Our man Karan was piloting the new Honda Navi earlier today. Before I paraphrase his rants, here’s a quick round-up of the Honda Navi. Few know what it is; it isn’t a mini-moto, at least technically, because it’s engine is positioned at the rear, offset like on a scooter. It isn’t a scooter either, because it doesn’t look like one, especially with the motorcycle-like demeanor. But it isn’t a motorcycle either. So what it is?
We try to explain – the Navi tries to draw the line line between a motorcycle and a scooter, something that vaguely blends the form of the former with the practicality of the latter. The fuel tank and the seat are positioned in a way that befits a motorcycle, while the drive-train is like a traditional scooter, which means a rear mounted engine strapped to a CVT, and hand operated brakes.
Up front, there’s telescopic front suspension, and the rear is held up by a spring loaded, single sided, hydraulic type suspension. 130 mm drums at the front and back form the Navi’s anchors, while footwear comprises of 90/90-12 tires at the front and 90/100-10 tires at the back. The Navi measures 1,805 mm in length, 748 mm in width, 1,039 mm in height and 1,286 mm in wheelbase. It has a ground clearance of 156 mm, a seat height of 765 mm, a kerb weight of 101 kg and a fuel tank capacity of 3.8-liters.
With an Under Born Type frame, the Honda Navi is powered by an Activa sourced, 110 cc single-cylinder engine with HET (Honda Eco Technology) that makes 7.83 hp at 7,000 rpm and 8.96 Nm of torque at 5,500 rpm. The engine, mated to the V-matic transmission (CVT), allows the Navi to nudge a top speed of 81 km/h.
Without further ado, here are the first impressions:
- The Navi almost feels like a mini-moto when astride it, but technically isn’t one.
- The riding stance is upright and comfortable; more like a scooter with foot pegs instead of foot boards.
- One can however, rest their feet on the rear foot pegs, and crouch a bit for a motorcycle-like riding position.
- The Navi looks unusual but funky and made a lot of people curious of it were electrically propelled or not.
- The hollow space beneath the tank could’ve been utilized a lot better if there was at least a hook to hang small bags or support big ones.
- There’s no fuel guage or even a low fuel indicator. One has to wait until the Navi hits reserve fuel; puny 3.8-litre tank doesn’t help either.
- The Navi doesn’t feature a combi-braking system to save costs.
- The Navi’s handling is nippy; it can be chucked around carelessly, which will make it handy in traffic.
- The center stand kisses the road if you are too enthusiastic around the corners.
- The seat isn’t comfortable with two plus sized individuals, especially for the pillion.
- Ride quality felt a tad firmer than the Activa; although subsequent rides should reveal more.
- The front end feels very light due to the absence of any motor in the middle, or any considerable bodywork up front.
- Peal power comes in at 7,000 rpm; so it would have been nicer of there was some more grunt in the lower part of the power band, especially with a pillion.
- In a straight line, it feels marginally quicker than an Activa due to the less weight, but most of it is psychological due to the absence of bodywork.
- Overall levels of fit and finish are pretty decent for what is a budget Honda offering with a “lifestyle” streak.
The Navi has been 100% developed by Honda R&D India from concept development to commercial production. The Navi is priced at INR 39,500 (Ex-showroom price, Delhi), and comes in 5 colour options – Patriot Red, Hopper Green, Shasta White, Sparky Orange and Black.
Stay tuned for a detailed review soon!
Honda Navi Mega Image Gallery: