HONDA DAX 125 (2023 - on) Review


  • Iconic retro styling
  • Cheap to buy and run
  • Now with biggest engine ever fitted to model

At a glance

Owners' reliability rating: 5 out of 5 (5/5)
Annual servicing cost: £90
Power: 9 bhp
Seat height: Low (30.5 in / 775 mm)
Weight: Low (236 lbs / 107 kg)


New £3,749
Used £3,700 - £3,800

Overall rating

Next up: Ride & brakes
4 out of 5 (4/5)

Words by Jim Moore

The 2023 Honda Dax is a 1970s icon reinvented for the 21st century as a stylish 125cc motorcycle. All the Dax style is there – 12in wheels, chunky tyres, T-shaped frame and high swooping bars, but now benefits from the largest capacity engine in the model’s history.

The modern version is great fun to ride and cheap to buy and run - brilliant alternative to a conventional scooter.

For the uninitiated, the Honda Dax story began in 1969 with the original ST50 and ST70 Dax. Th e name comes from the bike’s passing resemblance to a Dachshund (sausage dog) and the model plate on the side of the bike features a picture of said hound.

Honda Dax 125 right hand bend

Several versions of the model existed through the ‘70s before the model was retired for over 30 years.

Ride quality & brakes

Next up: Engine
3 out of 5 (3/5)

The ride quality of the new Dax is far better than that of the originals. First generation Daxs feature spindly suspension and tiny drum brakes whereas the ST125 comes with 31mm USD forks (non-adjustable), a box-section swingarm and twin shocks (again, non-adjustable).

Brakes are now disc front and rear; the front is a 220mm disc gripped by an ABS equipped twin-pot caliper, the rear a 190mm disc with a single-pot caliper. Both are very effective at hauling the ST125 to a rapid stop – it weighs just 107kg fully fuelled.

Ride quality of the 120/130 section tyres is good. The deeply padded seat is also very comfortable. But the bike’s diminutive size, modest weight and tiny wheels can make it feel slightly flighty and unstable at times. Its size can leave the rider feeling vulnerable around lorries and other large traffic, too.

Honda Dax 125 on the road left side


Next up: Reliability
4 out of 5 (4/5)

The 124cc, air-cooled, SOHC, 4-stroke, 2-valve engine is the biggest aver fitted to a Dax but it’s very quiet and smooth.

A meagre 9bhp power output means a very low state of tune for a 125 so reliability should be excellent – plus Honda have made millions of small capacity engines by this point.

The 4-speed gearbox is easy to use – there’s no clutch lever, it’s a centrifugal set up, with a toe-heel lever to go up and down the box, although using the heel change can be a hassle for those with larger feet.

Honda Dax 125 engine

Town performance is good; top speed is 55-60mph, so it’ll keep with A-road traffic but overtakes are beyond the ST’s capability. The gearing is set up to be brisk away from a standstill so it feels perkier away from the lights than it does on the open road.

Reliability & build quality

Next up: Value
4 out of 5 (4/5)

Too early to say, but the overall build quality looks good, and reliability really shouldn’t be an issue given Honda’s long history of building SOHC singles, not to mention this engine’s modest level of tune that can only help its long-term prospects.

Mechanically, there’s not a lot to go wrong with simple components and no fancy electronics to worry about. The stomp transmission has been used on Honda’s Cub and Super Cub models for decades, too, and should be tried and tested by now.

The paint finish on the Dax’s pressed steel frame/bodywork looks good quality but given the budget nature of some components, a coating of ACF-50 or similar might not go amiss to keep the rust out.

Honda Dax 125 left side on the road

Value vs rivals

Next up: Equipment
4 out of 5 (4/5)

A Dax 125 will be cheap to run. Monthly PCP payments are under £50, economy is 90mpg-plus, and insurance will be modest in group 5.

There are a few competitors to consider with several from Honda’s own range. The Honda Monkey 125 is the most similar in intent with its ‘60s styling and diminutive stature. The Monkey looks more like a scaled down motorcycle with a traditional frame and tank and it costs a few hundred quid more.

The identically priced Honda C125 Super Cub is also a contender with retro styling and the same gearbox setup as the Dax.

Honda Dax 125 rear

A more modern take would be the Honda MSX 125 Grom or any of the multitude of Chinese copies now on the market. The Grom looks like a scaled down version of a modern naked roadster and lacks the retro charm of the other bikes in the list.


3 out of 5 (3/5)

There’s never going to be a great deal of kit on a machine like this, but the ST125 comes with a neat digital speedo and fuel gauge, chunky easy to use switchgear, decent mirrors, LED lights, pillion provision, ABS on the front disc brake and cast aluminium wheels.

Like the Dax’s retro minibike cousin, the Monkey, you can buy a luggage rack from the official accessory catalogue for £115 inc VAT. There are also plenty of aftermarket accessories available, too.

Honda Dax 125 dash


Engine size 124cc
Engine type Air-cooled, SOHC, 2v single
Frame type Pressed steel backbone
Fuel capacity 3.8 litres
Seat height 775mm
Bike weight 107kg
Front suspension 31mm usd forks, non-adjustable
Rear suspension Twin shocks, non-adjustable
Front brake 1 x 220mm disc, two-piston caliper, ABS
Rear brake 1 x 190mm disc, single-piston caliper
Front tyre size 120/70 12
Rear tyre size 130/70 12

Mpg, costs & insurance

Average fuel consumption 90 mpg
Annual road tax -
Annual service cost £90
New price £3,749
Used price £3,700 - £3,800
Insurance group -
How much to insure?
Warranty term Two years

Top speed & performance

Max power 9 bhp
Max torque 7.9 ft-lb
Top speed 60 mph
1/4 mile acceleration -
Tank range 80 miles

Model history & versions

Model history

1969: Original ST50 and ST70 Dax launched, featuring the same sohc, 2v engines as the immensely popular C50 and C70 Cubs. Launched as a fun bike, and soon caught on because of exactly that.

1972: Dax got bigger with launch of ST90 Mighty Dax – engine from the C90 Cub. Styling tweaked slightly with spoked wheels, hydraulic forks, and trail type high level mudguards.

1973: CY50 Nauty Dax. Custom styling with a ‘conventional’ fuel tank, balloon tyres and Z50 type engine with upright engine block (a different unit to the previous Cub derived engines).

1981: Dax Honda. No longer on sale in Europe – USA and Japan only. Custom style seat with high back, raked forks and a return to the more familiar T-shaped chassis.

2023: Dax relaunched with all new and biggest capacity yet as ST125. Disc brakes, USD forks, larger, stronger chassis.

Other versions


Owners' reviews for the HONDA DAX 125 (2023 - on)

3 owners have reviewed their HONDA DAX 125 (2023 - on) and rated it in a number of areas. Read what they have to say and what they like and dislike about the bike below.

Review your HONDA DAX 125 (2023 - on)

Summary of owners' reviews

Overall rating: 4.3 out of 5 (4.3/5)
Ride quality & brakes: 4 out of 5 (4/5)
Engine: 4.3 out of 5 (4.3/5)
Reliability & build quality: 5 out of 5 (5/5)
Value vs rivals: 5 out of 5 (5/5)
Equipment: 3.3 out of 5 (3.3/5)
Annual servicing cost: £90
4 out of 5 Good, hoping it gets better
21 August 2023 by R0B

Year: 2023

Annual servicing cost: £30

Still running in and a bit slow and vibey. Quality build....beautiful paint

Ride quality & brakes 4 out of 5

Engine us still a bit vibes and down on power, but still within its break in period. Seat is large and quite hard. Rear shocks are OK, but when I'm rich I'll replace them for something better

Engine 4 out of 5

It could really do with a gear indicator. 4 gears straight down to a stop when you're moving Once stationary you can keep going down to find neutral (or 1st etc). Sometimes a little like stirring porridge.

Reliability & build quality 5 out of 5

Beautifully made with deep paint and well thought out mudguards

Value vs rivals 5 out of 5

I do all of my own servicing. Simples

Equipment 3 out of 5

Grab rail , helmet lock.

Buying experience: Craigs Honda....pre-ordered...straightforward

5 out of 5 Dax from Doble
10 March 2023 by Bruce G

Year: 2023

I have a Monkey 125 and was interested to see which I liked best. Different ride, with the auto clutch and toe heel gear change. But just as good fun. No negatives other than speed. But if you want a bike for over 55-60mph, buy a bigger one!

Ride quality & brakes 4 out of 5
Engine 4 out of 5
Reliability & build quality 5 out of 5
Value vs rivals 5 out of 5
Equipment 4 out of 5

Buying experience: Doble Motorcycles Excellent again. Great service. Fair part ex and timely delivery

4 out of 5 Finally - my third Dax!
03 January 2023 by robeamer

Year: 2023

Annual servicing cost: £150

It is the DAX made fit for the new Millennium, the Engines so far sold would not be sufficient for todays trafic. Big fun, but only if you do not have to go on major roads.

Ride quality & brakes 4 out of 5

The bike is a minibike. But seating is good, my longest trip so far was 250km. The not adjustable rear springs are a spoiler, max load is 155kg, so they are a bit hard for a single rider. Brakes are better than the riders nerves.

Engine 5 out of 5

Engine is very much what you would expect, it is hassle free and a top starter, hot or cold, but not a 'whow' performance. Fourth gear is a bit long in ratio, going uphill reduces top speed massively.

Reliability & build quality 5 out of 5

to early to say otherwise (700km ridden so far). looks decently made. Rubbers will be replaced, but they are ok on warm and dry streets.

Value vs rivals 5 out of 5

expected costs for service. need 2.5 l per 100 km as ´full throttle' is the usual mode when riding.

Equipment 3 out of 5

ABS is the top feature considering the little wheels. LED lights are fine, but no clock! Tyres are not top notch but better than expected when road is warm and dry. A rev counter would be appreciated, the luggage rack is awaited for 2023.

Buying experience: Bought it from a dealer in March - just after it was announced, it got delivered at early October 2022.

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