Honda 2008: Changes, finally?

There are a lot of ways to interpret The Scooter Scoop’s report on Honda’s 2008 U.S. lineup. While it’s sad to say goodbye to old friends, the Helix and Elite were both well past their sell-by date and it is certainly time for Honda to shake things up. (Besides, killing them off only paves the way for their triumphant ‘retro’ return, later). If losing the Big Ruckus (not a big seller anyway) makes way for the SH series, then I’m all for it. I’m betting the good news will eclipse the bad before the end of the year, and it’s about time.

11 thoughts on “Honda 2008: Changes, finally?”

  1. Hey Illnoise! Thanks for talking me down from that ledge.
    Sometimes it just takes a bit of rational thinking and crap to get a fanboy to cool his jets.

    I was sorta getting to that conclusion myself, but it helps to have others with experience to validate it.

    While the Big Ruckus was cool in its own right, the SH 300i is much more practical and I’m sure better handling. Isn’t it hard to fathom that the Big Ruck only had a 2 year lifespan in the USA? I thought it would have had a better run around these parts. So, I guess now they are collector’s items.

  2. Yeah, and the Helix had to go anyway because of new DOT regs that mandate auto bikes have hand controls for the brakes. The old-school helix had a foot brake, so it had to go.

    I’m less optimistic about the SH300i because this same thing happened last year with the Reflex. Honda didn’t update the page to reflect the Reflex being carried over into 2007 until very late in the season. I remember this well because I took it as a sign they were killing off the Reflex and I even posted as such on the BBS. Not to worry, I’ve lost patience and ordered a Harley, so it’ll be long time before I could save up enough $$$ to buy a SH300i anyway.

  3. Great news! I’ve always been in love with Honda, but their scooter offerings have been lax at best, especially considering all of the other options out there from Piaggio and Co. I’ll always have a shifter, but I’ve been looking for a modern bike to commute on. This might be the ticket afterall.

  4. IIRC, the hand brake reg has been around for ages. It is possible to get an exemption, though. Or are you saying the feds were revoking the Helix’s exemption?

  5. Probably has more to do with the Helix copies coming in from China would be my guess. Honda needs to do a better job of protecting their IP, because too many of the clones on the market are their old designs.

  6. I’m not involved in the regulatory process, but I’ve been told repeatedly that the law went into effect August 2006 and that both Honda and *Harley-Davidson* spent money trying to fight it. Wonder why Harley spent money fighting regulations pertaining to auto bikes? Me too!

  7. If only powerful bloggers such as 2strokebuzz and TheScooterScoop can band together to effect some real changes in product line-up at Honda; then, and only then will we get some smart products such as the SH300i to come over to America. Don’t wait for Honda to ignore us again! The best time to let them know that we ain’t gonna take it no more is NOW!

  8. Here’s the reference document about the handbrake thing – There’s a lot of legal gobblety-gook, but, if you read it carefully, you’ll see that the Federal Government of the United States has been wrestling as hard as we have with the definition of “scooter.” Give it a read, it’s interesting.

  9. It’s time for Honda to bring some new things, and perhaps some middle ground bikes with 150cc engines.

  10. Yeah, the rule change allowed left-handlebar brakes on “scooters”. Before, anything over 5bhp was considered a “motorcycle” so they had to get an exemption from FMVSS 123. The Helix was one of the few scooters that didn’t require an exemption. Ironically, with the rule change it would now require an exemption.

    If you do some searching, you’ll find where Piaggio had to file for an exemption from the foot brake rule when they first imported the Et4. In the filing, they promised to sell fewer than 2500 scooters a year and to redesign the brake system for the 2003 year. Funny stuff.

  11. Has anyone stepped into a Honda (scooter) showroom lately…? It is the Saddest Place On Earth, right?!

    To make things interesting ( and perhaps to sell millions of scooters), American Honda (are you deaf, just not listening , or worse, delusional) should just bring over the entire Italian Honda line-up!!! Yeah, now you’re talking! Yeah, baby! Go, Honda! Go, Honda!

    …………….Oh, sh*t! It was just a dream. Honda is f****d up!


Comments are closed.