Honda Navi Review
Bike Tested: 2016 Honda Navi; Road Test No. 683
Price OTR Mumbai: Rs. 51,757/-
The Honda Navi might not appeal in terms of design but is a complete hoot to ride in the city
Whatever it is, it’s fun. That’s the tagline for the Honda Navi which shows the confusion is not only for all of us but also for the Japanese automaker. Is it a scooter or is it a motorcycle. It’s actually a hybrid of both, a moto-scooter although the safety warning sticker on the Honda Navi calls it a scooter so one can safely call it that. After being launched at the 2016 Auto Expo, this 2-wheeler created quite a buzz but does it live up to the hype. We rode it in and around an amusement park to see if the Honda Navi impresses.
Motor Quest: After its parting ways with Hero in 2011, Honda hasn’t managed to beat its erstwhile partner in sales because their motorcycles aren’t selling as much as their scooters. The Navi is another way to add volumes.
Styling – The first glance at the Honda Navi and you instantly feel what the hell is this. Some call it hideous while many would refer to it as cute. The fact is, it’s positioned towards the youth who are likely to take to the awkward but stand out design quite easily. That’s also the reason why the Navi gets bright colours and the option of customisation. To give it a sporty appearance, Honda has give it black finishing on the front suspension and wheels although the latter isn’t an alloy but made of steel.
The Honda Navi simply catches attention because it looks very different
Featuring a square headlight upfront and CB Stunner lifted rear tail-light and also side indicators, the Honda Navi is a small scooter in size and the dimensions are very similar to the Activa. The large gap underneath the tank does look bothersome but is useful to store luggage, the Navi being the first Honda that can store a full-sized helmet. In essence, the Navi is the desi-version of the Grom 125 which is so popular in the States but the big difference is the space under the tank which isn’t there in the Grom.
Instrument Cluster and Switchgear – This is where the mix of scooter and motorcycle is clearly evident as the console is that of a scooter and the switchgear comes from a motorcycle. The cluster is very basic, not the clearest to read and what’s bothersome is the lack of a fuel gauge (there is a fuel reserve switch though), you only get a speedometer and odometer, there is no trip meter either. Being a Honda, naturally the switchgear isn’t anything to talk about, it’s the same unit which we see on even the CBR150R, but a pass light switch is also missing. Needless to say the buttons are dated and an engine kill switch is… do we even need to talk about this?
Performance – The Honda Navi uses a 110cc single-pot mill which gets HET and outputs the same numbers as the Activa 3G, that’s 8 BHP of power and 8.96 Nm of torque, matched to a V-matic CVT gearbox. Being a Honda powerplant, the motor is terrifically refined and smooth but what makes a difference to the performance is the 7 kgs lighter weight of the Navi compared to the Activa. There is good punch right from word go, as is the case with most scooters and the Navi picks up decent pace till 60 km/hr. The engine does vibrate though but mostly after the aforementioned speed.
There is good enough punch for city riding, the engine being very refined
This is a scooter for city runabouts and not highways so don’t expect top-end performance but ride in the city and you will never feel the lack of power. In fact, the Navi feels up to the job in the daily hustle because the automatic gearbox makes things slick. Top speed is close to 80 km/hr but remember, the lighter you are, the faster it goes, power to weight being a crucial aspect of this 100 kg machine. One can expect a mileage of 50 km/l but the tank is small at just 3.8-litres.
Riding Dynamics – Since the Navi shares most of its underpinnings with the Activa, one would expect it to ride similar too but it doesn’t. Unlike the best selling Honda, the Navi is a very fun bike and is loads of fun. Firstly it’s light and peppy but most importantly its bike like handling is what makes it such a hoot, one can grip the tank which inspires confidence. There are front set pegs which fool you into shifting gears while one can use the pillion pegs for an aggressive riding position. Those used to riding a motorcycle might find themselves using the rear brake as a clutch.
Ride quality is decent but the brakes should have got an option of CBS
The upside down front forks don’t have much travel and although ride quality is good, bad roads unsettle this scooter. The handlebar is light and with the light front end, one finds it very easy to manoeuvre the Honda Navi. It’s also easy to lift the front wheel. There is no CBS on offer and the brakes are decent, not very good but the lightness helps in surefooted stops. The problem is, the front feels spongy while the rear is effective and one can lock it and skid. The riding position is just like the Activa, you sit upright and a pillion can sit too but not with much comfort as the seat is thin and under-thigh support is lacking.
Verdict – The Honda Navi has certainly caught the fancy of many ever since the Japanese automaker launched it at an attractive price. Although not as aggressively priced as it appears, the Navi makes for a great fun scooter for those looking to get the best of both worlds – ease of riding a scooter and fun of riding a motorcycle. While there is a lot of things which can improve, the start is positive and we can see other manufacturers too entering this space with a similar vehicle. The Honda Navi is something which steals your heart when you ride it.
* Unique looking 2-wheeler which does make people inquisitive
* Peppy performance, the Navi has ample city grunt
* Big storage space under the tank, can hold a full-sized helmet
* Fun handling and eager dynamics, a scooter which can corner
What’s Not So Cool
* Basic instrument cluster shockingly misses out on a fuel gauge
* Brakes could be better, CBS should have been optional at least
* Vast difference in ex-showroom and on-road price
Alternatives: TVS XL 100
Honda Navi Specifications
* Engine: 109.19cc, single-cylinder, liquid-cooled, 4-valves, DOHC
* Power: 8 BHP @ 7000 RPM
* Torque: 8.96 Nm @ 5500 RPM
* Transmission: CVT
* 0-100 km/hr: Never
* Top Speed: 81 km/hr
* Fuel Consumption: 48-52 km/l
* Fuel Type: Petrol
* Frame: Under-Bone
* Suspension: Upside Down Forks (Front), Spring Loaded Hydraulic (Rear)
* Tyres: 90/90/12 (Front), 90/100/10 (Rear)
* Brakes: 130 mm Drum (Front), 130 mm Drum (Rear)
Honda Navi Dimensions
* Length x Width x Height: 1805 x 748 x 1039
* Wheelbase: 1286 mm
* Ground Clearance: 156 mm
* Seat Height: 765 mm
* Fuel Tank Capacity: 3.8-litres
* Kerb weight: 101 kgs
Further Reading –