2023 Honda Trail 125 Review [8 Fast Facts From the Ranch]

The neo-retro Honda Trail 125 is a mega hit with riders around the world, and it’s easy to see why. Inspired by Honda’s timeless classic Trail 90 and Trail 110 motorcycles dating back to the 1960s, the concept is modernized with EFI, disc brakes with front-wheel ABS, electric starting, and a new longer-stroke engine in the 2023 Honda Trail 125. What hasn’t changed is the convenient step-through frame, luggage rack, and a four-speed transmission with an automatic clutch and heel/toe shifting.

2023 Honda Trail 125 Review: MSRP

As this is such an attractive little bike exuding its own cool individual personality, I was itching to ride the trusty-looking 2023 Honda Trail 125 around the Southern California hillside ranch I live on, so let’s go.

  1. You’ll recognize the motor, as it’s also used in the urban-ready Super Cub. Because the Trail 125 is designed for off-road use, Honda retuned the intake and exhaust for more low-end power, and geared it down for the hills it will be climbing. In conjunction with the automatic clutch, the 2023 Honda Trail 125 pulls right off idle with zero effort—all you have to do is shift up—with your heel or toe—when you feel it starting to rev out. Downshifting is just a matter of tapping the forward shift lever.

2023 Honda Trail 125 Review: For Sale

  1. I did some rough riding and exploration of the rural ranch land. Riding the 2023 Honda Trail 125 gives me a sense of liberation, and a big grin spreads across my face when I ride it. The Honda is quite nimble, being low and nipping around easily. At 256 pounds with its 1.4-gallon fuel tank filled, the Trail 125 is 26 pounds lighter than Honda’s beginner-oriented XR150L dual-sport bike, and the seat height is 1.7 inches lower—big differences. As I’m not an experienced off-road rider, the Trail 125’s compact chassis gives me plenty of confidence to take on the dirt.
  1. The open space surrounding me tempted me to go a bit crazy by my standards, and I rode up a few steep hills with no problem. The nifty Trail 125 took me over some bumps and grassy ruts with no complaint or struggle. The suspension travel is very short—4.3 inches in the front and 3.4 inches out back—but I’m not riding very fast, so it’s adequate. While I wasn’t trail riding, I was off-pavement and getting around the grassy paddocks, and it was fun.

2023 Honda Trail 125 Review: Price

  1. With each off-road success on the 2023 Honda Trail 125 comes added confidence. A path led me quite high up a steep-to-me hill with the promise of a breathtaking view. The rocky terrain was a bit of a deterrent, but I revved the little engine and climbed with determination. The performance was better than I expected, and the experience felt like fun teamwork between me and the Honda. The uneven ground challenged me, but I was determined to conquer it—and I did!
  1. At the top of the hill, my efforts were rewarded. From this vantage point, I enjoyed a picturesque landscape of fields in various shades of green, dust, and mud-brown, some adorned with rows of avocado trees and grazing animals. This is part of the appeal of the Trail 125. It can take you to destinations you probably wouldn’t hike to and provide the thrill of off-road motorcycle riding along the way.

2023 Honda Trail 125 Review: Specs

  1. With the success of my off-road experiences, I set off along the winding roads of Somis to see how that felt on California’s rural backroads. Even though the Trail is only a 125, the chassis has a sturdy feel, so I felt safely asserted on the road. The adventure-style IRC GP-5 tires have a better pavement footprint than off-road, so the Trail 125 feels smooth on the street. I had to pick roads wisely, though, as it’s not easy to get the Trail 125 to go over 50 mph, and it’s happier below 45 mph or so.
  1. In urban and suburban areas, the 2023 Honda Trail 125 is a stylish way to get around. While its Super Cub sibling is better suited to pavement, the Trail 125 does a great job in the city—especially if the roads are in poor condition, or you like using park trails or going up curbs for shortcuts. The Trail is easy for the neophyte to operate. After hitting the start button, just heel-shift it into first—neutral is at the bottom of the shift pattern—twist the right grip and go. The power and handling are not intimidating, so it’s easy for a new rider to get started and an experienced rider to have fun.

2023 Honda Trail 125 Review: Dual-sport motorcycle


  1. The 2023 Honda Trail 125 encourages me to ride the great outdoors. Eliminating the clutch control saga goes a long way toward facilitating such adventures, making a big difference if you’re not familiar with off-road riding techniques. The Trail 125 is practical around the ranch, and gets me thinking about the possibilities of a true adventure or dual-sport motorcycle—oh, the places I’ll go!

Photography by Don Williams


Helmet: Arai XD4
Jacket: Cortech Wildcat Bomber
Gloves: Cortech Scrapper
Pants: MotoGirl Lara Cargo
Boots: Alpinestars Stella Kerry Waterproof

2023 Honda Trail 125 Specs 


Type: Single cylinder

Displacement: 124cc

Bore x stroke: 50mm x 63.1mm

Compression ratio: 10.0:1

Valvetrain: SOHC; 2 valves

Fueling: EFI

Cooling: Air

Starting: Electric w/ kick backup

Transmission: 4-speed w/ heel-toe shifting

Clutch: Automatic centrifugal

Final drive: 420 chain


Front suspension; travel: Non-adjustable 27mm fork/3.9 inches

Rear suspension; travel: Spring-preload adjustable shocks/3.4 inches

Wheels: Wire-spoked

Front and rear wheels: 17 x 1.85

Tires: IRC GP-5

Front tire: 80/90 x 17

Rear tire: 80/90 x 17

Front brakes: 220mm disc w/ Nissin caliper

Rear brake: 190mm disc w/ Nissin caliper

ABS: Front-wheel only


 Wheelbase: 49.4 inches

Rake: 27 degrees

Trail: 31.1 inches

Seat height: 31.5 inches

Fuel capacity: 1.4 gallons

Curb weight: 256 pounds

Color: Pearl Organic Green

2023 Honda Trail 125 Price:  $3999 MSRP

2023 Honda Trail 125 Review Photo Gallery