Honda's small bikes are big business these days

For the past couple of years, the company’s best-selling street model has been an odd little thing called the Grom, which looks like a racing bike that ran through a shrinking machine. Half scooter, half motorcycle, the sporty mini costs just $3,589 and holds as much appeal as a novelty as it does an affordable way to get around.

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But now Honda is bringing in the biggest of its small guns: The Super Cub, which is the world’s best-selling motor vehicle of all time. Honda has built over 100 million Super Cubs and its predecessors since 1958, even though it hasn’t been offered in the U.S. since 1983. The 2019 model’s throwback styling makes it look a lot like the original but is equipped with the latest technology.

The single-seater has a 125 cc engine with electronic fuel injection, LED lights, an anti-lock front disc brake, digital gauges, a remote keyfob and a built-in alarm. There’s also an automatic clutch for its 4-speed transmission, so it’s easier than many motorcycles to operate.

With about nine horsepower, I can personally attest that it can hit 65 mph with a 200-pound rider onboard, but is happier under 50 mph and best suited for the city and country roads. Even rough ones. Potholes are no problem for its relatively tall wheels, and you can cruise along getting 100 mpg or so out of its one-gallon tank, feeling like you’re on a permanent vacation the entire time.

Priced at $3,789 delivered, the Super Cub is competitive with the more modern Yamaha Zuma and undercuts Vespa’s stylish retro scooters. It isn’t freeway legal in some places, like California, since it’s only a 125 cc bike, however, so its utility is somewhat limited.

But that’s also true for the Grom and it hasn’t slowed it down at all. The same appears to be true for the Super Cub, because an American Honda spokesperson said the entire 2019 allocation has already been spoken for and that it’s put in a request for more to meet demand. The specific number has not been revealed, as is the practice in the motorcycle industry, but Honda is definitely bullish about its Super Cub.