2013 Honda MSX125 – The Honda Monkey for the 21st Century
Honda announced a new 125cc motorcycle aimed for youths that draws its inspiration from the Honda Monkey mini-bikes first introduced in the ’60s. The new 2013 Honda MSX125 (which stands for “Mini Street X-treme 125”) will be manufactured in Thailand. At the moment, it has been confirmed for Europe and Japan, but there is no word about U.S. availability.
The MSX125 is powered by a 125cc air-cooled two-valve single-cylinder engine with Honda‘s PGM-FI fuel injection system inherited from the Honda Wave 125i underbone motorcycle that’s popular in Asian markets. Honda claims an output of 9.7 hp at 7000 rpm and 8.0 ft-lb. at 5,500 rpm. The engine has some low-friction features such as an offset cylinder and roller-rocker arms. This should help the MSX125 provide good fuel economy though Honda did not release any fuel consumption estimates.
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Power is delivered through a four-speed transmission and chain drive to the 12-inch aluminum rear wheel. Yes, the wheels have a scooter-sized 12-inch diameter, but the small diameter also highlights the thickness of the 120/70-12 front and 130/70-12 rear tires. The front wheel has a two-piston brake caliper gripping a 220mm disc while a single-piston caliper grips a 190mm disc at the rear. Suspension is provided by a 31mm upside-down fork, a first for a 125cc Honda, and a rear monoshock.
Honda registered four new patents in develop the MSX125, specifically related to the split structure tank cover and the steel mono-backbone frame. The split structure allowed Honda engineers to position the PGM-FI components and other electrical parts inside the tank cover without compromising the capacity of the 1.45 gallon fuel tank.
Other features include a projector headlight, LED taillight and an LCD displaying speed, twin trip meters, fuel gauge and clock. The seat is a low 30.1 inches off the ground, suitable for the MSX125’s target market. Also helpful is the claimed curb weight of 224 pounds.
The 2013 Honda MSX125 will be produced in four colors: Asteroid Black Metallic, Pearl Himalayas White, Pearl Queen Bee Yellow and Pearl Valentine Red.