Sprinting joyfully out of the traps – and after a 41-year absence from Honda’s European line-up – the new Dax joins the Monkey and MSX125 Grom in Honda’s mini-bike line-up.
Authentic, robust and offering simple riding pleasure, it features a pressed steel frame, 31mm USD forks, 12-inch wheels and air-cooled SOHC two-valve engine with four-speed gearbox and centrifugal clutch. Full LED lighting, compact negative LCD display and pillion grab rail complete the full specification list, and the intangible and timeless appeal of the unmistakeable Dax styling is something no spec sheet can encapsulate.
From £3,749.00 OTR
As it should, the Dax keeps it simple. A steel frame provides strength and houses the fuel tank while 31mm USD forks, twin rear shocks and 12-inch wheels with chunky tyres provide light steering and good suspension performance. Braking is via hydraulic discs front and rear with ABS control.
Robust and fuel efficient, the 124cc SOHC two-valve engine’s power is linear in delivery with smooth torque. A centrifugal clutch manages shifting between the four ratios so there’s no need for a handlebar-mounted clutch lever. It offers twist-and-go simplicity with the added entertainment of changes via a traditional left-foot gear lever.
All lighting is LED and a circular LCD display shows exactly what the rider needs to know. The pillion gets a chromed grab rail, too.
The 23YM Dax will be available in the following colour options:
Pearl Nebula Red & Pearl Cadet Grey
While the Dax is small, its proportions provide enough room to be comfortable for two adults to ride.
The styling really is the frame; everything is attached to, or held within it, giving the Dax its unmistakeable retro look. As do all the other parts; the thick dual seat – seat height is just 775mm – chrome high-set handlebars and the 1970’s dirt bike-inspired upswept muffler with drilled, slotted and chromed heat shield. The frame’s mid-section wears a black stripe with ‘Dax’ picked out in quirky font, right next to the classic Honda Wing logo that marks its special heritage. A unique finishing touch comes in the form of a cartoon image of a Dachshund.
A chromed mudguard leads and sits below the evocative, circular headlight. To add extra charm to the light, signature round LEDs are used and the front indicators/position lights sit snugly in between low and high beams. The compact instrument display is a round, negative LCD while the rear taillight and indicators take their cues from the headlight and are also LED.
There’s a neat chrome grabrail for the passenger to hold while a cover seals the drive chain away from weather and loose clothing. A rear carrier and heated grips are available as optional extras.
The iconic T-shaped frame design houses the fuel tank, is authentic in aesthetic detail and constructed in pressed-steel with modern engineering know-how. Rake and trail are set at 24.9°/84mm with wheelbase of 1020mm. Wet weight is just 107kg.
31mm USD forks provide supple suspension response and, combined with the wide upswept handlebar, easy steering. Twin rear shocks are tuned for smooth compliance, even with a pillion. Blacked-out 12-inch rims (from the super-cool MSX125 Grom) wear fat, balloon-like tyres; a 120mm wide front and 130mm rear. They add sure-footed grip allied to nimble agility.
Single-channel ABS manages braking force. Hydraulic front and rear calipers grip 220/190mm diameter discs respectively.
Drawn from the new Super Cub C125 – so flexible, efficient and durable – the Dax’s 124cc air-cooled engine features a SOHC two-valve cylinder head, with relatively long stroke and high compression; bore is set at 50mm, stroke at 63.1mm with compression ratio of 10.0:1. Peak power of 6.9kW arrives @ 7,000rpm, with peak torque of 10.8Nm @ 5,000rpm.
The engine’s strong performance means that even two-up a 90km/h cruising speed is achievable, with smart acceleration from low speed – just what’s needed for lively around-town amusement.
On the left-hand side of the bike the distinctive oval air box, filter and connecting tube ensure smooth, efficient airflow through the clean side, delivering crisp throttle response and driveability. The upswept muffler and heat shield is evocative of that golden motorcycling era of the ‘70s. A single catalyser is all that’s necessary; thanks to precise ECU settings and the engine’s combustion efficiency, EURO5 compliance is achieved.
In keeping with the laid-back, easy to ride feel the gearbox is a 4-speed unit (with neutral at the bottom) operated via centrifugal clutch, without the need for a clutch lever. At standstill the rider simply selects the gear required with the left-hand foot lever and, as the throttle is opened, the clutch operates automatically and does so through each ratio change, up or down.
Various low-friction technologies, like an offset cylinder and roller-rocker arms in the head, ensure impressive fuel economy of 63.7km/l (WMTC mode). This gives the Dax a range of approx. 240km from the 3.8L fuel tank.
|Engine Type||Air-cooled SOHC 4-stroke 2-valve|
|Max Power Output||6.9kW @ 7,000rpm|
|Max Torque||10.8Nm @ 5,000rpm|
|Bore x Stroke (mm)||50.0 x 63.1mm|
|Front Brake||Single 220mm hydraulic disc with IMU-based ABS|
|Rear Brake||Single 190mm hydraulic disc|
|Front Suspension||Telescopic 31mm USD fork, 100mm axle travel|
|Rear Suspension||Twin shock, 120mm axle travel|
|Front Wheel||5-spoke cast aluminium (120/70-12M/C 51L)|
|Rear Wheel||5-spoke cast aluminium (130/70-12M/C 56L)|
|Dimensions||1,760 x 760 x 1,020mm|
|Frame Type||Press backbone frame|
|Fuel Tank Capacity||3.8 litres|
|Clutch||Wet Multiplate and Automatic Centrifugal Clutch|
|Transmission Type||4 speed rotary|