Honda Silver Wing Scooter Forum

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 How far we have come

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model28a
rodenbach
Meldrew
NWSSC
hotwings
rjdoles
10 posters
AuthorMessage
rjdoles
Maxi-Scooter Rider
Maxi-Scooter Rider
rjdoles

Number of posts : 139
Age : 73
Location : Columbus, Ohio
Points : 3420
Registration date : 2012-09-24

How far we have come Empty
PostSubject: How far we have come   How far we have come I_icon_minitimeSat Oct 27, 2012 9:33 am

I got my first scooter in 1962 (see the Avatar). It was an Allstate Cushman. It had a 4.9 hp air-cooled flathead engine. It had no battery and magneto powered lights that were barely visible at idle. It had a rear drum brake operated by a foot pedal and no front brake. A panic stop from speed didn't provide much braking but it did produce a nice skid mark to the point of impact.

The Cushman had a centrifugal clutch and only one gear. The only instrument was a speedometer/ odometer. The passenger got to sit on the gas tank. He rested his feet on the frame, just inches from a spinning clutch that devoured many a tennis shoe. It had a top speed of about 45 mph.

Fast forward to 1984. The Elite 125 scooter was water-cooled. It had front and rear drum brakes. The rear brake was still a pedal on the floorboard. It had a CVT transmission. It had a battery and much better lighting system. It had a top speed of about 55 mph.

How far we have come 84Elite125

Fast forward again to 2005. The Reflex 250 scooter was a much improved version of the Elite. It had hand controls of both disk brakes. It had the combined braking. It had a large storage area under the seat. It has better lighting. It had a top speed of about 80 mph.

How far we have come 2005Reflex

Fast forward again to this year. I purchased an 05 Silverwing.
To me, it is the equivalent of a sportbike with an automatic transmission. The engine is mounted on the frame and not on the swingarm which allows it to handle bumps so much better. The twin cylinder engine is very smooth on the superslab. I am not sure what the top speed is but it is way above the legal limit.

I have not gotten a picture of my swing yet but everyone knows what they look like.

Looking back on this evolution, I can't help but be amazed.

Ride safe!
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hotwings
Silver Wing Expert
Silver Wing Expert
hotwings

Number of posts : 876
Age : 51
Location : Ontario
Points : 4360
Registration date : 2012-04-29

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PostSubject: Re: How far we have come   How far we have come I_icon_minitimeSat Oct 27, 2012 11:07 am

Interesting. Thanks
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NWSSC
Silver Wing Rider
Silver Wing Rider
NWSSC

Number of posts : 418
Age : 83
Location : Mt Prospect IL 30 miles west of Chicago
Points : 4643
Registration date : 2010-03-03

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PostSubject: Re: How far we have come   How far we have come I_icon_minitimeSat Oct 27, 2012 12:43 pm

I could be wrong but I believe your 84 Elite was air cooled.I also had a 250 Reflex great scooter. Instead of Honda discontinuing it it they should have made a 400 version and made the S/W at least 650cc. I believe Honda has dropped the ball the last couple of years.I guess it is all about the bottom line. Crying or Very sad
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http://www.northwestsuburbanscooterclub.com/
Meldrew
Visiting Curmudgeon
Meldrew

Number of posts : 3741
Location : York, North Yorkshire, England UK
Points : 7749
Registration date : 2010-11-16

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PostSubject: Re: How far we have come   How far we have come I_icon_minitimeSat Oct 27, 2012 1:36 pm

No mention of the introduction of the Honda CN250 Helix in 1986 then, the original long wheelbase maxi scooter from which all the others evolved from in the late 1990's. At first in 250cc versions like the Yamaha YP250 Majesty, Suzuki AN250 Burgman, and from Italy the Honda engined Piaggio X9 250, and the Malaguti Madison 250.

The Helix was the granddaddy of them all, and the first with the feet forward riding position that all modern maxi scooters have except the big wheeled versions.
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rodenbach
Touring Scooter Rider
Touring Scooter Rider
rodenbach

Number of posts : 321
Age : 64
Location : Belgium
Points : 3646
Registration date : 2012-08-30

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PostSubject: Re: How far we have come   How far we have come I_icon_minitimeSat Oct 27, 2012 2:41 pm

My very first ride was on a Vespa - at the aged of 4 ...

In 1960 my uncle returned from the Belgian-Congo. He came to see his sister (my mom) on his Vespa and took me out for a ride: standing between his knees on the floorboard, my head barely peeking over the handlebars, I was instantly converted to motorbiking... Hallelujah


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model28a
Silver Wing Guru
Silver Wing Guru
model28a

Number of posts : 2089
Age : 68
Location : St.Pete.FL.
Points : 6358
Registration date : 2010-02-03

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PostSubject: Re: How far we have come   How far we have come I_icon_minitimeSat Oct 27, 2012 8:21 pm

NWSSC wrote:
I could be wrong but I believe your 84 Elite was air cooled.
FWIW My 86 Elite 250 is water-cooled.
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rjdoles
Maxi-Scooter Rider
Maxi-Scooter Rider
rjdoles

Number of posts : 139
Age : 73
Location : Columbus, Ohio
Points : 3420
Registration date : 2012-09-24

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PostSubject: Re: How far we have come   How far we have come I_icon_minitimeSat Oct 27, 2012 9:20 pm

NWSSC wrote:
I could be wrong but I believe your 84 Elite was air cooled.

Some newer Elite's are air cooled but our 84 Elite 125 was water cooled. The one pictured at the top of this topic was ours. It had a hood that flipped up like a car hood. Under the hood was the radiator and overflow tank. I had hoped that the underhood area could be used for storage but no joy.

There was one nice thing about having the Elite radiator mounted under that hood. It had a small lever on either side of the front fairing. With those levers in the closed position, an air vent near the floorboards was closed. With those levers in the open position, warm air from the back of the radiator was directed at your feet. Nice for those cooler fall rides.

Meldrew after you mentioned the Helix, it peaked my curiosity. I searched the Internet for information on the Elite and the Helix and found a great Honda Model Gallery site at the following link.

http://www.motorera.com/honda/index.htm

It lists an Elite 250 in 1985 and the Helix arrived in 1986. I believe that there were years where both of those models were sold.

Ride safe!
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rodenbach
Touring Scooter Rider
Touring Scooter Rider
rodenbach

Number of posts : 321
Age : 64
Location : Belgium
Points : 3646
Registration date : 2012-08-30

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PostSubject: Re: How far we have come   How far we have come I_icon_minitimeSun Oct 28, 2012 3:49 am

I was fortunate to have had the opportunity to ride both the Helix 250 and the Elite 250 in the past. (b.t.w. the Helix is called 'Spazio' in this part of Europe)

If my memory isn't letting me down, both engines were very similar. But the ride was quite different, with the Elite behaving more like a 'normal' scooter (nimble and somewhat nervous ride) where as the Helix/Spazio had a lower, 'feet forward' seating position, with a very long wheelbase, offering more of a 'easy rider' position. The Helix also was one of the first motorbikes on the market, offering a digital dashboard.
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surlybiker58
Touring Scooter Rider
Touring Scooter Rider
surlybiker58

Number of posts : 350
Location : Elkton , Maryland
Points : 3895
Registration date : 2011-12-11

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PostSubject: Re: How far we have come   How far we have come I_icon_minitimeSun Oct 28, 2012 8:01 am

Thanks for the Honda Gallery link.

It took me back down memory lane.

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john grinsel
Curmudgeon
john grinsel

Number of posts : 3081
Age : 82
Points : 7993
Registration date : 2009-08-18

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PostSubject: Re: How far we have come   How far we have come I_icon_minitimeSun Oct 28, 2012 12:38 pm

That list on Honda models does not include all----CD90 thru 250 sold as "Business models" I had CD250 twin, great except for poor rear suspension but chain case wonderful. Juno scooter not there, made in both single and twin versions----only ever saw one---junk yard Tachikawa 1966.

Helix----maybe honda's best scooter---I had 4 new, 175,000 mile total---built in "trunk great"---engine took wide open in running stride---only known problems, intake rubber broke in time (cheap to fix), guts of mufflers on all of mine shook themselves loose @ 30,000 miles--Honda Warranty replaced---you could do valve adjustment in motel parking lot.

Real plus---it would start at near zero F temps. Front suspension didn't like winter salt.

Real Crime---J speed rated tire on bike that would go 70mph down hill, tailwind. Had one speed related rear tire failure.

One of my Helix was Japan model, Fusion, althought parts book same, the Japanese market model was smoother, faster---ran like electric motor.

Three of the four had rear clutch bearing problem early in their life, again Honda paid----all of mine were 1990 and on with mag wheels.

On the market now, same engine, maybe fuel injection, I would buy tomorrow at popular price.
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ucwinters
Scooter Rider
Scooter Rider


Number of posts : 43
Age : 72
Location : Universal City, TX
Points : 3547
Registration date : 2012-01-07

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PostSubject: Re: How far we have come   How far we have come I_icon_minitimeSun Oct 28, 2012 2:18 pm

[quote="rjdoles"] It had a rear drum brake operated by a foot pedal and no front brake. A panic stop from speed didn't provide much braking but it did produce a nice skid mark to the point of impact.


Now that is funny (and a very true statement)!!!!
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rjdoles
Maxi-Scooter Rider
Maxi-Scooter Rider
rjdoles

Number of posts : 139
Age : 73
Location : Columbus, Ohio
Points : 3420
Registration date : 2012-09-24

How far we have come Empty
PostSubject: Honda Gallery link   How far we have come I_icon_minitimeSun Oct 28, 2012 3:16 pm

surlybiker58 wrote:
Thanks for the Honda Gallery link.

It took me back down memory lane.


I really like the gallery as well. I was amazed at how many models of motorcycles and scooters Honda has produced over the years.

I have owned a sampling of them and all of them were pretty good. Some were better than others. If there were problems, it would generally be a design issue and not a quality issue. They are pretty conservative in their designs and they seldom have quality issue's.

I did controls work for all the automotive manufacturers including the Honda motorcycle and automobile plants in Marysville, Ohio. I can say that the Honda production philosophy was the same in all their plants. They were rabid about quality. Things that would have been "good enough" for other manufacturers was never "good enough" for them. At times, it was frustrating working for them but you could never fault them for trying to make the best product on the market.

I think that has gotten them almost a cult following.

Ride safe!
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exavid
Silver Wing Guru
Silver Wing Guru


Number of posts : 2658
Age : 78
Location : Medford, Oregon
Points : 7192
Registration date : 2009-07-17

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PostSubject: Re: How far we have come   How far we have come I_icon_minitimeWed Dec 19, 2012 3:36 pm

[quote="ucwinters"]
rjdoles wrote:
It had a rear drum brake operated by a foot pedal and no front brake. A panic stop from speed didn't provide much braking but it did produce a nice skid mark to the point of impact.


Now that is funny (and a very true statement)!!!!
Not so funny when you needed brakes. My Cushman's 4hp engine threw a rod and my dad and I replaced it with an 8hp
Eagle engine. He didn't realize the difference in performance and I didn't tell him but that scoot would do more than 60mph with the new engine. I once slide completely through and intersection when the lone brake cammed over and locked the rear tire. Very exciting. Interesting to keep the thing upright too. Once I got it stopped and kicked the brake arm to unlock the rear wheel off we went again. Being a 15 year old I didn't worry about those things. When I got home I looked at the rear tire which was pretty well worn anyway, and saw that it had gone through the cord. Those were the days.
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