Tiny 110cc scooters like the Honda Beat aren’t known for guzzling fuel, but that doesn’t stop Honda from making it even more fuel efficient. So how do you make an already fuel efficient scooter more fuel efficient? If you ask Honda, they’d tell you to ditch the ancient carburetor in favor of a modern electronic fuel injection system, and add ISS. Nope, not the International Space Station, but almost as high tech. ISS stands for Honda’s novel Idle Stop System that automatically kills the engine while stopped, say for example, in a busy intersection, for more than 3 seconds. Think of it as the two-wheel equivalent of the Skyactiv system of Mazda, and it works.
The ISS was first used on the more expensive Click i 125, and the same technology raised the Beat’s already commendable fuel efficiency to a whole new level. During our test, we were able to achieve a combined city and highway figure of 56 kilometers per liter of fuel, and I am not particularly fond of efficient riding. But that’s not the only benefit gained from fuel injection, I also noticed that the power delivery is more precise and smoother compared to the old Beat. While horsepower figure is slightly improved to 8.67 hp from 8.16 hp, this is achieved 500 rpm lower at 7500 rpm, rather than at 8000 rpm, for the old Beat. Dry weight remains the same at 90 kg for the new model.
I loved how Honda remained faithful to the old Beat’s styling. Although the overall dimension is relatively the same, it noticeably grew in some areas. And while the old Beat is more angular, the new Beat FI is more curvaceous. It’s noticeably an evolution of the original Beat and you can easily spot one from a short distance. The biggest improvement however is found under the seat. The storage compartment grew from 6 to 11.2 liters capacity, made possible by relocating the battery to the stepboard. What I miss from the old Beat is the integrated pillion step board that extends to the front, now replaced by retractable foot pegs. The old design allows for a variety of riding positions, especially on longer rides. At least the passenger pegs are big and covered in rubber for better grip.
Honda is known for making high quality products, and that reputation is quite evident on the new Beat FI. Plastic fairings are put well together, the paint job is spotless and even the texture of bare plastics feels premium. Overall build quality is top notch and the scooter should last a long time. But perhaps to save on development costs some parts of the old Beat were carried over to the new, like the 5 spoke wheels, front brake rotor and caliper combo, and quite possibly even the front forks. Other features that I’m glad were retained, or were carried over to the new Beat, are the side stand kill switch, brake lever lock and the combined brake system, or CBS. The CBS works by activating both front and rear brakes when you pull the left brake lever, for quicker stops.
If you’ve ridden the old Beat, riding the new one will feel very similar. It’s like a dejavu on two wheels. The reach and height of the handlebars are the same and all the switches, while redesigned, are oriented like those on the old Beat. Even the ride and handling feels the same. Which is very good, actually. We just loved how light and agile the original Beat was while negotiating traffic or twisty canyon roads and thankfully, that’s not lost on the new FI version. So if you’re shopping for a new city runabout, be sure to take a closer look at the new Honda Beat FI. There are two versions. The standard Beat FI has a price tag of PhP 66,900. The version we tested here has the CBS and ISS that retails for PhP 69,900.
|Engine:||4 Stroke, Air – Cooled, OHC|
|Max Power:||8.67 bhp @ 7,500rpm|
|Torque:||6.64 lb-ft @ 6,000rpm|
|Seat Height:||740 mm|
|Fuel Capacity:||3.7 Liters|
|Curb Weight:||90 kg|
|Top Speed:||90 km/h|
|Price (2016):||PhP 66,900
PhP 69,900 (CBS/ISS)
W2W EDITOR’s RATING: 9/10
+: Fuel injected, build quality, convenient to use.
-: More power would be appreciated