Honda refreshes the Metropolitan for 2013

In my opinion, the Honda Metropolitan has been the best looking small-frame scooter on the market for a very long time. It’s had the most authentic Italian style of any of the asian offerings. Let’s be honest. It’s adorable. However, it’s been its same adorable self for a very, very long time. Until very recently, Honda hasn’t invested any effort in bringing new scooter offerings to the American market. Thankfully though, Honda has not only added new models but it’s even refreshed the familiar Metropolitan for 2013.

The changes are comprehensive. New body panels all around, although the basic shape and charm remains the same. The biggest difference is the loss of the headlight in the leg shield. That’s now moved to the headset like most every other scooter on the market. While functionally, this is probably ideal, that chest piece was the most charming, most unique part of the previous Metro. New color options include contrasting colors in black, red and tan. They’re safe choices, like most things in the Honda lineup, but they’re good looking colors nonetheless.

Overall, the Metropolitan has preserved its charm. I think I’ll miss the hawaiian print option though. That was fun. The Metro remains a 50cc machine, which is actually kind of a shame. I think a 125cc or larger version of the Metropolitan could give the Buddy and the Vino a run for their customers’ money.

The most significant updates to the new Metropolitan are mechanical. Like most machines today, say good buy to the carburetor. The Metropolitan is now fully fuel-injected, which Honda says pushes it along at 117 mpg. The braking system has also been updated. While it’s still drums front and rear, at just 179 lbs that should be more than adequate. However, Honda has gone a step further. adding a linked braking system to the rear wheel that they’re calling the Combined Braking System. Applying the rear brake will also apply some amount of front brake, but not vice versa. You really should be using both brakes to stop, but I’m definitely not a fan of this kind of nanny system. It also seems incredibly overkill for for a machine as small as the Metropolitan.

Click through after the jump for Honda’s full press release.

[Official Release] Over the years, the Honda Metropolitan has achieved the status of classic scooter—and rightfully so. But for 2013, all-new styling along with a new 50cc fuel-injected four-stroke engine advance the standing of this little icon to keep it on the favorites list for years to come. Styling highlights include a new headlight and meter setup, different handlebar and a stylish new taillight assembly. There’s a locking, 22-liter under-seat storage area large enough to stow a helmet and also a new inner storage bin that can hold a 1-liter bottle, plus a larger convenience hook to secure a bag. With easy-to-operate features, affordable price and operating costs, plus loads of Honda quality and reliability, the new Metropolitan turns short hops into big fun.

New for 2013

  • A new 50cc OHC four-stroke engine provides ample power for around-town trips while also keeping the fun factor high.
  • Programmed Fuel Injection (PGM-FI) delivers excellent throttle response over a wide variety of riding conditions.
  • New inner storage bin can hold a 1-liter bottle, and a larger convenience hook allows the rider to conveniently secure a bag.
  • New styling highlights include a fresh headlight and meter setup, different handlebar and a stylish new taillight assembly.
  • The estimated fuel economy for the fuel-efficient Metropolitan is 117 MPG.
  • New colors include Pearl White, Pearl Black, Pearl Black/Red.

Honda Genuine Accessories

  • Rear Trunk
  • Rear Carrier
  • Rear Trunk Attachment Kit
  • Outdoor Cover

Specifications

Model: NCH50
Engine Type: 49.4cc single-cylinder four-stroke
Bore and Stroke: 37.8mm x 44.0mm
Compression ratio: 10.1:1
Valve Train: SOHC; two-valve
Induction: PGM-FI with automatic enrichment
Ignition: CD
Transmission: Automatic V-Matic belt drive
Suspension Front: Twin-downtube fork; 2.1 inches travel
Rear: Single shock; 2.3 inches travel
Brakes Front: Drum
Rear: Drum with CBS
Tires Front: 80/100-10
Rear: 80/100-10
Wheelbase: 46.5 inches
Rake (Caster Angle): 26° 30’
Trail: 71mm (2.8 inches)
Seat Height: 28.3 inches
Fuel Capacity: 1.2 gallons
Estimated Fuel Economy**: 117 MPG
Colors: Pearl White, Pearl Black, Pearl Black/Red
Curb Weight*: 179 pounds
*Includes all standard equipment, required fluids and full tank of fuel—ready to ride.

Source: Honda

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