Honda Super Cub: the joy of being useful
How does the ‘commuter scooter for the Shoreditch massive’ measure up?
Honda’s update to the Super Cub C125 is a “new commuter scooter for the Shoreditch massive”, says Visor Down. And there’s no denying the demand for it. As of last year, more than 100 million Super Cubs had been sold, making it the most popular motor vehicle in the world. Laid nose-to-nose, the number of Super Cub bikes sold could circumnavigate the world five times.
First introduced in 1958, the stated aim of the Super Club C11 was “to provide the joy of playing a useful part in people’s lives”. The model went on to become the centrepiece of Honda’s marketing campaign which proclaimed that “You meet the nicest people on a Honda”. The bike is so instantly recognisable that it was the first vehicle in Japan to be granted a three-dimensional trademark. So as you might expect, the new version doesn’t deviate from the classic template.
The looks are straight out of the 1950s “for a genuinely dated vibe that is impossible to imitate”, agrees TJ Hinton on Top Speed, though a disc front brake and anti-lock braking system help bring the classic design up to modern standards. At the front end, sheet-metal shrouds “engulf the forks and continue up into a scooter-style handlebar fairing that carries a cyclops LED headlight with a chrome model badge to dress it all up.”
The new model makes use of the same motor found in the Honda Grom – that means you’re getting a nearly horizontal air-cooled single-cylinder four-stroke engine and two valves, says Don Williams on Ultimate Motorcycling: “it’s a simple and stone-cold reliable design”. Other modern touches include electronic fuel injection and electric starting, while the clutch is a new user-friendly centrifugal automatic design. With the new model set to hit showrooms in January, “get ready to meet more nice people on Hondas”.
Price: £3,399. Engine: 125cc, air-cooled 4-stroke 2-valve. Transmission: four-speed. Fuel capacity: 3.7 litres. Fuel consumption: 188.4 mpg. Kerb weight: 240 pounds
This article was originally published in MoneyWeek