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July 5, 2017

Honda MSX 125 - A Lot More Than A Monkey Bike

Honda Showroom MSX125

Honda MSX 125 -

While Honda may be a gargantuan corporation at this point, making everything from construction equipment to private jets, the new Honda MSX 125 shows that they haven’t strayed too far from Mr. Honda's original ideas. The hardpressed, time deprived, commuter still has a place in their plans. The great thing is that they still know how to have fun while offering the solution. Few small capacity bikes that have come to the market over the last few years come across as offering as much fun as the MSX 125.

At first glance the MSX is a little bike. Look a little closer and everything that we have learned to expect from a Honda is here. The machine may be petite but it works. The switchgear, lights, foot pegs and bars are all full size. While the frame is small and the wheels are tiny I’m surprised to find that I’m quite comfortable on it, ergonomically it works really well for taller amongst us.

Honda MSX 125 - Build Quality

The quality of the finish is excellent. The paint on the engine is so good it looks like it’ll still be good long after the next generation have started to ride. The forks are even upside down units and the bike is very well balanced. There is no unpleasant rolling on the suspension; the units are as good as any that could be found on many full sized bikes.

The clutch, gear change lever and throttle units are all operated as one would a full sized bike. This is not an automatic, dressed up scooter, it’s the real thing, all be it a smaller version. The tyres are small in circumference but relatively wide and there were no issues with handling in either the wet or the dry. The gold wheels with the Y shaped spokes are a nice touch and identify the MSX with bikes such as the Fireblade.

Honda MSX showing Honda logo

Honda MSX 125 - Clean And Predictable

The exhaust sweeps up and just under the pillion seat. It looks great and thanks to having all the correct filters allows the bike to run quite clean. The headlight is full size and on my local dark country road threw up a surprising amount of light. The lamp itself is a clever piece of technology called a ‘combined projector headlight’. In simple terms this means that the same bulb is used for both high and low beam illumination.

The motor is a four speed single cylinder four stroke with fuel injection and, according to the digital clocks, revs all the way up to 10,000 rpm. The acceleration is clean and predictable and, since one of my colleagues suggested that I go nowhere near the motorway network, that’s exactly where I headed. I was pleasantly surprised to find that the bike was capable of reaching a little over 100 KPH. I did feel very vulnerable on the low bike. While the speed limit is there it doesn’t seem to be anything that’s taken to seriously by any road users. Having the majority of the traffic moving at a higher speed than me while doing all their usual unindicted lane changing nonsense as well as cutting me up was not a pleasant experience. The Honda MSX 125 isn’t something I’d be venturing out onto a motorway on again.

Back on the ‘surface streets’ as our American cousins call them, the bike was perfect. Being a whole lot of fun to ride as well as easy on fuel it was ridiculously easy to filter through traffic on and enjoyed true ‘park anywhere’ status. It was also quite the talking point when it was stopped, even at the lights. I really enjoyed my few days on the bike and would have no hesitation adding one to my garage and recommend that you add one to yours or better still, get started with one.

The Honda MSX 125 is available from www.m50retail.com

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