Despite one small glitch, the scooter continues to delight on all fronts. This was a run around town for errands with multiple stops. Storage capacity was tested and passed with flying colors. Speed was tested and the 2-3mph gain from the new rear tire was enough to just exceed 50mph indicated. The bit of unexpected night riding proves that the headlight is actually quite good. Mileage continues to be over 100mpg. It was even used 2 up. It earns 5 out of 5 on all fronts to match the mileage.
2010 Honda Elite 110
The original rear tire was pretty worn at time of purchase, but several hundred more miles finished it off. The good news is that tires are cheap and $40 landed a replacement at my door. It is a size larger, which will hopefully add a smidge to the top speed. Exhaust needs to come off in order to change the tire but it is pretty quick and easy. The rear brakes look fine, so nothing needed there. Hopefully we are good for another 5k miles.
In a confidence-eroding surprise, the scooter came to a complete stop recently during a five minute run to the store. It just suddenly lost all power and coasted to a stop. It would not crank the starter or restart, but had strong lights. A long walk later, it was home in the garage. Later that day it started as per normal. Hhhmmmm....
It has run fine ever since. The only guess is that it was a cold morning in the 30s, and motoring along for a few minutes caused something to freeze or get below tolerance levels. Afterwards when things warmed up, it was fine. That is the working theory, but until I find proof it is not solved.
The whole purpose of this machine is to be and errand runner and around town commuter. As such, storage capacity is key. There Is generous capacity under the seat and there is a functional lockable glove box. What it needed was a good top case that could hold a helmet, or other items. Amazon to the rescue, with a 30 L top box which is admittedly an imitation of the Givi and Shad boxes. It adds some reflective red to the rear, which is never a bad thing, and holds a full face helmet plus more. It has the added bonus of being detachable. An incredible upgrade in carrying capacity for $40 including shipping. Mission accomplished.
It turns out that most of the damage that occurred, was cosmetic. The left side mirror which simply scuffed up baby attached. The left passenger foot peg was scraped up but looked presentable once treated. The bodywork on the left side Needed a little bit more attention with some bodywork and bondo, and paint. The front fender was scraped up along with the main body side panel. It even scraped up the windshield.
Much sanding and rough coating later, it was in passable shape. Overall, it is ready for duty, and got a quick 50 miles of duty. The 50 mph top speed is generous, as I only manage about 48 mph indicated before the limiter kicks in. Adequate in most scenarios, but this would be perfect with another 5 mph of top speed.
As with any vehicle where the service history is unknown, I start with the basics. Oil, filters, and plugs. In this case, the machine takes less than a quart of oil, but it is expensive oil. I went with Honda’s specified oil and plug. It was a good thing, as the cross-referenced plug from NAPA was not the same!! The spark plug is a pain to get to but it did eventually come free. There is an interesting copper insert that fits on the tip of the plug to aid spark. The old plug was the perfect beige color, so the bike was running well to begin with. After everything, the scooter ran a hair smoother, with the oil level now at the max rather than the minimum.
The first powered two wheeled machine that I swung a leg over was a Honda 50. It was called a Cub or a Passport elsewhere, but it was the same basic machine. A ubiquitous Honda single that has evolved to have fuel injection and better internals, and is probably the most imitated engine in the world. It is what powers the Honda Elite in 110 form. 100 mpg, a 50mph top speed, and great storage make it the perfect in town conveyance.
The purchase of this machine was meant to be. Hours from home on business, stopped to get gas and decided to peruse craigslist. I had been looking for a cheap but reliable scooter. I saw this Honda one hour after it was listed, and approaching darkness. It was an hour away. I called, drove straight there, and made the purchase.
However, as usual, this one needed help. It was for sale due to an accident a few days before, creating a great price, but some work ahead.