The scooter market was once dominated majorly by the Bajaj geared ones, till Honda came into India with Kinetic and launched India’s 1st automatic scooter – the Kinetic Honda, in the late 80s. Since then, Honda began to change the scooter market, making it mainly the auto-geared scooter dominated one. Later they launched the Activa on their own, which sealed their dominance on the scooter scene. The Honda Activa is not only the largest selling scooter in India, but also is the largest selling two wheeler of India ever.
Honda now wants to take the Activa’s success story further. Using the bare minimum of the Activa, it has innovatively made an all-new two wheeler – the Navi. The correct way to pronounce Navi is not as in Navigation, but as in Navi Mumbai. Navi, as in New. Honda does not categorize the Navi as a motorcycle nor a scooter. Even on their products website, they have Motorcycle, Scooter, Superbike and Navi as a separate section all together. So what exactly is this mystery two wheeler from Honda? We find out as we take the Honda Navi around the Adlabs Imagica Amusement Park outside Lonavala trying to figure out and get under its skin. Read on to know all.
Design – Styling:
First look at the Honda Navi, and it instantly gets your attention. It is cute, looks like a motorcycle, has a lot of detailing on it and yes, it’s an out and out head-turner for sure. Some may like it at the first glance itself, some may not, but it’s sure that the Navi does attract a lot of attention, and its styling grows on you. The Navi is built on the same chassis as that of the Activa. Navi measures 1,805mm in length, while the Activa is 1,761mm. The width stands at 748mm, while on the Activa it’s 710mm. The overall height of the Navi is 1,039mm and on the Activa it is 1,149mm. Wheelbase of the Navi is 1,286mm while Activa gets a wheelbase of 1,238mm. So the while Navi is longer, wider and has a bigger wheelbase than the Activa, the height is a bit lesser.
Up front, you have the very motorcycle-like telescopic front suspension in black finish with rubber sleeves on the travel end. A sharp and curvy mudguard in matte black plastic covers the front steel rim mounted tyre. MRF Nylogrip Zapper with 90/90-12 54J spec mounted on 308.4mm sized steel rim in glossy black finish does its job on the front wheel. The front wheels come with 130mm drum brakes.
Going up, you have a rectangular-styled headlight housed in silver finish surround, and it comes with parking and a halogen bulb powered beam. The headlight assembly housing unifies itself with the speedometer console housing on the top. You get a single dial mechanical speedo calibrated to 120 kmph. This meter assembly also has the turn light indicator and high beam indicator on it with an orange needle. A neat metallic- finish Honda logo as seen on the other Honda two wheelers, is placed on the console.
On the right, you get a simple looking ignition switch and the speedo housing gets a fake carbon fiber finish on it, making it look very attractive. Turn lights are diamond-shaped orange lensed indicators. The handle bar is a tall U design one with a support bar welded to it. Switchgear is basic but of good quality and very ergonomic.
On the left, you have the headlight, parking light combo switch, hi and low beam combo and the turn light switch along with the horn button and the choke lever. On the right side, you get the self-start button. The rearview mirrors are large and in a sharp, angular design. They get a dash of the carbon fiber pattern on the rear body.
The tank and the side panels are unified, in fact, the real fuel tank is cleverly placed inside the tank panel. The unified body is in colored fiber with matte finish. You get the Honda Wing logo on the sides of the tank and fuel cock on the left side. There is a body insert on both the sides on this body panel. The Navi sticker is placed on the body panel just before the tail starts. Whichever body color you may choose the Navi in, it comes with a black tail as standard.
The seat is moderate in size for its overall size and gets a good looking dotted finish upholstery on it. Under the tank where usually the motorcycle has its engine is a vacant space as the Navi uses the Activa’s engine. This empty space can be utilized for fitting in a luggage box that Honda sells as an accessory.
The rear gets a neat integrated back rest in line with the seats shape and a taillight that’s picked from the Honda Shine. You also get a tiny saree guard and a foldable ladies step (same as the Activa’s). The engine, same as that of the Activa’s, comes in the same silver finish while the rear tyre gets a full covered mudguard in black.
The rear tyre is again an MRF Nylogrip Zapper 90/100-10 53K spec mounted on a 254mm rim with 130mm drum brake. The rear has the same Activa derived single hydraulic spring loaded suspension on the Navi. Overall the Navi looks very different. It is extremely eye-catchy and the quality is typical Honda class. In the styling department, Honda has done a wonderful job and been very innovative.
Engine – Ride – Handling:
The Activa has singlehandedly been Honda’s biggest success story in India. It is the largest selling two wheeler for the country. Honda has not only used the modified Activa’s chassis, but also its engine for the Navi. This is the same 110cc single cylinder carbureted HET engine with 8 bhp of power and 8.96 Nm of torque on it. This engine comes with a V-Matic CVT gearbox, also same as that on the Activa 3G. The Navi weighs 101kgs while the Activa weighs 108kgs making the Navi around 7kgs lighter. This goes a big way in giving it a good power to weight advantage over the Activa.
Start the engine and you can notice a slightly heavier exhaust note, rev the accelerator and there is instant pickup. Speed builds up in a neat and refined way, in quick time. 60 kmph is the best speed to cruise at on this Moto-Scooter. If you are a biker, you will for the first 10-20 seconds hunt for the brakes and gear shifter on the foot pegs until you realize that this is an automatic and all the controls are in the hands.
The Navi is meant mostly for city rides, but it can do a fairly good job on the highways too. Top speed is in the region of 80 kmph. Braking is good with drums in place and the MRF Zappers helping them. Riding the Navi you can rest assured that almost everyone on the road will be watching you as it is complete eye candy. You get the feel of riding a motorcycle.
The ride quality is excellent and refinement levels are high. The seating and handle bar placement is good and so are the foot pegs, placed very ergonomically. The handle bar feels light and easy to maneuver while the front suspension does a good job, the rear is tuned slightly to the harder side. There is no CBS Braking (Combo Braking) available on the Navi as with the Activa, but still braking is sharp and precise.
With the Navi, Honda has ventured into an uncharted territory where no other two wheeler maker has dared to go. The Navi is an excellent product, offering the convenience of a Scooter and the feel plus looks of an motorcycle together. The quality is excellent and the styling is well thought of. This becomes a very practical option in the house that everyone can ride very easily, backed by the reliability of the Activa-derived robust engine, making it an excellent offering in the brand new Moto-Scooter segment that Honda has created for itself. True to its tag line `Its Fun’!
The Honda Navi is priced at Rs. 42,824/-, around Rs. 10,000/- cheaper than the Activa.
Honda Navi Photo Gallery:
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: N/A
* 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: MRF Zapper Nylogrip 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: 1,805 mm x 748 mm x 1,039 mm
* Wheelbase: 1,286 mm
* Ground Clearance: 156 mm
* Seat Height: 765 mm
* Fuel Tank Capacity: 3.8-litres
* Kerb weight: 101 kgs
Pic Credit: Ritesh Madhok