Honda created quite a stir at the 2016 Auto Expo by launching an 'out of the box' two-wheeler -- the Navi.
The Navi is reminiscent of the Rajdoot GTS 175, fondly called the Bobby from the 70s. However, is the Navi fun to ride and easy to navigate through the congested Indian roads? Well, let's find out.
What one would notice about the Honda Navi is that the crossover scooter cum motorcycle is quite big. Big in terms keeping in mind it's a mini bike.
The Navi has a large headlight up front, which is quite big compared to the overall size of the two-wheeler. The Navi features a small, well-sculpted fuel tank and a wide seat, which leads to a small tail section.
It is quite easy to say Honda has come up with new design elements for the motorcycle, but when you start noticing the design elements up close, you will notice parts from different models blended together to finish the Navi's overall design. The tail section for example is off the Stunner.
Honda has also given the Navi a massive exhaust, which makes it look like a large motorcycle. Also, the carbon fibre look alike accents make the Navi look much more upmarket.
Engine, Specification & Mileage
Powering the Honda Navi is the standard 109cc, single cylinder, air-cooled engine that does its duty on the Honda Activa.
The engine produces 7.8bhp and 8.9Nm of torque and is mated to a CVT gearbox. The Navi returns a mileage of around 45km/l in city conditions, and is very comfortable to ride when kept under 70km/h.
Now, one may think that the Navi is the same as riding the Activa, but no. The fact is that the Navi is lighter compared to the Activa, and the engine does wonders on the lighter Navi.
The engine is smooth and vibration free, similar to the Activa, and feels quite peppy even with two adults on the Navi.
Ride And Handling
Once astride the Navi, a regular motorcycle rider will immediately go for the clutch and gear, which the Navi does not have either of them.
There are no foot controls at all, instead, both the brakes are operated with your hand, like a regular scooter.
The engine is smooth, as mentioned earlier, and also peppy. The power delivery is smooth and what makes it fun to ride is the lightness of the Navi, coupled with the motorcycle like position.
The Navi is a very good handling two-wheeler as well. The telescopic front suspension and the single side mounted rear suspension soak up bumps really well.
The seat too is very comfortable. The pillion sits upright, and foot pegs designed like the ones that come on motorcycles offer great comfort. The seat is large and wide, offering enough space for two adults.
The overall stance and riding position gives the rider loads of confidence to tackle the city and occasional highway traffic.
One drawback of the pillion footrest is that it is placed too far ahead, and that gets in the way of the rider when in traffic.
The rider's feet tend to brush against the pillion's legs in stop-go or crawling traffic, where the rider has to put his foot down. The rider could end up tripping and dropping the Navi if not careful enough.
Instrumentation & Storage
Instrumentation is minimal. The Navi has a big speedometer with all the warning lights in them. That's it.
No trip meter, fuel gauge, clock, side stand warning or low fuel warning. The Honda Navi's instrument is easy to read, and the rider will have to rely on the traditional fuel tap to refill the 3.8-litre fuel tank.
To refuel, there is a lockable door, under which there is a cap that has to be removed. The fuel tank is up front, like a traditional motorcycle. T
The neck lock or the handlebar lock is not with the ignition and is located on the right fork, just below the fuel tank. It would have been great if the ignition and neck lock was a single module.
In terms of storage, there is only a small bit of space available under the seat, which is accessible by a lock located below the seat on the left side.
The small storage facility under the seat is just enough to put a mobile phone or store documents.
Apart from that, there is absolutely no storage, until you opt for a storage box that mounts below the fuel tank.
The brake levers are designed well and offer great grip and comfort to the rider, while the mirrors offer an adequate view of what's going on behind.
The Navi's front and rear drum brakes are spot on and Honda does not offer the Combi Brake System (CBS) even as an option (cost cutting?).
The switches are quite basic too. The left switchgear houses the horn, headlight on/ off, low and high beam functions, while the right side houses only the electric start.
Honda could have equipped the Navi with a kill switch and a headlight pass function, but that would have added to the cost, maybe.
This is one area where the Honda Navi scores badly. The plastic is poor. The fuel cap cover is very flimsy and the lock is made of plastic as well.
In terms of overall build quality, the plastics let down the Navi, but the engine and ride quality makes up for it.
As much as we tested the Honda Navi, electricals had no glitches. From the starter to the horn and blinkers, electricals were just perfect. The headlight is large and offers good visibility in the night.
Price & Colours
The Honda Navi is priced at Rs. 42,616 on-road (Delhi), that is after paying insurance and road tax. Essential items such as mirrors, side stand, number plates are charged extra and are important bits to get the Navi registered.
The Honda Navi is available in five colours, namely Patriot Red, Shasta White (the vehicle we tested), Black, Hopper Green, and Sparky Orange.
The Honda Navi presently has no competitors in India, and may not have one for a while.
The reason primarily being that the Navi is a 'thought out of the box' two-wheeler. In international markets though, there are similar models such as the Grom, from Honda itself.
|Power||7.8bhp @ 7000rpm|
|Torque||8.9Nm @ 5500rpm|
|Mileage||45km/l (achieved) |
|Fuel Capacity||3.8-liters including reserve|
|Brakes||(Front) 130mm Drum|
|(Rear) 130mm Drum|
|Tyres||(Front) 90/90 12-inch|
|(Rear) 90/100 10-inch|
|Suspension||(Front) Telescopic |
|(Rear) Spring Loaded Hydraulic Suspension|
Honda Navi Pros & Cons
+ Smooth engine
+ Good Brakes
+ Bright Headlight
+ Great Fun To Ride
+ Value For Money
– Plastic quality
– No storage
– Pillion Foot Peg Too Close To Rider's Foot Peg
– Ignition & Neck Lock Separate
So what does all this sum up to? Should you buy one? Is it good enough? And most importantly, is it fun?
The answer is the Navi is great package overall. It is small, can carry two adults comfortably, practical to be used everyday, and offers tons of fun!
The Navi is easily a everyday use vehicle although it does not have a storage compartment, but a backpack will sort that issue out.
So if you are looking to spend your money on an everyday commuter, the Navi offers you just that and tons more fun than what you could ever bargain for at its price. Go for it -- it's never too late to navigate.