Honda Trail125 :: New Color, New Engine

Honda continues to reveal new and updated motorcycles for the overlander. Joining the XR150L and CRF300LS models we reported earlier is the popular Trail125. Not only will it show up in a sage-y Pearl Organic Green instead of the classic red, but the 2023 125 sports a new engine. Even easier to ride than the 150 and 300, this 256-pound (fully fueled) bike is a featherweight that any overland vehicle can tote around.

Honda Goes Long

The Trail125’s new powerplant has already been proven in Honda’s 2022 Super Cub. With a little Honda wizardry its smaller bore and longer stroke still displace 124.9cc. Horsepower, fuel economy, and the Trail’s wide power band remain unchanged. Programmed fuel injection meters the fuel for the air-cooled, two-valve motor, and a 4-speed semi-auto transmission puts the power to the ground. Stopping power comes from hydraulic disc brakes at both ends, with ABS up front. Lower final gearing will make certain you get up the hills.

Trail125 Evolved From A Classic

This is all quite techy for a motorcycle that started life in 1961 as a 5-horsepower, 49cc, step-through machine. Back then its leading link front suspension and a double rear sprocket for serious gearing down were a big deal. Aimed at hunters, campers, and fishermen, it a was a hit. Decades of improvements later we have the Trail125. Current price is $3999, a bit more than the original $275 list, but with three times the motor, and much more.

Honda’s 2023 Trail has a center stand in addition to the kickstand, and a rear cargo rack that will fit a good-sized box. Built for the boonies, the Trail125 also features a kickstarter as a backup to the electric start. Seat height is 31.5 inches, easily reachable with the step-through frame design.

Ruckus Gets Down

Even easier to ride and lighter is Honda’s 2024 Ruckus, which they call “a mashup between a scooter, a skateboard, and mini motorcycle.” The liquid-cooled 49cc engine and automatic transmission give it excellent fuel economy, while a low seat height makes it the moto that anyone can ride. Perfect for errands or short forays from camp, the Ruckus retails for $2899.

“Each of these models has a rich history and a loyal following, so we’re pleased to continue offering them for our customers,” said Brandon Wilson, American Honda Manager of Sports & Experiential.

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Arden’s first motorcycle was a Yamaha Enduro, obtained while in high school. It set the stage for decades of off-pavement exploration on dual-sports and adventure bikes. Camping in the middle of nowhere became his favorite pursuit. As a former whitewater river guide and National Park Service seasonal employee, Arden believes in wilderness, wildlife, and being kind to the earth. A self-taught writer who barely passed English classes, he has contributed adventure stories and tested motorcycles and accessories for Rider Magazine and other outlets for nearly 30 years. In that time, he’s worn out two KLR 650s and is currently following the road to the middle of nowhere on his Ténéré 700 and an aging but reliable DR-Z 400S.