Honda Wave – Our Moscouter for Asia

As you might know we rearranged our plans and bought two bikes in Malaysia.

We have ridden now almost 3.000 kms on them, time for a review.

The Honda Wave falls into a special category of bikes. They look like a mixture of a motorbike and a scooter. The back is more motorcyclish whereas the front resembles a scooter. Sherrie therefore named them moscouts. Unfortunately they have neither the cuteness of a scooter nor the coolness of a real motorbike. But that said they are all over Asia, apparently the moscouts look is tailored for the Asian eye and not for those Farangs (stupid Westerners with big noses who have no idea what a bike is supposed to look like).

There are lots of bikes here that fall into that category and they are mainly from Japan (Honda, Yamaha, Suzuki) with some from China; although the Japanese have a way better reputation among the locals then the Chinese (but are also twice the price). We settled for the Honda version of a moscouter because

a) its one of the most popular bikes here (that makes for a good spare-parts and repair situation)


b) every Honda Africa Twin rider tells me how awesome his bike is. Maybe they transfered some of those awesome and reliability genes into the Wave since the Africa Twin has been out of production for almost a decade 😛

We bought the Malaysian Honda Wave 125 Ultimo with sport rims (tubeless) and an e-starter. The first due to my hurtful experiences with exploding tubes in Iceland and Uruguay. The second because I am afraid of Sherrie & her violent approach to not working kickstarters see also the Black Devil incident.

The Wave goes a little over 100 km/h at top speed (crouching, praying for back wind and a slight downhill run that is).

Comfortably you can ride between 80 and 90 km/h. Small curvy mountain roads can be a lot of fun (especially downhill) but of course you can’t expect the same stability as from a bigger bike (which  also costs multiple times more). Our favorite roads for the Wave are the little back tracks that lead through small villages, tuck along palm trees beaches and through rubber tree plantations. And I guess thats the places you want to be anyway in Asia. For high speed highway runs you are better of in Germany with its unlimited Autobahns or one of the race tracks.

The sitting position is surprisingly comfortable, the seat is not bad either. But you need to stop (at the latest) after about a 100kms anyway because you will run out of gas. And this is the one annoying thing about the Wave. A tiny gas tank (3,7l) and it is under the seat. That means unstrapping all your luggage at least once every 100kms. Pretty annoying. There must be a better solution. I’ll let you know when I’ve invented something. Thinking has started…

Speaking of modifications: What we did add is a self made chain oiler (see picture below). An oil can, some wire and a tube: total costs 3 EUR per Bike. And no more chain spraying (problem being, I have not found any chain spray here. They just use oil cans themselves).


The Malaysian Wave only comes with a good old carburetor instead of the fuel injection that her Thailandish sister posses. We heard that the fuel injection version uses only 2 liters/100 km, ours have an average fuel consumption of 2,8 liters/ 100km. But maybe the carburetor can be repaired easier (knock on wood).

The Wave, being a mix between a motorcycle and a scooter comes with gears but no clutch. No clutch is a must for the Asian riders since they need their left hand for more important stuff then operating a clutch such as holding an infant or a chicken (sometimes both), typing a short message on their phone or chatting away on it, or just lighting up a cigarette. All while riding along on dirt roads mind you.

It took us a little while to get used to having no clutch especially if you gear down and want to support the gear shift with a little punch of gas. But basically the clutch is operated by the gear shift: a little push pulls the clutch, a little more shifts the gear. After a little while you get the hang of it. It took us longer to get used to the reversed gears though. Neutral is on top, and then you shift down to shift up. Confused? Yes we were too. Sometimes we still go the wrong way which either leaves the engine almost dying or speeding into the red area.

P.S. They can handle floods as well.  But that story to come!


If you like this, try one of these:

Why BMW rocks and Honda Sucks

Roundabouts From Hell


About Sherrie

Sherrie was born and raised in Newfoundland, has her home base in Germany, and at any given time can be found just about anywhere in the world. Addicted to books, travel, chocolate and motorcycles, a perfect day for her is riding her bike followed by drinking good coffee and reading a good book or writing one.

6 Responses to Honda Wave – Our Moscouter for Asia

  1. Pingback: Around the World on 125cc - The HUBB

  2. ander lacey says:

    where can I buy or import a brand new Honda 125icc wave to uk tel 00447752495271

  3. tom clarl says:

    The shifter is called a hell and toe shifter. It used to be quite common on large bikes.
    and is still standard equipment on some Harley Davidsons it actually works very well and once you get used to it its extremely easy and fast to shift gears.

  4. Jane says:

    thinking of getting a honda wave 110 for my 16 year old daughter here in Costa Rica. How stable is it ? Easy to ride on dirt and rocky roads ?

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