2004 Honda Helix?

Discussion in 'Battle Scooters' started by BigCanoe, Mar 17, 2012.

  1. BigCanoe

    BigCanoe Scooterati

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    A local dealer has a 2004 Honda Helix for sale, with 8k miles. Any thoughts on this scooter? How are the highway speed manners? MPG? I assume they are pretty reliable?
    #1
  2. elite1

    elite1 Been here awhile

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    Mr Bishop? Where are you? This man needs a Helix review.
    #2
  3. ronnath

    ronnath Long timer

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    what's the dealer want for it?
    #3
  4. BigCanoe

    BigCanoe Scooterati

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    $2199, bright yellow
    #4
  5. cbolling

    cbolling Here...Hold my Beer.

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    Never heard anything bad about them. I know thati have always wanted one.
    #5
  6. ronnath

    ronnath Long timer

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    blue book value for an 04 in "excellent" condition is just under 2400.

    if it checks out okay, 2199 is certainly in the ballpark.

    the only bad thing i've ever heard is that on some of the older ones (late 80's into the 90's) there can be an issue IIRC with the intake manifold cracking. other than that, most people would call them pretty bullet proof. (and damn, i love the yellow ones)
    #6
  7. btcn

    btcn Long timer

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    Mr Bishop can give you more details on these but I'll just tell you the basics and let him tell you about how they is.


    Well they is very bullet proof, other than the already mentioned intake manifold. They can either look cool out quite outdated/funky or both, depending on your tastes. They have a well sized fuel tank [like 3+ gallons I think] vs normal 2.1 gallon or so for most scoots, allowing a better touring range.

    As far as performance, the best thing about them is the speedometers are ACTUALLY ACCURATE!:clap Something quite unique on the older Honda Scoots, my 86 Elite 150 is the same way, the speedometers will be within 1-2 MPH of a GPS always with stock tires! Nearly every Japanese motorcycle I's ever come across, has had a speedometer that reads between 5%-12% optimistic [meaning you think your doing 80 MPH when the actual radar/GPS speed will be more like 72 MPH], which is quite an annoyance, and can be potentially dangerious [particularly on a scooter where everybody thinks your going slower since your on a scooter]. Thats one big plus IMHO, even the Burgmans are 10% off!

    As far as performance, I can't tell you the exact top speed, but I herd they'll top out at 72 MPH all day, and can reach about 78 MPH. They cruise at about 60-65 MPH quite comfortably.

    Acceleration will be smooth and quite adequet. Even my 150 is quite adequet from 0-45 MPH. On the highway, the longer wheelbase gives it more stability.

    You'll get lots of info here on these.

    Price sounds quite fair to me, not bad for an 04.
    #7
  8. HandKPhil

    HandKPhil Been here awhile

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    If you get a good-running, dependable Helix, they're a blast. They're reasonably quick for a 250, and most top out at 70-73 mph. Mine would hit 70 flat, but as a previous poster noted, the speedo's are accurate, so it was an actual 70 mph. My drive belt was a little worn at around 12,000 miles, so this probably kept me from reaching an honest 75 mph. In any event, the suspension is the limiting factor on these bike's freeway manners, not the engine.

    Speaking of suspension, the front suspension is a bit primitive, but it works fairly well. The front tire likes to follow cracks/seams in the pavement if the tire is worn or under-inflated. The rear suspension is plush, and the ride is comfortable. The seat is very comfortable. The headlight is great, and the dash and switchgear are all typical Honda quality. Brakes were just adequate. Storage room in the trunk was also just adequate. These bikes are fairly easy to work on. Many, many owners have put high miles on these bikes.

    My Helix was not super dependable. I had a lot of niggling carburetor issues during the time I owned mine. After many attempts to diagnose a flooding carb, and countless replaced parts I finally tracked my problem down to a bad bystarter, which was failing intermittantly. When my Helix was running well, I loved it. Problem was, it only ran well about half the time, during the year and a half I owned it.

    Before I sold it I made a monumental effort to make sure everything was in perfect condition and reliable. I sold it for a loss. I ran into the new owner a few months after I sold the bike to him, and he couldn't stop raving about what a great, dependable bike I had sold him.:huh It figures....:rofl

    Anyways, if that Helix you're looking at starts easily, runs well, doesn't overheat, etc., then that price is very fair. Oh, and you'll have to change two exhaust gaskets when you replace the rear tire. No big deal, but you have to be careful and do it right, or else the exhaust will leak and sound like crap. Good Luck!
    #8
  9. Realbtl

    Realbtl Adventurer

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    Big Canoe- I think I've seen you on a couple of other sites and remember that you are a good sized fellow. I'm 6'1" 250 lbs so this may be helpful.
    I love my Helix, an 86 I bought last year with 12k on it. It is the most comfortable stock scooter I've been on, lots of room to stretch out. I took a couple of 800 mile 3-4 day trips last summer and it is a great little touring rig if you are not in a hurry. Mine likes to cruise about 60, will go faster but will also bog to 50ish on hills. I put on the cheapest Givi box and use it as my run around grocery hauler, quick trip up to Glacier NP scoot. The manifold problem isn't really a problem it's just that the rubber dries out and causes ratty running and/or cold starting problems. Parts seem easy to get and it is easy to work on.

    That said I recently got a 600 Silverwing as there are some 2 lane roads here in Montana posted 70 that are a little uncomfortable for me on the Helix.

    The yellow ones are my favorite. Good luck.
    #9
  10. wanna bECO

    wanna bECO Been here awhile

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    buy it... why are you still here.
    #10
  11. BigCanoe

    BigCanoe Scooterati

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    Thanks guys! The dealer has had it in stock for a while now, maybe he will deal :)

    Any good support forums for the Helix?
    #11
  12. leeinmemphis

    leeinmemphis Long timer

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    I bought an '06 Helix last fall for $2500 with right at 500 miles on it. I really bought it for my wife to learn to ride on but gotta admit I like running errands on it. I've had mine up to 70 mph but won't likely make that a habit. If I have a bunch of high speed interstate traveling to do I'll take a different bike. The Helix is my first scooter(was really hoping for a Burgman of Silverwing) but I have been pleasantly surprised with it.
    #12
  13. bbishoppcm

    bbishoppcm It ain't a moped.

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    Here I am! That price is WELL within reasonable. If that bike were for sale in southern NH, it wouldn't be $2199... it would be $3500 (I am dead serious, book value does not always reflect regional prices!)

    The 2004-2007 models have the carburetor brace, which EXCEMPTS them from the cracked intake flanges that plague these models (you can add this bracing to an older Helix, as I've done with my '98).

    The Honda Helix is easily one of the most bulletproof rigs you can buy, and attaining 100,000 miles on one of these (with the original engine) is not uncommon; they're popular with cross-country riders, have been driven (with outstanding results) in the Iron Butt (cross country) Rallies. There is at least one man who managed to get roughly 180,000 miles on his... I believe it was a husband and wife team, actually...

    Things to look out for;

    -Tires (especially the rear). I would plan on replacing both.
    -Chinese parts; AVOID THEM AT ALL COSTS! There are one or two Chinese companies making exact copies of the Honda Helix; the parts will usually bolt right up to a Honda, but the quality is TERRIBLE.
    -Exhaust gaskets; they fail after around 5,000 miles (usually the life of the rear tire!) Replace them as soon as you can hear an exhaust leak, or whenever the rear wheel needs to be removed.

    Front brakes are good for ~12,000 miles, and rear brakes will last ~24,000 miles. Drive belt ~12,000 miles, and the variator should be rebuilt when the belt is changed.

    Top speed (on mine) verified by GPS; 73mph. I've had it up to 78mph on a calm day on straight section of highway.

    I've driven mine in the pouring rain on the freeway at night, cruising at 70mph with no trouble at all. The headlight is a modular quartz halogen unit, VERY bright. Instrumentation is digital, and clear; the seat is about as comfortable as a La-Z-Boy recliner.

    Most of the youTube videos of the Honda Helix are mine. You can find them at www.youtube.com/bbishoppcm (mostly service and review videos).

    Enjoy!!
    #13
  14. fullmetalscooter

    fullmetalscooter Let me take this duck off

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    Get bikes since I own two. price is right but I still try to see if I could get it for less. It's not going to worth much less then 1500 5 years form now. Often seen on the Iron butt runs with them coming in near the top finishers. Simple dead reliable scooters..
    #14
  15. windburn

    windburn Long timer

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    The Helix is a great scoot. Here is the 1986 that I put 11,000 miles on before I sold it to a friend.
    [​IMG]
    #15
  16. creighta

    creighta Been here awhile

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    Greatest 250 made! Granted mnine is a cf moto not a Honda, but the parts interchange and the Honda dealer here swears it is the same bike (I didn't buy it from them either).

    I have put 8000 miles on mine and the only trouble has been wheel bearings and a muffler. Not musch power, but mine will do 79mph on flat ground and handles two up riding pretty well too.

    The look is a judgment call. I think they are ugly, but people comment on how cool it is frequently.
    BTW 70 mpg should make the decision!!!!
    #16
  17. btcn

    btcn Long timer

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    Just a thought but I done herd that them chinese mufflers or Helix Clone's muffler be different, and more restrictive. I wander if you swapped out for a Helix muffler it would help, don't know but Helix owners that put clone mufflers on there Helixes say it restricts power, although usually its more of a top speed issue, and if you can do 79 MPH should be an issue [but then, with yours being a clone who even knows if your speedo is accurate like the Honda].

    But the rest of the advice here is good hell yea go out and buy it.

    At the least, scooters make damn good rain bikes. Mostly plastic so no chrome or metal to polish or rust, and the leg protection is actually nice to have, with the winchshield on the Helix and it's design even better than my Elite 150, at high speeds you'll barley get wet.

    And for short grocery runs all them big trunk and floor storage is hard to beat. And its just a great scooter, with that storage and just overall, quite comfortable too.
    #17
  18. JerseyBiker

    JerseyBiker Living the life!

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    I had a 2004 for about 3 years - one of my favorite bikes and sorry I sold it.

    Highway speeds to about 70 are good. Not a lot of "passing" power if you are cruising at speed so you need to keep that in mind but if you do, all is good.

    I believe they started making the Helix in 1989 so, any bugs in the design are long gone. The Yahoo forum has very few folks with any real issues. Pretty reliable as are all Honda 250 engines.

    Hope you buy it and if you do, make sure to post pics for us. Here's mine.

    Here she is awake

    [​IMG]

    and here she is asleep.

    [​IMG]
    #18
  19. gogogordy

    gogogordy Long timer

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    Nap time. Ouchie!
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  20. bbishoppcm

    bbishoppcm It ain't a moped.

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    The Helix CN250 (at least for the US market) was in production from 1986 to 2007, with only MINOR changes here and there (a few cosmetic changes like the switch from steel wheels to alloy wheels in 1992 or 93, and the switch from plastic 3D badging to vinyl decals around 1994). Improvements stopped with the 2004 model year, as far as I know.

    The bikes were produced for the Japanese market beyond 2007 as far as I know.
    #20