What has 32 wheels, 177.5bhp and averages well over 100mpg? No, it’s not a doomed concept from the Frankfurt Motor Show; it’s a convoy of 16 super-economical scooters and 125cc bikes on the road to Skegness.
The Seaside Scoot was organised by Honda UK so that us journalists could try their range of scooters and small motorbikes out of their natural urban habitat. And with the sun in the sky, 16 tiny little engines sprang to life on Grantham Honda car park in Nottinghamshire, to find out if such small machines can really cut the mustard out of town.
Alright, so none of the machines involved were the last word in performance, but on the 52-mile route to the coast nobody was left behind, with even the least powerful model there, the new Vision 110 scooter, just about hitting 60mph on the flat without the riders needing to tuck in.
One of the most frustrating things about modern motoring is that every time you twist the throttle or press the accelerator the thought creeps into your head that you’re using more precious fuel than you could be. One of Honda’s sub-125cc powered two-wheelers (PTWs) is the cure.
Even having been held at more than 50mph for most of the way to the coast, the average fuel economy figure for the fleet was way over 100mpg. Taking into account the new, tight engines, that’s astonishing. The nine Vision 110s averaged 121mpg despite being brand new and the near-flat-out treatment they were given, and with a few more miles under their wheels will strike around the 140mpg mark.
But they’re not just cheap, these scooters. They’re great fun, too, being incredibly lightweight and nimble thanks to a short wheelbase and a low centre of gravity. You can fling them around city streets all day, but there are a lot of giggles to be had by clinging on to every last unit of speed possible around roundabouts. It’s the charm of the underdog, and these machines have it in spades.
Also present and correct on the route were Honda’s PS125i, SH125i, S-Wing 125 and geared bikes in the shape of the Varadero 125 and the CBF125, with Honda personnel on a 300cc scooter and a VFR800.
Two-wheelers aren’t just about providing cheap transport though. The real benefits come not just in convenience, but in that every ride is an adventure to look forward to, so to celebrate that when the convoy arrived at Skegness we dived into a spot of crazy golf followed by some excellent fish & chips at The Clock restaurant.
It was all fantastic fun, and a great way to rediscover what a small PTW can do. The obvious metaphor is the one about having the cake and eating it, only the cake tastes like Delia’s finest and it’s as healthy as a pack of yogurt-covered banana chunks. Hats off to the scooters for a job well done.