Have Honda just unveiled the perfect motorcycle for life in lockdown?

In the wake of the Osaka and Tokyo motorcycle shows being cancelled due to the Covid-19 outbreak, Honda held a virtual motorcycle show last week where they released details on a number of new models and one named the Hunter Cub caught our attention.

Globally Honda own the small bike market, their Honda Cub has sold more than 100 million units, literally providing third world countries with the means to get around cheaply. The internet is full of pictures of these little bikes loaded to the hilt with eggs, baskets or even babies. The four stroke engines are incredibly reliable and literally go forever.

A recent upgrade to the Super Cub saw it get a bit more power thanks to the fitment of the 125cc engine from its Grom and Monkey Bike siblings. But it’s still not a very cool bike, with function a priority over anything else. It’s a tool, for a specific job, which is providing mobility to the masses and it does a very good job at that.

Fortunately, a new model called the CT125 Hunter Cub changes all that. Based on the Super Cub the Honda press release describes this model as being easy to ride while also having the functionality to enjoy nature. The Hunter Cub is equipped with a steel front fender and raised muffler, large carrier, high-mounted air intake duct and side air cleaner, combined with simple, unique styling.

The CT125 offers versatility in any off-road situation, with optimised suspension, front and rear disc brakes, and front ABS. “It is truly a leisure model to go camping or fishing with, and enjoying nature,” added Honda.

The CT125 features round LED headlamps and LED indicators, this gives the bike a modern touch. The right seat height, wheelbase and up handlebar width ensure a relaxed riding position when riding through the countryside, or zipping down to the shops.

Devoid of the traditional fairing, the Hunter Cub looks much more rugged with exposed wiring, engine and exhaust. Spoked wheels, trail tyres, crash bars, a luggage rack, a slightly longer wheelbase and a 20mm increase in suspension travel means that although it is not Dakar ready, gravel roads should be a jol.

The four-stroke 125cc engine is set to perform well in a wide variety of scenarios but it really shines when it comes to fuel consumption, with Honda claiming that it will use only 1,6 litres per 100km thanks to PGM-Fuel injection. That is incredible and a real selling point in these tough economic times.

This might be the perfect holiday bike, strap it to the back of your bakkie and use it to explore the surroundings of your holiday destination.

However, we think that the unique styling and easy to ride characteristics, thanks to low weight and an automatic gearbox might just make it the perfect bike for living in Lockdown because all we are really allowed to do is zip to the local supermarket and this little bike will allow you to park right by the entrance. And it can easily be ridden with an open face helmet so you will never even have to remove your face mask. A 409mm x 477mm rear carrier can be fitted with a carryback or top box which should swallow all your supplies. It might not be the quickest bike out there but it will be robust and go forever at a very low cost and that is the kind of tool you need in an uncertain world.

If and when it will go on sale in South Africa is yet to be confirmed.

Text: Reuben van Niekerk