I'm buying a Honda SH300i scooterThu, 06 Feb 2014 00:00:00 -0800
I want to buy a second bike to get across town on the daily commute as I currently ride a 183bhp ZX-10R to work and while it's a peach of a bike, it tempts me into doing bad things on a daily basis. This has to stop.
My criteria is fairly simple: I want something that is cheap to buy (close to £2k), cheap to run, frugal on the fuel, easy to ride, nimble through traffic, dull enough to not get nicked and ABS is a deal-maker.
ABS is magic in town, if it saves you from one shit situation, it's worth it. I can be doing without the hassle from a tiny moment, turned lowside, turned broken collar bone.
If whatever I buy is hard to wheelie and back in, then that's good as I could do without the temptation for another couple of years until I'm mature enough to know better. This is a strong-suit of the scooter with ABS.
125s are no good, as they're gutless. Big bikes are big bikes and there's no need for them in town. So that rules out things like a Deauville (well that and a lot of other reasons), CBF500, Bandit 600 etc.
I could tick another box and get a two-stroke for a bit of a laugh but I'll only ride it like a complete dick. There are loads of shonky old two-strokes on eBay and with ten-grand you could fill a garage with everything from battered RDs to sedate MZs. But no, they're not the best option. So that's a cheap Suzuki X5 or Gilera Runner 180SP out of the window.
So in a way, it pains me to find myself looking at a Honda SH300i ABS scooter and thinking: "Yes, that ticks all the boxes!"
They're cheap (around £2,500), £37 a year to tax, they do 1,000mpg, they're peanuts to insure. They're a maxi-scooter without the bulbous hard-to-nip-through-gaps fairing but the CRF250-derived motor offers-up much more poke than a 125. They're easy to maintain, just get on, twist and go! What's not to like?
Well, it's a SH300i scooter. With all my years in the bike industry and all my hours spent browsing classified ads...
Is this really the best option?
By Ben Cope
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