With an affordable price tag, modern features, and a design that takes you back 60 years, the 2021 Trail 125 ABS is definitely on the “must-ride” list
Words: Joy Burgess
Photos: Courtesy of American Honda
Affordable, whimsical, nostalgic, fun…just a few of the first words that jumped into my mind when I first saw that Honda was bringing the 2021 Trail 125 ABS to the U.S. market. That, and the thought that I need to give this bike a ride as soon as it’s available!
Grant it, this bike is no roaring V-twin or super-fast sport bike. But what it does have is a bit of nostalgia and the promise of some two-wheeled fun, all for a price (MSRP $3,899) that doesn’t make my bank account want to cry.
The roots of this bike run deep. Honda first came out with the Trail line back in the 1960s, the golden era of motorcycling for which, unfortunately, I wasn’t alive. The Trail 90 was introduced in 1964 and was heralded as the “first true adventure bike.” And after its introduction in ’64 Honda sold millions of these bikes – not really a surprise since they offered speeds of up to 40-50 mph on the road or the ability to simply putter along happily on trails to your heart’s content. Back then, the sticker price came in under $350. Wow!
And let’s pause for a moment to talk about Honda and how they changed the motorcycle landscape for women back in the ‘60s. Arguably the most successful and famous motorcycle manufacturer campaign of all time was Honda’s “You Meet the Nicest People on a Honda” campaign. For the first time ever, women were depicted riding motorcycles themselves and not just riding pillion. Through the various forms of the “Nicest People” ads we saw housewives, couples, grandmas, Santa, and even ‘Fido’ riding along on motorcycles.
Once others saw the success of the “Nicest People” campaign, many manufacturers, such as Yamaha, Vespa, and even Harley-Davidson, tried to jump on the bandwagon. In fact, H-D immediately jumped in with their “Young America” campaign, which looked pretty darn close to Honda’s “Nicest People” campaign. But…I digress (more on this later).
Back to the 2021 Trail; Honda added some exciting features that improve the adventure. The bike features a stronger C125 chassis, enhanced low-end and midrange power, a four-speed semiautomatic transmission, and an engine guard to offer greater protection from tree stumps, large rocks, and other obstacles you’re likely to encounter when riding off-road. The larger fuel-tank is also appreciated, which means you’ve got more time for fun between fuel stops. (For more detailed specs, check out the in-depth look at the 2021 Trail from our friends at Rider Magazine.)
And then you’ve got the new Trail’s distinctive look that immediately takes you back six decades to another time. One look at the bike and you feel like you’ve been transported back to the golden age of motorcycling, and perhaps it’s that feeling that makes me want to take this bike out for a ride (or many) myself. Modern features meet a vintage look – gotta love it! Hopefully, I’ll get the chance to go have an adventure on this bike in the next few months. And when I do, you’ll definitely hear about it!
I remember these fondly during my youth. The CT came in 125, 175, and 250 sizes, differentiating itself from the SL series enduro’s with a mud flap at the end of the fender, and the rack on the back. If I recall the CT90 had a dual ratio transmission for lower speed power. I looked at the CT line of bikes as something you took with for camp outings. I could see riding this new one if I lived out in some remote area with a lot of trails.
Maybe it’s time to move? 🙂
No, my lifestyle is not for this as those are the bygone days. I ride a sport bike now and have a real dirt bike that I have no time for sitting in the corner of the garage for the last 10-years.