Honda’s latest 125 cc fun-machine with terrain-tackling capabilities

Honda teased us last year with a tantalizing glimpse of its CT125 Hunter Cub update as a concept model, and now it looks like the bike is going into production and coming to our side of the pond. Based on the legendary Super Cub that also recently saw a relaunch with an updated, modernized model, the Hunter Cub is built with a bias toward back-road/off-road work. Laced wheels and stealth knobbies join with the already handy little Super Cub platform and a specially-tuned, 8-plus horsepower plant to boost its terrain-tackling capabilities.

  • 2021 Honda Hunter Cub CT125
  • Year:
    2021
  • Make:
  • Engine:
    single cylinder
  • Displacement:
    125 cc
  • Price:

2021 Honda CT125 Hunter Cub Design

  • Almost post-apocalyptic, stripped-down look
  • LED lighting
  • Ample cargo anchor points
  • Low center of gravity
2021 Honda Hunter Cub CT125
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2021 Honda Hunter Cub CT125
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2021 Honda Hunter Cub CT125
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The Hunter Cub CT125 drops much of the forward superstructure carried by the Super Cub in favor of a stripped-down look that seems almost post apocalyptic, which is entirely fitting for the times don’t you think? A utilitarian vibe dominates the overall look that speaks to its practicality, and while the stock version is pretty austere, the factory puts out a number of accessories that plug the equipment holes alongside aftermarket marques such as Takegawa, Moriwaki and Kitaco. Needless to say, there are plenty of luggage racks, bash guards, and chrome baubles available for this bike already.

The front fender runs with cut-out sides, no doubt to keep unsprung weight down on the front axle. Black bellow gaiters protect the inner fork tubes and seals in place of the splashguard that went away along with the leg shield coverage.

A round LED headlight splits the night ahead of a clean, simple round digital gauge for the numerical speedometer display and fuel gauge. A series of idiot lights wrap up the instrumentation. The backbone plunges from steering head to seat bed to leave an aching void where the fuel tank would be on a more conventional machine, and this leaves room for your knees in the seated position.

True to its adventuresome nature, you can operate the Hunter Cub from a standing position, though it won’t allow for a fully-standing position and forces the pilot to stoop just a skosh. The stock bike comes with a solo seat that rides at 31.5 inches off the ground ahead of a built-in luggage rack that sports multiple holes and slots along with a quartet of cargo hooks to give you plenty of places to anchor your cargo.

On the right side, the exhaust system dominates the look, but less conspicuous is the intake tract on the left side that looks like it draws air from relatively high up, no doubt a move to reduce silting of the air cleaner during actual off-road/backroad use.

2021 Honda CT125 Hunter Cub Chassis

  • Reinforced components for spirited riding
  • Front and rear disc brakes
  • single-channel ABS
  • Balance between agility and stability
2021 Honda Hunter Cub CT125
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2021 Honda Hunter Cub CT125
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2021 Honda Hunter Cub CT125
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The bones on the Hunter Cub CT125 differ somewhat from the base Super Cub. They rely on the same general design with a heavy backbone that provides the main structure, but the steering head and swingarm pivot plates are reinforced to tolerate a more spirited, off-road riding style. Out back, the frame is extended a bit to accommodate the stock luggage rack.

Another departure from the Super Cub is found in the anchors. The factory drops the rear drum brake in favor of a single-pot caliper and disc to improve control under the increased potential cargo load. Up front, a twin-piston caliper and single disc take care of business under the protection of a single-channel ABS feature that leaves you with the option of using maneuvers that involve locking up the rear wheel.

Laced rims mount dual-surface hoops in an 80/90-17 size on both the front and rear. A 27-degree angle at the steering head works with a short, 3.14-inch trail to deliver a balance between stability and agility with a manageable turn radius of 6.2 feet (1.9 meters).

2021 Honda CT125 Hunter Cub Drivetrain

  • Same 124 cc engine as in the Super Cub
  • 8.7 horsepower
  • 8.11 lb-ft of torque
  • Low-range, four-speed gearbox
2021 Honda Hunter Cub CT125
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2021 Honda Hunter Cub CT125
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2021 Honda Hunter Cub CT125
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Power for the Hunter Cub CT125 comes from the same air-cooled thumper that drives the Super Cub. A 52.4 mm bore and 57.9 mm stroke gives it a total displacement of 124 cc. A relatively low compression ratio of 9.3-to-1 will tolerate 87 octane fuels with no ill effects such as knock/ping and dieseling.

An electronically-controlled fuel-injection system and mechanical throttle control the induction, but if you’re looking for top-electronic fandanglery such as traction control or rider modes, you’re bound to be disappointed. This bike relies on a quaint little thing we used to call skill to remain dirty-side down, so if you need that safety net, you simply need to look at a different bike. Nothing for it.

At 7,000 rpm, the mill churns out 8.7 horsepower, but the torque maxes out at 4,500 rpm with 8.11 pound-feet on tap. Top speed is as yet an unknown metric. Sure, the Super Cub runs the same engine, but not the same transmission. The low-range, four-speed gearbox is set up for the rigors of off-road work, and since the overall drive ratio is different, the top speed necessarily will be as well.

2021 Honda CT125 Hunter Cub Price

2021 Honda Hunter Cub CT125
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2021 Honda Hunter Cub CT125
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2021 Honda Hunter Cub CT125
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Price for ther Hunter Cub CT125 is an unknown at the time of this writing, and even the U.S. release date is still up in the air. The Super Cub runs $3,749 for 2021, so my guess would be at least $4k for the Hunter Cub.

2021 Honda CT125 Hunter Cub Competitors

2021 Honda Hunter Cub CT125
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2017 - 2019 Suzuki VanVan 200
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No doubt about it, the CT125 Hunter Cub strikes a rather unique figure, but its functionality is anything but singular. Suzuki, Honda’s domestic competitor and fellow member of the Big Four, brings its own classic little dual-surface funbike to the table in its VanVan 200 model.

Suzuki VanVan 200

2017 - 2019 Suzuki VanVan 200
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The VanVan’s look is somewhat more standard with a loop-style frame and exposed fuel tank mounted on same, but the way the seat rides up over the top of the tank gives it an uncommon flyline, to say the least. Beyond that, though, the VanVan is fairly typical of a small-displacement, dual-sportish machine. Laced wheels and stealth knobbies are constant across the board, but the VanVan rolls on an 18-inch front wheel and a 14-inch rear in a departure from the Hunter Cub’s symmetrical 17-inch rims.

If you’re into sharing the fun with a friend, the VanVan has you covered with stock two-up capabilities. Suzuki packs in a few extra cubes with a 199 cc plant versus Honda’s 124 cc mill, and it claims a total output of 16 ponies that is almost twice that of the Honda engine. We know that the VanVan rolls for $4,649 and that Honda gets $3,749 for its stock Super Cub, so I feel like it’s a safe bet that the Hunter Cub will slide in just under the Suzuki’s sticker. We’ll see.

Read our full review of the Suzuki VanVan 200.

He Said

“I’m digging the form-follows-function look of the Hunter Cub. It looks effective yet is unpretentious, and the factory went further to make it useful off-road than simply changing the outward aesthetic. The selection of available factory and aftermarket goodies turn this capable bike into one that’s apocalypse ready.”

She Said

My wife and fellow motorcycle writer, Allyn Hinton, says, “OMG this looks like fun! One thing I wonder is whether or not it has the high-low reduction gear like the original CT110. The CT110 was so capable as an off-road, all-terrain-tackling machine. It will be a shame if the CT125 just a poser version of that awesome predecessor.”

2021 Honda CT125 Hunter Cub Specifications

TBA

Further Reading

Honda

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TJ Hinton
T.J got an early start from his father and other family members who owned and rode motorcycles, and by helping with various mechanical repairs throughout childhood. That planted a seed that grew into a well-rounded appreciation of all things mechanical, and eventually, into a formal education of same. Though primarily a Harley rider, he has an appreciation for all sorts of bikes and doesn't discriminate against any particular brand or region of origin. He currently holds an Associate's degree in applied mechanical science from his time at the M.M.I.  Read More
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All images featured on this website are copyrighted to their respective rightful owners. No infringement is intended. Image Source: honda.com, suzukicycles.com

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