Motorcycling in the Philippines: Our New Honda Click 125i

“I used to be indecisive, now I’m on not to sure….”

That is one of my favorite quotes, and it goes a long way in explaining how my approach to motorbikes in the Philippines has changed over time. For those of you who have followed our channel for a while, you’ll probably know that when I first arrived here, I bought a brand new Yamaha YBR125 – a sort of tough, semi-dual purpose motorcycle renowned for its durability and old-school charm. Unfortunately, it was also known for a serious lack of power, which – in emergency situations – can be a bit of a problem; especially when one factors in all of the interesting challenges on Philippine roads.

Ybr for sale
The second bike I purchased (which we still have) was a Kawasaki Rouser 200NS, a “big” beast of bike with oodles of power, excellent brakes and tight handling. It’s a beautiful bike if one is considering long-distance commuting or going island touring. Unfortunately, for zipping in and out of town on errands, it’s just not practical – it’s big, heavy (319 pounds) and has a horrible turning radius. Not much fun in the face of urban traffic.

Rouser 200NS with top box

In between the YBR and the Rouser, we bought a RUSI automatic scooter which is basically a clone of the Yamaha Mio. The RUSI was great when we first got it – small and light and capable of carrying an enormous amount of groceries. It didn’t have much power and gave us more and more trouble as time went on (mechanical and electrical issues), but I noticed that I myself was using the little automatic scooter more than I was the Rouser 200 NS. Time passed, I used the RUSI more and more, and I finally realized that it was time to get myself my own automatic scooter.

Rusi 125 Automatic

So, it was decision time. I checked out the Yamaha Mio’s (which were nice), the Yamaha NMAX (too big and heavy for an automatic scooter, IMHO), some KYMCO (Taiwanese “2nd Tier” manufacturer) models (discounted because of carburetors and poor gas mileage) and finally hit the Honda showroom where I whittled it down to either the Honda Beat or the Click. After checking all the specs and talking with owners of both, I decided on the Click. Don’t get me wrong, the Beat is also a great little automatic, but I went with the Click for the slightly bigger size and weight, the extra power (11.6 HP for the Click vs. 8.2 for the Beat), the safety features (see below), LED lights, and the cavernous storage area under the seat.

So far, I am quite happy with the Click. It rides very well, has a pleasant suspension and the power is delivered smoothly along the entire power band. Since it is breaking in, I haven’t given it full throttle yet, but in having to negotiate traffic and power past some lollygaggers, I can honestly report that its got a good amount of get up and go.  The fit and finish is also very nice as can only be expected from Honda, with the pleasant ride passing on the solid constuction and engineering that went into the little 125cc urban cruiser.

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Click Features
eSP – Enhanced Smart Power – Honda’s engine design that provides higher power with greater fuel efficiency. eSP provides computer monitored combustion also allows for lower emissions. Being a liberal hippy, I kinda like that.

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PGM-FI – The liquid cooled engine provides 11.4 horsepower at 8,500 RPM and 11 NM of torque. Fuel efficiency under ESE R40 testing methods is 64.3 KM per liter. Oh yeah, baby!

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Idling Stop System (ISS) – When activated, the engine shuts down when you are sitting in traffic for more than three seconds. Once things get moving, simply twist the throttle and you’re off!

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ACG Starter – the Click starts with the same generator used to charge the battery while driving. There is no conventional starter motor or no reduction gears. Starts smoothly every time.

Combined Brake System – Activates during emergency stopping – when left brake grasped quickly, 70% of power is transferred to front brakes and 30% to the rear. I haven’t tested this yet, and hopefully never will…

Side Stand Switch – Engine will not start with the side stand down. This is important with scooters as they have little ground clearance and roaring off with the stand down can have disastrous consequences further down the road…..

Bigger Tires – The Honda Click has larger tubeless tires when compared to the Beat or Yamaha Mio.

Key Shutter – Magnetic key FOB opens and closes a little hatch over the keyhole.

Luggage capacity – Under the seat, you’ve got 18 liters of storage space. That’s a whole lot of Pilsens….. It can also store a full-size helmet.

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LED Headlights – Honda claims 80% more light intensity and 80% less power consumption when compared to halogen lights.

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LED HEadlights

As for costs, the Click retails for 85,000 ($1,808 USD). The Honda Beat FI runs around 68,000 ($1,466) while the Yamaha Mio FI is around 79,0000 ($1,680). All are great scooters, and if you are looking for a simple, efficient and painless mode of local conveyance, none of them will let you down.

The RUSI Yamaha Mio clone on the other hand…. Well, we’ll leave that one alone for now.

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Supplemental Reading
For a pretty exhaustive review of the Honda Click as compared to a variety of other Thailand-centric scooters/underbones, you might want to check out an article written by Jack Corbett.  You can read that HERE.  

And you can check out the video review I did on the Click below:

 

Comments 33

  1. With your back problems to consider.
    How is the ride comfort and what is the suspension like?
    I will be a first time rider when in the Philippines and will start with an automatic scooter so I don’t have to worry about gears when worrying about everything else.

  2. How is the cruising speed Ned? I recall from before you basically said the YBR struggled at the higher speeds, especially with both of you on the bike.

    Great info again, I am surprised to hear about the Rouser not cutting it overall. Your slow learning curve still trickles down to the lemmings like me!

  3. A few years ago a good friend in central London asked me what kind of motorcycle he should buy, I advised him to buy a twisting and go scooter (similar to the one you have) at the time I had a very large BMW roadster. My friend thought about it and decided he wanted a bigger bike, I said don’t do it ,because the average speed in London is 15 mph… You can see where this is going .. Even though I am a lifelong motorcyclist, you must always buy the right bike for the right environment, cheers Ned & Shell..good choice…

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  4. Hi Ned, nice bike!!

    We live just far enough out of town that the NMAX’s larger size on the highway is an asset not a curse. We didn’t look at Clicks when we were shopping but looks like a really nice machine.

    We did look at your 200NS, the NMAX and a Yamaha R3. The R3 would have been a blast on the highway but a huge pain on market day in town. Also looked at various smaller scooters but didn’t see anything we really liked.

    Compared to a Click, our NMAX has 3.5 more hp (14.9), discs front and rear, real ABS braking and stickier tires which made it worth buying for us. Competition would have been a PCX.

    It still has typical scooter steering and the added width is really only a hassle when parking at the grocery store when it’s busy.

    If I ever drop it while moving the extra width actually gives me a little better protection. Rocel doesn’t ride herself, so we are two-up quite a bit and the bit bigger size is better.

    As for weight, it’s about 17 kg heavier but most of the extra is low down in the chassis. The biggest downside is the 114k price tag!

    Did you get to ride one when you were shopping?

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      No, they don’t allow test rides here. I checked out he NMAX but it was just too big. It’s a sweet ride, though, and you should get years out of it. And yes, the bigger bikes are great for long trips but a pain in the butt for riding errands in and out of town. Thanks for that, George!

  5. Ned, did you ever look at the Honda TMX 155?? I was considering it for cc’s, price, and durability… It appears that a lot of Tricycle drivers strap a sidecar on it…. I think it was similar to your YBR in style… What do you think??

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      Yeah, the TMX is the preferred trike bike – lots of torque and very good on gas. Same for habal-habal motor setups. I don’t see many people using them for daily drivers, but I am always impressed by the suspension on the TMX whenever I am on a habal x2.

  6. You guys and your little sissy bikes are laughable, if your timid and dont have experience riding a bike then get the little one, but if your a man and want to ride a mans bike, and i dont care about traffic or congestion, you should be able to handle anything with more than 1000cc. i would be ashamed to admit that a ride a bike like that. so what are you a man or a mouse.

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    2. Hi Robert, you are joking with your mates right? Or maybe you are not in the Philippines? I ride a V-max in the States with 1200 cc’s and 113.7 actual rear wheel dyno tested HP. Not the king of the hill anymore but still a formidable terror on the boulevards. I also bought a new 2016 Honda Click 125i for my use in the Philippines. My beloved V-max will never transfer with me to Phil. That scooter is 10x the fun when slicing through traffic and 1/10 the headache when stuck bumper to bumper. No more numbing left hand workout on the HD racing clutch in city gridlock, And talk about the heat of a big bike? You can keep that too. Still respecting the break in period but I can do 50mph (not kph) with little strain which is as fast as I care to in the provinces with a dog or a goat every 100 yards on the road. I love my new scooter! Not sure if I would ride one here in Ohio or not…………..That might be complicated.

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        I for one will never again have a full-size motorcycle in the Philippines. The 200NS was a sexxay ride, but it was just too impractical for the type of day-to-day driving that I do here. Thanks, Dave.

  7. Hello Ned,
    Looks like you got yourself a nice scooter, I am pretty sure that you will get more joy from it than from the Rusi.
    I think your verdict on Kymco is maybe a bit harsh, so far I am really pleased with my 110cc Visar, although admittedly I have only bought it a few months ago. It runs and handles very well, and the only thing I am jealous of is your luggage capacity on the Honda. But at a price tag of a mere 39k I can’t find much wrong with it. Yes it is only semi automatic, but it has enough pull to drive off in 2nd gear and in downtown Dumaguete I rarely even get to riding in 3rd. We will see how things pan out with maintenance / repairs, but Kymco being a former parts supplier of Honda I have pretty good expectations.
    Oh and thanks for making me laugh about you bell comment, I think I understand the intricacies of replying to comments when running a website like yours, and I admire how you are often able to choose humour when confronted with clueless comments.

    Kind regards from Sibulan

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      Kymco makes decent stuff. I know someone who recently purchased a Super 8, however, and he is very unhappy with the gas mileage he is getting. Fuel injected automatics simply get better km per liter. I am shocked at how efficient the Honda Click is versus Michell’s RUSI carb automatic. Cheers!

  8. Knowing that carrying a large amount of money is not a good idea, how would one go about paying cash for a new motorcycle in the Philippines? Does everyone just suck it up and carry the cash point A to point B or is there a better way?

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  9. I’m actually trying to choose between clicki125 and mio soul i125. A colleague of mine told me to get a mio for the sake of aftermarket parts. Also I noticed click has a higher ground clearance but mio has higher seats. I kinda like the headlight of click and storage capacity as well. My concern is will the price difference be worthy if ever I decided to go for click?

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  10. With your back issues have you looked into a cruiser style bike for longer rides? I’ve got a Harely ultra classic for weekends and touring then a Honda shadow 600 for commuting and around town. I really like the power and performance of the sports bikes but can’t ride one for any distance and they have way too much power for around town. I’ve been thinking about getting a scooter for local but part of my commute is on a freeway.

  11. hi good day! whats the max wattage (of accessories) can i put on honda click 125i so that the battery will not drain and the alternator can still supply power? please reply asap.

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  12. Hi guys, sorry for my bad english but I am a German.
    Already many comments on the Click 125, I want to add some more infos not yet mentioned perhaps. . Riding scooters ( 6 years a Piaggio, then 15 years different Kymcos ) for a long time, I assembled a lot of experience. I now bought a new Honda Click 125 in Tacloban / Leyte just 2 weeks ago for 90 K. Together with my Filipina gf we already made 2 trips from Tacloban to our hometown Ormoc ( single distance 110 km ) included 1 night trip. The Click has a very bright front light and guarantees a safe riding during night. Unfortunately, the light isn’t following in curves, as the lights are mounted in the lower chassis. So you need to take care in curves. The suspension is great even with 2 people . The size of the tires is sufficient for a safe riding. The fuel consumption over 500 km now is 2,2 liters/100 km. Great for a new motor. After 1.000 km , the consumption will go down a little in my experience. So at least you will come around with about 2 liters per 100 km at least. With 5.1 Liters in total, it makes a distance of about 250 km. GREAT !!! My helmet incl. the shield is NOT fitting in the storage place under the seat ! I just store it in my GIVI topcase at the back. Great buy at LAZARDA for 1.800 PHS incl. 770 phs for the bracket. So at the end, the HONDA CLICK is the state of the art scooter at the moment for me. The MIO is not really a competitor on same level, although much cheaper. For all those, who can afford the money, better choose the Honda.

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      Thanks for that update on your Click. I have a full face helmet and it just barely fits under the seat. It’s a great bike, though, and I will keep it for a good long time (hopefully). Oh, and sorry for extremely late reply.

  13. Hi Rex, what do you want to mount on the Honda ? A stereo ? Or a mobile charger ? Is it shut off when the scooter is parking ? Is it only running when driving ?Anyway, I recommend not to install a device with more than 100 Watt.
    As it is a small battery and also used to start the engine ( idle system ), you normally should avoid any additional consumers in order to maintain a long battery life.

  14. Is the Battery under the floor board an issue? For the sake of luggage under the seat Honda stick the damn battery below the damn floor board. Not for the flood area guys.

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  15. I have a Yamaha FZ-R….150 cc…..plenty of power….good clearance for those pesky speed bumps that scooters have to approach sideways and excellent handling. There is a similar model that has a mono spring in the rear and I am told it is a more comfortable ride although mine is fine. Being almost 6 ft I like the taller frame and power to overtake almost anything if needed. It will run 80 easily with two people and being 225 lbs obviously there is ample power. Just my thoughts…….

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