exhaust for enhanced low- and midrange power, as well as a three-tooth-larger rear sprocket (38 teeth) for lower gearing—all changes that are ideal for trekking and touring on forest-service roads and trails. The airbox is designed to match the engine. It smooths airflow on the clean side of the panel-type, wet-paper filter (which has a 10,000-mile life in normal riding conditions) and—along with the connecting tube and injector position—improves driveability. Many Trail125 owners prefer to do their own maintenance, and a welcome feature is a replaceable oil filter.

2023 Honda Trail125 trail motorcycle

While the outward appearance of the muffler (one iconic element of the Trail125) stays the same, the internals are modernized; with the gain in combustion efficiency, a single, more efficient catalyzer replaces the pair of catalyzers used with the previous exhaust. The ECU programming maximizes performance and efficiency, and the alternator output has been increased.

As before, the transmission has four speeds (with neutral at the bottom), and in true Trail125 tradition, it’s operated via an automatic centrifugal clutch, eliminating the need for a clutch lever. At standstill, the rider simply selects the gear required with the left foot lever; as the throttle is opened, the clutch operates automatically, and it continues to do so through each ratio change, up or down. A helical primary gear reduces mechanical noise. For optimum shift feel and reduced shift noise, the engine has a high-quality shift-drum bearing, shift-arm rubber, and optimized clutch-damper rubber material.

2023 Honda Trail125 trail motorcycle

Chassis

As a package, the Trail125 pays tribute to the original CT line while embracing the convenience and performance of modern technology. Highlighting its approachability, the bike offers a friendly seat height at 31.5 inches, a manageable wheelbase of 49.5 inches and a curb weight of 256 lbs. 

The fuel-tank capacity is 1.4 gallons (0.4 gallons larger than the Super Cub), increasing range when fuel stations are few and far between. The high-mounted air intake and upswept exhaust enhance low-end power and are consistent with the CT lineage, and the engine guard adds protection from obstacles like large rocks and tree stumps.

2023 Honda Trail125 trail motorcycle

Other features include:

  • A reinforced headpipe and a redesigned triple clamp to ensure a balance between frame rigidity and flex.
  • An upswept bend enables the handlebar to be turned 45 degrees in each direction so that the rider can easily make course corrections at low speed.
  • Dual-sport-style tires mounted on 17-inch rims with stainless-steel spokes
  • Disc brakes front and rear; ABS is standard.
  • The seat is narrower at the front to facilitate foot reach to the ground.

Design

The many improvements to the function and capability of the original CT series have not detracted from the distinctive CT design, which is largely preserved in the modern Trail125. Accordingly, Honda’s designers simplified the surfaces of each part on the frame while preserving the symbolic elements such as the upswept muffler, air-cleaner cover, fuel tank, large rear carrier, steel front fender, turn signals, footpegs and handgrips.

A 3-D emblem of the signature original Honda wing logo represents the traditional series model while the drop-shadow Honda logo, reminiscent of the CT-series, is attached on left and right side covers.

2023 Honda Trail125 trail motorcycle

Electronic features include the following:

  • 190 watt generator output
  • LED lighting
  • Large, square turn signals mimic the look of the older CT models and are durable for off-road use

Pricing and Availability

The 2023 Honda Trail125 hits US dealers this April with an MSRP of $3,999, keeping pricing the same as last year. However a new color is being introduced for the new year called Pearl Organic Green, which will replace the iconic Red that has been offered since the bike launched. For more information go to powersports.honda.com

Honda Trail125 Specs

Engine Type:123.9cc air-cooled 80º single-cylinder four-stroke
Valve Train:SOHC; 2-valve
Bore x Stroke:50.0mm x 63.1mm
Compression Ratio:10:01
Induction:PGM-FI w/ 24mm bore, automatic enrichment
Ignition:Full transistorized 
Starter:Electric & kick
Transmission:Semiautomatic; 4 speeds
Clutch:Multiplate wet
Final Drive:Chain; 14T/38T
Front Suspension:27mm telescopic inverted fork; 4.3 in. travel
Rear Suspension:Twin shocks; 3.4 in. travel
Front Brakes:Single hydraulic caliper w/ 220 mm disc; ABS
Rear Brakes:Single hydraulic caliper w/ 190 mm disc
Front Tires:80/90-17
Rear Tires:80/91-17
Rake (Caster Angle):27º
Trail:80 mm (3.1 in.)
Length:77.2 in.
Width:31.7 in.
Height:42.7 in.
Ground Clearance:6.5 in.
Seat Height31.5 in.
Wheelbase:49.5 in.
Fuel Capacity:1.4 gal.
Curb Weight:256 lbs.

Author: ADV Pulse Staff
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Dave P.
Dave P.
April 18, 2023 12:58 pm

I bought a new one last year and sold it with twelve miles on it. The issue was the clutchless shifting. Shifting from gear to gear, up or down, was abrupt every time. Would it have smoothed out in time? Possible, but I didn’t want to lose any money so I sold it immediately for exactly what I paid for it. Almost kept it just to look at it in the garage. Very charming bike. Love the new color. I’m now waiting for a white XR150 that I ordered months ago. Should be in soon. It has a good old fashioned clutch.

Umbre
Umbre
April 19, 2023 10:53 am
Reply to  Dave P.

The trick to shifting the trail125 smoothly is using the clutch, ironically. The clutch disengages when changing gear, so you can treat it about the same way as a regular bike transmission. Its just handled by your foot. Blip the throttle when downshifting and its as smooth as anything else.

Dave P.
Dave P.
April 19, 2023 1:40 pm
Reply to  Umbre

Not in my experience…

-Nate
-Nate
April 21, 2023 6:59 am
Reply to  Dave P.

Hondas world beating AutoClutch isn’t for everyone .

At twelve miles you never had the time to learn it’s proper operation .

-Nate

MW
MW
April 18, 2023 9:02 pm

When will we get this in Have been waiting a long time.

Matt Carlson
Matt Carlson
April 18, 2023 9:44 pm

I would love to see Honda bring back the high/low range transmission for this bike. The H/L makes it a true goat on the trails.

Walter
Walter
May 26, 2023 6:47 am
Reply to  Matt Carlson

1st gear is low and makes up for the H/L transmission

Kai
Kai
April 19, 2023 4:09 am

And now bring it to Europe, PLEEEEAAAAASE!

Don Groninger
Don Groninger
April 20, 2023 10:48 pm

I’m buying one as soon as they are at dealers!

-Nate
-Nate
April 21, 2023 6:58 am

Sounds good to me ! .

I’m still using the tried and true CT90k2, it just goes and goes….

I hope this time Honda send sufficient units to supply demand .

-Nate

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