The #1 best-selling motor vehicle in the world isn’t a truck, SUV, or even a car; it’s a motorcycle. Over its decades-long run, Honda has sold well over 100 million Super Cubs. And after a hiatus in the US, Honda brought it back in C125 form as part of its miniMOTO range.
Yet while the Super Cub has seen duty everywhere from cities to rice fields, it’s not exactly an off-roader. Instead, Honda now has the Trail 125, a Super Cub-powered, small-scale, affordable, approachable dirt-capable motorcycle. However, MAAN Motocicli Audaci just made a special Honda Super Cub C125 that is ready to hit some trails.
MAAN Motocicli Audaci got this Honda Super Cub C125 ready for off-roading
To be fair, although the Honda Super Cub is more of an urban machine, it’s not technically impossible to go off-roading on one. After all, the similar-sized Vespa scooter has occasionally served as a rally bike. So, while the Trail 125 is better suited from the factory for hitting the dirt, with a few modifications, a C125 could theoretically join it. At least that’s what Sardinian custom shop MAAN Motocicli Audaci is trying to show with its Super Cub 125X.
Commissioned by Honda of Italy, MAAN’s Super Cub 125X uses the standard C125 powertrain. That means an 8-hp 125cc air-cooled single-cylinder engine linked to a four-speed manual and a semi-automatic centrifugal clutch. But given the Cub’s intended mission, more power wasn’t strictly necessary. Instead, MAAN focused on some of the essentials of off-roading; namely, traction and ground clearance.
To improve the former, MAAN swapped the Honda Super Cub C125’s standard tires for Pirelli Scorpion MX32 off-road ones. And to beef up the latter, the shop worked with Italy’s Andreani Group to install Ohlins piggyback rear shocks and a new front end to lift the bike by 1.5”, RideApart reports. Based on the stock specs, that would give the 125X 6.9” of ground clearance, 0.4” more than the Trail 125.
MAAN’s upgrades go further than just new tires and suspension, though. The shop trimmed the front fender and rear mudguard to give the 125X a more scrambler-like look. It also added CAD-designed brake guards and a new front fairing. In addition, the shop installed carbon-fiber side panels that double as exhaust heat shields as well as an Alcantara-and-leather seat.
And this modified Honda Super Cub isn’t just a static showpiece. MAAN recently entered it in the Dust’n Sardinia off-road rally—and it survived to take the stand at EICMA 2021.
There are plenty of shops taking the Honda Trail 125 further into the dirt, though
However, while MAAN’s Super Cub 125X has a few one-ups over the standard Honda Trail 125, the latter is getting some aftermarket attention, too.
For example, Thailand’s MotolordD recently completed a custom Trail 125 inspired by the Mad Max films, Bike Exif says. The shop’s owner, Chayakrit ‘Win’ Kaewwongwan, deliberately kept the motorcycle’s frame intact but upgraded a bunch of its components. So, in addition to LED lighting, a skid plate, and ABS, MotolordD’s Trail 125 has crash bars, DRLs, and additional LED headlights protected by a metal bracket that doubles as a front luggage rack.
Speaking of luggage, the bike also has a custom rear rack that accommodates a storage box and a side rack for soft bags. Also, the frame’s main beam’s new cover also acts as a luggage mounting point. Plus, this Trail 125 rocks a custom air-filter cover, new engine covers, and dual Diablo shocks from K-Speed.
K-Speed’s taken its own stab at modifying the Honda Trail 125, Bike Exif reports. First, it swapped the bike’s standard swingarm for an extended one so it could install a wider rear enduro tire. Putting that new tire on also required installing a slimmer mudguard, paired with a custom rear luggage rack. And just like MotolordD’s build, K-Speed’s Trail 125 rides on Diablo shocks—and has a 1.5” lift.
But K-Speed didn’t stop there. Its modified Honda Trail 125 also has a new chain guard, LED taillights and turn signals, and Diablo handlebars on new risers. And those handlebars have new grips, switches, bar-end mirrors, a new throttle, and a Takegawa brake master cylinder. Additionally, K-Speed’s Trail has an upgraded skid plate, crash bars, engine covers, footpegs, brake lines, and an extended side stand. Plus, a new LED headlight, wider front tire, higher front fender, and a custom exhaust.
How easy is it to make your own Honda off-road miniMOTO machine?
For now, MAAN’s Honda Super Cub 125X is a one-off custom. However, MotolordD offers bolt-on versions of the parts used on its Trail 125, Bike Exif notes. So, you could recreate its build for $500-$600. And K-Speed now offers several Trail 125 custom kits–the one in the photos above costs roughly $11,420.
But if you want to make something different, you have other options—at least for the Trail 125. Japanese accessory brands Kijima and Dirtfreak offer numerous Trail parts, ranging from upgraded skid plates to LED trail lights, RideApart says. Ohlins also has fully-adjustable rear shocks for the Trail 125 that cost $750. And if you want to make a dedicated trail bike, US shop Yoshimura R&D’s non-street-legal Cyclone exhaust is about four pounds lighter than the standard exhaust. Plus, it boosts the Trail 125’s horsepower and torque slightly.
However, there is one off-road modification available to the Honda Super Cub C125: tires. Those Pirelli MX32s mentioned earlier aren’t street-legal, but Shinko’s dual-sport SR241s are. And you can get a set in the C125’s stock size for about $80.
With the aftermarket support only ramping up from here, perhaps next year we’ll see even more dirt-ready Cubs and Trails at EICMA.
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