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ADV NewsHonda Teases Adventure Side of Its New CT125 Hunter Cub

Honda Teases Adventure Side of Its New CT125 Hunter Cub

 The much-anticipated Super Cub spinoff actually has off-road cred.

Published on 06.09.2020
https://youtu.be/mmKA-5iwI2U

Honda’s reveal video for its newest adventure bike has it all: dramatic lighting, thumping music, quick cuts highlighting model features like a fully digital speedometer, LED lighting, a beefy rear luggage rack, a “powerful” engine, ABS and “adventure handlebars.”

Adventure handlebars? That’s a clue that this isn’t a new Africa Twin, CRF or even a (finally) modernized XR650L. This is something completely different, and for a lot of people, more exciting than any of the above. It’s the CT125 Hunter Cub, a much-anticipated spinoff of the street-oriented C125 Super Cub, and it takes Honda back to its CT90/110 Trail-series roots. Buyers by the millions loved the Trail-series’ simplicity, rugged design and go-anywhere ability. You can make a case that it was the original adventure bike.

Honda CT125 Hunter Cub

Even if you’ve never heard of a Honda Trail 90 or its many variants, this is a cool video. The rider straps camping equipment to the rack, turns the key and “roars” into the woods. Cut to scenes of camping, tight trails, dirt roads, beaches, mountains, surfing, fishing, friends. Details about the bike pop up as the rider moves along: a 5.4-liter (1.4 gallon) fuel tank; 4.3 inches of front suspension travel, 2.75 inches rear; an upswept exhaust with a perforated heat shield that looks remarkably like that found on the original bike; disc brakes and 17″ spoked wheels wearing dual-sport tires.

Honda CT125 Hunter Cub
Honda CT125 Hunter Cub

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Honda did more than simply strip the bodywork off the Super Cub. The two models share the same SOHC engine and semi-automatic transmission (four gears, no clutch), but they added more ground clearance, a skid plate and a kick starter. They also stretched the wheelbase and changed the air intake design to emphasize torque. The result is a mini-scrambler that can actually go places off-road thanks to its lightweight, simple design. The model is set to debut in Japan as a 2021. North America will receive the CT125 as a 2021 model arriving November of 2020 priced at $3,899 USD.

None of the CT125’s specs are terribly impressive in comparison with modern adventure bikes, but one-upmanship isn’t the point. Getting out into the world on a fun, light, competent, inexpensive, reliable bike is the point, just like the original. It’s a remarkably retro idea that really resonates in these times.

Honda CT125 Hunter Cub Specs

ENGINE TYPE:Air-Cooled, 4-stroke, Single OHC
FUEL SYSTEM:Electronic FI (PGM-FI)
CAPACITY:125 cc
Ignition:Fully transistorized
BORE X STROKE:52.4mm x 57.9mm
COMPRESSION:9.3:1
HORSEPOWER:8.8 @ 7,000 RPM
TORQUE:8.1 ft-lbs @ 4,500 RPM
STARTING:Electric and Kick
CLUTCH:Wet multi-plate coil spring centrifugal
Final Drive:#420 Chain; 14T/39T
GEARS:Semi-automatic 4 speed
FUEL CAPACITY:1.4 gal (5.3L)
FRONT TIRE:80/90-17 
REAR TIRE:80/90-17
front BRAKE:Single 220mm hydraulic disc with ABS
Rear Brake:Single 190mm hydraulic disc
SEAT HEIGHT:31.5 in. (800mm)
LENGTH:77.2 in. (1960mm)
WIDTH:31.7 in. (805mm)
OVERALL HEIGHT:42.7 in. (1085mm)
Rake (Caster Angle):27°
Trail:3.1 in.
Front Suspension:27mm telescopic fork; 3.9 in. travel
Rear Suspension:Twin shock; 3.4 inches travel
GROUND CLEARANCE:6.5 in. (165mm)
WHEELBASE:49.4 in. (1255mm)
WEIGHT:259 pounds (117kg)
PRICE:$3,899 USD (440,000 yen)

Author: Bob Whitby

Bob has been riding motorcycles since age 19 and working as a journalist since he was 24, which was a long time ago, let’s put it that way. He quit for the better part of a decade to raise a family, then rediscovered adventure, dual sport and enduro riding in the early 2000s. He lives in Arkansas, America’s best-kept secret when it comes to riding destinations, and travels far and wide in search of dirt roads and trails.

Author: Bob Whitby
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10 thoughts on “Honda Teases Adventure Side of Its New CT125 Hunter Cub

  1. I’m as big a fan of the CT90 as anyone but 265 lbs today? The standing position photo also shows an outside the envelope use of the current iteration. Never make the mistake of trying to ride one anything like a dirt bike. DAMHIK It will give you a rag doll thrashing like never before. All that said I’d love to have one for nostalgia and putt putt’s sake.

  2. This particular marketing vid is clearly directed at Japanese Millenials, but in N.A. this bike is far more likely to be found on the backs of $100K+ RV’s with boomers at the wheel when it does get here.

  3. Powerful engine??? Will be interesting to see if they make different versions for different markets. In Europe, a 125cc bike may have up to 15hp to be legal for a certain license class, here it makes a mere half of that. Why?

  4. This would sell in the USA, just like the X-ADV, but no! American’s want $25,000 underpowered, overweight bar-hoppers to impress their yuppy friends…

    • Haha, funny but true! Not this country boy! CRF450L and KTM 500 EXC- F are how I roll. We aren’t all bar hopping yuppies. Mountains, trails and dark beer make me happy!

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