Honda Navi Review w.r.t its Closest Competitors

Published on: Apr 21, 2017
Honda Navi Comparison with similarly priced Motorcycles:
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Today we'll be comparing the Honda Navi to its closest competitors from both the Motorcycle and Scooter Worlds, one by one and recommending the best option for you based on various set of requirements.

Variant - Navi (Electric Start, Drum)
Price - 45,000 Rs. On road Delhi - CONDITIONALLY RECOMMENDED:

The Honda Navi retails for 45,000 Rs. on road Delhi. It available in a single variant, having Drum Brakes and an Electric Starter. This makes it the cheapest Self-Start equipped 'motorcycle' in the country. There are some unique customer requirements, on which the Navi delivers better than any other motorcycle in the market. First, is its suitability to riders of a short height. The Navi has a seat height of just 765 mm, making it one of the shortest in the country, and it's slim seat, aids the reach of rider's feet to the ground, even further.

Before you even bring up the subject of the Avenger, remember that the Avenger is quite a long, heavy and unmaneuverable motorcycle, and also doesn't look right, since a short rider, looks like he is having to stretch his limbs to their limit, trying to reach the footpegs and handlebars.

Second is if you, or your family members, that are also going to use the bike, are new-learners, then Navi might just be the perfect learning aid for you. While learning to ride a bike, you need to master two judgements. First is the judgement of gyroscopic forces that keep your bike from falling over, and second is the judgement of the clutch. If you know how to ride a bicycle, you have already mastered the judgement required for maintaining the balance. Second is the clutch judgement, which was the main culprit, preventing most of the previous generation ladies, from using the geared scooter lying around in their garages. The Navi, has both the front as well as the rear brake, mounted on either sides of the handlebar, eliminating the need for the extra dexterity, required to use a foot-brake on Motorcycles. Not to forget, you get the added convenience of an automatic transmission, which can be a boon, while riding around our jam-packed roads.

But, if you already know how to ride a motorcycle and your bike is going to be shared with members of your family, who also know how to ride, then you should rather avoid buying the Navi.

Better Alternative 1: Honda CD 110 Dream - 53,000 Rs.

The Navi falls woefully short on two parameters, efficiency and dynamics, compared to a conventional motorcycle. Take for example the Honda CD 110 'Dream'. It retails for 53,000 Rs. on road Delhi, which is 8000 Rs. more expensive than the Navi. However, the CD 110, returned a fuel efficiency of 68 kmpl in our tests, which was a good 14 kmpl better, than the Navi's mileage of 54 kmpl. That equates to a savings of 17,000 Rs. over a usage of 60,000 kilometres, at current fuel prices. On top of that, the CD110 is bound to hold at least 10,000 Rs. higher resale value, after a usage of 5 to 7 years, due to its conventional looks, compared to Navi's outlandish design.

Second problem is Navi's small wheels, and short travel suspension. The Navi essentially uses an Activa's tubular frame, with a tiny 10 inch rear wheel, and a slightly bigger 12 inch wheel at the front. The CD 110 Dream, rides on proper 18 inch wheels. By simple geometry, smaller wheels are more likely to sink into potholes, than larger ones, making the smaller wheeled vehicle, more susceptible to bumps and ruts. Navi's suspension also doesn't have the the long travel, pliancy and damping of the CD110's suspension. This gives the Navi a back-breaking ride quality. The CD on the other hand, feels like a welcome relief over rough roads, after riding the Navi.

The Navi has 90 mm wide tyres, which are 10 mm wider than the CD's 80 mm units. This gives the Navi hilarious flickability, and its tyre compound is also softer than the CD's, making it comparatively grippier around the bends. However, CD's immense advantage in terms of ride-quality, is much more crucial than Navi's minuscule advantage in terms of handling.

Better Alternative 2: Honda Livo (Disc) - 63,000 Rs.

But there's an even better alternative than the CD110, which is its own stablemate, the Livo. Honda Livo's disc brake equipped variant costs 63,000 Rs. on road Delhi, which is 18,000 Rs. more than the Navi. The Livo, essentially being the same bike underneath as the CD 110, holds the same advantage over the Navi in terms of efficiency and ride-comfort. Thanks to better fuel efficiency and having an even higher resale value than the CD 110, it works out to be cheaper than the Navi, in the long run.

However, the Livo is eons ahead of the Navi, in terms of safety, thanks to the front disc brake. A disc brake improves the braking power and brakeing response, of a vehicle, compared to a drum brake. All of those illiterate morons out there, who think that a disc brake causes a motorcycle to skid, need to be educated, that if you are habituated to using a drum brake all your life, you tend to squeeze the brakes way too hard, when you ride a bike with a disk brake, for the first time, and that is what causes the bike to skid. A couple of days of practice is all it takes to get habituated to gentler brake application. We are sure these guys would have complained of drum brakes too, if regular motorcycles came with those shoe-type brakes, which are there on entry-level bicycles!

Better Alternative 3: TVS Jupiter ZX (Disc) - 61,000 Rs.

If saddle height is not an issue for you and your family members, then there is no need to sacrifice the practicality of a flat floorboard and under-seat storage that is available in today's scooters. In that case, you should rather look for a good family scooter. But scooters usually suffer from a highly uncomfortable ride quality, due to their small wheels and inadequate suspension. Which is why it is important to pick the least uncomfortable scooter, in terms of bump absorption and the most stable and safe one, that we can find, from the plethora of options available.

Both the TVS Jupiter and Wego, have 12 inch wheels at front and especially at the rear, which is biggest size available in the market, resulting in one of the the best ride comforts, of any scooter in the country. The Aprilia SR 150 does have bigger, 14-inch wheels, but its suspension is setup way too hard, ruining any semblance of ride comfort. It's substandard quality, questionable reliability and poor after sales service, puts it out of contention.

But the Jupiter has one more ace up its sleeve, which is its disc brake. A disc brake makes a two-wheeler far safer than one without it, as already explained in great detail earlier. The Jupiter returned 52 kmpl in our tests, making it just 2 kmpl less efficient than the Navi. Jupiter's ZX Disc version, retails for 61,000 Rs. on road Delhi, which is 16,000 Rs. more expensive than the Navi. However, Jupiter is bound to hold, at least 10-15 thousand rupees higher resale value than the Navi, post a usage of 5 to 7 years. The TVS may not be as reliable as the Honda, but so far the Jupiter and Wego hve proven to be fairly reliable scooters, requiring minimal maintenance and supported by a decent service network. For a very very small increase in ownership cost, the Jupiter offers far better practicality and safety over the Navi and would be our recommendation to you.