Honda Helix- "The Ugly Duckling of Scoots
The Still Popular 'Rolling Lounge Chair".
The Honda Helix is a scooter that can never be mistaken as another model. In an age where the Yamahas & Suzukis resemble each other, the unique body of the discontinued Helix stands alone. Yamaha had a short lived similar looking model called the Morphous but it still couldn't be mistaken for the Helix.
The first thing you notice is how long this thing is. At a whopping 63.8 inches, this bike is one of the longest scoots I've ever seen. It looks a lot like a snowmobile with no skis. With its long narrow design, single rectangular headlight and very low seating at 26" it doesn't resemble a scooter at all. But the owners who know them best swear that this is the most smoothest & comfortable machine they had ever been on and it will run forever. One of the said owners has over 90,000 mi on his and it still runs like new. Lets take a closer look.
Driven by Honda's 244cc liquid cooled 4 stroke engine, just like the discontinued Elite 250, no fuel injection but not really missed? This still propels it to 75mph and a respectable mpg of about the same out of its 3.2g tank. Add the push button electric starter, maintenance free battery & ignition etc and you have a virtually trouble free scooter for many years. Using the automatic CVT transmission like most scooters it is just "twist and go".
The Helix really shines in the ride & comfort area. It may take some getting used to with how it looks but once you ride then you are "hooked". The really low seat height feels really stable with ability to flat foot at stops, even for really short people. The cushioned seat with a backrest feels like you are sitting in a nice lounge chair. I've sat on one and you could park this scoot in your living room and sit and watch TV for hours, I've never felt anything quite like it on a scoot. I imagine the very expensive Honda Goldwing motorcycles offer the same kind of comfort but that is a whole different class entirely. Even the passenger seating is equal and also with a backrest. The narrow and swooping floorboards offer leg positions in any angle that you want. There are also passenger grab rails to hold on to if need be. The dual shocks and 12" front wheel, along with the 10" rear wheel provide good traction & stability.
A full size windshield offers plenty of protection and the dash has plenty of gauges. A digital speedometer, odometer, coolant temps, gas gauge, clock, oil change warning lights as well as turn signal & light indicators. Probably the hardest thing I would have to get used to is the rear brake is operated by your right foot like a motorcycle. It is on the right floorboard like a car, so it resembles both. The front brake is still on the right handlebar. This is the only scoot I know of that has a foot brake. Another difference is there is no underseat storage. Instead there is a trunk built into the body in which the rear lifts up and offers room for at least a full size helmet. This can also be locked.
With its low seating, good power, Honda quality, it is no wonder why this scoot is still popular and found on many roads. Along with the Reflex, which I recently got and love, these two scoots are making a comeback in the used scoot market. Honda hasn't offered up a 250cc scooter since 2007 and a lot of riders like myself have no need for the extra weight and power of a 400+ cc model. The Helix weighs in at 350 lbs and is very manageable. This scoot still gets the looks, whether it is of sheer awe or "what the heck is that thing". Unlike the Reflex, it has been around consistently since 1987 and shows no signs of fading.