First look Honda Dax – a mighty dose of mini two-wheeled nostalgia
If you’re old, like really old, you may well remember a bike called the Dax from Honda.
I say old because it was discontinued in this part of the world over 41 years ago. If you’ve ridden one then I’d like to hear from you, but that would be somewhat dishonest as I’m ageist and can’t stand listening to old people telling me how great things were back in the good old days.
Meanwhile, the good news for those of us who understand the internet, is that Honda has re-launched the thing with the same old-school styling and a whole host of modern technology.
While the original was first released in 1969 and produced until 1981, the Japanese market got the benefit of it a second time from the mid 1990s until 2003. There is, therefore, a small chance that you or someone you know may have a parallel import lurking in the back of their shed.
The new Dax still has that T-shaped frame. This is, apparently, what made it so easy on the eye and therefore the kind of bike that one could learn to love in a heartbeat. The new ‘beast’ manages to keep itself as simple as the original while adding a whole layer of up-to-the-minute comfort and technology.
While it still sits on a pair of 12-inch wheels, these ones have disc brakes. Gone are the days of pressing pedals and squeezing levers while you prayed to a long-forgotten god to please get you stopped before you ploughed into the side of an electric milk float, as the drum brakes of the original did whatever they did in their own sweet time. The new bike even has ABS.
The suspension is new as well, with a set of 33-inch upside-down forks keeping the rider comfortable up the front and a pair of twin shocks down the back. There is also an awful lot of black. Black wheels, black swingarm, black engine and black detailing on the all digital clocks, the exhaust, and even the tops of the fork legs.
The power is provided by a clean-running single-overhead-cam 124cc engine. This has been taken from the latest SuperCub, itself inspired by the Honda 50 of old. There is a gearbox of sorts, but it’s managed by a centrifugal clutch, meaning there’s no clutch lever. There is a foot-operated gear lever just like there would be on a ‘real’ motorcycle, which can be used to travel through all four gears.
With a fuel efficiency that offers 63.7km per litre, the new Dax has a range of a little over 240km from the cute 3.8-litre fuel tank. That’s going to help when it comes to paying well over two quid a litre for the stuff, which seems to be where we’re going to be from now on. The bike is Euro 5 compliant from an emissions point of view thanks to its well set up ECU and catalytic converter. All this allows the machine to have that classic Honda mini-bike upswept exhaust.
The bike produces over nine brake horse power and a little over ten Nm of torque. This allows it to pull away from the lights briskly and carry a pillion with relative ease. To this end there is even a stylish chrome pillion grab rail. Official prices have yet to be released, buty we can expect them to be in and around €4,500. Talk to Robbie at Megabikes on 01478 4200 about yours…
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