Groms, Daxs, and Trails are just some of the model names known in the United States, however, Honda has hundreds of models in the small bike category, which means a displacement of under 200ccs, and designed to be a commuter and tool more than a fun toy.
Where I’m from, the Philippines, we see a ton of these. While Filipinos are more acquainted with the Honda Wave nameplate, the Dash is a close relative and one that is actually quite familiar to me. Traffic is a big thing in Southeast Asian countries with under-developed roads and unrelenting rain washing away the pavement all the time and having a lightweight, low-power, low-maintenance bike is a part of the daily lives of many Filipinos. In fact, this kind of motorcycle is likely one of the first bikes that many swing a leg over before graduating into bigger and better stuff.
Small Bike Stuff on YouTube features a Honda Dash from Malaysia. The owner of the bike seems to be very proud of his machine and he has every right to. The Western idea of motorcycling includes big and powerful engines, heavy chassis, and just general enjoyment. Meanwhile, in Malaysia, we see that there are more practical reasons to own and ride a motorcycle. To many riders, a motorcycle is a tool to get to work, to complete tasks, and to manage a household. That’s why modifications like baskets, top boxes, and seat covers are all par for the course.
The Dash is powered by a single-cylinder engine with 9.8 horsepower. Since this motorcycle is for commuting more than sporting, the compression ratio is at 9:3:1 which makes it very low-strung. At 125ccs of displacement, the engine is designed to be robust, and easy to maintain. It’s also air-cooled, four-stroke, and has two valves.
Meshed to that engine is a rotary four-speed transmission. There is no clutch lever either, such is the case with most underbone commuter bikes like these. What’s also interesting is the fact that the front brake of this motorcycle is a disc brake that’s about as big as the rear disc on a standard-size motorcycle, or thereabouts. With so little weight between the legs (typically bikes like these weigh just about 100 kilograms or 220 pounds) massive discs are overkill. The rear is a disc brake, which is actually a luxury for a bike at such a low price point. Bikes like these, at least in the Philippines often cost about $1,000 USD, or about 60,000 PHP or a little more. Current brand-new prices in Malaysia stand at 6,299 MYR, and that's for the two-disc-brake variant of the Dash.
My real question is, given the chance, would you own a motorcycle like this? I’m sure there are a few riders out there in the West who’d like to own something like this, though you will be limited to back roads only, definitely not highways. The top speeds on these things are like, 50 miles per hour.