Honda's starter scoot: basic it's not

Honda's credentials in the world of scooters go back to the 1954 Juno K, which set the benchmark with an electric-start four-stroke engine and a full windscreen, followed by the Super Cub in 1958, which is still in production - more than 60 million units later.

Nevertheless, in attempt to broaden its customer base in what it sees as more 'sophisticated' markets - including ours in South Africa - Honda has introduced an entry-level scooter for the cappuccino crowd - the Vision 110.

Standard kit includes both side and centre-stands, an aluminium rear rack, and stylish cast-alloy rims.

Basic it's not - it has a 108cc fuel-injected, four-stroke engine with electric start, delivering a quoted 5.97kW at 8000rpm and 8.4Nm at 6500, twist-and-go continuously variable belt-drive transmission, linked brakes and 14” wheels at both ends.

For R13 000.

Which includes a storage compartment under the seat big enough to take a full-face helmet, a bright and legible instrument panel with an analogue fuel gauge, and a bigger-than average 5.5-litre fuel tank.

Seat height is 760mm for reasonable leg-room while making it easy for riders with less than supermodel-length legs to get their feet down flat when stopped.

The handlebars are straighter than is usual on entry-level scoots, for a more relaxed riding position, says Honda, making the novice rider feel more in control - and the Vision's kerb weight of only 102.1kg makes it easy to manoeuvre in tight spots, such as in and out of the garage without scratching the old man's car.

And there's more storage inside the legshield.

There are two open-topped pockets, each just right for holding a drinks bottle.

Standard kit includes both side and centre-stands, an aluminium rear rack - ready to mount an optional top box - and stylish cast-alloy rims.

The Vision is built on a sturdy tubular-steel 'underbone' frame with telescopic-fork front suspension and unit rear suspension with a single, offset hydraulic damper.

The right brake lever operates the 190mm front disc in conventional fashion, but the left brake lever is linked to both the front disc and the 130mm single leading-shoe rear drum brake.

Honda claims fuel consumption of less than two litres/100km at a steady 60km/h, which we'll take under advisement until we've ridden one.