It seems that not a day goes by that Honda doesn’t launch a new compact motorcycle somewhere in the world. In addition to the wildly successful Grom, Trail, Super Cub, and Monkey, plus the Indian-built ultra-cheap scooter-based Navi, Honda is launching a new member of the family with a familiar old name. The Dax ST125 is coming for the 2023 model year bearing the same 125cc engine and centrifugal clutch 4-speed as the Super Cub, but with the old-school cutesy looks of the original 1969 Dax. Sadly, it is only for Europe at the moment, and there is no word as to whether the Dax will come back to the U.S. market.
Interestingly, the original Dax was intended largely for the growing American market. The Monkey had launched in 1967 and it was extremely well received as a fun runabout, but larger framed Americans wanted a larger bike for a less cramped riding position, and for the potential to ride two-up. The design brief for that original Dax was to provide a larger bike that still had the gusto of the Monkey. It fit the bill then, and manages to do the same today. Which is why we need it here in the Americas.
like the original, the steel T-shaped frame houses the fuel tank and gives the Dax a uniquely Honda look. There are beefy 31mm forks on the front and twin rear shocks to keep things suspended. The 12-inch wheels (cribbed from the Grom) front and back with thicc tires give a vintage look and keep the bike light and tossable. Unlike previous Dax, this one has disc brakes front and rear, and they even have ABS!
It’s vintage looking in all the places that matter, but it has modern accouterments like LED lighting and a big circular LCD display. I’m not sure I could love it any more.
It’s everything you could possibly want in a new mini-moto from Honda. It’s got classic good looks, it’ll be reasonably affordable, and it has enough balls to keep up with traffic on most surface streets. This looks like it would be a lot of fun.