This YouTube video from Thailand proves that you don’t need a Suzuki Hayabusa to put down big numbers at the drag strip. The footage is from the finals of the Honda Sonic 125 Super Open Battle, and the bikes being raced are heavily modified versions of the Honda Sonic.
These 125cc commuter bikes are extremely common in Southeast Asia. In stock form, the single-cylinder four strokes rev past 10,000 rpm, make about 13.5 horsepower, and weigh about 262 pounds.. The bikes in this video look and sound a lot different to those stock motorcycles.
After a brief attempt to warm up the skinny 17-inch tires the bikes leave the line in a surprising hurry. It is shocking how quickly these bikes get up to speed. It looks like the track is an eighth-mile and the racers cover the distance in around 7 seconds with trap speeds around 110 mph. Not bad numbers for a 125cc bike.
The other thing that’s cool about this video is the quality of the builds. It’s obvious a lot of attention has gone into the chassis, and the vivid anodized and painted metal somehow seems appropriate in this setting. If you pause at the 21-second mark you’ll also see some very elegant welds on the custom exhaust. All the bikes are packing extended swingarms albeit with some pretty flimsy-looking spars.
I had to raise an eyebrow over the safety gear seen in the clip. Many of the pit crew are in sandals even while helping lift the rear slightly for a burnout, and the riders are wearing little more than jeans and sneakers. The bikes look like a handful too, with some of them stepping out sideways off the line, so I’m not sure I’d go full send on one wearing my street clothes.
These guys are clearly brave, and it’s awesome to see drag racing done differently. As the big crowds in the video attest, you don’t need the biggest, baddest, or most expensive sportbike to put on a cool show.