Unlike their Japanese counterparts, Honda is taking scooters very seriously these days. And not big maxi-style touring scooters either. We’re talking bikes from 50cc through 150cc — the butter zone for what a scooter is meant to be. The long-running Metropolitan got a significant refresh, and Honda added two new 150cc models here in the USA: the PCX, and the SH150i. The latter bike, and it’s 125cc sibling available elsewhere in the world, is built in Italy with one thing in mind: dominating the european scooter market. That’s exactly what it’s done, shaming Piaggio on its home turf.
Newly updated versions of the SH boast some key upgrades. From increased under-seat storage (now able to accommodate a full-face helmet), to standard ABS brakes, and a new flat floor. However, the real upgrades on the latest SH comes in the way of weight savings, friction reduction technologies, and an all-new engine system called “enhanced Smart Power” or “eSP” for short. The system uses a start/stop system similar to what you’ll find on many hybrid cars. The result? According to Honda, the SH125 now boasts fuel economy upwards of 112 mpg, while its 150cc big brother hits 103 mpg. Typical “your results may vary” disclaimers aside, those are impressive numbers. This new SH150i would be getting a full 12 mpg better than the current model. Finding 10 mpg in something already that efficient is nothing to scoff at.
No word yet on when this updated version of the SH150i will be available here in The States, but we’d expect it at least by spring of next year as a 2013 model. For Europe’s best-selling scooter, it looks like Honda is just getting started.[Source: Gizmag]