Honda Super Cub’s Top Speed: How Fast Can It Go?

honda super cub's top speed

For over six decades, the Honda Super Cub has been a beloved icon in the world of motorcycles. Its simple yet ingenious design has captivated millions worldwide, making it the highest-selling motor vehicle in history. While the Super Cub is renowned for its practicality and efficiency, many riders often wonder: “How fast can this little workhorse really go?”

Let’s explore the top speed capabilities of the iconic Honda Super Cub. We’ll examine its performance benchmarks, factors affecting speed, and potential modifications to boost velocity. Gear up for an insightful journey into this legendary bike’s speed potential.

Honda Super Cub: A Brief History

Before we delve into the nitty-gritty of the Super Cub’s top speed, let’s take a moment to appreciate its remarkable history. Introduced in 1958, the Super Cub was Honda’s answer to the growing demand for affordable and reliable transportation in post-war Japan.

Designed by the visionary founders Soichiro Honda and Takeo Fujisawa, the Super Cub quickly gained popularity for its simplicity, fuel efficiency, and ease of operation. With a step-through design and an automatic centrifugal clutch, the Super Cub appealed to a wide range of riders, from commuters to delivery services.

Over the years, the Super Cub’s design has remained largely unchanged, a testament to its timeless appeal and Honda’s commitment to preserving its iconic status. Today, with over 100 million units sold worldwide, the Super Cub stands as a true testament to Honda’s engineering prowess and the enduring allure of its classic design.

Top Speed and Performance

Now, let’s address the burning question: “What is the Honda Super Cub’s top speed?”

Claimed Top Speed Figures

According to Honda, the current models of the Super Cub C125 have a claimed top speed of around 65 mph (105 km/h) on flat terrain. However, real-world experiences may vary depending on factors such as rider weight, wind conditions, and terrain.

Real-World Top Speed Experiences

Many Super Cub owners have shared their experiences with the bike’s top speed on various online forums and reviews. Here are a few quotes that provide insight into the real-world performance of the Super Cub:

“I’ve been able to reach around 60 mph on my Super Cub C125 on flat roads, but it took some time to get there. Anything above that feels like you’re pushing the limits.” – John D., Super Cub Owner

“My Super Cub consistently hits around 55-58 mph on the highway without any issues. It’s not a speed demon, but it’s more than enough for my daily commute.” – Sarah M., Super Cub Enthusiast

Acceleration and Performance Benchmarks

While top speed is an essential consideration, acceleration and overall performance are also crucial factors for many riders. The Super Cub’s air-cooled 124cc single-cylinder engine produces around 9.7 horsepower and 7.7 lb-ft of torque, which may seem modest by modern standards.

However, the Super Cub’s lightweight design and efficient power delivery make it surprisingly peppy and responsive, especially in urban environments. According to Honda, the Super Cub can accelerate from 0 to 50 mph (80 km/h) in around 12 seconds, which is respectable for a bike in its class.

Key Specifications Table

To better understand the Honda Super Cub’s performance capabilities, let’s take a look at some of its key specifications:

Engine124cc air-cooled single-cylinder
Bore x Stroke50.0mm x 63.1mm
Compression Ratio10.0:1
Horsepower9.7 hp
Torque7.7 lb-ft
Transmission4-speed semi-automatic
Fuel SystemPGM-FI with automatic enrichment
Front Suspension26mm telescopic inverted fork, 3.5 in. travel
Rear SuspensionTwin shocks, 3.3 in. travel
Front Brake220mm disc with ABS
Rear Brake110mm drum
Front Tire70/90-17
Rear Tire80/90-17
Curb Weight238 lbs.
Fuel Capacity1 gallon

Understanding these specifications can help riders better appreciate the Super Cub’s capabilities and limitations, as well as identify potential areas for performance enhancements.

Factors Influencing Top Speed

While the Honda Super Cub’s claimed top speed may seem modest, various factors can significantly impact its actual top speed performance. Let’s explore some of these key influences:

Engine Specifications and Power Output

The Super Cub’s 124cc air-cooled single-cylinder engine, while reliable and efficient, has a limited power output compared to larger displacement engines. This naturally caps the bike’s top speed potential.

Gearing and Transmission

The Super Cub’s 4-speed semi-automatic transmission and gearing ratios are optimized for urban riding and fuel efficiency rather than outright top speed performance. This can limit the bike’s ability to maintain higher speeds for extended periods.

Aerodynamics and Weight

With its upright riding position and boxy design, the Super Cub’s aerodynamics are not particularly wind-cheating. Additionally, its curb weight of 238 lbs. (108 kg) can impact acceleration and top speed, especially on inclines or against strong headwinds.

Terrain and Riding Conditions

The Super Cub’s top speed can also be influenced by external factors such as terrain, wind conditions, and rider weight. Steep inclines, strong headwinds, or carrying additional weight can all negatively impact the bike’s top speed capabilities.

Modifications to Enhance Top Speed

For some riders, the Honda Super Cub’s stock top speed may not be enough, prompting them to explore modifications and upgrades to enhance its performance. Here are some popular options:

Engine Tuning and Upgrades

Installing a performance exhaust system, air filter, and adjusting the fuel mapping can help extract a few extra horsepower from the Super Cub’s engine. More extensive engine modifications, such as increasing the displacement or adding forced induction, can provide even greater performance gains but may compromise the bike’s reliability and simplicity.

Gearing and Final Drive Changes

Swapping the stock gearing or installing a higher-ratio final drive can improve the Super Cub’s top speed potential at the expense of acceleration and low-speed drivability.

Weight Reduction Techniques

Reducing the Super Cub’s overall weight by removing unnecessary components or upgrading to lighter materials can improve its power-to-weight ratio and potentially increase its top speed.

Aerodynamic Improvements

While not a common modification, adding aerodynamic fairings or streamlining the Super Cub’s bodywork can reduce wind resistance and potentially increase its top speed capabilities.

It’s important to note that any modifications should be carefully researched and implemented by experienced professionals to ensure safety and maintain the bike’s reliability.

Pros and Cons of the Honda Super Cub

Like any vehicle, the Honda Super Cub has its strengths and weaknesses. Let’s explore some of the key pros and cons:


  • Reliability and Durability: The Super Cub is renowned for its robust construction and dependable performance, making it a trusted choice for daily transportation.
  • Efficiency: With its frugal fuel consumption and low maintenance costs, the Super Cub is an economical choice for commuters and urban riders.
  • Classic Design: The Super Cub’s timeless styling and iconic status make it a beloved choice for riders who appreciate vintage aesthetics.
  • Easy to Operate: With its step-through design and automatic transmission, the Super Cub is incredibly user-friendly, making it accessible to riders of all skill levels.


  • Limited Top Speed: While adequate for urban riding, the Super Cub’s top speed may not be suitable for sustained highway travel or long-distance touring.
  • Lack of Creature Comforts: The Super Cub’s minimalist design sacrifices features like windscreens, luggage capacity, and passenger accommodations for simplicity.
  • Restricted Power Output: With its modest 124cc engine, the Super Cub’s power output is limited, which can make overtaking or climbing steep inclines a challenge.
  • Limited Carrying Capacity: The Super Cub’s compact design and small fuel tank restrict its carrying capacity, making it less suitable for longer trips or carrying substantial luggage.

Competitor Analysis: Top Speed Comparison

While the Honda Super Cub has carved out a niche for itself as a practical and efficient urban commuter, it’s worth exploring how its top speed compares to other bikes in its class. Let’s take a look at a few competitors:

KYMCO K-Pipe 125

The KYMCO K-Pipe 125 is a direct competitor to the Super Cub, offering a similar compact design and semi-automatic transmission. With a claimed top speed of around 62 mph (100 km/h), the K-Pipe slightly edges out the Super Cub in outright top speed performance.

However, owners’ experiences suggest that the real-world top speed may be closer to the high 50s or low 60s, depending on riding conditions. One K-Pipe owner shared:

“My K-Pipe can comfortably cruise at 55-58 mph on the highway, but I’ve managed to hit 62 mph on a slight downhill stretch. It’s a fun little bike, but it’s not a speed demon.”

RTX Scooter Moped 125

The RTX Scooter Moped 125 takes a slightly different approach, combining the classic moped styling with a 125cc engine and a 4-speed manual transmission. With a claimed top speed of around 55 mph (88 km/h), it falls slightly behind the Super Cub in outright top speed performance.

However, some owners have reported slightly higher top speeds, with one commenting:

“I’ve managed to hit 60 mph on my RTX Scooter Moped 125, but it took some effort and a slight downhill gradient. For city riding and short commutes, it’s more than adequate.”

While these competitors may offer slightly higher top speed capabilities, the Honda Super Cub’s enduring popularity and iconic status suggest that outright top speed may not be the primary consideration for many buyers.

Top Alternatives to the Honda Super Cub

If the Honda Super Cub’s top speed limitations are a dealbreaker, or if you’re simply seeking a different riding experience, there are several alternatives worth considering:

Higher-Performance Options

For riders seeking more power and higher top speeds, bikes like the Honda Grom, Honda Monkey, or even the larger-displacement Honda Rebel series could be viable alternatives. These bikes offer more robust engines, sportier handling, and higher top speed capabilities, albeit at the expense of the Super Cub’s simplicity and fuel efficiency.

Electric and Eco-Friendly Alternatives

As the world shifts towards more sustainable transportation options, electric bikes and scooters have emerged as viable alternatives to traditional gasoline-powered machines. Brands like Cake, Energica, and Zero Motorcycles offer electric models that can match or exceed the Super Cub’s top speed while producing zero emissions and offering instant torque delivery.

However, it’s important to consider factors such as range, charging infrastructure, and overall cost when evaluating electric alternatives.

Pricing, Availability, and Target Audience

The Honda Super Cub has always been an accessible and affordable option for riders seeking practical transportation. In the United States, the 2024 Super Cub C125 ABS has a starting MSRP of $3,899, making it a relatively budget-friendly choice compared to many larger motorcycles.

Availability may vary by region, but the Super Cub is generally offered in most markets where Honda operates, catering to both urban and rural areas with its versatile design.

Who Should Consider the Honda Super Cub?

The Super Cub is an ideal choice for:

  • Urban Commuters: With its nimble handling, fuel efficiency, and easy operation, the Super Cub excels in city environments, making it a perfect choice for daily commuting.
  • Beginner Riders: The Super Cub’s user-friendly design and forgiving power delivery make it an excellent starting point for new riders looking to gain experience before moving on to larger bikes.
  • Eco-Conscious Riders: The Super Cub’s frugal fuel consumption and low emissions make it an attractive option for environmentally conscious riders seeking a sustainable mode of transportation.

Who Might Want to Look Elsewhere?

While the Honda Super Cub has its strengths, it may not be the best choice for:

  • Performance Enthusiasts: Riders seeking exhilarating acceleration and high top speeds may find the Super Cub’s modest power output limiting.
  • Highway Riders: While capable of highway speeds, the Super Cub’s lack of wind protection and limited carrying capacity can make extended highway travel less comfortable.
  • Long-Distance Tourers: The Super Cub’s compact design and small fuel tank restrict its range, making it less suitable for extended touring or long-distance travel.

Common Issues and Fixes

Like any vehicle, the Honda Super Cub is not immune to potential issues and problems. Here are some common concerns and their potential solutions:

Maintenance and Reliability Concerns

While the Super Cub is renowned for its reliability, proper maintenance is still essential to ensure optimal performance and longevity. Regular oil changes, air filter replacements, and tire inspections are crucial to keep the bike running smoothly.

Additionally, some owners have reported issues with the carburetor or fuel system, which can be addressed by professionals or through the installation of fuel-injection kits.

Potential Problems and Solutions

  • Starter Motor Issues: Over time, the starter motor can wear out or fail, requiring replacement. Upgrading to a high-torque starter motor can help mitigate this issue.
  • Brake Wear: The Super Cub’s brakes, particularly the rear drum brake, may require more frequent adjustment or replacement due to their simplistic design.
  • Suspension Limitations: The Super Cub’s basic suspension setup may struggle to cope with rougher terrain or heavier loads, leading to a harsher ride. Upgrading to aftermarket shocks or fork components can improve comfort and handling.
  • Electrical Gremlins: As with any older design, the Super Cub’s electrical system can be susceptible to issues like loose connections, faulty components, or corrosion. Regular inspections and proper maintenance can help prevent these problems.

While some of these issues can be addressed by skilled mechanics or through aftermarket upgrades, it’s important to weigh the costs and potential impact on the Super Cub’s simplicity and reliability.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Even with all the information provided, some questions may still linger. Here are a few frequently asked questions about the Honda Super Cub’s top speed:

Can the Super Cub’s top speed be increased through modifications?

Yes, there are various modifications that can potentially increase the Super Cub’s top speed, such as engine tuning, gearing changes, and weight reduction. However, these modifications may impact the bike’s reliability, emissions, and overall character.

Is the Super Cub suitable for highway riding?

While the Super Cub can reach and maintain highway speeds (around 55-65 mph), its lack of wind protection, limited power, and small fuel tank make extended highway travel less comfortable and practical.

How does the Super Cub’s top speed compare to other small-displacement bikes?

The Super Cub’s top speed is generally on par with or slightly lower than other small-displacement bikes in its class, such as the KYMCO K-Pipe 125 or the RTX Scooter Moped 125.

Can the Super Cub carry a passenger?

While the Super Cub is designed as a single-rider vehicle, some owners have installed aftermarket pillion seats or luggage racks to accommodate a passenger or additional cargo. However, this can impact the bike’s handling, stability, and overall performance.

Is the Super Cub’s top speed affected by rider weight?

Yes, rider weight can have an impact on the Super Cub’s top speed and acceleration. Heavier riders may experience slightly lower top speeds and longer acceleration times due to the increased load on the bike’s modest power output.

Final Thoughts

The Honda Super Cub’s top speed may not be its defining characteristic, but its enduring popularity and iconic status clearly transcend outright performance numbers. This humble little bike has captivated generations of riders with its simplicity, reliability, and effortless charm.

While the Super Cub’s top speed may not satisfy the cravings of speed demons, it more than fulfills its purpose as a practical, efficient, and enjoyable mode of urban transportation. For commuters, beginner riders, and those seeking a nostalgic and eco-friendly riding experience, the Honda Super Cub remains a compelling choice.

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