The Honda Helix is a 250cc motor scooter made by Honda. Unlike some motor scooters, the Helix is not a moped or anything even close. With a total body length of almost 7 feet, an incredibly aerodynamic fairing, a windshield, liquid cooling, and a comfortable seat, this is a real highway bike.
The Helix is a lot more powerful and responsive than many people would guess with such a small single cylinder engine. The trick to it's success is what Honda calls a V-Matic (or variomatic, or continuously variable) transmission. This is a neat variation on the idea of an automatic transmission that keeps the engine in it's power band at virtually all times. This also has the side effect of allowing the bike to be almost completely silent because since the engine stays in a narrow RPM range the muffler can be (and is) tuned to eliminate that specific set of frequencies quite well.
Another advantage is fuel efficiency.
- In town with no passenger 60 MPG was the norm.
- On the highway with no passenger it would get 70 MPG.
- On the highway with one other rider it would get 60 MPG
The bike weighs about 300 pound
s. For anybody who needs a good solid commuting bike, and wants a lot of reliabilty, good gas milage, and doesn't mind riding something that looks like a speeder bike
from star wars
, this is your ride.
The two downsides I found with mine were the following:
- Did not handle well while accelerating if the pavement was slippery. This is basicly universal to any bike with an automatic transmission. If you are not extremely careful you will find yourself fishtailing all over the road.
Due to the design of the bike as well as it's length, cornering can involve leaning the bike down to extreme feeling angles. This takes some getting used to, and many people crash into stuff because they are afraid to lean it down that far. Fear not, the tires are treaded most of the way up to the hubs.