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2010 Honda SH150i First Impressions


by Pascal Bastien ,

One of Europe's best-selling 125 to 150-cc scooters is coming to Canada this summer as a 2010 model. The big-wheel Honda SH150i excels downtown, which is where we took it for a quick spin as part of the Montreal media launch.

The 2010 Honda SH150i will no doubt prove very popular due to its deep European roots.

Styling is attractive, but the engine is what primarily caught our attention. This little 150-cc powerplant behaves just like the most advanced units in the world. Quiet and thrifty, it uses a sophisticated electronic fuel injection system featuring a heated oxygen-sensing catalytic converter that allows efficient cold engine running and keeps carbon monoxide emissions to a minimum. This three-way converter (NOx, Co, Hc) uses automobile technologies to exceed current EPA standards.

The fuel-injected, liquid-cooled, four-stroke engine delivers immediate throttle response at the lightest of inputs. With good responsiveness in the mid range and a positive get-up-and-go eagerness just off idle and when cold, we just loved to wick it up and hang on, despite the limited displacement. And thank you, Honda, for that smooth CVT which allows almost encourages quick take-offs from red lights and such, ahead of cage drivers and their envy.

The svelte and nimble SH150i threads its way almost anywhere, giving you the impression of riding a big bicycle. Just turn your head in the direction where you want to go and the scooter will hit the line with precision. The large wheels offer exemplary handling in corners and on bumpy streets, which is why the SH150i is so popular among Italians and Spaniards, who have to deal with a poorly-maintained road network -- kind of like in Quebec.

At high speeds, on highways and on-ramps, the dynamics of this Honda are surprising, particularly handling and stability in strong winds. Seasoned riders can have a good time in medium-to-high speed corners, where sharp steering, a rigid frame and 16-inch wheels combine to give the impression that you’re riding a motorcycle when entering corners. That, my friends, is one of the best qualities of the SH150i.

The large wheels offer exemplary handling in corners and on bumpy streets.
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