The Honda Navi is back on the market, but this time in the USA. Yes, the tiny moto-scooter – designed and developed by Honda Motorcycle and Scooter India – found its newest market in the US, where it was introduced as Honda’s smallest, most accessible and affordable two-wheeler, with a base price of US1,807 Dollars – or Rs 1.34 lakh, almost three times as much as in India.
The navigation system is the first Honda two-wheeler developed by the manufacturer’s Indian arm and launched in the USA, which is sure to flatter the HMSI team responsible for its development. There’s no official statement on this, but it’s more than likely that the Honda Navi sold in the US will also be made in India, as the brave scooter is only made for export at the HMSI’s factory in Tapukara, Rajasthan.
The Honda Navi, which was introduced in India in 2016 – a converted Honda Activa under the skin – surely aroused the curiosity of buyers of two-wheelers with its funky appearance and peppy performance and was even surprisingly in demand at the beginning when it reached the milestone of a lakh in August sold 2018.
Its tiny proportions and whimsical appearance did not go over so well with Indian audiences, however, as many referred to it as weird and possibly even an outsider to the masses. Honda eventually decided to stop selling the sat nav in India before BS6 emissions standards went into effect, but continues to manufacture it for other markets where it continues to do surprisingly well.
Compared to what we’ve seen, the US spec sat nav remains largely identical, the only changes being new indicators and a slightly modified instrument cluster that now includes MPH markings for the speedometer.
It’s a novel proposition for aspiring riders in the US as it is significantly cheaper than the cheapest Honda two-wheeler available in the US, is fuel-injected with a carburettor, has the reliable 110cc engine and CVT of the Activa Station wagon, drives on a 12-inch front wheel (10-inch rear), has drum brakes at both ends, lacks ABS, weighs only 107 kg and has a mileage of 110 mpg – or around 47 cpl. The sat nav will be available in the US from January 2022.
HMSI is now developing more two-wheelers specifically for the Indian market, and if the satnav goes down well with US buyers, it will be interesting to see if Honda chooses to ship more Indian-developed models to the states. Recently, Honda’s Indian arm has launched motorcycles such as the Honda H’ness CB 350, Honda CB 350 RS and Honda CB200X specifically for the domestic market, with other mid-size offerings in the pipeline, some of which could be ideal candidates for markets overseas including the US.
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