If you spend any amount of time in the Thai capital of Bangkok, you’re going to spot Honda Wave bikes. You’ll spot plenty of other small bikes and scooters, of course—but as you adjust your senses to your environment, you’ll start to notice details. The vast majority of what you’ll see will be 110cc and 125cc offerings, which are everywhere. They’re a nearly perfect, eminently practical mode of transportation to get around crowded, bustling cities like Bangkok.
The Honda Wave 110i seems to be, from personal observation, a more common sight than its slightly larger sibling, the Wave 125i. Given the price difference for a new one (฿37,100, or about $1,060 for the 110i versus ฿54,300, or about $1,551 for the 125i in August 2023), it’s not terribly difficult to see why.
Still, different riders have different needs—and if your need is to travel around the world on your own small-displacement adventure bike, then you might just choose the Honda Wave 125i. That’s what an Australian rider named Tom Kaczmarczyck plans to do, and this video from the excellent Small Bike Stuff channel on YouTube lets Tom go into serious detail about the modifications he’s done so far.
There are a few significant things to know about the stock Wave 125i. For a start, as the name indicates, it is fuel injected. You may also have noticed that it rolls on 17-inch wheels—not tiny scooter wheels. From the factory, you can choose either alloy or spoked wheels—and as Tom says, the spoked wheels were the less expensive option when he bought his in Thailand. That said, they’re tubed tires, which may not suit all riders—but hey, an awful lot of adventure riders love them for a reason, right?
It shares a tiny air-cooled 125cc engine with an iteration of the Grom. Parts are reasonably plentiful, and its simplicity does a lot to recommend it for both those new to wrenching, and experienced roadside mechanics who anticipate having to do repair and maintenance on long journeys. It has a four-speed gearbox, which operates like a Grom. Also, unlike most modern scooters, the engine isn’t mounted on the swingarm—so it’s not constantly going to bounce around on long journeys with questionably bumpy roads.
The 2022 Wave 125i tips the scales at a claimed 103 kilograms, or just over 227 pounds—a figure that has surely not changed by much since Tom bought his. Although he’s added several practical accessories to aid in his Wave 125i’s overlanding competence, starting out with such a lightweight bike, and one with an incredibly low center of gravity, can only make life on the road easier.
Tom goes over all the practical changes he’s made to transform his Wave 125i into what he says is his round-the-world, forever bike. Some things involve choice OEM Honda accessories—both made for the Wave 125i, and also made for other Honda models and then modified to fit his bike. Aftermarket accessories like a modified Puig windscreen, Oxford heated grips, and Barkbusters hand guards also play a role.
Incidentally, Tom also ended up modifying his electrical system to better handle its demands, and he’s helpfully posted a guide to what he did on his website, which we’ll link in our Sources. So far, he’s toured over 80,000 kilometers (over 49,709 miles) around Southeast Asia and Australia. He plans to take his Wave 125i around the world soon. You can follow his adventures on his official Facebook page, which we’ll also link in our Sources.