Honda Navi Review
Honda Navi – Click above for high resolution picture gallery

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.

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First look at the Honda Navi and it does come across as something weird

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.

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The tail light and indicators come from the CB Stunner

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.

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The console of the Honda Navi is too basic indeed

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?

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In spite of just being a 110cc engined bike, the Navi is super fun

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.

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The light weight compared to the Activa makes it peppy

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.

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The motorcycle type pegs really make a huge difference in riding

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.

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The light front-end makes it easy to lift the Honda Navi

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.

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The Honda Navi makes for a fun 2-wheeler for city riding

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.

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A 125cc version of the Honda Navi is what we really need now

What’s Cool

* 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

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There is scope of improvement but the first gen Navi is a good start

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

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The Navi will attract the youth and sky rocket Honda’s scooter sales

Testers’ Note:

“When I first saw the Honda Navi, I was like ‘What The…’ but after you ride it, everything is forgotten. It might look small and I might look ridiculous on it but when riding it, you don’t feel so, it is comfortable enough for even tall riders. The essence of the Navi is the ease of riding, swift city performance and fun dynamics. It’s not a practical machine but since it’s targeted at the youth, many things can be forgiven as this motorcycle-scooter hybrid does make an impression.” – Faisal Khan, Editor, MotorBeam.
“In the pictures, the Honda Navi looks like a toy suitable for kids. See it in person however and it doesn’t look too small. The size gives it a big advantage when it comes to riding. It is the most fun to ride scooter (or whatever it is) I have ridden till date. The power is just about enough to let you have fun filtering around traffic and help you reduce your commute time significantly. The customisation options help you personalise to your taste too.” – Aman Sancheti, Road Tester, MotorBeam.
“The Honda Navi is a total look-a-like of the Honda Grom which is a beautiful pocket bike! And this scooter-bike hybrid is nothing less than that. Light in weight, peppy in nature, easy to play with and great in the terms of handling, considering all of these the Honda Navi excels over its sibling, the Honda Activa. Appealing colour and the set of optional kit available with the scooter, this is just another beautiful canvas for youngsters to get what they want.” – Dhanil Vira, Road Tester, MotorBeam.
“The Navi is so much fun to ride as it brings out your inner child. The peppy engine, the motorcycle like dynamics and the light weight makes you want to go berserk all the time. While it looks very weird, the attractive colour and small size does start to grow on you. Although the Scooter-bike has missed out on a lot of things due to budget cuts, the Navi is definitely worth buying. It doesn’t matter if you’re a teenager or an executive, it is as much fun as wearing sneakers that go with every outfit.” – Adwait Babras, Road Tester, MotorBeam.

Further Reading

Honda Navi Video Review
Honda Navi First Ride Review