The Honda Elite 125 may be the perfect way to get around town on a budget.
Record-high fuel prices, coupled with an asking price of around R200,000 for the country’s cheapest new cars, has caused a lot of people to look elsewhere for their daily travelling needs.
Along with Uber trips and carpooling with friends, the humble scooter can provide a reliable and practical alternative.
The Honda Elite 125 has a typical scooter look, where your feet sit in front of you – rather than on the sides, as with a motorbike – and large lights on the front and back allow you to be seen by other motorists.
This is an important factor when driving on South Africa’s roads.
The outer shell is made up of white plastic that wraps around the steel frame, and a double-length seat allows space for a passenger and rider.
Stylish five-spoke black aluminium wheels does give it some flare, but a single colour option means that every Elite on our roads will look exactly like the one next to it.
Styling has never been the main decider when it comes to buying a scooter, however, as capabilities mean much more than looks when you’re in this market.
As such, the Elite gets an underseat storage area that can fit a “full-face helmet and more” – according to Honda.
Further practicality is provided by storage pockets below the steering wheel, and a cargo sill at the back that can accommodate an extra bag.
Safety is not forgotten, either, and an electronic brake force distribution system will send braking power to the disc brakes at the front or the drum brakes at the rear – depending on which wheel needs it most.
125cc of power
At the heart of the Elite lies a one-cylinder, 125cc petrol engine that generates 6.25kW of power at 8,000rpm – and 9.25Nm of torque at 6,500rpm.
The air-cooled engine sports a V-matic transmission, and sends power to the rear wheel via a V-belt drive system.
The scooter is also quite light – 109kg – and small, coming in at 1,785mm long, 694mm wide, and 1,139mm high.
Compact dimensions and lightweight parts add up to create an efficient commuter.
It sips fuel at a rate of 40km per litre, and – thanks to the six litre fuel tank – will have a maximum range of 240km before having to fill up.
The South African price for the Honda Elite 125 is R27,100.
Included in the price is a 2-year warranty with service intervals scheduled at every 4,000km, and each purchase will include a free rider training session with Honda professionals.