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Old 02-28-2013, 12:45 PM   #1
Tremelune OP
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Honda NHX 110 Lead/Elite vs Yamaha Zuma 125

Might as well chime in, seeing as I've just realized this site has a scooter section.

I live in NYC. For the past several years, I've had a Honda CH80 Elite. It is near-perfect for the city. Its only flaw is that it doesn't go from Summer to Winter well without work. Might be the carb, might be the wax-powered auto-enrichment "choke", might be bolts working loose on the airbox. It always happens when it becomes too cold to work on outside. I usually buy one for under $1000 in the Spring, then give it away when it gets too cold. I'm trying to discontinue this practice, though it has delighted a few friends.

I've noticed that, in the last few years, lots of little scooters have gone the way of electronic fuel injection, and that is the one thing that could pull me from the indomitable Elite 80. Does anybody have any long-term experience with either of these modern scoots? They would certainly suit me, but I'm trying to weigh the differences between the two, and whether or not fuel injection in general will solve my annual why-doesn't-this-thing-start/idle-right-anymore issue around November. The only issues I'm aware of is the fuel pump overheating on the earlier Zumas.

Tremelune screwed with this post 02-28-2013 at 12:55 PM
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Old 02-28-2013, 12:54 PM   #2
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I'm also looking at the Genuine Buddy 170i.

The biggest selling point for any would be dead-stupid reliability and low-frequency maintenance intervals. I don't intend to modify anything (besides the requesite milk crate). Just gonna ride the wheels off.
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Old 02-28-2013, 12:58 PM   #3
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Another factor is commonality...The Zuma and Buddy have been sold for the last few years and are still going. The Honda (my current favorite) was sold for exactly one year, and there is very little spec/service information available online besides this one dude's YouTube channel.

I'm wondering if the difference is enough to sway me from the Honda, or if it doesn't matter 'cause, hey, It'll never need work anyway!
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Old 02-28-2013, 01:10 PM   #4
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I have a Zuma 125, but I would recommend the Buddy 170, for one very important reason. It is freeway legal. Definitely not safe on all freeways, but you would be amazed just how often you need to hop on a freeway for a few miles to get somewhere. I did a 700 mile round trip on the Zuma, and had to get on the freeway for 11 miles there and 11 miles back. I have done it a few other times, and fortunately haven't gotten caught yet, but my luck is bound to run out sometime. I definitely want a larger scooter. The Buddy 170 and the Zuma 125 are physically the same size, the Buddy's engine is just bigger.
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Old 02-28-2013, 01:30 PM   #5
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You know, I just realized the buddy 170i came out in 2012. It's hard to get data about reliability for a design that has only seen at most two winters in the wild. I suppose the case isn't that much better for the 2009 Zuma and 2010 Elite...It might also be more difficult to find them on the used market.

I guess that's why I ask. Data is limited for all these new scoots, whereas the CH80 has decades of history, and a shockingly small amount of changes of two decades.
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Old 02-28-2013, 01:57 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tremelune View Post
might be the wax-powered auto-enrichment "choke"
Spray a few shots of carb cleaner into the fuel bowl vent, and consider an enricher switch.

Honda Elite 110 related discussion.

DaBinChe video channel.
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Old 02-28-2013, 02:45 PM   #7
=retread=
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tremelune View Post
Another factor is commonality...The Zuma and Buddy have been sold for the last few years and are still going. The Honda (my current favorite) was sold for exactly one year, and there is very little spec/service information available online besides this one dude's YouTube channel.

I'm wondering if the difference is enough to sway me from the Honda, or if it doesn't matter 'cause, hey, It'll never need work anyway!
i bought a scoot in 2011 and the dealer had good deals going on the elite 110 back then. what year did they bring it here? are there still new ones?.

=retread= screwed with this post 02-28-2013 at 02:51 PM
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Old 02-28-2013, 04:10 PM   #8
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Have some miles on an '09 Zuma 125. Dead reliable; never any cold-start (or any other mechanical) drama. If 50 cruising/55-ish top end will meet your needs, it'll do well. Very simple well-built scoot.

Considered the Buddy 170i. There had been early problems reported with the EFI sensing an 'overheated' condition at sustained speed; seems to have been resolved. Decided that it was just too new, w/insufficient user feedback - some owners are happy, some seem disappointed.

Looked hard at the Honda PCX150 now; liquid-cooled, but...valve check/adjustment interval is kinda short (2500 miles) and requires removal of all the panels to do. That's gonna be a PITA...
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Old 02-28-2013, 04:17 PM   #9
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The deal-breaker with the PCX150 is that it lacks the desirable toilet-seating of the others. There's nothing quite like putting two cases of beer between your legs to avoid the 20-minute walk back from the distributor.

In Spain I even saw dogs being scooted around there. While I don't have a dog, that's a bit of dream.
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Old 02-28-2013, 05:10 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Tremelune View Post
The deal-breaker with the PCX150 is that it lacks the desirable toilet-seating of the others.
Roger that - the flat floor of step-thru scoot styling is a major plus.
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Old 02-28-2013, 06:12 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by tortoise2 View Post
Spray a few shots of carb cleaner into the fuel bowl vent, and consider an enricher switch.
This was very interesting. I wonder how well it works in practice for the CH80, and if there is a manual choke available.
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Old 02-28-2013, 11:34 PM   #12
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The "overheating" issue seems to be common on all Buddys and the Blur as well, and it is liquid cooled. There is a lot of discussion on Modern Buddy about whether the problem actually exists.

As for the flat floor, the Zuma has one advantage there. You can get footpegs for it that mount outboard of the floorboards, allowing you to use the whole floor for storage, and still have a place to put your feet.

But as much as I like the Zuma, I find that it's not being freeway legal is a fatal flaw. I didn't get it to ride on freeways, but not being able to get on a freeway at all, even a rural interstate with light traffic is VERY limiting. It's something I should have given more thought to, especially since I have ridden a Vino 125 with the same problem for so long. But, I had other issues. I has a Kawasaki Ninja 500 I desperately needed to get rid of, the leftover Zuma was on sale, and they offered me a whopper of a trade in for the Ninja. Seems that what wouldn't sell new there was suddenly a large market for. So I jumped at it. But I can tell you, I was not happy when I found that a lousy 11 miles of freeway lay between me and where I wanted to go.
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Old 03-01-2013, 05:58 AM   #13
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The Elite has much more under seat storage than both the Zuma and the Buddy. All three are fine scoots
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Old 03-01-2013, 06:14 AM   #14
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The freeway thing is a non-issue for me. In NYC the only time I need the freeway is for a mile on the BQE on occasion... There's always traffic. Always. If the CH80 can handle it, so can the Zuma.
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Old 03-02-2013, 09:29 PM   #15
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Have you considered a Kymco? My Super 8 150 starts with no hesitation in cold weather (25-35 degrees) and can be ridden off immediately. It doesn't have FI but I have had absolutely no driveability issues. It has a flat floor and is easy to work on. I have found it to be a great around town commuter and a blast to ride. It costs less than any of those other scooters discussed so far. The Agility 125 costs even less.
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