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SH125I-ABS-NHA16 (1)

Model Overview

When setting out to design the next-generation of SH125i, Honda’s engineers faced one interesting problem: the existing model. Its formula was so well proven – and so successful – that genuine improvement could possibly present a challenge. This was to be a brand new model, with production continuing in Honda’s Atessa facility in Italy, and three key goals were posted by the development team from the outset:

Improved, best-in-class fuel economy and environmental performance.

A high-quality design, both stylish and functional, with a distinct visual identity giving increased pride of ownership.

An equipment level and specification that moves up a notch, at a very affordable price point.

At the heart of the new SH125i is its brand new engine known as “eSP” (enhanced Smart Power); built from the ground up with low-friction technology, and featuring Idling-Stop, it delivers an incredible25% more fuel efficiency in direct comparison to the previous model (133.9mpg). Re-programmed PGM-FI fuel injection and improved combustion also provide plenty of real-world power and torque, in the rev-range most used in the cut-and-thrust of urban riding.

A completely revised chassis – with trademark 16-inch wheels – delivers enhanced handling and stability while ABS is now an option instead of the stock CBS (Combined Brake System). Fresh off the drawing board, the SH125i bodywork possesses a strong, and highly individual, personality – yet is still slim enough to wriggle through the tightest of traffic – and will now store a full-face helmet under the seat.

Key Features


The SH125i’s flowing lines are a subtle, yet substantial, evolution. The theme followed by Honda’s design engineers was ‘functional beauty = human-friendly, comfortable form’. In other words, it had to look good, but also had to work, while retaining the distinctive SH appearance.

A very natural riding position, with excellent weather protection from the upright front portion of the body, ensures comfort for the rider, and the flat floor gives a wide degree of freedom for foot placement. Many journeys around town involve a pillion, and there is plenty of room for two on the SH125i; retractable aluminium pillion footplates tuck away when not in use, and provide a stable platform – especially under braking – when needed for a passenger. The flat seat provides plenty of support and room to move around, and the carefully contoured shape, plus slim floor, makes reaching the ground easy. Seat height is 799mm.

From front to back the style is simple, yet elegant, giving the SH125i a unique presence very much its own. Its expressive new ‘face’ has been formed through the use of a distinctive, and compact, four-lens headlight unit. With the radiator now an integral part of the engine (rather than being mounted up front) the design team had more freedom within which to work.

The side view features a dynamic line that builds progressively in a ridgeline to the rear, underlined with a bright, 3D engraved logo that perfectly accentuates the SH125i’s quality and intent. The rear central stoplight, with split dual surface-emitting taillight, adds both individual character and enhanced visibility.

As laid out in the engineers’ brief, form had to be integrated with function, and to that end the small details that make life easier were just as important. A front glove box, mounted on the left, provides a useful, easy-to-get-to storage area while an all-important utility hook secures bags safely.

The speedometer is a large, highly visible dial, with a needle that sweeps through its entire arc when the ignition is switched on. Analogue meters are also used for both fuel and temperature gauges, for easy at-a-glance checking.

A pair of helmet holders are placed either side at the front of the main under-seat storage area, which can now accommodate a full face helmet. The large rear carrier – made of super-tough resin – is ready for installation of the optional top box (it will also work with the box from the previous model). The fuel tank holds 7.5L, giving class-leading range when combined with the improved fuel efficiency of the new engine.


To give greater carrying capacity – enough for a full-face helmet – without adding bulk to the body, the SH125i’s high-tensile tubular steel frame uses a central ‘truss’ section, tying the under frame and rear frame together neatly. It replaces the conventional reinforced gusset plate used on the previous design, and contributes to the 1kg reduction in frame weight compared to the previous model.

Optimised for rigidity and durability, the frame’s strength is complemented by new, lightweight aluminium die-cast wheels, featuring 10 ultrathin spokes (rather than five) and tubeless tyres. Always key to the SH125i/150i’s sure-footed handling ability and stability on a variety of road surfaces, wheel diameter remains 16-inch; wheelbase is a compact 1340mm.

The preload adjustment range of the rear shock has increased from three settings to five, giving the rider a greater choice for fine-tuning, especially when carrying a passenger. The telescopic front forks, with 100mm of travel, ensure excellent road holding and are tuned to give a compliant, yet controlled, ride.

A key addition to the new machine is the availability of ABS (Antilock Brake System) as an option for the SH125i’s front and rear 240mm discs, instead of the CBS (Combined Brake System) fitted as standard. This enhances safety and confidence in wet or slippery conditions.


Development of Honda’s next-generation four-stroke, liquid-cooled 2-valve engine revolved around making a highly durable power unit that would be physically smaller and more economical to produce, yet also feature improved performance and – via greatly enhanced fuel efficiency – present a positive environmental message. It also needed to make good power where scooter riders need it most – in the low to mid-range area – and be quieter in operation.

Mass centralisation played a key role. The radiator, rather than being mounted at the front of the machine, has been built into the engine itself for a much simpler, lighter (saving nearly 1kg in weight) and more efficient layout. The electronically controlled ACG starter not only starts the engine but also generates electricity, doing away with a conventional system’s motor and gears. Further consolidation within the engine produced a net reduction of parts by 20%, saving both weight and production costs.

A key fuel-saving technology is Idling Stop. It’s operated via a switch on the right handlebar and, when enabled, automatically stops the engine running after three seconds at idle, and re-starts it instantly when the throttle grip is twisted. It’s seamless in use, thanks to a swing-back system that returns the crank to its position before air intake, and a decompression mechanism that negates cranking resistance due to compression.

The engine’s compact combustion chamber, fed fuel/air mixture precisely by revised PGM-FI fuel injection, matches burning velocity and cooling performance, perfectly tailoring torque characteristics to suit urban riding conditions. The air intake port is extremely smooth, further assisting gas flow, and optimised ignition timing combines with the water jacket and radiator’s efficient cooling of the combustion chamber to improve ‘knocking’ resistance.

To make the most of the engine’s mass centralisation, reduction in individual parts and Idling Stop, a whole host of low-friction technologies have been employed internally;

An offset cylinder reduces friction caused by contact between the piston and cylinder. Piston weight has been reduced through the use of CAE (Computer Aided Engineering).

The cylinder sleeve uses minute splines on its outer surface to reduce oil consumption and improve cooling.

A shell-type needle bearing is used for the rocker arm shaft, reducing friction, while smaller, lighter rollers work in conjunction with an optimized cam profile and valve spring load.

The high-cooling radiator core is more efficient, allowing the use of a smaller, lighter cooling fan on the back of the radiator, reducing frictional losses.

Internal modifications to the transmission case have lowered oil agitation losses, and oil capacity has been reduced by 36% compared to some current 125cc models.

Rolling resistance within the transmission unit has been reduced by the use of three main bearings, all exclusively designed to deal with the loads they receive individually.

Colour Options

Pearl Nightstar Black

Pearl Cool White

Moondust Silver Metallic

Pearl Sienna Red

Technical Specifications


Engine Type Liquid-cooled 4-stroke SOHC single
Engine Displacement 125cc
Max. Power Output 8.7kW/8,500min-1 (95/1/EC)
Ignition Digital transistorised with electronic advance
Max. Torque 11Nm/6,500min-1 (95/1/EC)
Bore & Stroke 52.4 x 57.9mm
Compression Ratio 11 : 1
Starter Electric
Carburation PGM-FI electronic fuel injection


Gearbox V-Matic
Final Drive Belt drive
Suspension Rear Dual-damper unit swingarm, 83mm axle travel
Wheels Rear U-section 10-spoke cast aluminium
Wheels Front U-section 10-spoke cast aluminium
Brakes Rear 240mm x 5mm disk, single piston caliper
Tyres Front 100/80-16 50P
Suspension Front 33mm telescopic fork, 89mm axle travel
Brakes Front 240mm x 4mm disk, three piston calliper (CBS) / two piston calliper (ABS)
Tyres Rear 120/80-16 60P
Length x Width x Height 2,030 x 740 x 1,150mm
Ground Clearance 145mm
Wheelbase 1,340mm
Fuel Capacity 7.5 litres
Kerb Weight 134kg (F: 51kg; R: 83kg), *135kg (F: 52kg; R: 83kg)
Seat Height 799mm

All specifications are provisional and subject to change without notice.

# Please note that the figures provided are results obtained by Honda under standardised testing conditions prescribed by WMTC. Tests are conducted on a rolling road using a standard version of the vehicle with only one rider and no additional optional equipment. Actual fuel consumption may vary depending on how you ride, how you maintain your vehicle, weather, road conditions, tire pressure, installation of accessories, cargo, rider and passenger weight, and other factors



Colour:Pearl Cool White, Pearl Nightstar Black, Moondust Silver Metallic, Pearl Sienna Red

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