It’s a well-known fact that our friends over at Honda have the market for minimotos cornered. Team Red has built its reputation for rad, reliable, tiny, and mighty minibikes for decades. Although the iterations may change throughout the years, the category gains new fans—both young and old—all the time. That’s why, back in January, 2021, we were extremely excited at the prospect of Honda reviving yet another classic minimoto identity from its past: The Dax ST125.
Early speculative renders of what a revived Dax ST125 could look like were published by Japanese magazine Young Machine (are we sure YM isn’t a front for Honda’s design team? -ed.) in its March, 2021 issue. The artist’s vision has a slightly more aggressive look than the CT125, likely due to the straight-ahead and thick horizontal line of the frame, which runs from the headlight straight back to the taillight. The top portion of the frame instantly commands your attention, even before you see the thick, ribbed saddle with white piping that you’re used to seeing on Monkeys, and the raised exhaust you’re used to seeing on the CT125.
It’s now February, 2022—and YM’s predictions of the Dax’s revival as a 2022 model have so far not come to pass. However, it’s also the third year of a global pandemic—so dreams deferred are not necessarily dreams denied. Toward the end of 2021, rumors that Honda could bring the reimagined Dax ST125 to the 2022 Tokyo Mobility Show began to surface. Now, Young Machine is back with some new renders of a possible design, as well as predictions about the content of the bike in question. (they’re totally a front for Honda’s design team. -ed.)
While the modern Monkey seems definitively geared toward solo riding, we’ve seen split saddles for two-up riding show up on at least two other recent Honda minimoto offerings. The 2022 Super Cub 125 as offered in markets outside the U.S. comes stock with a split saddle (the American version continues to get a single solo seat). Recent Honda images of a new white CT125 colorway in Thailand show that model getting the split saddle treatment, as well.
While the Dax ST125 as rendered here shows a single saddle, the bike’s long profile lends weight to the possibility that it could be a seat for two. Other styling predictions include a low front fender paired with the high-mount exhaust found on the CT125. Functionally, could it have the 4-speed semiautomatic gearbox found in the CT125 as well? It’s still speculation at the moment, but if the rumors are right, we could finally have at least some of these questions answered in March, 2022. We’ll keep our fingers crossed.