Honda’s new Super Cub is gaining popularity in the United States, and now is the time for Honda to capitalize on that popularity. The friendly little Super Cub arrived on our shores last year, and just like its original introduction in the 1960s, it’s become a popular city bike and around-town go-getter. What’s it missing? Off-road capability, of course.
At this year’s Tokyo Motor Show, Honda is showing off a SuperCub-based concept: the CT125. It’s reminiscent of the old Trail Cub but the bodywork is a less-is-more minimalistic style. Also, just like any proper scrambler, it has an upswept exhaust. Built on the Super Cub’s frame, its suspension has been tuned for off-road use, and it sports knobby tires on spoked wheels.
The bike has front and rear disc brakes that feature single-channel ABS and a rear cargo rack. The fenders are bobbed. In all, it’s made to take an off-road fall a little better than the Super Cub would. While electric motorcycles are finding more and more of a niche, this one is a bit of a throwback with its 125cc internal combustion engine, though modern tuning means it will get spectacular gas mileage and its emissions will be negligible.
Did Honda listen to the folks who have been customizing SuperCubs, adding luggage options and fitting them with racks to hold fishing poles and other outdoor equipment? Perhaps this modern version of the Trail Cub will be a perfect neo-scrambler platform on which all of today’s hipsters will base their tiny custom modded-out dual-sport? We can only hope that there will eventually be a whole line of bolt-on off-road accessories for these bikes like what’s sprung up around Ducati’s Scrambler line.
Adventure bikes and scramblers are still the current darlings of the motorcycle industry. The CT125 will be perfectly positioned to slide into that niche, attracting younger and newer riders with this inexpensive starter-bike. Traditionally the Cub has been that perfect, friendly, unintimidating knockabout. For too long the small, friendly starter bike market has been extremely thin. Honda is smart to reintroduce these bikes, letting brand new riders get a taste of the adventure, hook young riders on the brand, and help our sport grow.