Honda Forza 125
Feature packed, fast and agile
Modern smaller capacity bikes and scooters aren’t quite as exciting as they used to be. The thrill of a new two-stroke living on a knife-edge and thriving on revs is a distant memory, but that doesn’t mean we can’t still have fun on a provisional licence…
Honda’s new Forza 125 may well be a contender in the fun category. Ok it may look like many other maxi-style scooters, and have all the practical bits and pieces a modern scooter rider may need, but there’s something about the Forza 125 that I found strangely exciting. Maybe it’s the way it accelerates, the impressive top speed or the way it hustles around the bends
Aside from being quick and easy on the eye, the Forza also boasts enough underseat storage for two full-faced helmets. The roomy compartment can be partitioned off as well using a neat plastic divider, that’ll stop your groceries rolling around after a shopping trip (there’s also a cubby hole with 12v socket in the fairing).
The Forza has LED lighting all-round, a multi function digital dash, two-channel ABS, idling stop technology, a six-position screen (that can be adjusted on the move using one hand), a potential 300-mile tank range and a whole load of aftermarket accessories to choose from. The extras catalogue puts Argos to shame and includes such goodies as alloy footplates, colour coded panels, a wheel graphics kit, Akrapovic exhaust, heated grips and a 35-litre top box.
How economical is it?
Honda takes fuel economy very seriously and claims 123mpg for the Forza, when ridden sensibly. At the French launch we weren’t paying for the fuel so sensible was out of the window, but I still managed 104mpg. Not bad for a hard-ridden 125.
Economy is improved thanks to the liquid-cooled eSP engine, (enhanced Smart Power) which is also used in the class leading Honda PCX. It’s been revamped for the Forza using 60% new parts and features idling stop, it can be switched off if you prefer but why would you bother? It kills the engine after a few seconds when you’re stationary, twist the throttle again and it bursts instantly to life and you’re away. Simple enough and it helps to reduce your fuel bill.
How fast is it?
How does 80mph sound? Not too shabby for a modern four-stroke 125.
The engine is a very smooth and tractable lump with 14.75bhp on tap and a healthy dose of torque. It pulled us around the Monaco F1 track easily enough and climbed into the French hills as comfortably two up as it did solo.
Despite the engine being good at sipping juice like a jaw wired lardy sips Sunday dinner through a straw, the tractable engine also helps the Forza to be such good fun. 75mph is easily achievable and heads down on the motorway I saw 81mph on the GPS as a dozen journalists of differing nationalities slipstreamed each other like Moto3 riders on a last lap dash. The Honda also boasts a competent chassis and superb brakes. It meant we could enjoy the stunning twisty mountain roads to full effect.
On the right scooter, on the right roads you can have just as much fun on a decent 125 as you can on the latest superbike, it’s just a different type of riding but no less enjoyable. Give one a try.
The Forza makes a perfect commuter and doubles up as a weekend plaything. Despite its capacity the scooter is just as capable of blasting down the motorway as it is of taking you to work and back in comfort and style.
Aimed squarely at the 125cc maxi competition the Forza aims to beat them on equipment, looks, extras and top speed. I think Honda are well placed on all counts and deserve to be up there with the best of them. It’s my personal favourite 125cc maxi-scooter.
Engine: 124cc liquid-cooled, fuel-injected, 4-stroke, 4-valve SOHC
Power: 14.75bhp @ 8750rpm
Torque: 12.5nm @ 8250rpm
Brakes: Front 256mm disc, rear 240mm disc, two channel ABS
Wheels: Front 120/70-15, rear 140/70-14 IRC tyres
Suspension: Front hydraulic forks, rear twin shocks – 5-position preload
Seat height: 780mm
Dimensions: Length 2135mm, width 750mm, height 1455mm
Tank capacity: 11.5 litres
Warranty: Two years
Colours: Silver or grey metallic
Lab rating: 9.8