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The Honda CT125 Hunter Cub Is a Pint-Sized Scrambler Alternative

Although some scrambler motorcycles combine classic looks with genuine off-road capability, they can be rather expensive. They’re also somewhat heavy and can be unwieldy, especially for newer or smaller riders. Ditto the old-school, sidecar-equipped Ural. Dual sports and dirt bikes are more at home off-road but at the expense of some on-road comfort. And the Rokon Trailbreaker isn’t even on-road-legal. However, there may soon be a lighter, more compact alternative, in the form of the Honda CT125 Hunter Cub.

Honda CT125 Hunter Cub origins

Initially, only a concept, RideApart reports, the Honda CT125 Hunter Cub is inspired by a similarly-named bike from the 60s.

1984 Honda CT110 Trail
1984 Honda CT110 Trail | Bring a Trailer

Alongside the original Monkey mini-dirt bike, Honda produced the CT200 Trail 90, Ultimate Motorcycling reports, later renamed the CT90 Trail. It came first with an 87cc air-cooled single-cylinder that later got increased to 89cc. In the US, Bring a Trailer reports, Honda also offered a 70cc version. And in the 80s, the bike got a 105cc engine and became the CT110 Trail. The Honda Trail wasn’t fast; instead, as with Janus’ motorcycles, its draw was rugged simplicity.

The 4-speed transmission used a centrifugal clutch. This eliminated the need for a traditional clutch lever and made shifting on trails much easier. The transmission also had an additional reduction gear that acted much like a four-wheel-drive SUV’s transfer case.

1975 Honda CT90 Trail 90
1975 Honda CT90 Trail 90 | Bring a Trailer

The exhaust was mounted up high, to prevent it from snagging on rocks and logs. The step-through frame not only made mounting and dismounting easier, but it also housed the air filter box, to prevent water from getting in. The carburetor even got a snorkel.

And now, one year after the spiritual-successor Honda CT125 Trail Cub concept was shown at the 2019 Tokyo Motor Show, Jalopnik reports the bike is heading to production.

Honda CT125 specs

2021 Honda CT125 Hunter Cub
2021 Honda CT125 Hunter Cub | Honda

The Honda CT125 Hunter Cub uses the same 125cc water-cooled, fuel-injected single-cylinder as the Grom, RideApart reports. It also uses the same centrifugal clutch and frame as the Honda C125 Super Cub. On the CT125, though, the fairing has been removed.

2020 Honda Super Cub C125
2020 Honda Super Cub C125 | Honda

In addition, the Hunter Cub gets an engine skid plate, a high-mounted exhaust, and more suspension travel. The Honda CT125 does have ABS, but in another one-up from the Super Cub, the Hunter Cub has discs front and rear. The CT125 does weigh more than the Super Cub—264 lbs vs. 240 lbs—but it has a larger fuel tank. The wheelbase is slightly longer as well, for more stability.

Pricing and availability

2021 Honda CT125 Hunter Cub side
2021 Honda CT125 Hunter Cub side | Honda

As of this moment, Honda has only announced the CT125 Hunter Cub’s Japanese availability, with sales expected to start June 2020. However, ADVRider reports the company has already filed patent applications in Europe for the bike. It’s likely, therefore, that the CT125 will eventually make its way to the US, as well. Especially since the Super Cub, Grom, and Monkey are already sold here.

2020 Honda Monkey
2020 Honda Monkey | Honda

In Japan, the Honda CT125 Hunter Cub will be available in either red or brown. MSRP starts at approximately $3,660 before taxes and fees. That’s only about $60 more than the Grom, and about $340 less than the Monkey. It’s also about half of what a Rokon Trailbreaker costs, although the Rokon can admittedly tow up to 2000 lbs.

Nevertheless, if you’ve been after a simple, affordable off-road bike that can also handle city streets, you should be watching out for the Honda CT125 Hunter Cub.

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