Model updates: The SH125i is one of Europe’s most popular scooters for a reason: its rich specification includes a four-valve eSP+ engine with Honda Selectable Torque Control (HSTC) and Idling Stop, sleek signature SH style with flat floor design, LCD dash, full LED lighting, 28L storage space, USB Type-C socket and Smart Key operation. Two new paint options for 22YM add further appeal.
Part of the million-selling SH family whose founding member, the SH50, went on sale in 1984, the four-stroke Honda SH125 first hit the market in Europe in 2001. Ever since, it has quietly and consistently gone about its mission to provide stylish, fun and fuss-free transport – becoming one of the continent’s favourites along the way.
That first machine laid down the blueprint for success: a frugal-natured but lively engine tied to nimble, sure-footed handling underpinned by the stability that large diameter 16-inch wheels deliver – all wrapped in elegant, premium styling.
Fuel injected with PGM-FI in 05YM, over the last 14 years the SH125i has come to represent the ultimate in urban transport with the perfect balance of style, reliability, economy and downright usability.
And of course its story is one of constant, careful evolution reflecting the developing needs and expectations of owners, and Honda’s desire to keep on giving them an even better version of their SH. In 2013 it gained Honda’s eSP (enhanced Smart Power) low friction engine and Idling Stop, boosting both power delivery and fuel economy. And in 2017 the look was refreshed with more chiselled design lines, and LED front/rear lights and Honda Smart Key added.
In 20YM the SH125i – manufactured at Honda’s Atessa factory in Italy – was, effectively, a brand-new scooter. Standing squarely on the shoulders of its forbears it instantly became faster, even more stylish, comfortable, convenient to use and as cost effective as ever to own and run. Of course, it could never be anything else. It is an SH, after all.
For 22YM, two stylish new colour options make the SH125i even more desirable.
- Model Overview
Making the SH125i better was no easy goal for the 20YM update – it is one of Europe’s favourite scooters for a reason. But more power, torque and improved fuel-efficiency from a EURO5-compliant four-valve eSP+ engine was a good place to start. The addition of HSTC was also a bonus for any owner’s peace of mind.
A redesigned frame allowed extra and ever-useful storage space (plus inclusion of a USB charger) and optimisation of the rear suspension geometry enhanced comfort. And premium new bodywork and stylish front signature redefined and reinforced the SH125i’s presence, with full LED lighting and crisp LCD dash.
Five configurations are on offer:
Standard SH125i without accessories
SH125i with Smart top box
SH125i with Smart top box, knuckle guards and windscreen
SH125i with standard top box
SH125i with standard top box, knuckle guards and windscreen.
Two brand-new colours add contemporary appeal for 22YM and the SH125i will be available in the five following options:
Mat Pearl Cool White **NEW**
Mat Rock Gray **NEW**
Pearl Nightstar Black
Timeless Gray Metallic
Pearl Splendor Red
- Key Features
3.1 Styling & Equipment
- Stylish, SH signature flat-floored design
- 28L total under seat storage capacity, with USB socket
- All lighting LED with LCD instrument dash
Smooth and solid were the two words that led the design direction for the sleek, unified body style with the tension between the two reinforcing a premium presence. And the SH125i’s ‘face’ sets it apart – the fairing-mounted headlight (almost an LED ‘H’) features a central main beam splitting dual dip beams, while position lights reside above on the handlebar nacelle.
The elegant looks are matched to effortless practicality. The overall compactness, flat floor and upright riding position (essential for ease-of-use and visibility in busy town traffic) are conspicuous hallmarks of the SH look. Less obvious is the 28L of under seat storage, capable of holding a full-face helmet. A USB charging point is also included.
The flat seat provides plenty of support and room to move around and its carefully contoured shape, plus slim floor width, makes reaching the ground easy. As many journeys around town involve a pillion there’s plenty of room for two; retractable aluminium pillion footplates tuck away when not in use and provide a stable platform – especially under braking – when needed for the passenger.
The rear light is LED with a chrome surround, matching the front, and the LCD dash presents all warning lights – including Smart Key, HSTC/ABS and Idling Stop operation – neatly around a central digital speedo/odometer display. All operations on the dash are carried out via A/B buttons on the left handlebar.
The SH125i’s Smart Key resides in the rider’s pocket and does away with the need to constantly insert and withdraw a key for ignition, fuel cap and seat. It has two switches: the smart function on/off and ‘answer back’, which flickers the indicators for identification from a distance.
With the Smart Key present one push of the machine-mounted main switch powers it up and makes it possible to turn, giving the rider control of the ignition and steering lock, and, via two rocker switches, the fuel cap and seat. It also illuminates when pushed – or from the answer back function of the Smart Key – with a blue light.
- Four-valve eSP+ engine produces 9.6kW peak power and 12Nm torque
- Also employs Honda Selectable Torque Control (HSTC)
- EURO5 compliant, with Idling Stop and low-friction technologies
The SH125i’s 125cc liquid-cooled four-valve enhanced Smart Power+ (eSP+) engine produces peak power of 9.6kW @ 8,250rpm with 12Nm torque delivered at 6,500rpm.
Fuel economy (without Idling Stop activated) is 45.7km/l (WMTC mode). And just as important to owners and for a machine that will spend most of its time in an urban environment, the SH125’s engine is EURO5 compliant; the allowable limits for exhaust tailpipe pollutants such as carbon monoxide, hydrocarbons and nitrous oxide specified by EURO5 are drastically lower than those of EURO4.
Technology to boost rider confidence in wet conditions is Honda Selectable Torque Control (HSTC) that works in the background to deftly manage rear wheel traction. An indicator flashes on the dash when HSTC is actively reducing wheelspin and the system can also be turned off completely.
Bore is set at 53.5mm with stroke of 55.5mm; compression ratio is 11.5:1. The compact engine is a masterpiece of mass centralisation. The radiator, rather than being mounted at the front of the machine is built into the engine itself for a simple, light layout. Its highly efficient core allows for the use of an ultra-compact, light cooling fan.
Low-friction technologies are employed internally; the cylinder sleeve uses minute splines on its outer surface to keep oil consumption low and improve cooling and the cylinder is offset to keep frictional losses to a minimum. Rolling resistance within the transmission is kept in check by the use of three main bearings, all designed to deal with the loads they each individually receive.
A key fuel-saving technology incorporated into the SH125i 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 is 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 ACG starter also generates electricity, doing away with a conventional system’s motor and gears.
- High-tensile tubular steel underbone frame
- Optimised rear suspension geometry ride comfort
- 16-inch front and rear wheels deliver sure-footed confidence
The high-tensile tubular steel underbone frame sites the 7L fuel tank under the floor beneath the rider’s feet, which frees up 10L additional space. Wheelbase is set at 1,350mm with rake and trail of 26°/85.2mm and turning radius of 2.05m. Seat height is 799mm with wet weight of 133.9kg.
For ride comfort the engine hanger link angle and rear suspension angle are optimised to reduce rotational load toward the engine link, making for supple bump absorption and control.
Lightweight 16-inch aluminium die-cast wheels have always been key to the SH125i’s sure-footed handling ability and stability on a variety of road surfaces and mount Michelin City Grip tubeless tyres sized 100/80-16 front and 120/80-16 rear.
The rear shocks feature 5-step preload adjustment with 83mm axle travel. The 33mm telescopic front forks, with 89mm of travel, ensure excellent road holding and are tuned to give a compliant, yet controlled ride. ABS is fitted as standard; both front and rear discs have a 240mm diameter; the front caliper is a two piston design, the rear a single piston.
Alongside the standard top box are the redesigned screen and knuckle guards for enhanced weather protection. The Smart top box – which operates together with the Smart Key – and opener kit can also be retro-fitted.
- Technical Specifications
|Liquid-cooled, 4-stroke SOHC
|Engine Displacement (cm³)
|No. of Valves per Cylinder
|Bore ´ Stroke (mm)
|53.5 x 55.5
|Max. Power Output
|PGM-FI electronic fuel injection
|Fuel Tank Capacity
|Tubular Steel Underbone
|2,090mm x 730mm x 1,130mm
|Dual-damper unit swing arm
|Rim Size Front
|16M/C x MT2.50
|Rim Size Rear
|16M/C x MT2.75
|ABS System Type
|INSTRUMENTS & ELECTRICS
|Honda Smart Key, USB charger
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.
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