One of the 2016 New Delhi Auto Expo’s biggest talking points has been not one of the most expensive vehicles on display, but in fact the one with the lowest-price! Honda has taken everyone by surprise by launching the NAVI, a new type of two-wheeler that can only be defined as a motorcycle-scooter crossover.
At first glance, the NAVI seems to have been inspired in part by the Honda Grom, a mini-bike that the company offers in international markets. While the Grom is actually a proper motorcycle, the NAVI has been developed from scratch specifically for the Indian market, and is based on the Activa’s underpinnings. It uses the same 110cc single-cylinder engine mated to a variomatic transmission, and also employs a modified version of the Activa’s underbone frame. The engine outputs 7.8 bhp @ 7000 rpm and 8.96 Nm of torque @ 5500 rpm, which should be sufficient to endow the NAVI with zesty acceleration, considering its low 101 kg kerb weight.
The Honda NAVI looks unlike any two-wheeler that’s available in India. It seems like a motorcycle, albeit with really small wheels, and without the engine in the space where it is usually placed. The engine lies in the middle, as in a scooter, while the empty space upfront doubles up as storage. The overall design of the vehicle looks funky and really cool. Seat height is a low 765mm, while ground clearance is a reasonable 156mm. The compact dimensions mean that you’d be able to zip through traffic without breaking a sweat. The fuel tank capacity is a paltry 3.8 litres, although that shouldn’t be an issue as long as you use it exclusively in the city. Despite the size, there seems to be space for two people, but we think it would be most comfortable with just the rider on-board.
The NAVI may seem like a niche product, but its price suggests otherwise. Honda has priced it at a very affordable point of Rs 39,500 (ex-showroom, Delhi)! Clearly then, it is targeted at youngsters, but we think it would be great for anyone who are looking for a vehicle purely for city use. Commuting on a NAVI sure seems like a really cool way to get to work.
We’ve always voiced our concern about how drab and monotonous mainstream two-wheelers have become. In such a scenario, it is quite refreshing to see the arrival of a vehicle like the NAVI. It was indeed a very pleasant surprise to see it being launched in India. It is rare to see major manufacturers take a leap of faith such as this, so kudos to Honda for making it happen. All that remains to be seen is how it actually performs, and how the market would respond to it. Bookings are now open, and the first deliveries are expected to commence in April 2016. We can’t wait to ride it!