Ever since it launched the Grom to widespread applause, Honda has been leading a minibike renaissance. Years after its original small-scale motorcycles inspired a generation of riders, their modern miniMOTO descendants are doing the same. And even though it just released the 2022 Navi, Honda seemingly doesn’t plan to slow down. That’s right, another beloved classic nameplate is back in the form of the 2023 Honda Dax.
The Honda CT70 is back for the modern age
If you live outside of the US, the name ‘Honda Dax’ might ring familiar. It’s technically a nickname based on the original bike’s appearance, RevZilla explains. The first Dax, aka the ST70, was minibike-sized but had a relatively long frame. That reminded some riders of a dachshund, which got shortened to ‘Dax.’
However, while the Dax name never appeared in the US, Honda did sell this motorcycle here. We Americans just know it by a different name: Honda CT70, aka the Honda Trail 70.
Yup, roughly two years after the Trail 125 brought back the CT spirit, the CT70 lives again. And while it has more than a few nods to the original, the 2023 Honda Dax is also a thoroughly modern minibike.
It’s not quite a Trail, but the 2023 Honda ST125 Dax should be a solid street minibike
|2023 Honda ST125 Dax|
|Engine||124cc air-cooled single-cylinder|
|Transmission||Four-speed manual with semi-automatic clutch|
|Front suspension and travel||31mm inverted telescopic fork; 3.9”|
|Rear suspension and travel||Twin coilover shocks; 4.7”|
|Curb weight||236 lbs|
Speaking of the Trail 125, the 2023 Honda Dax isn’t technically a trail bike. Although the original Honda CT70 could (lightly) hit the dirt, the modern version is a street-only motorcycle. However, like its ancestor, the 2023 Dax has a pressed-steel T-shaped frame, wide seat, and upswept exhaust, RevZilla notes. Furthermore, it has the CT70’s beginner-friendly attitude.
Firstly, it has the same engine and semi-automatic transmission as the modern Super Cub C125. So, while you do shift with your feet, there’s no need to master a clutch lever. Secondly, its Nissin disc brakes have ABS, though only on the front wheel. In addition, its low curb weight, modest power output, and reasonable seat height should make it approachable even for smaller riders.
Admittedly, the 2023 Honda Dax doesn’t have a lot of gadgets, though as Janus’s motorcycles show, simplicity can be a virtue. But the reborn CT70 isn’t totally tech-less. Besides ABS, it also has LED lighting and an LCD gauge. Plus, with the built-in grab handle and passenger footpegs, you can bring someone along for the ride.
And while the 2023 Dax only has a one-gallon fuel tank, it gets a claimed 150 mpg. So, that ride might go longer than you expect.
If it comes to the US, how much will it cost?
As of this writing, Honda hasn’t released official pricing details for the 2023 ST125 Dax. For comparison, the 2022 Trail 125 starts at $3899, while the Grom starts at $3399.
However, while the Dax should hit European dealerships by May 2022, its US future is unclear. A Honda representative told RevZilla that the company doesn’t currently plan on bringing the ST125 here. But the rep also said that Honda “’may look at that model in the future.’”
So, at least for now, this is one product of the Honda minibike renaissance that might pass us by.
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