Riding in Goa on a Honda NAVi

I have not ridden a two wheeler for long and I was not sure if I should ride one at this graying age. Also on the first looks, this new dashing bike from Honda, the NAVi looked like a rough and mean machine. It appeared big, sturdy and heavy. Also compared with another regular bike on road, NAVi appeared bigger.

The looks of NAVi appealed to me a lot, and invited me for a quick ride. But both of us (me and NAVi) were on the third floor of the Paryatan Bhavan in Goa, attending the press conference of #GoaHunt on a Honda NAVi, a Goa Tourism and Honda Motorcycle and Scooter Limited (HMSI) event. And an experience at this time was out of question. This was a first encounter though, and I had to wait till the next morning to get a hands on experience on it.

Well folks, I will come back to this experience part a little later, but first a little about the NAVi itself. The Honda NAVi is the latest avatar of a perfect combination of a motorcycle and a scooter. I must say that the bike has quite a quirky design and it is a great machine.  It has the same engine that powers the Honda Activa. It’s a 110cc engine that delivers a maximum power of 8 bhp at 7,000 revolutions per minute and a peak torque of 9 Nm at 5,500 revolutions per minute. The handlebars are wider; it has a upright riding stance and front fork which makes it very simple for a great ride. It has been claimed by Honda that the bike will have an average of around 60 kilometres per liter.

Its quite affordable too, and that has certainly helped the popularity chart of the bike head northwards. The bike was showcased at the Auto Expo in 2016, but recently they have announced two new versions, Chrome and Adventure. This new concept vehicle from Honda has been launched to give the young a set of wheels with which they can enjoy and explore.

The bike has made some significant achievements in less than a year, having won the Design of the year award and the Two Wheeler of the year award at the NDTV awards.

To look into the features and specifications of NAVI.

  • Speed: NAVi has a top speed of 81 kmph.
  • Colours: 5 colours; Patriot Red,Shasta White,Black,Sparky Orange and Hopper Green
  • Engine :109.19cc
  • Fuel Delivery System: Carburetor
  • Fuel Type: Petrol
  • Cooling System: Air Cooled
  • Gearbox Type: Automatic
  • Transmission Type: V-matic
  • Speedometer: Analogue
  • Fuel Gauge: No
  • Electric System: 12V DC

Coming back to my experience of the bike, I know you guys must be waiting to hear my experiences of riding it, and also about pillion riding.

In Goa, thanks to Goa Tourism and Honda, we were given a few bike in all its variants, basic, chrome and adventure. We were given two days to take it out with our partners and explore the undiscovered places in Goa. We tried all kinds of heroics, like speeding, touring, stunting, zigzagging in crowded areas, etc.

So here is what I experienced.

Though the bike looked big and heavy, once I sat on the seat, it immediately became a pal. It was the best thing under my legs – I really would have loved to have it during my college days. The best part of NAVi, which I totally loved, was its automatic transmission. It really took a load of my mind as it now was just a motorized bike where I had to just control the balance.

Since Honda NAVi’s transmission is coupled to a variomatic gearbox, there was no difficulty in riding it for a mature guy like me too, and within the first minute of riding, I was fully at ease. My partners kept on changing from fresher riders to experienced ones and helped me gain awesome experiences on NAVi along with some stunning captures.

NAVi, though will not be the quickest and fastest on road. Though it gains 60kmph speed in seconds, it starts bobbling once you cross 60kmph and runs out of breath at this point. The acceleration after this is quite slow.

Also on inclined roads, it starts loosing on strength and speed. But at speeds around 45-60KMPH or so, it was a perfect smooth ride, and even on a small pillion seat, there was no discomfort.

Well Honda never said that NAVi is a Highway bike, and truly I found it to be a sweet bike inside the city. Yes, it surely is going to be a sweetheart for the youth in cities.

We tasted the bike on different trails, in the town, in crowded market places, on the highways, and also on different uphill and downhill roads.

While I didn’t ride it much, but pillion riding too while moving around in traffic was a lot of fun. Even while riding, it was great fun. The front of the bike was very light as there’s no engine in the middle and it helped enjoying stunts like zigzagging through city traffic. NAVi surely is a city bike, built for the city and it nicely squeezes into tight spaces.

NAVi has a great braking system too. The drum brakes in front and rear never made me feel uncomfortable even in case of emergency braking on the crowded streets.

It really was fun to participate in these stunt activities, all thanks to the great design of NAVi. The NAVi is light, has a low seat height, so every time I felt unbalanced or felt like losing control on my seat, I could just spread out and regain my balance.

While riding it too, it was quite handy. All I had to do was balance my bike and accelerate. There are no foot controls in the bike to drive, and my long legs were free to do the balancing only while overtaking, turning into sharp corners.

But still, I found some shortcomings with the bike. The most important being the bobbling. Beyond 60kmph some vibration gradually creeps in and it becomes quite uncomfortable. Also, a very basic gauge is missing – there is no Fuel Gauge on the bike, so you cant have an idea of how much is left.

Also though it lacks behind in terms of storage space. Most scooters have ample under seat storage and some more on the foot well. The NAVi has none, I mean nearly none.

But  it still is a brilliant commuting machine. And if you are still thinking to buy one, I would say, Yes, Don’t wait, Go ahead and own one, because currently there’s nothing remotely like it in the market.

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