Our review expert from scooter insurance has been checking out the latest new scooter to hit the block. Honda has just released its new Vision scooter in the UK, starting in August 2011. This economical little 110cc scooter replaces the Honda Lead 110 in the Honda scooter lineup, and in every way, this is a better machine than its predecessor. The styling is right up to the minute and follows the design lead of other Honda scooters such as the SH150. It has Honda's PGM-FI fuel injection system and a clever Combined Braking System which allows the braking of both wheels using the left hand brake lever. The Honda Vision also has larger wheels than the Lead giving it better handling and ride, and making it more reminiscent of the original Honda Super Cub (C50, C90, etc) step through scooter which debuted in 1958, although the Vision has a Vespa-like flat floor which is more practical and offers better protection from the elements. By the way, it is reported that the iconic Cub, still in production in Japan and some third-world countries, has become the world's highest selling vehicle, having sold over 60 million worldwide. This cements Honda's reputation as the world's leading scooter manufacturer in terms of numbers, even if Piaggio with its Vespa was there first and is seen by most as the style leader.
Priced at £1,800, Honda is definitely aiming at the scooting masses with this fuel-conscious commuter, although there is a 50cc version being released in December for £1650 which fits into the moped category and will probably sell in even bigger numbers. As a lot of people are catching on to the appeal of scootering as a commuting and lifestyle option, first-time scooter owners will go for the 50 as it can be ridden by anyone with a car licence, but after a while on the road a faster, more powerful scoot like the Honda Vision 110 becomes more desirable, as the speed limitations of the 50cc moped become more obvious.
The question is often asked, as to why scooter sales are so low in the UK compared to Italy, particularly when it comes to the bigger, more expensive models. In this writer's opinion, it is a combination of the rainy weather in Britain, and Italy's Mediterranean climate and traditional attachment to its beloved Vespa which has paved the way for the popularity of scooters of many varieties and nationalities in Italy. After all, if a potential British scooter buyer is going to spend say £5000 on a high-end scooter, he would have to be a well-heeled motorcycle enthusiast, as it is far more practical for most people to buy a small car for the same money and stay dry when it pours. Which is why Honda's Vision is aimed at a low price point - this makes it affordable as a second vehicle which can stay in the garage on wet days in favour of the family car. And of course the fuel savings helps pay for the initial outlay - but you can't make such a good economic argument for buying a scooter if it costs significantly more to purchase and also uses more fuel than the thrifty little Vision which gets 140 miles per gallon or about 50 kilometres per litre. As you might expect, insurance costs for this scooter are going to be very low.
So will the Honda Vision 110 sell in such huge numbers as the Super Cub? Probably not, as competition in its market segment is now so intense, but for Western countries like the UK, the Vision has a good chance of giving the other scooters a good run for their money. And at the end of the day, saving money, and doing it in style, is what the Vision is about.
If you are interested in getting a scooter insurance quote for a Honda Vision, we recommend our online quote system which will let you compare lots of insurance deals from a variety of UK providers.