Honda Forza-X Review
If Honda's Forza-X points the way to the future of scoots, then that future looks pretty darn rosy.
Your introduction to Forza-X gadgetry begins, err, right at the beginning – when you want to actually start the thing. The scoot uses a smart key system, meaning that you simply need to be within a couple of metres of the scooter with the smart key fob in your pocket to be able to hop on and go. Simply sit it on, retract the sidestand, push the ignition switch (which then illuminates with a ghostly blue glow), twist the switch to the 'on' position, thumb the starter and you're away.
When you stop the bike and walk away, within a few seconds of that fob being out of range the Forza-X turns itself off, the indicators flashing twice to signify the arming of the scoot's immobiliser. There is an actual key for the scoot too, with which you can bypass the smart key system if the battery fails – the key goes into a slot hidden in one of the scoot's two glove compartments.
It's a good system, and after I'd got used to trusting that the Forza-X would in fact immobilise itself after I'd walked away, I couldn't help but think that this technology has got to eventually find its way onto most other scooters and motorcycles.
Other features on the Forza-X include electronic fuel injection, linked brakes and a particularly sweet set of instrumentation, with a clear and easily read speedo, tacho, fuel gauge and temperature gauge. In the centre of all that is a digital readout of the scoot's current fuel economy, but to be honest it fluctuates so wildly with minimal throttle input that I found it to be of little use. The old fashioned method of working out the consumption via dividing the trip readout by litres used at the fuel pump doesn't lie, and in this case the Forza-X managed 22km/lt – giving it a healthy effective range of around 240km.
The engine, a 249cc two-valve four-stroke single, gives it enough poke for safely getting around town, or keeping up with the flow of traffic on the expressway. There's a bit of bodywork vibration just off idle, but this quickly smooths out to a virtually vibe-free ride. The brakes work a treat and the suspension is good, making light work of most of the bumps and potholes you're likely to encounter in an urban environment.
The rider backrest aids comfort greatly, as does the plush nature of the seat in general, but at around 190cm, the Forza-X was simply a bit too small for me. I found that for tight turns, like U-turns or weaving through a block of stationary traffic, my hands and the end of the scoot's handlebars hit my knees. This wasn't a big issue 90 per cent of the time, but for the other 10 per cent I was generally in a situation where I really didn't want or need my steering to be restricted. If you're of average height, this won't be a problem.
Otherwise a low centre of gravity makes the Forza-X a delight to punt through town, even though it's really fairly wide for a 250cc scoot. The Forza-X's construction is top-notch throughout, from its bodywork to many other nice touches like its handbrake, twin headlights and carpet-lined 'boot'. The latter is massive, with the potential to swallow one if not two helmets.
With a recommended retail of $8990 plus ORC there are plenty of cheaper scooters around, but the Forza-X has undoubtedly given style and quality-conscious commuters a worthy option with a considerable touch of class.
Engine: 250cc, liquid-cooled, four-stroke, two-valve single cylinder
Fuel system: electronic fuel injection
Power: 19.4bhp @ 7500rpm
Torque: 21.1Nm @ 5500rpm
Front brake: single 240mm discs with three-piston Nissin caliper
Rear brake: single 240mm disc with single-piston Nissin caliper
Seat height: 710mm
Claimed dry weight: 175kg
Fuel tank: 12lt
Price: $8,990 plus ORC
Colours: Delta Blue Metallic or Cyber Silver Metallic
Warranty: 24 months/unlimited kilometres
Contact: (03) 9270 1111
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