The F word in two wheeling is here - fully alive and all yours to F around on.
Fun on two wheels is what you get with the Navi. In the brief moment that the Navi and I had together recently (a few hours actually, but considering the Fun element and the utter joy of her company it was an all too short moment), I absolutely fell for her; when the people from Honda Sri Lanka came to take her away it was a soulful parting. I just did not want to let her go.
Honda’s Navi is so much about Fun and Joy. But having said that, the Navi is also about utility, about convenience, about economy and affordability, about practicality and versatility, about simply swinging your leg over and getting to your destination quickly and surely each time, every time, about the sheer joy of enjoying your ownership of Honda’s Fun creation and all of the above.The Honda Navi speaks to you. The Navi invites you to look at her, ride her and enjoy her presence in your life. The Navi is simple, and so so friendly.
How did we lovers of two wheels do without this cute little ‘thing’ all these years, I wonder?
Many who’ve seen the Navi pass by on the streets of our country or who’ve experienced this sweet machine first hand talk fondly of its likeness to that eternal love, the Honda Chaly. That bike was introduced to the world mid-1972 and to Sri Lanka a few years later and created an instant, and passionate, following. The Navi, too, moves riders - and from what I’ve seen, riders’ spouses, significant others, friends, siblings, colleagues, onlookers, bystanders, and all others - to embrace this bike, to share life with it.
Okay, so what does the Navi have - in addition to the emotional bonding?
For starters, the most modern Honda two-wheeler powerplant which comes together on the HET (Honda Eco Technology) assembly line. HET is the three-pronged result of Honda’s extensive engine research and design programme that has reduced friction and frictional losses, improved combustion with new spark plug technology, and lightened transmission components. All of these results in a major step up in engine / transmission efficiency terms. Wheelbase (48mm longer than the Honda Dio) and saddle height that fits the average Sri Lankan frame - female or male, light weight (curb of 101 kg, dry of 96.4 kg), smooth snappy CVT (aka auto transmission), ample carrying capacity (153 kg), comfortable suspension (telescopic in front, coil and damper rear), alloy wheels, tubeless tyres, wide tall handlebars and a large square-ish headlight unit (both of which take the Navi into motorcycle territory).
If you loved the Chaly, you definitely will love the Navi. Even more. With about double the horses than the 4+ bhp of the Chaly, with the ease of electric starting and auto transmission, longer wheelbase, larger saddle, new technology engine, more powerful braking system, Honda’s Navi has much more that will firmly ensure its own, sweet, place in your life.
What comes together for both the Chaly and the Navi are the carefully worked out design concepts, the build quality and the uniqueness. And, of course, that impish personality. At first look the Navi may seem small. Get aboard her and check her out, as did Stafford Team Honda Motocross multiple champion Gayan Sandaruwan when he first saw the Navi in a behind-the-scenes meeting. Once aboard, Gayan delightedly pronounced the Navi not small. Your stance on the Navi is upright and comfortable, your reach to the ground easy for both genders, your arms just wide apart enough to present a firm and controlled handle of the bike on the road. The suspension reminds the rider of road irregularities, softly. The handlebar controls - brakes front and rear, electric switches, and throttle - are all within comfortable operational reach.
The Honda Navi is already amazing being part scooter part motorcycle. The Navi has more in its repertoire - it is convert-able.
A whole number of interchangeable bits and pieces, panels and others, change your Navi’s livery in a flash, so to say, and while yesterday you rode a (say) red coloured Navi, today you could ride (say) an orange coloured Navi, and tomorrow you could be riding (say) a black coloured Navi. All the while you would be riding your own single Navi, differently clothed each day as your mood takes you.
The bits and pieces that change your Navi are available in the Dealer Network of Stafford Motor Company (Pvt) Limited the Sole Sri Lankan Distributor for Honda. The Navi rider is spoiled for a choice of side panels, wheel hub covers, headlight guard, knee guard in two styles, headlight cowl visor, body graphics, pillion rider grab handle, sari guard / side saddle passenger footrest, and more.
Also available is a large cubby box to fit into the space below the underbone chassis frame. This, like the other parts can be fitted on easily by the owner rider, and then taken off as easily when the rider desires a ‘different’ Navi. A crash helmet could comfortably be accommodated in this box. If you have essential and confidential material to carry (work-related electronics and or paperwork) this lockable box might well contain your mobile office.
Quite a bit of the mechanicals of the Navi is Honda Activa, that hugely successful scooter which has already achieved a high level of market confidence. With similar power and torque available as for the Activa and Dio, and lower weight (by about 7 kg), the Navi has startling acceleration (as I found out early on during our test ride). The zippiness and spirited handling emphasize the Navi’s innate sportiness.
When a two wheeler maker designs a machine with dual sized wheel rims you know you are on to something interesting. The Navi comes with 12” front tyre and 10” rear, the combination evidently adding to the stability of the bike and helping immensely in those great ‘corner moments’ that all bike enthusiasts live for.
The User Manual states : ‘Important Information – On- Road Use – This vehicle is designed to be used only on the road.’ Let’s be mischievous, shall we : How about trying out the Fun that the Navi would be off-road, like on sand, in gravel, on the beach, through forest trails; out having Fun wherever it is, or wherever you and your Navi make it happen. The Honda Navi is refreshing, unconventional, appealing; it’s a commuter, it’s an after-hours partner, it will certainly keep your friends talking through the evening. And the next morning they’ll go out and get one themselves.
With Honda’s Navi, life is simple; Fun, Joy.
HONDA NAVI - SPECIFICATIONS
Air-cooled 4-stroke single-cylinder
50.0 x 55.61 mm Bore x Stroke
9.5:1 Compression Ratio
Electric / Kick
CHASSIS AND RUNNING GEAR
Wheelbase 1286 mm
Tyres Front 90/90 x 12
Rear 90/100 x 10
Brakes Front Drum
Suspension Front Telescopic
Rear Coil over
DIMENSIONS AND CAPACITIES
Length 1805 mm
Width 748 mm
Height 1039 mm
Curb Weight 101 kg
Fuel tank 3.8 lit
COLOURS Black, Green, Orange, Red, White
Warranty 2 years/30,000 kms
HOW MUCH Rs 212,500/-
HMSI AND THE NAVI
Honda Motorcycles and Scooters India Limited (HMSI) is the wholly owned subsidiary of Honda Motor Company Japan and the birthplace of the Navi from drawing board to present. The famed Honda Japan technology comes standard with all Honda products manufactured anywhere on the globe, and the Navi is well-endowed in this area.
Stafford Motor Company (Pvt) Limited has been the Sole Sri Lanka Distributor for the Honda range of products for four decades and a bit, the Navi and its numerous siblings imported, distributed and serviced by Stafford Motors and its Dealer Network.
Stafford Motor Company tells us :-
“The Honda Navi is a totally new concept in two wheelers, and brings fun and a refreshing air to the scene.”
“One of the interesting features of the Navi is that its panels can be changed and other items like crash bars, knee guards, body stickers, the cabby box, and many more, can be changed as and when the rider decides.”
“Those from 18-25 years of age, involved in the fast spreading IT and related fields of work, funky young ones, would love the concept of the bike and the edgy styling, and the fact that the bike can appear different day to day.”
“Being based on the popular Honda Activa, the Navi has the HET engine and is a strong bike suitable for commuting and fun riding, too.”
“The Navi is priced at an affordable and economical point, probably the best priced 110cc two wheeler currently in Sri Lanka.”
In addition to all of what is new in two wheelers by way of the Honda Navi features, the bike has blazed another trail, too. In the annual NDTV CNB Awards contest a new two-wheeler category was introduced because the panel of experts could not slot the Navi into any existing category. So Honda’s Navi is the first ever winner of the ‘Mini Bike of The Year 2017’ Award. The Navi also walked away with two more awards - the ‘Best Two-Wheeler Design of the Year 2017’, and the ‘Two-Wheeler of the Year 2017’.