– 2022 Honda Trail 125 (CT125) Motorcycle Review / Specs | Buyer’s Guide with everything You need to know! –
Well, well, well… The Honda Trail 125, also known as the CT125 is FINALLY returning to the USA for the 2022 model year! The new Honda Trail 125 was originally announced for the US market back in September of 2020, we had followed its progress before it was made “official” as other corners of the world received it first but we weren’t complaining because it was finally coming. Fast forward to its release date in November of that year and then shortly after, we had the whole coronavirus situation happen and that threw a wrench in everything – needless to say. That slowed things down to where it’s rollout throughout 2021 was lackluster to say the least, dealers weren’t able to get anywhere near enough to satisfy demand, which then led to unhappy customers who were waiting for months to receive their CT125. Some people have been waiting over a year for theirs to arrive and it was radio silence from American Honda on if they were going to be importing it again for the 2022 model year and as more and more 2022 motorcycles were announced, still nothing when it came to a 2022 CT125 release. Fast forward to today, the same day that American Honda announces the 2023 Grom – they announce the 2022 Trail 125 is returning!
If there were ever a motorcycle made for casual trekking on- and off-road, one that harkens back to the golden era of motorcycling while incorporating the joys of modern design and technology, the 2022 Honda Trail 125 ABS is it. Below, is a quick overview of the main specs on the 2022 Honda CT125 for those in a hurry.
- Quick 2022 CT125 Info:
- 2022 Trail 125 (CT125) Price / MSRP – $3,999
- * 2022 Trail 125 comes standard with ABS (ABS = Anti-Lock Braking System)
- 2022 Trail 125 Model ID – CT125A
- 2022 Trail 125 (CT125) Release Date (USA) – April 2022
- 2022 Trail 125 (CT125) Announcement Date (USA) – March 2022
- 2022 Trail 125 (CT125) Colors – Glowing Red
- 2022 Trail 125 (CT125) Miles Per Gallon – 158 MPG * (Honda doesn’t rate them in MPG but they do in km/l and when you do the conversion of 67.2 km/l that Honda officially rates it at in Europe you come up with approximately 158 MPG)
- 2022 Trail 125 (CT125) Horsepower – 9.0 HP @ 7,000 RPM
- 2022 Trail 125 (CT125) Torque – 8.1 lb/ft TQ @ 4,500 RPM
- 2022 Trail 125 (CT125) Weight – 259 lbs
- 2022 Trail 125 (CT125) Seat Height – 31.5 in.
- 2022 Trail 125 (CT125) Fuel Tank Capacity – 1.4 gal (including 0.3 reserve)
- 2022 Trail 125 / CT125 Review Contents:
- 1. | Introduction / Model Overview
- 2. | Key Features
- 2.1 | Design & Styling
- 2.2 | Engine & Drivetrain
- 2.3 | Chassis & Suspension
- 3. | Accessories
- 4. | Honda CT History
- 5. | Pictures / Photo Gallery
- 6. | Technical Specifications
When it comes to fun, approachable, popular miniMOTO models, no manufacturer even comes close to Honda, and the Trail 125 is a prime example of one such machine that also pays tribute to the past. The model harkens back to a golden era of motorcycling when there was seemingly a CT model on the bumper rack of every motor home but, like Honda’s nostalgic Monkey and Super Cub, it incorporates the modern joys of practical design and hassle-free technology. Based on the urban-appropriate Super Cub, the Trail 125 has a number of rugged upgrades, making it ideal for casual trekking on- and off-road. Similar to the Honda Monkey 125 in the video below but with a semi-automatic clutch instead of a “real” clutch, so you don’t have to worry about doing anything but clicking up and down to change gears – like with the Super Cub.
Whereas the new Super Cub C125 sought to serve the casual daily needs of urban riders, the Trail 125 expands that scope by providing features that make it just as capable in rural settings and on two-track roads and trails. This was accomplished by strengthening the chassis, increasing suspension travel, improving range and updating the electronics for virtually maintenance-free operation.
The many improvements to the function and capability of the original CT series have not detracted from the distinctive CT design, which is carefully preserved in the modern Trail 125. With the goal of balancing the image of a tough-yet-modern machine, Honda’s designers simplified the surfaces of each part on the frame while preserving the symbolic elements such as the upswept muffler, air-cleaner cover, fuel tank, rear carrier, steel front fender, turn signals, footpegs and handgrips.
A 3-D emblem of the signature original Honda wing logo represents the traditional series model while the drop-shadow Honda logo, reminiscent of the CT-series, is attached on left and right side covers.
- Electronic features include the following:
- 190 watt generator output
- LED lighting
- Large, square turn signals mimic the look of the older CT models and are durable for off-road use
As with the Super Cub C125, the Trail 125 engine is a 125cc four-stroke, single-cylinder overhead-camshaft design operating two valves. Programmed fuel injection (PGM-FI) with automatic enrichment and electronic ignition ensure trouble-free starting and efficient operation in every conceivable condition. The Trail 125 has a longer intake and tuned exhaust for enhanced low- and midrange power, as well as a three-tooth larger rear sprocket (39 teeth) for lower gearing—all changes that are ideal for trekking and touring on forest-service roads and trails. Like the Super Cub, the Trail 125 uses a four-speed semiautomatic transmission.
As a package, the Trail 125 pays tribute to the original CT line while embracing the convenience and performance of modern technology, making it a great tool for riding around town or exploring the wilderness.
Compared to the Super Cub, the wheelbase of the Trail 125 has been lengthened .5 inches to 49.4, the front-suspension stroke increased to .4 inches to 4.3, ground clearance upped 1.1 inches to 6.5, and the seat height raised .8 inches to 31.5. Together with the following upgrades, these changes allow the Trail 125 to readily traverse uneven road surfaces and challenging terrain while still providing ample rider comfort and control:
- The head pipe is reinforced and the triple clamp redesigned to ensure a balance between frame rigidity and flex.
- An upswept bend enables the handlebar to be turned 45 degrees in each direction so that the rider can easily make course corrections at low speed.
- Dual-sport-style knobby tires mounted on 17-inch rims with stainless-steel spokes offer traction and long life.
- Disc brakes front and rear ensure excellent braking power even when luggage is loaded; ABS is standard.
- The reshaped seat is narrowed at the front to facilitate foot reach to the ground.
Enlarging the fuel-tank capacity to 1.4 gallons (.4 gallons larger than the Super Cub) increases range when fuel stations are few and far between. The high-mounted air intake and upswept exhaust enhance low-end power and are consistent with the CT lineage, and the engine guard adds protection from obstacles like large rocks and tree stumps.
Here are just a few OEM Honda accessories that are available for the 2022 Trail 125 (CT125) with many more on the way…
- Center carrier
- Anodized pieces
- Crash bar
- Rear suspension
- Skid plate
- Handlebar brace
- Hand guards
- LED fog lamp kit
- Rear fender guard
Moriwaki and Takegawa already have exhaust systems out for the 2021 CT125 too as you’ll see pictured below!
In 1960, the efforts of a Honda motorcycle dealer in Boise, Idaho, came to the attention of Jack McCormack, the sales manager at the 1-year old American Honda Motor Co. As told by Aaron P. Frank in his book, Honda Motorcycles, McCormack had noticed the sales of the popular step-through Honda 50 were off the charts in an area known more for its surrounding rugged mountain terrain than an urban core. He contacted the owner, Herb Uhl, seeking an explanation.
“He told me how he was selling them as a trail bike, putting a cheater sprocket on the back and some knobby tires,” McCormack told Frank. Uhl sent one of his converted Honda 50s down to California for McCormack to inspect.
“It was a brilliant little machine,” McCormack said. “It worked so well because it was light, and with the automatic clutch you could climb logs. To do that on a big bike, you had to have a certain amount of skill. I saw lots of possibility for something like Herb was doing, selling it as a bike that you could go in the woods and hunt or fish with.”
McCormack sent the bike to American Honda’s parent company in Japan, with a request to build a production version of Uhl’s off-road adaptation. By March 1961, the CA100T Trail 50 was offered to Honda dealers across America.
Honda’s first foray into off-road motorcycling was an immediate success, hailed by Cycle World magazine with the recommendation that readers go “Trail Fiftying.” The model evolved through numerous upgrades and revisions, eventually becoming the popular CT brand. Over the course of nearly three decades, well over 725,000 units from the CT series were sold in the U.S.
1961 Honda Trail 50 / CA100T
The first Uhl-inspired production Trail 50 transmitted its 49cc overhead-valve engine’s 5 horsepower through a three-speed semiautomatic transmission. Knobby tires were mounted on full-size, 17-inch wheels, and the original Honda 50’s leg shield and front fender were removed for better off-road utility. The front suspension retained the Honda 50’s then-modern, leading-link design. A double rear sprocket permitted changes to the overall gearing, a nod to the Trail 50’s off-road suitability. A single saddle was positioned ahead of a large chrome utility rack, which could be replaced by an optional passenger seat. A skid plate was provided to protect the low-slung engine. The street-legal headlight and taillight enhanced the bike’s dual-sport capabilities. The retail price was $275.
The model evolved over the next couple of years, getting updates like a 5cc larger engine, a thicker seat and an upswept muffler, and it soon earned the nickname “Hunter Cub” in some markets.
1964 Trail 90 / CT200
In 1964, the CT200 Trail 90 was introduced, powered by a larger, air-cooled 87cc engine and a new four-speed semi-automatic transmission with a centrifugal clutch. It included a purposeful front fender with mudguard, and the high-mounted intake and exhaust protected the engine from ingesting water in stream crossings.
Two years later the name was changed to the CT90 Trail 90, with numerous upgrades. An all-new 89cc engine with a lightweight, aluminum-alloy head used a reliable chain-driven, overhead camshaft. The dual-rear-sprocket arrangement was replaced by a selectable reduction gear in the transmission, a feature Honda called “Posi-Torque” that effectively gave the CT90 an eight-speed gearbox—ideal for crawling over all types of terrain—with the flip of a lever on the transmission case. Dry weight was a feathery 179 pounds, and it was claimed to produce 7 horsepower at 8,500 rpm.
A compliant, telescopic fork was introduced in 1969, and one year later a foldable, swivel-lock handlebar was added, simplifying transport in a van, pickup or trailer. Turn signals were added in 1974, making the Trail 90 completely legal for street riding in all 50 states whenever desired.
Trail 70 / CT70
Concurrent with the evolution of the larger CT models, the minibike-based CT70 Trail 70 was introduced in 1969 and was sold in the U.S. until 1982, then reintroduced in 1991 and carried over the next three years. The fun-to-ride Trail 70 was a prototypical play bike that took many of its styling cues from the popular Z50 dirt bike as well as the larger CTs, and the front and rear lighting added a desirable element of street-ability. The Trail 70’s success underscores its influence as one of the inspirations for the modern-day Honda Monkey.
For the 1981 model year, the CT110 was introduced, with an engine displacing 105cc, providing more usable power. The low-slung engine was guarded on each side by steel bars, protecting it from rocks, tree stumps and tip-overs. By this time—20 years after its first introduction—the popular CT series had developed an envious reputation not only among hunters, campers and fishermen for its off-road practicality, but also among farmers and ranchers as a capable, reliable and economical agricultural vehicle. In fact, Herb now refers to models in the CT series as “the original ATVs.”
Trail 125 ABS / CT125
In 2019, Honda unveiled the CT125 concept bike at the Tokyo Motor Show, where its throwback design made it a huge hit. Honda has enjoyed success with similarly nostalgic miniMOTO models including the Monkey and Super Cub, so the confirmation of a production Trail 125 for the 2021 model year is perhaps not surprising. Based on the Super Cub, but with updates to make it more off-road-capable, this model seems likely to be popular with customers in the U.S., the country that played such an important role in the models that the Trail 125 honors.
2022 Honda Trail 125 Specifications
|Type||124.9cc air-cooled 80º single-cylinder four-stroke|
|Valve Train||SOHC; two-valve|
|Bore x Stroke||52.4 mm x 57.9 mm|
|Induction||PGM-FI w/ 24 mm bore, automatic enrichment|
|Starter||Electric & kick|
|Transmission||Semiautomatic; four speeds|
|Final Drive||Chain final drive; 14T/39T|
|Front||27 mm telescopic inverted fork; 4.3 in. travel|
|Rear||Twin shocks; 3.4 in. travel|
|Front||Single hydraulic caliper w/ 220 mm disc; ABS|
|Rear||Single hydraulic caliper w/ 190 mm disc|
|Rake (Caster Angle)||27º|
|Trail||80 mm (3.1 in.)|
|Ground Clearance||6.5 in.|
|Seat Height||31.5 in.|
|Fuel Capacity||1.4 gal.|
|Curb Weight*||259 lbs.|
* Includes all standard equipment, required fluids and full tank of fuel—ready to ride. Meets current CARB and EPA emissions standards.