Honda Forza 300 Review
Quick Spin : Since being released the Forza 300 has hit the ground running. We were lucky enough to take one for a quick spin.
HONDA FORZA 300
Anyone who has ridden at length on Honda’s PCX 150 would see this as a familiar feeling. Whilst around town life's a breeze, out on the freeway if constant speeds over 100 km/h are needed, the 150 can be left a little short. That's where the Forza 300 comes into the picture.
Firstly, the Forza has all the attributes to make it the perfect commuter. For starters, the Forza features ABS brakes standard. Alloy wheels feature good sized rubber, 14 inch on the front and 13 inch on the rear. The body itself provides awesome levels of weather protection. The wide rakish fairing and small screen balance air perfectly over the rider.
Storage levels are massive. The compartment runs full length of the seat, there’s room for a helmet at the very front, and enough room for one at the rear. In-between there’s plenty of usable storage and it doesn't stop there, the Forza features two smaller storage compartments up-front. One is lockable and completely waterproof - it opens from a switch located on the dash. It's also where the 12 volt charger resides.
The seat itself is dominated by a large central lumbar support for the rider and a huge pillion seat that’s complemented by large rubber flip-out footpegs. The handlebars are positioned perfectly, they're exposed and the look is premium. The dash likewise, with two large analogue dials featuring speed and engine speed. Either side is two smaller gauges with fuel and temperature. Centrally there’s a clock, odo and kilometres travelled, the Forza also reports average fuel consumption. Additional switches on the dash take care of the seat opening duties, the weatherproof glovebox and the centrally mounted fuel filler.
The engine comes in at 279 cc in capacity. It’s a 4 valve unit with liquid cooling and fuel injection that produces a hefty 19 Kw’s of power. Honda claims the new engine is based on that of the SH300. The new engine delivers a little less power and overall torque. Though it does win out in providing excellent fuel economy and it feels much smoother and less vibey. The fuel tank itself holds 11.6 litres and this is good enough for well over 300 km’s.
Suspension combines twin shocks at the rear with 35 mm telescopic forks on the front. As previously mentioned, the Forza features twin disc brakes with Honda’s own combined braking system(CBS). Brakes are easily up to the task. The front disc measures 256 mm's and the rear comes in at 240. The Forza’s proportions when parked can look a little large and the measurements do tend to back this up. Length measures in at just over two metres (2,166 mm). The Forza weighs in at 194 kilo's wet.
Once moving - size is all but forgotten, the centre of gravity is low, the seat height is extremely low at just 716 mm's. The Forza's power delivery is smooth and steady and speeds over 100 km/h are achieved with ease. There's good doses of torque everywhere and the best word to describe the Forza is well balanced and very learner friendly. Our experience over a short period would suggest fuel consumption is as reported. On average between 3.7 and 3.9 Litres / 100 km's.
The rider has the option of placing feet forward or flat and because of the low seat height you quickly build confidence. The only handling negative is that things can get a little harsh over rough surfaces, this and the seat, sometimes it can feel a little thinly padded. An obvious trade off for being able to store a helmet directly under the rider. Though like I said, balance is the name of the game, the Forza is an extremely easy to ride, sure footed scooter that provides plenty of presence and feel on the road. Plus it's a very comfortable scooter where the pillion is concerned, one of the best.
The Forza is an all-new scooter for Honda and one that's extremely competitive when compared with the class. The Forza 300 exudes quality and refinement, it's extremely efficient and is more than capable of freeway speeds - It also comes with a host of class leading features. Storage and ABS are just two of the highlights in a package that has a recommended retail price of just over $6500. Most people in the market for a 300 capacity scooter are normally either making the move up or they're often trying to balance the needs of commuting and light touring. The Honda will perform both these tasks in a refined and efficient package, just as you'd expect from the big H.
Honda has also developed a host of factory accessories to suit the Forza. That list and the recommended retail prices can be found below. The Forza's rear rack can easily adapt to taking a box, you'll require a mounting plate and the Forza is box ready.
If you're in the hunt for a 300 class scooter the Forza is a must see, better still, take one for a test ride. See http://motorcycles.honda.com.au for more.