No, your eyes don’t deceive you. That’s no Honda Grom, it’s the 2022 Honda Navi! While there’s an undeniable family resemblance to the Grom, it’s quite a bit different than what you may be expecting. It’s a beginner-friendly, fun, modern design that’s ripe for customization and splits the difference between mini-moto and scooter.
The 2022 Honda Navi is powered by a 109.2cc, fan-cooled, four-stroke single-cylinder Honda Enhanced Smart Power (eSP) engine. Honda already puts this little mill and/or eSP technology in some of its scooters, including the Activa. Internal engine friction is reduced to allow for a more seamless riding experience, which also helps to enhance fuel economy. Since the Navi was originally designed as a commuter bike, you probably won’t be too surprised to learn it has a claimed fuel economy of 110.3 mpg.
Now, the styling of the Navi looks all miniMOTO, but you may already have noticed the drivetrain is down low and out back—not typically where piston-powered motorbike engines are placed. While the engine is a stressed member, the layout is very much like what you’d find in a scooter. Sure enough, the Navi has a CVT and is a twist-and-go bike. Unlike most scooters, it doesn’t have is a step-through design with a big central floorboard—or even a low hump where the fuel tank sits, like many maxi-scooters.
Instead, there’s a lockable cubby down in front of where you put your feet on the pegs. Honda says you can stash a jacket, textbooks, or other small items there, which leads to the true intent of the Navi: Encouraging new riders to throw a leg over.
With its fuel-sipping ways, low 30.9-inch seat height, and completely unintimidating curb weight of 236 pounds, it’s incredibly approachable for uninitiated riders. That’s probably why one of American Honda’s introduction events for the Navi in this country will be part of the IMS Outdoors “Ride with Us” program, which aims to get members of the public who’ve never ridden a bike before taking their first rides.
Like the Grom, the Navi is ripe for visual customizations, and Honda says graphics packages from Icon and TrueTimber will be available right out of the box. It’s scheduled to hit American Honda showrooms across 49 states in January, 2022, with California to follow in February. Available colors at launch will be Red, Grasshopper Green, Nut Brown, or Ranger Green. Here’s a major point of appeal, though: MSRP will be just $1,807 at launch.
Another point of interest: the Navi was originally designed in the mid-2010s by Honda Motorcycle and Scooter India for the local market. It was released first in India and Nepal, then later made its way to other more scooter/commuter-focused markets around the world. Could this fuel additional hopes of the H’Ness CB350—also developed by HMSI and admired by a vast number of international motorbike fans—eventually making its way to our shores? Here’s hoping.
In the meantime, the Navi launches at a unique time for the American motorcycle market. Pandemic changes and concerns are still with us—and fuel prices are on the rise. The Navi is carbureted (!) in 2021, and has drum brakes front and rear—but to be fair, it’s also just $1,807.
In fact, that combination of things makes it seem extremely competitive with the sketchy off-brand bikes you can buy off of Amazon or eBay. Except, of course, you get Honda-level quality. In a time where everything’s costing more money, isn’t it kind of cool to see something that costs quite a bit less than other minimotos? Additionally, it’s lightweight enough to haul around as a camp runabout for people who are living that RV life—yet another thing that’s grown in popularity since ‘Rona walloped the world.
Will American fans flock to it like they have to the Grom, Ruckus, Monkey, and Super Cub? Time will tell, but there are a lot of reasons to think they will. I’ll be getting my hands on a brand-new 2022 Honda Navi very soon, so I look forward to sharing my first impressions with you in the coming days.