To say that Honda Motors has an interesting approach to its lineup would be a massive understatement. In recent years, the Japanese company has bucked the industry trend of developing bigger and meaner machines.
Instead, Honda has shifted some of its focus to smaller displacement motorcycles like the wildly popular Grom and the classic Monkey. How successful have these minibikes been around the world? Well, Honda has sold over 750,000 units of the Grom since its release in 2014. That should tell you everything you need to know about the broad appeal of small motorcycles.
In the Philippines, while we have models like the CFMOTO ST Papio 125 and the Benelli TNT 135, minibikes haven't taken off as they have in markets like the United States. It's a wonder, as our country has had a love affair with small-displacement scooters for what seems like decades. You'd think that something like the Grom would make a perfect fit in our market.
Alas, that hasn't been the case, but perhaps the 2022 Honda Navi can turn things around. The Navi recently received a significant update, and it has us wishing for a local release. First off, the Navi has a fittingly small 109cc air-cooled, single-cylinder, four-stroke engine that delivers 7.84 hp and 8.94 Nm of torque.
While that's certainly not a lot of power, keep in mind that this is a bike that's tailor-made for cruising around the city. Honda says the bike can deliver up to 46.8 km/L. The Navi also gets an easy-to-ride continuously variable transmission (CVT) that perfectly fits the clutch averse.
Other than that, the Navi is a relatively simple machine that doesn't have much in the way of features. It gets front and rear drum brakes, inverted telescopic forks, and a rear mono shock. The dashboard is all-analog as well, so clearly there's no advanced tech here. There is a lockable storage compartment right in the middle of the chassis, though, so that's a plus.
The 2022 Honda Navi is now available in the US. It retails for $1,807 or about P91,000. A Philippine release is unlikely, but with enough demand, nothing's impossible. However, the US price tag is probably a little steep for our market, so Honda Philippines may have to do some tweaking there, if ever. In any case, the Navi could make a wonderful alternative to the countless scooters and e-bikes roaming our streets every day.