Honda rolls out its most advanced Cub ever
After 58 years of unparalleled success in global markets, Honda takes the Cub to the next level. Built by the company's Indonesian branch, the new Supra GTR 150 hides a proper motorcycle under its plastic covers, and was recently unveiled along with an intriguing Adventure concept.
What makes a Cub? Apart from the typical looks, most people would identify the underbone steel frame, the horizontal cylinder and the semi-automatic gear box as trademark features. Surprisingly enough, the brand-new Supra GTR 150 has none of the above – yet the name Supra is a straightforward identifier of a long series of Honda Cub variants that date back to 1995 and are still in production.
The new model was developed and produced by Indonesia's PT Astra Honda, based on the CBR 150R sportbike that was introduced last year for the Asian markets. Under the plastic body kit we find a diamond-type steel frame, with a pair of telescopic front forks and a single rear shock absorber.
The engine itself is the same 149.16 cc liquid-cooled unit used in the CBR with dual overhead camshafts, four-valve cylinder head, PGM-FI fuel injection and a six-speed gear box commanded via a wet multidisc clutch. With an output of 16 hp at 9,000 rpm, this is probably the most powerful Cub ever made by Honda – although the class title rightfully belongs to Yamaha's 17.5-hp two-stroke Y125Z that was introduced in Malaysia in 1998.
With a dry weight of 119 kg (262.3 lb), the Supra GTR 150 claims an average fuel consumption of 2.1 l / 100 km (112 mpg), so with the standard 4.5 l (1.2 gallon) tank it can serve a very decent range.
Featuring an aggressive sporty design, it is equipped with an all-digital instrument panel, LED headlight, and is escorted by a long list of after-market parts. According to Honda, the Supra GTR 150 has been designed as the ideal all-rounder, able to tackle anything from commuting services to traveling on and off the road – which actually makes a lot of sense in countries where 150 cc models define the typical sportbike territory. Compared to the competition in its class, it looks more like the superbike of cubs.
A very interesting exhibit at the Supra's launch event was a concept GTR 150 converted to an Adventure bike. Working with a local custom shop, PT Astra Honda employed custom-made suspensions for adequate ground clearance, tubeless off-road tires on the standard 17-inch wheels, protective bars and several off-the-shelf parts like hand protectors, extra lights, Shad soft side cases, exhaust, and adjustable foot pegs – as explained in more detail in the following video from Picmaya Pro, Honda's multimedia partner in Jakarta, Indonesia.
It will be very interesting to see whether this custom will evolve to a future production model. The Adventure motorcycle segment signifies a very popular global trend and Honda has already shown its clear intention to investigate the expansion to the scooter class. After revealing plans to produce the electric EV-Cub, we shouldn't be surprised if Honda's most successful model family explores new adventurous frontiers.
The Supra GTR 150 enters a model family that includes the CBR150R sport bike, the naked CB150R and a sporty alternative to the Cub, the Sonic 150R. It will be sold exclusively in Asian markets at a price around US$1,600 depending on color.
The official video below serves us a taste of the new Cub's versatile character.