Honda Forza 125 (2015): First Ride!

Super smart and economic Forza 125cc

Fabulous Four-stroke Forza 

This 125cc has a 300-mile tank range, smart design, plenty of storage and a premium feel. It’s A1-licence friendly and under £4k. What’s not to like?

The second best-selling bike in the UK in 2014 was Honda’s PCX125 twist-and-go scooter. The four-stroke 125cc is a huge hit with mpg counters and commuters alike so what has the new kid on the block, from the same Honda stable, got to offer. Meet the Forza 125, available in UK dealers from early May and, although the price has to be confirmed, we expect it will be under £4,000.

Bike Social was invited to the world press launch of the latest Honda scooter, taking place in the South of France and according to Honda’s website the promise is to “turn the boring A to B into a heart-pumping thrill ride.”

If that’s not a reason to hop on then I don’t know what is. I’m all for a thrill ride.

Good for well over 100mpg and 275 miles per tank

While the scooter is a brand new design, the Forza’s engine is based on the same ESP motor (Enhanced Smart Power, if you must know) seen in the PCX and SH models although has been “considerably upgraded” to eek more miles per gallon and performance. The 4-stroke, 4-valve, liquid-cooled engine provides 14bhp or 10.5kW at 8,750rpm, which places it towards the upper limit of A1 licence friendliness.

Honda claim a fuel economy of over 123mpg courtesy partly of its Idling Stop function, much like you’ll find on some modern day cars and indeed on Honda’s PCX and SH scooters. After three seconds of being stationary and with a brake applied, the engine will cut out until a turn of the throttle. It’s instant to fire up too, no twist-and-wait.

No struggle up the hill towards Casino Square

At the launch, the test route took in a combined 90km of the French Riveiera’s finest roads, most of the Monaco Formula One Grand Prix circuit and a trip up into the mountains above the Principality. This range of roads and offered a good test for power, agility and including low speed, uphill hairpins to motorway cruising. The reverse LCD display showed a consumption of 2.6 litre/100 km which converts to a healthy looking 109mpg, and you’d be hard pressed to get it lower. This kind of efficiency would equate to a 274 mile range per trip to the petrol station.

The Forza 125 feels sturdy and strong yet lightweight at 162kg, making it easy to park or manoeuvre. With its weight advantage and grunt, getting away from the lights, roundabouts or even trouble is effective, with acceleration posing possible embarrassment to other bikes and scooters.  For a 125cc the roll-on pace from 30-50mph isn’t as sluggish as you might expect either and the Forza will max out at a little over 80 mph.

At the launch I persuaded a member of Honda’s PR team to ride pillion for a lap of the Grand Prix circuit to get a feel for how the bike’s characteristics were affected. The exercise left me impressed at how little difference the extra person made. Even though the climb out of the first corner towards Casino Square (where motorcycles and scooters are not permitted, strangely) is steeper than it appears on TV, the Forza, which translates as “strength” from Italian, showed no signs of struggle. OK, there’s only 14bhp pulling 300kg so full throttle was required for an uphill overtake.

Honda has designed the scooter specifically to be a 125cc and confirmed a 250 or even 300 version is not on the cards. And why would they be? Higher capacity means greater weight, larger dimensions and a requirement for a different licence. Performance differences would only be noticed on the longer runs and not necessarily around town.

Nicely balanced chassis helps with the turn in

The same stylist as the Vultus (Batmobile/Judge Dredd looking machine) worked on the Forza’s design but don’t hold that against it! Funky lines and neat touches like the side vents and 3D effect on the front fairings demonstrate a hearty development process leading to a premium feel. It’s shorter, narrower and taller than its nearest rival, the fantastic Yamaha X-Max 125, and has more ground clearance yet a lower seat height. Scooters of this ilk are hugely popular across Europe, more so in France, Italy and Spain than the UK and it’s perhaps surprising that sales here aren’t as high. They’re not only ideal for zipping around town but also for those with a commute from out of town.

It’s stable enough on its 15” front and 14” rear wheels while 33mm front forks and a 5-stage adjustable preload on the rear twin shocks combined with a large one-piece seat offered real rider comfort. The Forza is a terrific commuter option even for those travelling into town from 30 or so miles away. Storage-wise there’s a 48 litre under-seat storage area which is good for two full-face helmets (yes, I tested it!) and a glove box with 12v power socket.

Two full-face helmets genuinely fit under the seat

The windscreen adjusts through a range of 120mm and is operational while the scooter is in motion just with one hand. It offered a good degree of protection as well. The lowest setting had the breeze striking my neck while the highest setting would offer much more rain resistance.

ABS is standard on UK models, and is on both front 256mm and rear 240mm discs and the stopping power is sharp enough and easily managed with one finger if that’s your style. The reverse LCD display offers two large analogue clocks for speed and rpm. Between them sits a small digital display with a clock, fuel gauge, average fuel economy, A&B trip meters, odometer and coolant temperature.

High build quality and smart design

Accessories from Honda include 5-stage heated grips, 2-tone seat, rear carrier, 35 litre top box, Akrapovic exhaust, smart phone cradle and an alarm kit.

So, was it a thrill ride like Honda promised? A 14bhp 125cc scooter is never going to make the hairs on the back of your neck stand up through performance but for cruising in comfort and darting through rush hour traffic with a high-quality feel, plenty of storage and a three-figure MPG then the Forza can be rated very highly on the thrill-scale.



 125cc, Liquid-cooled 4-stroke 4-Valve SOHC single cylinder

 Bore x Stroke (mm)

 52.4 x 57.9


 PGM-FI electronic fuel injection


 Front: ABS (2-channel) 256mm disc

 Rear: ABS (2-channel) 240mm disc


 Front: Telepscopic, 33mm front forks

 Rear: Twin shock with 5-stage preload adjustment


 Front: 120/70-15

 Rear: 140/70-14


 Length: 2134mm

 Width: 748mm

 Height: 1452mm

 Seat Height




 Ground clearance


 Final Drive





 Tubular steel underbone

 Max power

 10.5kW / 14bhp @ 8,750rpm

 Max torque

 12Nm / 8.8 ft lbs @ 8,250rpm

 Wet weight

 162 kg

 Fuel tank

 11.5 litres

 Fuel consumption

 123 mpg*


 Moondust Silver Metallic/Matt Cynos Grey Metallic

 Matt Pearl White/ Matt Pearl Pacific Blue

 Black/Pearl Havana Brown


 £3995 TBC


 Are you a maxi-scooterer? Ever tried one? Tell us what you think?