Honda's New Retro-Future Small Bore Concept Bikes Are Tons Of Cool In A Tiny Package

Image: Honda

Honda has a pair of 125cc motorcycle concepts on display at the Esposizione Internazionale Ciclo e Motociclo show in Milan right now, and they kick so much ass it’s unreal. The little red pocket motard is creatively dubbed CB125M, while the tiny TransAlp-esque white job is called the CB125X. Honda’s R&D center in Rome crafted both of these bikes using the new CB125R as a starting platform.

According to Honda, the 125cc segment of bikes has experienced something of a resurgence in recent years, helped I’m sure by its own CB125R and Grom. With new four-stroke 125 bikes coming in the form of the retro-awesome Monkey and Super Cub, this pair of concept bikes would seem to fit right in to Honda’s quirky line of small bore two-wheel transport.


The CB125M concept features a minimalist design reminiscent of Husqvarna’s Vitpilen in smaller scale. It’s got the high tail, design that looks like the past and future at the same time, and mid-controls that hipster riders like myself desire. With purposeful guards for the engine and handlebars, it clearly takes cues from Honda’s off-roaders. This bike, however, is more a motard for tight urban city streets. It’s super slick and I want to pinch its cute little cheeks.

The CB125X, meanwhile, is perhaps the most adventure-focused small-engine bike ever. With the near-vertical front that has been a staple of Transalp design since it was introduced in 1987, this mini-Dakar-wannabe looks like it is ready for a bit of soft-roading fun.


In its press release for the bike’s unveiling, however, Honda went all German on us, even going so far as dropping a “dynamism” descriptor in there.

The all-white CB125X, meanwhile, is clearly an adventure-focused ‘X’ model, with a multitude of chiseled lines and solid surfaces that bring to mind the world of science fiction. The lines are both athletic and clean, while the seat and frame meet seamlessly in a forward-leaning stance that gives an aura of aggressive dynamism.


Either way, I’m hooked. I have been pining for the new Monkey a while now, and may end up with one because who doesn’t like a little fun in their lives. But, if the CB125M is announced for production, and on the off chance it gets shipped over to the U.S., I will definitely be buying one of those to park next to my 1983 Honda MB5. I love small-bore bikes. 

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Bradley Brownell

Jalopnik contributor with a love for everything sketchy and eclectic.