Sunday, March 25, 2012
Riding the Honda Elite 110...smooth and perky!
I gotta admit that I've walked right by this scooter so many times during my visits to the local Honda dealership. Just never really gave it a thought. I vaguely remember my first "look see" and what stuck in my mind was the HUGE underseat storage area. I mean HUGE!
Originally I went to the dealership to test ride the PCX. Then out on the showroom floor I saw the Elite 110 in red and black, right next to the PCX. The black one caught my eye and i found myself sitting on it and decided that I probably should give it a test ride too!
So I rode the PCX and then this Elite 110, in that order, that same day.
When I saddled up the Elite 110 it struck me that it felt like it "fit" me. My hands and arms rested comfortably on the handlebars and I had solid reach to the ground while seated.
Only these handlebars were the more traditional "Vespa-like" horizontal bars with the "dashboard" right in the middle of them. I thought I would hate that, but it did not bother me in the least.
I was looking almost directly forward and slightly downward at the display. Not "downward" like I was seated on a stool, like on some scooters I've tried. It was a relaxed seating position that felt natural and the display was easy to view while riding.
I looked down and liked the generous floor board area. There is also a nice-sized locking glove box there as well with room for a cell phone, wallet, keys, snacks, whatever.
The ignition has an anti-theft feature and there is a parking brake on the left sided handlebar, similar to that found on the Ruckus. You access the lock for the generous underseat storage via a key position change.
And it has a rear rack already installed as well as passenger footpegs that flip out like the older Elite 80. The seat area was plenty huge for two and there is a small grab rail for the passenger.
I forgot to mention that I once owned an Elite 80 and I have to say THIS Elite resembles it in name only!
The scooter fired up immediately and quietly (fuel injection as well) and when I twisted the throttle it moved forward without hesitation. There was no vibration, no buzzing of the plastic molding (as in the old Elite 80s), and no sense of being on little wheels (this one has 2 different sized wheels, 10 and 12 inch).
It felt solid, stable, and it moved out FAST!
I was up to 30mph before I knew it and I honestly could not tell any lack of power on the Elite over the 125cc PCX. Both took off quickly and got up to 30-35mph in a jiffy. I did not try to max this scoot out to the reportly 52mph top speed due to the fact that I was on a 35mph posted road, but I've no doubt it could have easily done it. Maybe then some.
On this scoot I felt a grin come over my face...this was FUN! I ran it through some circle 8s and other parking lot maneuvers and it was easy to manipulate through tight turns. It felt little, but powerful!
I did not want to get off, but horn honking, I reluctantly took it back to the Honda dealership's parking lot.
What I like: LOTS of storage-underseat, glove box, comes with a rear rack and after market top case, grocery hooks on the front console; fuel injected and a reported 100-110mpg; comfortable seat; more comfortable view of dashboard; ran smooth and quiet; windshield is offered for this model by Honda; peppy ride!
Things it lacks: no kick-start (again!); no side stand; typical "stick like" handlebars that weren't awful, just not as neat as PCX or Ruckus motorcycle type handlebars. But they were ok. I did not feel like I was steering a tiller, which I half expected. It felt responsive, natural, intuitive in the handling.
Of the latter category, the lack of a kick start is the thing that bothers me the most. I have had to use my Ruckus kick start all winter to fire Scootie up each week for her 10 minute garage runs. Hopefully fuel injection makes up for that.
Bottom line: I liked the looks of both scooters but I loved the "feel" (ride position, peppiness, smoothness, storage options, FLOORBOARD) of the Elite more. This scooter is a perfect "all rounder": commuter, fun rides, light touring, town and country. No doubt it could handle the hills around my area with no trouble at all plus traverse some 45-55 mph roads if necessary.
I have lusted over the PCX for so long and now I ride both scoots and I feel more comfortable (and have more FUN) riding the Elite 110! It was stunning in black and a fun, but utilitarian rig ready to head to the grocery store, the library, or out on the open road for some long day trips and maybe a little light touring too!
Shame Honda sold it in the U.S. for only 2010. Clearance prices are good on this bike and I heartily recommend it to a beginner or seasoned rider looking for a great all-around scooter!
Maybe a little touring too...