posted August 20, 2009 04:08 AM
Edited By: Staff on 20 Aug 2009 19:22
2010 Honda Elite Scooter - First Ride!
When Honda set up shop in America fifty years ago, in a small garage on Pico Boulevard in Los Angeles, California, few would have imagined that five decades later the Japanese manufacturer would have grown into the powersports giant it is today. In 1959 Honda's bread and butter was the Cub scooter. Through the company's clever marketing campaign, "You meet the nicest People on a Honda", Honda began to change the way Americans looked at motorcycles, and motorcyclists. Tattooed, long haired Harley riders were slowly replaced by clean cut, suit wearing Leave It to Beaver types who zipped around on their motorbikes without a care in the world. And it worked… by 1968 Honda had sold more than 1 million Cubs in the US.
Fast forward to 2009… You may still meet the nicest people on a Honda, but few can be found riding wearing cardigans, letterman jackets or fluffy skirts - helmetless on their scooters while enjoying a smooth and refreshing cigarette, or perhaps even smoking a curvy old tobacco pipe. Apparently times have changed!
Today's latest innovation is Honda's Elite, which is all-new for 2010. The fuel injected 108cc scoot is produced by Honda in one of its facilities in China. The new Elite isn't highway legal in California, and you wouldn't want to try it on the super-slab with its limited 50 mph top speed.
Around town its another story… Agile, lightweight (claimed wet weight of 254lbs) sporting a belt drive and delivering over 100mpg (according to the EPA) the Elite is in its element on backroads, surface streets and cutting through alleyways. The automatic transmission means that there's no thought required to driving this machine... Start the bike, twist the throttle and go...
Pinning the throttle wide open, the Elite buzzes to life and pulls away from most vehicles at stoplights with ease. Slicing through Los Angeles traffic on the Honda is a treat, and the real surprise is in the braking department. Grabbing a handful of front brake will stand this scoot on end. Its combined brakes deliver fantastic stopping power.
The Elite's cargo carrying capacity is impressive. The 35 liter underseat storage easily swallows up two helmets… there's additional room for storage on the front vertical thingy that sportbike guys like me would have to make up a name for… like the "main control tower area" or something like that. (What is that thing called?)
Shipping now, the new Elite retails for a paltry $2999. It’s available in red and black, and if you decide you want to become a pizza delivery guy, a courier or you just have a lot of stuff to haul around, you can pick up a topcase as an available accessory.
You definitely won’t break any records at the dragstrip with the Elite, and it might not set your heart on fire if you’re a power junkie, but if you're looking for basic, reliable economic transportation on a budget, then the 2010 Honda Elite's just moved to the top of your list.
Decent looks and you can still have some fun breaking the law… How can it get better than that?
We've got more Elite stuff coming next week... Stay tuned to watch me dice my way through LA traffic on a poker run / scavenger hunt!
Scroll to the end to read all the official stuff from Honda....
The stylish new 2010 Elite® has it all: Modern, sporty styling, comfortable seating with two-up capacity and strong, responsive performance in a sleek and highly economical package. Featuring a new 108cc liquid-cooled, fuel-injected four-stroke engine and a light-handling chassis, the Elite provides all the comfort and quality of a Honda in an affordable around-town runabout that anybody can enjoy. Quick trips to the store, off to school and other errands are the Elite’s specialty, thanks to a generous underseat storage area that’s big enough to stow a full-face helmet and more.
- Comfortable seat offers accommodations for two-up riding.
- 1.6-gallon fuel tank offers ample cruising range.
- Instrumentation includes an analog speedometer, odometer, fuel and coolant temperature gauges.
- Maintenance-free battery.
- Ignition switch/steering lock helps provide security when parked.
- Aluminum rear carrier with integrated passenger handgrips is stylish and functional.
- Generous underseat storage compartment is spacious enough to store a full-face helmet and more.
- Lockable underseat helmet hooks.
- Handy, easy-to-use parking brake.
- Transferable one-year, unlimited-mileage limited warranty; extended coverage available with a Honda Protection Plan.
- Liquid-cooled fuel-injected four-stroke 108cc single-cylinder engine features a single overhead camshaft for lively engine performance, remarkable fuel economy and clean, efficient operation.
- Programmed Fuel Injection (PGM-FI) with excellent throttle response over a wide range of riding conditions (see 2009 Technology Section).
- Electric starter system allows easy push-button starting.
- Dependable and proven Honda automatic V-Matic belt-drive system provides seamless acceleration along with twist-and-go simplicity.
- Exhaust catalyst and advanced digital mapping reduce emissions for a greener environment.
- 33mm hydraulic front fork with 3.1 inches of suspension travel provides a plush and controlled ride.
- Rear suspension incorporates a single shock for 2.8 inches of travel and a smooth, comfortable ride.
- Combined Braking System (CBS) with 190mm front disc brake and hydraulic dual-piston caliper plus a rear drum brake provides excellent stopping power (see 2009 Technology Section).
posted August 23, 2009 11:10 PM
Edited By: salsa1 on 24 Aug 2009 14:49
I like it; but honestly my 1973 Yamaha 100cc - 2 stroke was capable of 60 plus mph...why limit this machine to 50 mph? what restricts it...can it be overcome with aftermarket devise? or that is all the factory power available on this scooter....
11:1 compresion and modern technology with 4 strokes should have a 108 cc over 60...maybe close to 70...that is my only complaint...but for around town seems like a nice scooter..two up even... and looks comfy as well...100 mpg..well even 70 would be exceptional....so good there....looks nice as well...
posted August 24, 2009 07:21 AM
Edited By: SteveWFL on 24 Aug 2009 21:22
quote:I never liked any Honda - under-performanced and overpriced when compared to the competition IMO...sorry Steve.
No need to be sorry, HONDA is still performing extremely well on the sales floor and hasn't pulled out of any motorcycle racing yet due to lack of funds. I've owned several of each of the jap brands, I don't descriminate I enjoy 'em all.
May try european next and put a BMW tourer in the garage before long
back on topic: Honda is going to steal some scooter market share!
'08 R1 YAMAHA
CBR600RR track bike