HONDA NAVI: PETITE STUNNER

Part minibike, part scooter, the Navi has been the most talked about two-wheeler this year. A quick glance at the Navi and you might understand from where the family genes came in. It holds a striking resembles to the eccentric Honda Grom – Honda’s little 125cc pocket rocket that has wowed riders all over the globe with a serious fun factor packed into a simple, lightweight design.

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With the convenience of a scooter and stance of a motorcycle, the Honda Navi is a surprisingly offbeat approach by Honda Motorcycles and Scooters India. Disrupting the monotony of conventional looking scooters, the Navi is 100% developed by Honda R&D India from concept development to commercial production. We rode the Navi at Whoopee Land Amusement Park in Chobhar, a break from the usual test locations. Here are our first impressions of this petite stunner

STYLING

Okay, the Honda Navi isn’t a motorcycle or a scooter, and it feels odd at first but the unorthodox design makes it a real head turner on the road. Almost everything is refreshing and breaks free from the current pool of orthodox scooters. The combination of quirky design elements to create something new is a welcome change in the current scene.

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The Navi is all about compact proportions. The hexagonal headlamp in a grey housing gives a lot of character to the Navi. The wheels, forks, engine and exhaust have been finished in black. A simple old school analog instrument console reads out the speed and kilometres, and has tell-tale lights for indicator and headlight high-beam. However, it does miss out on the fuel gauge.

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ENGINE AND TRANSMISSION

The Navi has been designed with the Honda Activa as the base. It shares almost all of its mechanicals including engine and chassis with the Activa. It gets the Activa’s soul with a slightly increased power output. The 110cc  single cylinder, air-cooled, petrol engine makes 7.8bhp @ 7000rpm while delivering 9Nm @ 5500rpm.

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It is paired to a V-Matic automatic transmission. The Navi also gets Honda’s intuitive HET (Honda Eco Technology) which aids in more fuel efficiency without decreasing power output.

RIDE AND HANDLING

What this bike lacks in power and speed, it makes up for with nimble agility. The upright riding position centred foot-pegs and raised handlebars and chunky foot pegs give it the motorcycle-like geometry. Although seat height is similar to the Activa, the Navi feels slightly taller because of the wider seat.

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Should you push the throttle, the Navi is capable enough to reach a top speed of 85 kmph. The instant and linear acceleration is perfect for getting overtaking and sneaking through city riding. The Navi is extremely manoeuvrable and zippy, thanks to its light weight and narrow frame. It is 7 kg lighter than the Activa, which allows a more responsive engine with nimble characteristics. The Navi with its 1286mm wheelbase and sturdy tyres is stable at any speed. It is the best option if you are a city commuter.

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Given the small size of the Navi, it’s not surprising that it comes built around a frame that has been pared down to the bare minimum. The underbone type construction uses the engine as a stressed member. It runs on 12” front and 10” rear wheels, each equipped with a 130mm drum-type braking unit, and gets tubeless tyres. It gets upside-down telescopic forks at the front and a hydraulic monoshock at the rear.

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Although the Navi misses out Honda’s Combi-Braking System (CBS), the scooter’s drum brakes at the front and rear do a decent job of bringing it to halt. Besides, its nice to have a storage space enough for utilitarian or customization purposes.

VERDICT

Although the Navi’s styling may not be to everyone’s liking, it’s a straight up fantastic scooter. Its fun factor is off the charts and it probably will put smile on people’s faces than just about anything currently in the local market. At Rs 1, 54,900, the ebullient Honda Navi does lives up to its hype.

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For specifications and pricing, click here

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