BMW R18 meets Indian Challenger and Harley Heritage Classic
The slightly ridiculous 1800cc, two-cylinder, leather-saddlebag, CHiPs-windshielded cruiser I’m trying to force through six stopped lanes of Los Angeles traffic can’t be taken as anything but an admission on the part of the Bayerische Motoren Werke that Harley-Davidson knows
Honda is finally bringing the Navi to the U.S.! Adding to the miniMoto family for 2022, the machine combines the looks of a motorcycle with scooter features. Given its compact size, it makes up for a sporty and fun commuter that’s easy to maneuver around the city.
Flaunting miniMoto aesthetics, the Navi is somewhat a cross between Honda’s Ruckus and Grom. It features a low 30-inch seat height that allows most riders to touch the ground with their feet and effortlessly hop on the ride. Not only that, but it’s easy to find a parking spot or handle it through the concrete urban jungle.
The bike weighs 236 lbs (104 kgs), including all of its standard equipment and a full tank of fuel, so it’s a light machine that can be transported on an RV bumper rack. It even has a storage unit that is big enough to carry a backpack, a jacket, or a laptop.
The bike is equipped with a 109cc air-cooled four-stroke single-cylinder, and it has scooter-like features that set it apart from other members of the miniMOTO family, such as a CVT transmission. That means no clutch, no shifting, no neutral or park. All the riders have to do is hop on, turn the key, press a button and start Navi-gating (pun intended).
Those who want to get a taste of what this bike feels like will have the opportunity to get up close and personal with it this weekend at the IMS Outdoors motorcycle show in Costa Mesa, California. The Navi is set to hit the U.S. showrooms in January (February for California) next year. The bike will be available in four colors: Red, Grasshopper Green, Nut Brown, and Ranger Green. What’s more, it is offered at a crazy affordable price of $1,807.
According to Honda, another five on-road models for 2022 will make a comeback: the Gold Wing tourer and NC750X adventure tourer, the Rebel 1100 and Fury cruisers, and the CBR600RR sportbike. Most of them will be available in multiple trim levels and will sport a fresh set of paint.
It’s good to know that electric two-wheelers are registering greater acceptability among users. However, sales of new electric scooters alone may take a long time to achieve the goal of 100% electric ecosystem. One also needs to focus on millions of fossil-fuel powered two-wheelers that continue to pollute the environment. The need of the hour is dedicated conversion kits that can be produced on a mass scale, are affordable and can be easily fitted in existing two-wheelers.
Saietta electric motor for Continental GT
UK-based Saietta Group specializes in developing electric drive systems for electric vehicles (EVs). It has come up with an electric motor that can be fitted directly onto Royal Enfield Continental GT. A number of tests are currently underway to assess overall performance and viability of converted Continental GT.
The company has plans to mass-produce the motors, once everything has been fine-tuned and perfected. These motors will also be distributed to Indian OEMs through Padmini VNA. The latter is a leading manufacturer of advanced auto components.
It is to note that Royal Enfield is in the process of developing its own range of electric motorcycles. These will continue to use the retro theme that can be seen on existing Royal Enfield motorcycles. However, it’s not certain when exactly these motorcycles will be launched. It’s also not certain if Royal Enfield will be able to dominate the electric segment, just as it does in 350cc to 650cc segment. It will be interesting to see how the king of thump performs in a green, silent world.
Hero Xtreme electric motor
Targeting the commuter segment, Saietta has converted a Hero Xtreme with an electric motor. This too has been equipped with a swappable battery system. As compared to charging an electric two-wheeler, a swapping ecosystem offers multiple benefits.
Batteries can be swapped within seconds whereas charging can take several minutes even with fast charger. Another benefit is that customers don’t have to invest in buying the battery. They just need to pay for using the battery, which works out much cheaper.
From a design perspective, it is obvious that converted Continental GT and Hero Xtreme will need some sort of a body kit. In their current form, the motorcycles come across as a work-in-progress unit.
Existing users of these motorcycles are unlikely to make the switch to electric until the visual shortcomings are take care of. Even though the motor is an innovative work and pioneering move by Saietta, one cannot completely ignore aesthetics associated with a motorcycle.