– 2023 Honda DAX 125 Review / Buyer’s Guide: Specs, Features + More! Sneak Peak Release for the USA! –
Well, it’s time guys! Mini bikes are taking over the world when it comes to 2023 motorcycles and I’m for it as we see the introduction of the NEW 2023 Honda DAX 125 mini bike! A retro throwback to the classic many of us know in the USA as the CT70 but brought into the 21st century for 2023 and called a DAX because of its original name overseas.
Now, before we dive into the information below… let me make this clear, the DAX has NOT been officially announced / released by American Honda for the USA market. This bike has only been announced for Europe and Japan but the DAX 125 IS coming to America!
- Quick / Key DAX 125 Info:
- 2023 DAX 125 Price / MSRP: TBA
- 2023 DAX 125 Release Date: May 2022 for certain areas / USA is still TBA
- 2023 DAX 125 Colors: Pearl Nebula Red, Pearl Cadet Grey
- 2023 DAX 125 Horsepower: 9.25 HP @ 7,000 RPM
- 2023 DAX 125 Torque: 7.96 lb/ft torque @ 5,000 RPM
- 2023 DAX 125 MPG: 149 Miles Per Gallon
- 2023 DAX 125 Seat Height: 30.5 inches
- 2023 DAX 125 Weight: 236 lbs (curb)
- 2023 DAX 125 Fuel Tank Capacity / Size: 1.0 gallon
- 2023 DAX 125 Front Suspension: 31 mm telescopic fork; 3.9 in. travel
- 2023 DAX 125 Rear Suspension: twin shocks; 4.7 in. travel
- 2023 DAX 125 VS 2022 DAX 125 Changes: None, new model introduction
- 2023 DAX 125 VS 2022 DAX 125 Price Change: None, new model introduction
- 2023 DAX 125 Review Contents:
- 1. | DAX 125 Videos
- 2. | Introduction
- 3. | Model Overview
- 4. | Key Features / Development
- 3.1 | Engine
- 3.2 | Chassis & Styling
- 5. | Size Comparison of Honda Mini Bikes
- 6. | DAX History
- 7. | DAX 125 Pictures
- 8. | Technical Specifications
1. | DAX Videos
In the first video below, a few months ago we talked about how the DAX 125 was going to be releasing soon…
In this video, we talk about the official release of the 2023 Honda DAX 125 and go over everything you need to know and whether or not the DAX will be released in the USA etc…
2. | Introduction
Honda’s pocketful of mini motorcycles has struck a chord with young and old riders alike. The re-imagined Monkey 125 tugs at heart strings that remember the golden 1970s while providing thoroughly modern, compact and funky urban transport for riders of any age. The MSX125 Grom serves up left-field, customizable style for ‘Generation Y’ but also as perfect paddock transport in the worlds of car and bike racing.
For 23YM a new bike joins the fold. The ST125 Dax fully owns the genuine authenticity of the 1969 original* but brings thoroughly 21st century performance from chassis, engine and ergonomics. The most recent version of the Dax was produced from 1995 to 2003 for the Japanese market. The more recent European success of its siblings has hastened its return and its mischievous charm and easy-going riding proposition bless the ST125 Dax with an extra layer of desirability.
Of course, nostalgia will play a part in the Dax’s appeal to riders now in middle age – riders who may have owned a Dax in their youth and are pleased to see it return. Equally, ‘retro’ is important to younger owners; that’s real retro, not faux. A certain style sets some machines apart and the Dax has just that in abundance thanks to the form of its iconic T-shaped frame. Which is also how the bike got its name: extending from under the seat to the handlebars, and sitting atop the small 12” wheels, the look is reminiscent of the universally-adored Dachshund. Or Sausage Dog, to give it its everyday English name…
Unique, easy, usable and great fun. That’s the new Honda Dax. A faithful old friend is back.
3. | Model Overview
As it should, the Dax keeps it simple. A steel frame provides strength and houses the fuel tank while 31mm USD forks, twin rear shocks and 12-inch wheels with chunky tires provide light steering and good suspension performance. Braking is via hydraulic discs front and rear with ABS control.
Robust and fuel efficient, the 124cc SOHC two-valve engine’s power is linear in delivery with smooth torque. A centrifugal clutch manages shifting between the four ratios so there’s no need for a handlebar-mounted clutch lever. It offers twist-and-go simplicity with the added entertainment of changes via a traditional left-foot gear lever.
All lighting is LED and a circular LCD display shows exactly what the rider needs to know. The passenger gets a chromed grab rail, too.
When it comes to color options for the 2023 Honda DAX 125, here are your options:
- Pearl Nebula Red
- Pearl Cadet Grey
4. | Key Features / Development
4.1 | DAX 125 Engine
- 124cc, air-cooled SOHC two-valve design produces 6.9kW and 10.8Nm
- Stress-free centrifugal clutch and four-speed gearbox
- Fuel economy of 63.7km/l (WMTC mode)
Drawn from the new Super Cub C125 – so flexible, efficient and durable – the Dax’s 124cc air-cooled engine features a SOHC two-valve cylinder head, with relatively long stroke and high compression; bore is set at 50mm, stroke at 63.1mm with compression ratio of 10.0:1. Peak power of 6.9kW arrives @ 7,000rpm, with peak torque of 10.8Nm @ 5,000rpm.
- Honda Mini Bike Horsepower Performance Comparison:
- Honda DAX 125 Horsepower – 9.25 @ 7,000rpm (6.9 kw)
- Honda Super Cub 125 Horsepower – 9.66 @ 7,500rpm (7.2 kw)
- Honda Monkey 125 Horsepower – 9.25 @ 6,750rpm (6.9 kw)
- Honda Grom 125 Horsepower – 9.66 @ 7,250rpm (7.2 kw)
- Honda Trail 125 Horsepower – 8.72 @ 7,000rpm (6.5 kw)
- * The Trail 125 / CT125 / Hunter Cub numbers above are based off the old engine, not the newer engine the rest use.
- Honda Mini Bike Torque Performance Comparison:
- Honda DAX 125 Torque – 7.96 lb/ft @ 5,000rpm (10.8 nm)
- Honda Super Cub 125 Torque – 7.67 lb/ft @6,250rpm (10.4 nm)
- Honda Monkey 125 Torque – 8.11 lb/ft @ 5,500rpm (11 nm)
- Honda Grom 125 Torque – 7.74 lb/ft @ 5,500rpm (10.5 nm)
- Honda Trail 125 Torque – 8.11 lb/ft @ 4,500rpm (11 nm)
The engine’s strong performance means that even two-up a 90km/h cruising speed is achievable, with smart acceleration from low speed – just what’s needed for lively around-town amusement.
On the left-hand side of the bike the distinctive oval air box, filter and connecting tube ensure smooth, efficient airflow through the clean side, delivering crisp throttle response and drivability. The upswept muffler and heat shield is evocative of that golden motorcycling era of the ‘70s. A single catalyser is all that’s necessary; thanks to precise ECU settings and the engine’s combustion efficiency, EURO5 compliance is achieved.
In keeping with the laid-back, easy to ride feel the gearbox is a 4-speed unit (with neutral at the bottom) operated via centrifugal clutch, without the need for a clutch lever. At standstill the rider simply selects the gear required with the left-hand foot lever and, as the throttle is opened, the clutch operates automatically and does so through each ratio change, up or down.
Various low-friction technologies, like an offset cylinder and roller-rocker arms in the head, ensure impressive fuel economy of 63.7km/l (WMTC mode). This gives the Dax a range of approx. 240km from the 3.8L fuel tank.
4.2 | DAX 125 Chassis & Styling
- T-shaped pressed steel frame integral to handling and looks
- 31mm USD forks, twin rear shocks and 12-inch wheels provide a smooth ride
- Hydraulic disc braking front and rear with ABS
- Full LED lighting and LCD instrument display
While the Dax is small, its proportions provide enough room to be comfortable for two adults to ride.
The styling really is the frame; everything is attached to, or held within it, giving the Dax its unmistakable retro look. As do all the other parts; the thick dual seat – seat height is just 775mm – chrome high-set handlebars and the 1970’s dirt bike-inspired upswept muffler with drilled, slotted and chromed heat shield. The frame’s mid-section wears a black stripe with ‘Dax’ picked out in quirky font, right next to the classic Honda Wing logo that marks its special heritage. A unique finishing touch comes in the form of a cartoon image of a Dachshund.
To add extra charm to the circular headlight, signature round LEDs are used and the front indicators/position lights sit snugly in between low and high beams. The compact instrument display is a round, negative LCD while the rear taillight and indicators take their cues from the headlight and are also LED.
There’s a neat chrome grabrail for the passenger to hold while a cover seals the drive chain away from weather and loose clothing. A rear carrier and heated grips are available as optional extras.
The iconic T-shaped frame design houses the fuel tank, is authentic in aesthetic detail and constructed in pressed-steel with modern engineering know-how. Rake and trail are set at 24.9°/84mm with wheelbase of 1020mm. Wet weight is just 107kg.
31mm USD forks provide supple suspension response and, combined with the wide upswept handlebar, easy steering. Twin rear shocks are tuned for smooth compliance, even with a pillion. Blacked-out 12-inch rims (from the super-cool MSX125 Grom) wear fat, balloon-like tires; a 120mm wide front and 130mm rear. They add sure-footed grip allied to nimble agility.
Single-channel ABS manages braking force. Hydraulic front and rear calipers grip 220/190mm diameter discs respectively.
5. | DAX 125 VS Grom, Monkey, CT125 etc.
Are you curious about how the overall size of the DAX 125 compares against the other mini bike / motorcycles from Honda in the miniMOTO lineup? Here are their dimensions and weights so you can get an idea as to how big or small they are next to each other.
- Honda Mini Bike Size / Dimensions Comparison Numbers:
- DAX Seat Height – 30.5 inches
- DAX Length / Width / Height: 69.2 / 29.2 / 40.2 (inches)
- Super Cub Seat Height – 30.7 inches
- Super Cub Length / Width / Height: 75.2 / 28.9 / 39.4 (inches)
- Monkey Seat Height – 30.5 inches
- Monkey Length / Width / Height: 67.4 / 29.6 / 40.5 (inches)
- Grom Seat Height – 30.0 inches
- Grom Length / Width / Height: 69.2 / 28.4 / 40.0 (inches)
- CT125 Seat Height – 31.5 inches
- CT125 Length / Width / Height: 77.2 / 31.7 / 42.7 (inches)
- DAX Seat Height – 30.5 inches
- Honda Mini Bike Weight Comparison (curb):
- Honda DAX 125 Weight – 236 lbs (ABS)
- Honda Super Cub Weight – 238 lbs (ABS)
- Honda Monkey 125 Weight – 231 lbs (ABS)
- Honda Grom 125 Weight – 227 lbs (ABS 231 lbs)
- Honda Trail 125 / CT125 Weight – 259 lbs (ABS)
If you’re looking for a performance comparison of how the DAX 125 compares against the Grom, Monkey, Super Cub and CT125 horsepower and torque numbers – check out the engine section further up the page for a breakdown on how all of these mini bikes / miniMOTO motorcycles stack up against each other.
6. | Honda DAX / CT70 History
In 1967, The Monkey Z50M was introduced in response to the demand for a ‘leisure-oriented bike’ for the American and European markets. Although well received, especially in America, by adults and children alike, thanks to its adjustable seat height and foldable features which allowed it to be loaded into a car, for 1969 American Honda requested a larger bike for its customers, but one that was still filled with the spirit of Monkey.
After visiting the US to better understand the requirements, engineers, inspired by the T-shaped frame of the CS90, which was a very popular bike in Japan, developed the Dax to have lower and longer proportions (compared to the Monkey) that allowed adults to have a more relaxed riding position as well as ride two up. The fuel tank, wiring and other components were housed in the T-shaped frame to create a unique, but also simple – and now iconic – design.
1969 ST50/70 Dax Honda
Built for the export markets of Europe and the USA the original Dax was nifty, nimble and easy to ride. It appealed to both die-hard motorcyclists and recreational users as it was just plain fun. This is the bike that launched many two-wheeled journeys.
The engine was based on the well-established Super Cub engine, but with the addition of modifications to both the intake and exhaust system to provide more torque at low-mid range.
Available in both 50cc and 70cc versions, the Dax featured a 3-speed automatic centrifugal clutch, telescopic front suspension, hydraulic rear suspension and wide tires with a unique tread pattern for stability and handling even when off-road.
1972 ST90 Mighty Dax
The ST90 Mighty Dax featured a more rigid T-shape frame, wider, more upright custom style ‘mini ape’ bars, high level front mudguard and a bigger engine that packed more speed and acceleration. The new larger 14in wheels came fitted with semi-off road pattern tires to increase handling performance and stability, even when off-road.
1973 CY50 Nauty Dax
Aimed squarely at the RV (Recreational Vehicle) leisure market, the Nauty Dax was developed to offer even better riding performance and stability over rough terrain. Changes to the valve timing and the final drive – now with 4 speeds – increased torque in the low to mid range. With a new exhaust, fuel tank, side covers and unique rectangular shaped headlight, the Nauty Dax also featured a stepped seat and funky paint scheme. The new light and rigid diamond frame and the new fat balloon tires made for easy rolling over rough campsite terrain
1995 ST50 Dax
After 14 years, the Dax returned to the Japanese market. All the iconic design cues remained in place – a pressed steel backbone frame, telescopic suspension, wide foldable bars, chrome mudguard, muffler and block tires – and were joined by the addition of a longer seat. The 50cc engine featured an automatic cam chain tensioner and magneto ignition for easy starting. Enjoying an eight-year production run, the ST50 Dax finally went off sale in 2003.
2022 ST125 Dax
Straight out of the traps with a useful, usable 124cc engine, four speed gearbox and centrifugal clutch the Dax makes a welcome return to the Honda minibike fold, joining the Monkey and MSX125 Grom.
7. | Honda DAX 125 Pictures
8. | Honda DAX 125 Specifications
|Type||Air-cooled SOHC 4-stroke 2-valve|
|Bore x Stroke||50.0 x 63.1mm|
|Max. Power Output||6.9kW / 9.25 horsepower @ 7,000rpm|
|Max. Torque||10.8Nm / 7.96 lb/ft @ 5,000rpm|
|Noise Level (dB)||79.2dB|
|Oil Capacity||1 liter / 1.05 qt|
|Carburation||PGM-FI electronic fuel injection|
|Fuel Tank Capacity||3.8 liters / 1.0 gallons|
|Fuel Consumption||63.7km/l / 149.8 MPG|
|CO2 Emissions WMTC||35 g/km|
|Clutch Type||Wet Multiplate and Automatic Centrifugal Clutch|
|Transmission Type||4 speed rotary|
|Type||Press backbone frame|
|Dimensions (LxWxH)||1,760 x 760 x 1,020mm / 69.2 x 29.9 x 40.1 inches|
|Wheelbase||1,020mm / 40.1 inches|
|Trail||84mm / 33 inches|
|Seat Height||775mm / 30.5 inches|
|Ground Clearance||180mm / 7.08 inches|
|Turning radius||2m / 6.5 feet|
|Kerb Weight||107kg / 235.8 pounds|
|Type Front||Telescopic 31mm USD fork, 100mm / 3.93 inches axle travel|
|Type Rear||Twin shock, 120mm / 4.72 inches axle travel|
|Type Front||5-spoke cast aluminum|
|Type Rear||5-spoke cast aluminum|
|tires Front||120/70-12M/C 51L|
|tires Rear||130/70-12M/C 56L|
|Type Front||Single 220mm hydraulic disc with IMU-based ABS|
|Type Rear||Single 190mm hydraulic disc|
|ABS Type||Single Channel ABS|
|INSTRUMENTS & ELECTRICS|