Honda NHX 110 Lead/Elite vs Yamaha Zuma 125

Discussion in 'Battle Scooters' started by Tremelune, Feb 28, 2013.

  1. Tremelune

    Tremelune Adventurer

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    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.
    #1
  2. Tremelune

    Tremelune Adventurer

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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.
    #2
  3. Tremelune

    Tremelune Adventurer

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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!
    #3
  4. JerryH

    JerryH Banned

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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.
    #4
  5. Tremelune

    Tremelune Adventurer

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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.
    #5
  6. tortoise2

    tortoise2 Been here awhile

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  7. =retread=

    =retread= more MPG

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    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?.
    #7
  8. redhandmoto

    redhandmoto Been here awhile

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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...
    #8
  9. Tremelune

    Tremelune Adventurer

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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.
    #9
  10. redhandmoto

    redhandmoto Been here awhile

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    Roger that - the flat floor of step-thru scoot styling is a major plus.
    #10
  11. Tremelune

    Tremelune Adventurer

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    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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  12. JerryH

    JerryH Banned

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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.
    #12
  13. don63

    don63 Adventurer

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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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  14. Tremelune

    Tremelune Adventurer

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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.
    #14
  15. klaviator

    klaviator Long timer

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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.
    #15
  16. JerryH

    JerryH Banned

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    Ok. It's a big deal here in the southwest because there is often no other way to get anywhere without at least going on a freeway for a few miles. Backroads rarely cross state lines out here, and it is even legal to ride a bicycle on the shoulder of many freeways, because there is just no way around it. But motor vehicles under 150cc are still prohibited. Freeways (or interstates anyway) out here are not the jam packed high speed demolition derbys they are in some places.

    If 125cc and 55 mph is good enough, I cannot recommend any scooter more highly than the Yamaha Zuma 125. I fully expect it to outlast me. And it has some nice options. Yamaha makes a windshield for it, Shad makes both a custom fit luggage rack and has 3-4 different trunks that fit it, then there are the aforementioned highway pegs that allow you to use the entire floor space to carry stuff. And at 6' 225 I find it VERY comfortable.

    Notice the rear trunk and custom fit rear rack that does not require usung universal clamps to install. Also it is easy to use saddlebags on due to the flat side panels.

    [​IMG]
    #16
  17. Tremelune

    Tremelune Adventurer

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    The Kymcos got knocked out because they're carburated. Yes, carburated motors can be very reliable in the cold and the hot, but they usually require cleaning and tweaking and tuning as time passes or when the outside temperature changes by 60 degrees. If I were going to go that route, I would just stick with the venerable and hideous CH80. I'm a bit tired of dealing with start/idle issues, though. From what I've read, as long as you don't modify things and use clean gas, fuel injection just works without touching it year after year.
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  18. JerryH

    JerryH Banned

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    For some reason I don't have the problems with carburetors that most people seem to. My bought new Vino 125 has a carb, and I have not had the slightest trouble with it in 24,000 miles. I have a motorcycle with carbs, also bought new, it now has 78,000 miles on it and I have never touched the carbs. I have had some problems with carbs on used bikes, because someone let them set there for a long time with gas in them. I make it a habit whenever I buy a used bike to clean the carbs, and I never have any issues after that. Carbs are simple, last forever, the wear parts, like the float needle valve and seat are cheap, but they may outlast the bike. And you don't have hundreds of $$$ worth of electronics to fail. There were a lot of fuel pump failures on '09 Zuma 125s, fortunately Yamaha stepped up and replaced them. They are a $200 part. The throttle body itself is $320, about the price of a complete carb, and then there is the ECU that controls everything, which is almost $400. So it is almost $1000 just for those 3 parts, and then there are a few sensors and other widgets that a carbed bike doesn't have.
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  19. Tremelune

    Tremelune Adventurer

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    All true, but electronics don't tend to fail.

    My desire to move away from carbs may have a fair amount to do with the fact that I've never owned a new one, and since I've never kept a scooter for longer than a year, I didn't have much of a chance to get one really sorted and see how long it stayed that way.

    It's possible I'm not giving carbs a fair shake, but I find it rare hear the owner of a fuel injected scooter wish for them.
    #19
  20. AngryScot

    AngryScot .

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    didn't check through the whole thread, but yahama just sent out a recall on the fuel injector, mine is in right now getting replaced. I never had an issue though for 3.9K miles in heat and cold :dunno
    Great wee scooter the zuma is
    #20