Test Drive: Honda BeAT 110 Fi

Since the days of the first Honda Cub, the brand has been synonymous with a fun, fuss-free riding experience. Times have changed since then, and fashion has moved forward. Despite this, the same Honda ethos of having a fun, easy-to-ride scooter has remained, and today, we get to take a look at one of their current models, the commuter-friendly BeAT 110.

Design: 4/5

Compared to other scooters in the Honda stable, the BeAT is designed significantly tamer. Sure, it’s no Honda Dream, but the overall look is more approachable than the edgier scoots in their lineup. Our test drive was done in a two-tone orange and black paint scheme that was at that Goldilocks point of being neither too loud, nor too plain. There are fewer points and sharp angles on the BeAT, lending to the more accessible look that sets this apart from its Honda siblings. There’s still a bit of edginess to it, like the line from the handlebars down to the stepboard, and a few little accents below the seat, and at the guard covering the exhaust.

This scooter has an extremely comfortable, upright riding position due to the high seat located fairly close to the handlebars, with a large, comfortable seat that has quite a bit of give to it. Decals, done in the same orange as the front fairings round out the scooter’s look.

Hardware: 4/5

For a simple little commuter, the BeAT is loaded with features. Not the least of which is fuel injection. Honda’s PGM-Fi system is present to make sure the 110cc engine get the perfect fuel-to-air ratio, for great power and low emissions. To further this, Honda saw it fit to include the idling stop system, a feature that sa has trickled down from their higher-end scooters. Combi brakes are another feature that reinforces its position as a friendly, very usable commuter, removing the need for newer riders to be concerned about which lever to pull in. 

The BeAT’s power plant is a 110cc, 4-stroke, air-cooled affair, linked to a V-matic transmission. The engine puts out an adequate 6.38 kW at 7500 RPM, and 9.01 Nm of torque at 6,000 RPM. Starting is electric, with the option to use the kick starter should the need arise. The scooter comes with cast wheels for both form and durability, and weighs a light 92 KG, which, when coupled with its 740mm seat height, makes for an easy ride, even in our crowded streets.

User Experience: 3.5/5

I have always been a fan of Honda’s scooters. They’ve always been pleasant to drive, and extremely easy for even new riders to use. The BeAT might just be the epitome of this right now. It’s unassuming, comfortable, and simple. Everything about it is easy. It’s light enough to maneuver through a small driveway, low enough to swing a leg over while still staying firmly planted on the ground, and tame enough to keep you from getting yourself into any real trouble. Yes, it’s still a two-wheeler, and all the usual risks apply, but it feels firmly planted, and its stance keeps you confident, even in tight traffic, or bad weather. It can feel a little squirrely if you’re not used to the weight, but you’ll soon find that the lightness is more a boon than anything else, particularly when you have to walk it through some really gnarly back-road traffic.

The Idling Stop System is another thing that I appreciate. From both a fuel-saving, and emissions point of view, cutting the engine when you’re at a long stop is not a bad idea. While vibrations aren’t really a problem with the little 100cc engine, it’s also a lot less tiring to make your way through traffic when you don’t have a few hundred explosions going on underneath your seat every minute. Adding to the comfort levels are a wide step board that will happily accommodate even the widest of clown feet, and large under-seat storage for all your daily baggage. It’s not quite large enough to fit my 2XL helmet, but with my bag or groceries out of the way, I don’t really mind carrying my lid around. The gauge cluster is large, well-lit, and easy to read with a quick glance.

Acceleration was a concern for me looking at the specifications of the bike, but in practice, the low weight makes up for the lack of outright power. If you’re a decent rider, you won’t really feel any need for much more pull than the BeAT has to offer. It happily zips past slower vehicles, and overtakes like a champ, staying firmly planted all the while. Stopping is likewise adequate. While I had no occasion to pull a panic stop during my testing, the combination brakes delivered a sufficient, if a little hollow-feeling, performance.

The four liter fuel tank goes a long way with a small engine, and the ISS engaged. My daily commute through rush hour traffic rendered what I would estimate to be easily upwards of 55 km/l, even with a bit of a heavy hand on the accelerator.

Value: 4.5/5

With an SRP of PHP 69,990, the BeAT is without a doubt, an excellent choice for a commuter. Whether you’re new to two-wheeled travels, or a seasoned veteran looking for an easy, worry-free ride to get you to work and back, it has enough features, engine, and comfort to get the job done.

What’s Hot:

– Great fuel efficiency

– Plenty of features

– Comfortable

What’s Not:

– Brakes could use more feedback

Bottomline:

Fuel-efficient, quiet, and comfortable, it checks all the right boxes.

Also published in GADGETS MAGAZINE September 2018 Issue.

Reviewed and photos by Ren Alcantara

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