HONDA NAVI LAUNCHED IN THE US, BECOMES FIRST DEVELOPED-IN-INDIA HONDA 2W TO BE SOLD IN THE STATES

The Honda Navi has gone on sale once again, but this time, in the United States. Yes, the diminutive moto-scooter – which was conceived and developed by Honda Motorcycle and Scooter India – has found its latest market in the States, where it has been introduced as the smallest, most accessible, and most affordable two-wheeler from Honda, with a base price of $1,807 – or Rs 1.34 lakh, nearly three times the price tag it sported in India.

The Navi is the first Honda two-wheeler developed by the manufacturer’s Indian arm to go on sale in the US, which will undoubtedly serve to flatter the HMSI team responsible for its creation. There is no official statement on the same. Still, it’s more than likely that the Honda Navi being sold in the US is also made in India, as the plucky moto-scooter is manufactured only at HMSI’s plant in Tapukara Rajasthan for export markets.

Launched in India back in 2016, the Honda Navi – a repurposed Honda Activa under the skin – certainly got two-wheeler buyers curious with its funky appearance, peppy performance and even witnessed surprisingly strong demand initially, crossing the one lakh unit sales milestone in August 2018.

However, its tiny proportions and quirky looks didn’t go down too well with the Indian audience, with many terming it as comical and possibly even a misfit for the masses. Honda eventually decided to stop selling the Navi in India ahead of the BS6 emission norms but continues to manufacture it for other markets. It continues to do surprisingly well.

Compared to what we saw, the US-spec Navi remains essentially identical. The only changes are new turn indicators and a mildly modified instrument cluster that now includes MPH markings for the speedometer.

It is a novel offering for budding riders in the US in the way that it is considerably cheaper than the most affordable Honda two-wheeler available in the States, is carburetted in the age of fuel injection, has the Activa’s trusty 110 cc engine and CVT combination, rides on a 12-inch front wheel (10-inch at the rear), has drum brakes at both ends, lacks ABS, weighs just 107 kg and offers a mileage of 110 mpg – or around 47 kpl. The Navi will be available in the US from January 2022 onwards.

HMSI is now developing more two-wheelers specifically for the Indian market. If the Navi is well received by US buyers, it will be interesting to see if Honda can ship more developed-in-India models to the States. In recent times, Honda’s Indian arm has rolled out motorcycles such as the Honda H’ness CB 350, Honda CB 350 RS, and Honda CB200X specifically for the domestic market, with more midsize offerings in the pipeline, and some of those could be ideal candidates for markets overseas, including the US.

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