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2019 Honda Super Cub First Ride Review

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2019 Honda Super Cub First Ride Review

Lengthy earlier than Honda Civics and CR-Vs dotted American roads, Soichiro Honda was hatching a plan to seduce U.S. shoppers with a gotta-have-it journey. “Previous man” Honda dreamed of an reasonably priced two-wheeler that would meet a number of easy however essential tips: produce a minimum of four horsepower from a quiet, environment friendly motor, be rugged sufficient to deal with virtually any street, and welcome any and all riders with an ergonomically pleasant package deal. After a analysis journey to Europe, Soichiro and his workforce rolled up their sleeves and developed the Honda C100 “Super Cub,” which made its strategy to the USA in 1959.

The scooter launched with a gorgeous $215 price tag and a novel hook, however it wasn’t the primary motorized cycle to say an approachable step-by way of design. That distinction goes to Vespa, which debuted its first product in 1946. However Honda’s providing was uniquely styled and friendlier than the subsequent, some extent pushed house by 1963’s “You Meet the Nicest Individuals on a Honda” advertisements. The cheery marketing campaign challenged typical dangerous boy motorbike imagery and launched the CA100 Super Cub mannequin within the U.S. as an reasonably priced, approachable mannequin. The remaining, as they are saying, is historical past: The Super Cub turned an enormous hit, cementing Honda’s presence within the U.S. and happening to turn out to be the best-promoting vehicle on the planet, shifting a staggering one hundred million models by 2017.

The U.S. motorbike market has shifted dramatically since these early days, seeing a resurgence of 600cc-plus bikes and intermittent flirtations with scooters and enormous displacement “maxi scooters.”.The Super Cub, whose final by-product was seen Stateside in 1983, returns this yr (on the sixtieth anniversary of the model’s U.S. presence) to the North American market as an all-new mannequin. Priced at $three,599, the redesigned scooter serves up a number of of the unique mannequin’s features, together with a clutchless shift mechanism.

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The selection is a deliberate one, as Honda might have simply as simply included a totally automated, twist-and-go setup like these of rivals together with the Yamaha Zuma one hundred twenty five ($three,399), Suzuki Burgman 200 ($four,999), and Vespa Primavera one hundred fifty ABS ($5,099). Honda designates the Super Cub as a motorbike due to its semi-guide gearbox, although most fanatics would agree it is extra of a scooter than full-fledged motorbike. The brand new bike additionally adheres to the unique mannequin’s single-seat configuration, because the Super Cub’s U.S. model had a two-seater configuration. Whereas its rivals are outfitted for double occupancy, the brand new Super Cub is a strictly solo affair.

Regardless of its retro seems to be, the brand new Super Cub presents a couple of nice technological surprises. For starters, it borrows from the automotive world with its keyless begin system. Stash the fob in your jacket, and the Super Cub acknowledges your presence, solely requiring a flip of a knob and a press of the beginning button. Since there is no clutch, the tiny engine solely wants a fast press of the ignition button on the handgrip to buzz to life. In contrast to typical transmissions, the clutchless design allows one-handed startup whereas it is in gear, which is useful in the event you’re strapping in your helmet or throwing on a backpack earlier than you journey. The compact instrument cluster presents a easy, legible show of key information, specifically an LCD gear place indicator surrounded by an analog speedometer and different bits of key information.

The Super Cub pushes off its middle stand simply and feels straightforward to maneuver at sluggish speeds. Steering could be very mild and aware of inputs, thanks partially to the low claimed moist weight of 240 lbs (for reference, small bikes just like the Honda CB300R, Kawasaki Ninja 300 ABS, and Yamaha R3 are between 70 lbs and one hundred forty lbs heavier). The engine, which shares the identical air-cooled, fuel-injected 125cc single-cylinder engine as discovered within the Grom, will get a bit buzzy because it revs via first gear.

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Although there isn’t any tachometer to point engine velocity, auditory and vibrational cues make it straightforward to determine if you’ve squeezed out the usable energy from every gear. Upshifts are triggered with a heel kick of the rear pedal, although skilled riders may want a second to acclimate to the N-1-2-three-four shift sample since most bikes are configured with a 1-N-2-three-four-and so on sequence. When you get the cling of shifting straight by means of the gears, feathering the throttle will assist ship smoother energy transfers, particularly when downshifting to decrease gears.

The Super Cub rolls on 17-inch forged aluminum wheels, a comparatively giant diameter that eases dealing with. They’re bigger than most scooters’, and are manufactured utilizing a particular chopping method that permits them to accommodate tubeless tires. Whereas they roll over street imperfections simply, it takes some consideration to information the Super Cub into larger-velocity corners due to its relative sensitivity to steering inputs, particularly when leaned over.

Stopping energy comes from a entrance ABS disc and rear drum setup. Although it is considerably troublesome to set off the anti-lock pulse up entrance by way of the hand lever, a agency kick of the best foot pedal can instigate rear tire lockup. However that is principally irrelevant contemplating the Super Cub’s utilization mannequin, since most riders are unlikely to be driving it like a sportbike and states require a minimal of 150cc for freeway use. However that does not imply the Super Cub could not deal with a freeway jaunt if crucial. Although I do not advocate doing so, I did hop on Interstate one hundred ten close to Downtown LA throughout rush hour whereas visitors was almost stopped. The Honda threaded its approach deftly by means of the gridlock much more simply than neighboring bikes, and when the slowed automobiles began rushing up, I wound out the little motor till I noticed an indicated 60 mph on the speedo. Do not do this at house, youngsters.

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On the finish of an extended however enjoyable day aboard the 2019 Honda Super Cub, I had coated almost 70 miles of metropolis driving and nonetheless had 1 / 4 tank or so of fuel remaining. Light-weight development coupled with a small, one hundred+ mpg engine can do this. However I additionally skilled unusually nice interactions with fellow motorists and passersby, who have been going out of their approach to flash a smile or wave, exuding a lot constructive power you’d think they have been conspiring as a part of a Nineteen Sixties-period advert marketing campaign.

Humorous factor about these smiles: they’re contagious. As a lot as we attempt to put automobiles into packing containers, poring over their spec sheets and crunching efficiency numbers, it is a uncommon however essential machine that transcends these measures and goes straight to the guts. As a cheap option to get round a metropolis on two wheels, the Super Cub does a exceptional job of turning into greater than merely a scooter. Breezy, compact, and straightforward to journey, its retro touches lend it an approachability that is not often seen within the two-wheel realm, whereas its semi-auto gearbox provides a degree of involvement that is uncommon for the phase. Although it will be good if it had a second seat for passengers and perhaps a 150cc engine to make it freeway authorized, the Honda Super Cub nonetheless manages to face out as a singular design assertion and an engineering achievement, one whose lovable character justifies its distinctive place within the motorized world.

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– 2019 Honda Super Cub First Ride Review –

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