The Honda Navi is a $650 Grom’esque Bike for India

The little Honda Grom has earned somewhat of a cult following not only because it’s so small and nimble but also because of how cheap it is. But you can always go cheaper and Honda has just released a new bike for the Indian market and for a price equivalent to US $650.

The Honda Navi as it is known definitely bears more than a passing resemblance to the Honda Grom. This is no doubt on purpose as the Navi is actually a scooter – albeit it styled to look like a motorcycle and in fact, Honda has marketed it as an ‘automatic motorcycle’. The Navi uses a 110cc engine, has 12 inch scooter tires on the front and 10 inch ones on the back.

about-bike

According to Honda of India, the Navi is their first bike completely researched and developed in the country and has been specifically designed to attract younger riders who aspire to a motorcycle but cannot afford one. As is all the rage at the moment, there will be a large amount of customisable options for sale, including colours, storage and various bits of bling.

We certainly don’t expect the Navi to make its way to western markets any time soon, but once again it’s good to see that manufacturers are realising that bigger isn’t always better.

Honda Navi 001 NAVI-Green

Honda Announces New Grom and Australian Release

The little bike that could which has received somewhat of a cult following is finally making its way to Australia. It’s been a number of years since the bike first debuted in Thailand (where it’s known as the MSX125) and riders in the USA have also been enjoying it for a while now but Aussies will get to buy the bike through official Honda dealerships by mid-2016.

But also of interest is that Honda in Thailand concurrently announced the release of a ‘premium’ Grom – the MSX125SF. According to Honda Thailand, the MSX125SF comes with new LED headlight and light blue positioning LED line (no, I don’t know what that means either), new full digital meter, new down type muffler, new airplane tank cap, new flip key, and upside down shock absorber.

For Australians, the full press release from Honda is extremely short on detail, only divulging that the Grom will be available in Burning Red, Hyper Yellow and Eclipse Black when it hits Australian shores later this year. The images provided also show the new MSX125SF variant – but we’re not sure if that particular version or the standard Grom will make its way to Australia. Nor do we know of the ‘premium’ Grom will make it to the US or UK either.

No word on pricing yet but given how sharply Honda priced the new Africa Twin, we’re optimistic it will come in at a reasonable price.

Honda GROM02_resize GROM_3 Honda GROM03 (2)

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Kawasaki is Bringing a out Grom Competitor, Except They Already Have One

Pictures taken from a showroom in Thailand seem to indicate that Kawasaki is set to release what is being called the Kawasaki Z125 – a monkey bike sized naked motorcycle that appears to be squarely aimed at Honda’s cute little Grom. That’s exciting for many, but Kawasaki has actually been making a Grom like bike for many years – even before the Honda Grom existed.

The Kawasaki Z125, a monkeybike sized machine. But will it make it to western markets?

The Kawasaki Z125, a Honda Grom sized machine. But will it make it to western markets?

Called the Kawasaki KSR110, it’s effectively a miniaturised supermoto. It first came out in 2012 in Thailand and has since been exported to other South East Asian countries including Malaysia and Vietnam. Anyone who has been to these countries will have encountered them many times. The KSR Pro is the machine that would have been most likely sent to western markets with its four speed manual box as opposed to an automatic for the rest of the range.

So despite all the Grom love and comparisons to it with this new leaked photo, Kawasaki is actually already there. So will this new Z 125 make it to western shores? Given that Kawasaki have shown no interest in sending the KSR110 our way, perhaps not. While the Grom is a fantastic bike, it is a very low margin machine – a difficult prospect to convince many corporations of taking a risk on given the market in many countries is till recovering from the GFC.

Kawasaki has been making a mini-supermoto since 2012, the KSR110.

Kawasaki has been making a mini-supermoto since 2012, the KSR110.

Source: Motorival

Suzuki Working on Electric and Hydrogen Powered Motorcycles

While Suzuki’s current range certainly isn’t cutting edge when it comes to technological gadgetry, they appear to be very keen at being at the forefront of drive train technology. Not only are they well on their way to releasing a production version of the turbocharged Suzuki Recursion concept, but recent patent filings show that the smallest of the Japanese manufacturers is working on both an electric motorcycle and a hydrogen fuel cell powered dirt bike.

This isn’t the first patent registered by Suzuki for a fuel cell powered bike. Way back in 2007, Suzuki showed off their hydrogen powered concept called the Crosscage. Then, in 2010 Suzuki has actually produced a hydrogen powered Burgman for real world testing. The patent diagrams indicate that the fuel cell, motor and hydrogen tank are exactly the same as the Burgman proof of concept scooter. The configuration is slightly different with the hydrogen tank mounted vertically instead of horizontally and the electric motor beneath it.

The hydrogen powered Suzuki Burgman concept was good for an impressive 200 miles and could be refueled in five minutes – all without a drastic increase in weight from a conventional scooter.

The more recent patent filing pertains to a battery powered electric motorcycle that appears to be Honda Grom like in size. The patent details are fairly innocuous in that there’s no really radical new ideas here, but a small sized electric bike sounds like a great way to introduce a battery powered machine to the mass market.

Again, this isn’t a first for Suzuki. The patent images seem to be very closely related to their Extrigger concept from late 2013. The Extrigger’s electric drive train was actually borrowed from the earlier Suzuki e-Let electric scooter.

So if Suzuki are filing updated patents on a nearly two year old concept, does that mean the Extrigger concept is going into production? Given the popularity of the Honda Grom, we can only hope so.