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Honda Trail 125 Forum

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What is it that appeals you to small motorcycles?

Daytripper

Active member
Joined
May 25, 2024
Messages
186
Location
Alaska
Been thinking a lot about this since my acquisition of the Trail 125. This is the smallest of the motorcycles I have owned, and yet I think it is my favorite, precisely because it is small. I have never owned a really big bike, no Harleys, Gold Wings etc, but have had some intermediate sized. I think the biggest bike I had was a 1977 BMW R60/7. Also in the early 70's a Kawasaki 500 Triple. But mostly I have gravitated towards smaller bikes, and more off road capable varieties. The Trail is just so, I don't know, uniquely perfect, in an imperfect way. There could be a lot of ways it could be improved on, maybe a 150cc engine, bigger tires/wheels, more suspension travel. But then I think about it and to one degree or the other, any of those "improvements" would make it different, and maybe less appealing! Can't quite put my finger on it.

Maybe its the semi step through design.
The near horizontal cylinder.
Its heritage.
That big rack.
Metal front fender
Gas tank under the seat.
Air snorkel intake/high exhaust.
Auto clutch
Super gas mileage
The upgrades available
The color (I love the yellow)
All the updated features from earlier renditions like EFI, antilock brake, LED lights, the quiet sound.
 
Last edited:

Fishwishin

Active member
Joined
Aug 19, 2023
Messages
148
Location
California Delta
I have a CT125 and a Suzuki 200. A few years ago I had two CT110’s. I was drawn to the 125 to harken back to my 110’s and my friends CT90 he had when we were kids.

I am also middle aged and this past year is the most miles I have ever put on bikes, so you could say I was a novice. The smaller bikes keep me in check as my experience and skills grow into something that will eventually get me to my goal (ala 650ish cc’s, although I do find myself looking at the Pan America quite a bit).
 

TrailBoss

Administrator
Staff member
Joined
Oct 11, 2020
Messages
316
Location
Pennsylvania, USA
Three main things I like about smaller bikes:

1. Less weight is absolutely better for just about every situation, especially offroad. The only place where weight is an advantage is the highway, which I try not to ride on.
2. It is more fun to wring the neck of a smaller motor than it is to have to light hand a more powerful bike. Especially when downshifting into into corners.
3. Smaller bikes make less heat!

I've ridden small, medium, and fairly big (600+ lbs), and for my type of riding I prefer small to mid sized bikes. I'm done with large bikes. The power is fun, but that is about where the advantages end for the type of riding I want to do.
 

Daytripper

Active member
Joined
May 25, 2024
Messages
186
Location
Alaska
Three main things I like about smaller bikes:

1. Less weight is absolutely better for just about every situation, especially offroad. The only place where weight is an advantage is the highway, which I try not to ride on.
2. It is more fun to wring the neck of a smaller motor than it is to have to light hand a more powerful bike. Especially when downshifting into into corners.
3. Smaller bikes make less heat!

I've ridden small, medium, and fairly big (600+ lbs), and for my type of riding I prefer small to mid sized bikes. I'm done with large bikes. The power is fun, but that is about where the advantages end for the type of riding I want to do.
This seems to fit with my initial experience too. After 20 years without a bike (my last bike was a Kawasaki 250 Sherpa) I am finding I am willing to take the Trail in more tight places where slow speed is what is needed. The auto clutch is great for this, not having to feather a manual clutch. I have a 3 acer lot and it is hilly and forested. I have a short course I ride around just to practice my slow riding balance abilities, something sort of like very mellow trials. Just a blast to ride!
 

Salty Sway

Member
Joined
Dec 11, 2023
Messages
79
Location
36804
First street bike was a 1972 Honda CL100 @15, progressively larger through the years, then we had kids and built a track in the backyard. The kids started on a PW50, by the time they moved to a PW80 I had purchased a TTR125 to ride with them. Been riding small bikes since. we had a lot of fun on XR100's on paved go-kart tracks and parking lots. We've had bigger bikes and raced larger bikes but always had fun on little bikes. Purchased a Z125 a few years ago and the Trail last year, still have larger bikes but probably ride the Trail the most these days. I won't ride in groups and since the kids have become adults about the only motorcycle riding I do is the commute to work, 7 miles with 4 different routes from 35-70mph speed limits. I've been around "that guy" to often and don't want to be taken out by another rider, The kids and I would ride together a lot and knew what to expect from them. If I could only have one bike it wouldn't be a small bike, 690-701 supermoto would be the one if there was only one.
 

AZ7000'

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 28, 2021
Messages
1,036
Less weight is absolutely better for just about every situation, especially offroad.
I do find this as common but confusing to me. All 5 other dirt bikes in the garage from a 140 to the 450x’s are about equal or lighter then the trail. The og ct90 is about 75# lighter. So I guess it is light, but I have been spoiled with my bike weights. The GS was 600+…
 

m in sc

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 2, 2021
Messages
2,657
Location
Rockhill, SC
weight doesn't bother me depending how its distributed. I also dont ride off road so, thats a totally different ballgame.
 

Chinjab

Active member
Joined
Sep 22, 2023
Messages
108
Location
Vancouver Island
1) Cops ignore me
2) Easy to slip past obstacles like logging road gates, bollards, blockades and road closures
3) Easy to work on, rebuild and maintain
4) Cheap to work on, rebuild and maintain
5) Inexpensive to buy
6) Easy to put on a camper hitch, or lift into a pickup
7) Accessible when it's a hassle to take other vehicles for outings (heavy large motorcycles, car etc)
8) Easy to pick up when it falls down
9) Slows me down, contemplative
10) Faster when I want to be... in the city dodging goobers who drive slow, stop at roundabouts or what have you
11) (CT specific) Can load a dead deer on the back rack, along with the crossbow that killed it
12) Cops ignore me
 

Volant1006

Member
Joined
Mar 7, 2023
Messages
55
Location
Leesport, PA
EASY. Easy to ride, no clutch, easy to pull out of the garage. I love the fact that I can be driving down the road, see a mountain, veer off the road and ride the Trail up to the top of the mountain, can't do that on the Harley. Also 100+ MPG is nothing to sneeze at. In a grid down situation 5 gas cans gets me 2500 miles down the road. That's like PA to CA. Also oil change maintenance 1 qt. of oil, can't beat that. Never annoying anyone with how quite the exhaust is. And cargo space. I have a milk crate on the back, can fit groceries, backpacks, etc. I just picked up a 1981 xs650 special. Took it out a few times and I don't even have a spot to carry any tools, paperwork, etc. I always like to carry stuff, first aid, tools, tire puncture stuff, water, spark plugs, bandanas, etc. On the Trail I can just throw all that stuff in a backpack then into the crate or tie it down to the rack. It's a challenge with other bikes trying to find luggage that works, especially a bike that's 40+ yrs. old. I know aftermarket is slow for the trail and you have to get most stuff overseas. But I'm thinking if they keep pumping out trails every year the aftermarket has to expand.
 

Daytripper

Active member
Joined
May 25, 2024
Messages
186
Location
Alaska
EASY. Easy to ride, no clutch, easy to pull out of the garage. I love the fact that I can be driving down the road, see a mountain, veer off the road and ride the Trail up to the top of the mountain, can't do that on the Harley. Also 100+ MPG is nothing to sneeze at. In a grid down situation 5 gas cans gets me 2500 miles down the road. That's like PA to CA. Also oil change maintenance 1 qt. of oil, can't beat that. Never annoying anyone with how quite the exhaust is. And cargo space. I have a milk crate on the back, can fit groceries, backpacks, etc. I just picked up a 1981 xs650 special. Took it out a few times and I don't even have a spot to carry any tools, paperwork, etc. I always like to carry stuff, first aid, tools, tire puncture stuff, water, spark plugs, bandanas, etc. On the Trail I can just throw all that stuff in a backpack then into the crate or tie it down to the rack. It's a challenge with other bikes trying to find luggage that works, especially a bike that's 40+ yrs. old. I know aftermarket is slow for the trail and you have to get most stuff overseas. But I'm thinking if they keep pumping out trails every year the aftermarket has to expand.

1) Cops ignore me
2) Easy to slip past obstacles like logging road gates, bollards, blockades and road closures
3) Easy to work on, rebuild and maintain
4) Cheap to work on, rebuild and maintain
5) Inexpensive to buy
6) Easy to put on a camper hitch, or lift into a pickup
7) Accessible when it's a hassle to take other vehicles for outings (heavy large motorcycles, car etc)
8) Easy to pick up when it falls down
9) Slows me down, contemplative
10) Faster when I want to be... in the city dodging goobers who drive slow, stop at roundabouts or what have you
11) (CT specific) Can load a dead deer on the back rack, along with the crossbow that killed it
12) Cops ignore me
Some great points in there I hadn't considered before. I never get the annoyed looks on this bike. Just the contrary really it seems. The ability to take off and explore down some narrow path in town and see where it comes out to. Finding a whole new side to the little town I live nearby. The stealth nature of having a small quiet motorcycle really seems true. Even if caught where you are not supposed to be, the repercussions are probably going to be less than some motorcross bike would be. These Trails don't really have the power to tear up the ground much which along with the noise factor are often what bans motorcycles from areas.

Today my step son and I are going to get out to the logging roads. He is going to ride the new Honda Recon, which I want to put more hours on before winter and I will be on the Trail. Going to try to Go-pro some of it and see how that goes! Been waiting to do this all summer and have been too busy with chores, honeydoos etc it seems...
 

MisterB

Active member
Joined
Apr 8, 2022
Messages
170
Location
Monroe County, Ill
All the reasons look good to me!
I'm almost 60, started with a CB350 forty+ years ago, worked up through 900, 1100, 1300, 1800, then got a 125cc and realized I'd missed the best size.
It helps that I only have a 1.2 mile drive to work but the limitations and advantages of the Trail make it more than just a ride.
 

HodagMule

Member
Joined
Nov 30, 2023
Messages
23
Location
Rhinelander
I've always wanted a Postie.

It's technically the smallest adventure touring bike you can buy. It goes from here to there in 3 point eventually... To me you don't need 500cc or even a liter bike to have fun. Tortious versus the Hare kinda race. You go slower so you take in more sights and so quiet you sneak up on wildlife. All bikers I've ran into think it's badass. Then they think you're an absolute mad lad for taking it down highways for hundreds of miles and camping off of it.

But it's also extremely user-friendly. If you want to put a young or inexperienced rider on 2 wheels, the 125 is very forgiving. It shifts like an ATV, only 250 pounds, so picking it up after dropping it is not too bad even for smaller riders, and can keep up with other off-road bikes.

Or to quote Marge Simpson:pbdg4l7i1a381.png:
 

m in sc

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 2, 2021
Messages
2,657
Location
Rockhill, SC
my suv is like that, its a goldish 'soccer mom' ford edge w 300 hp.., its invisible in traffic to cops, i speed all the damn time. I mean a lot. Angie's wagon is like that too, she has a buick tourx, hauls ass for what it is. when we went to nola earlier this year the average speed was 92. yes, we split the driving so wasn't just me. :ninja: :ROFLMAO:
 

SneakyDingo

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 6, 2021
Messages
1,626
Everything that @Chinjab said, but especially the economy aspect.

For me it's especially valuable that it's getting 100+ mpg for the commute. I'm really lucky that I have free parking, but I incur an additional $1600 in tolls and $1000 a year in fuel (~$14 a day) to drive my car instead of motorcycling in, and the people who painted the lines at work for the parking spots have not measured the size of a car since 1970 so it would cause me daily pain to deal with that. Not only that, but the dedicated motorcycle parking is right next to the door as you leave on P1, and in my building you have switch elevators to access the parking lot below P1. I reinvest that money into something else i care about, so it's not like I am really spending less money in the end, but one of these is just an outright cost, and the other is an investment into my future.

I'm in a space where "fast bicycle" would honestly be my best option and this is pretty close to that. If I had to buy a new bike, it'd probably be something pretty close to this because it makes me pretty happy, but "slightly freeway friendly" so like a 300-400cc.
 
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