Offenbach, 10. January 2013 – for once, the honda dax really deserves the word "legendary.". No wonder honda uses it for comparison when it comes to the new MSX 125. But that’s the end of it, because the MSX is much rougher than the dax, and the "cuddly 12-inch wheels" and the "playful and appealing appearance" do nothing to change that. What unites the models visually is the small four-stroke single cylinder, which is installed horizontally.
An old acquaintance
Conceptually, the single-cylinder 125 cc engine is a descendant of the dax, but a lot has changed technically in the meantime. The single with an overhead camshaft goes directly back to a design that was used in 2003 in the innova and currently also in the wave 110i, which followed the innova with slightly reduced displacement. Honda claims to have further reduced internal friction in the latest version of the MSX by slightly offsetting the crankshaft from the cylinder. This principle, also known as desaxing, has been a well-established practice since the beginning of engine construction, which is why we ame for the time being that honda will have readjusted a long-standing desaxing to the conditions in the new engine – an inquiry is still underway. In addition, honda now uses roller cam followers in the valve train, which also reduces friction.
Honda has also redesigned the exhaust system. The regulated catalytic converter is integrated into it. The diameter of the manifold is 28.6 millimeters, and the volume of the steamer is three liters. According to honda, this leads to an unusually "bassy" yet unobtrusive sound for the small displacement. The raised muffler is provided with a heat protection cover, so that the right mallet is not cooked. Naturally one had not to pull up the exhaust, then however a dax quote was missing – and in view of the small wheels one has anyway hardly another choice, if the exhaust is not to touch down in right curves.
Easy to control
Which brings us to the chassis: with twelve inches, the wheels are quite small, but in the scooter sector, the format is quite common. An upside-down fork promises good road grip thanks to reduced unsprung masses. To prevent the handling from becoming too tippy, the steering head angle is 25 degrees, resulting in a trail of 81 millimeters. In conjunction with the wheelbase of 1200 millimeters, the result should be a confidence-inspiring stability that will also suit entry-level drivers.
This also applies to the power: the MSX 125 produces exactly 10 hp at 7000 rpm. The fact that there are not five is probably due to the history of the engine concept. Four gears were sufficient for the transformer engines, which were also shifted semi-automatically, with the clutch being engaged automatically. On the MSX, on the other hand, honda has opted for a clutch lever, but the four gears have been retained. Experience with the innova shows that you can live well with it. These experiences also lead to the expectation of a similarly low consumption, two liters per 100 kilometers may be realistic.
Fashionable – but not only
Perhaps the most exciting question is: who does honda want to reach with this monster?? Factually it is relatively easy to answer: with just 101.7 kg weight (fully tanked) the MSX is in view of its small size super for all who want to have a cost-efficient city ride, which can be easily pushed into the backyard. Perhaps a bit of nostalgia will also play a role in the purchase decision, because otherwise you could also buy a scooter. The compact size does not compromise the seating position, as the seat height is 765 millimeters. Honda describes the target group less nuchtern: the MSX is designed for the demands of a younger generation, for which mobility is just as important as an unconventional look and pride of ownership. Honda thinks of young people, "for whose lifestyle with fashion, sports and music the communicative exchange via internet and cell phone is indispensable."What this has to do with a motorcycle, we do not understand.
Actually only the engine of the MSX looks like a dax, otherwise the design is somewhere between supermoto and kiddy-bike, which in the result looks quite original. The design is astonishingly stringent, I find the central axle, highlighted by a chrome-plated cover, around which the entire body seems to be grouped, particularly chic. One thing is clear: the MSX 125 will not be able to become a low-cost offering like the innova and wave; its design is too complex for that. We reckon with a price of around 3,000 euros – that’s still halfway right for young riders and might also make some older ones weak who want to buy a compact city bike. Since the beginning of the year, light motorcycles are allowed to ride 100 km.