Tell me about the honda Helix

Discussion in 'Battle Scooters' started by Domromer, Nov 21, 2012.

  1. Domromer

    Domromer Desert Rat

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    I've been kicking around the idea of getting a smaller scooter compared to my current Silver Wing. It's main uses would be running around town and down non highways tours. I've looked at various mid sized bikes like the vespa 300, BV350, and the people 300. All nice bikes but none of them really call to me like the helixdoes . I came of age during the dominance of the honda scooter in America so in my mind that's how a scooter should look. So how will the helix compare to my silver wing? Are parts still easy to get? Do they need a lot of maintenance? What are the valve adjustment frequencies? Anything else I should know about them?
    #1
  2. JerryH

    JerryH Banned

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    Great scooter, proven reliable, comfortable, highway capable, and parts are available, because Honda brought it back for a short time recently. Sort of expensive, and worst of all, depending on where you are I guess, hard to find in decent condition. Seems most owners hang onto them. I would love to have one, but it seems everytime a good one shows up on Craugslist, there is some reason I can't buy it right then. I love the look. Does not look like a Vespa, but does not look like a modern maxi scooter either.
    #2
  3. Warney

    Warney Been here awhile

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    Owned an Elite 125, 150, 250, and still have a Honda Big Ruckus. Brother-in-law has the Helix and it is a nice Scooter in-town or on the Highway. Pretty comfy seating, no bad manners, long wheelbase and low profile makes riding in the wind a breeze. All of the 250cc Honda Scooters are simple, reliable, and easy to maintain. The engine architecture and conservative tuning allow them to run wide open for hours on end and not self-destruct. The Helix was sold for a lot of years and parts supply should be solid for a long time to come.
    #3
  4. tortoise2

    tortoise2 Been here awhile

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    Google

    What exactly do you consider "down non highways tours" type of use?
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  5. Domromer

    Domromer Desert Rat

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    I type on my phone its not always pretty. I just meant tours that stick to back roads and avoid the slab.
    #5
  6. ElusivePedro

    ElusivePedro Layin' Low

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    I have a 2004 Honda Helix. Great little scoot. Have owned 2 Burgman 650s - both those long gone, but the little Honda? Still have it. It's the bright yellow one and I affectionately call her "Buttercup" ;-)

    I've always been a bit disappointed with the top speed. Mine won't crack 70. Mine stops going any faster once I hit about 68, though I've read where others will do better... ( I do weigh 210 - maybe thats the problem.. damn I need to get to the gym! :-) But hey, the cool thing is that I could ride her WFO till she runs out of gas and not worry one bit. Oh and another thing - the speedometer is accurate - unlike many of today's more moden bikes that are usually 5-10% optimistic.

    I am 6' tall and even though the seating position is luxurious (to me anyway) I could use just a tick more leg room - If I were 71" I bet it would feel like I was sitting in the lap of luxury.

    I agree with the previous commentor about it not looking like a Vespa, and not looking like a modern maxi-scoot either. I sorta feel like a member of the group Devo when I ride mine -- maybe I should see if I can find a helmet that is shaped like an upside down flower pot? (LOL) ...In my opinion, that adds to the coolness factor. I am always bumping into ppl that say something to the effect of "I haven't seen one of those in years" or some such thing...

    The mechanicals are very basic. The wierd choke mechanism has never seemed to work, but hey, I live in Florida, so it may be different elsewhere. Needless to say, she's a bit cold natured, either way, after a couple of minutes on the center stand warming up she runs like a swiss watch.

    So anyway - that's my basic opine. Perfect for errands, short hops, cheap thrills, and an occasional hundred mile road trip.
    #6
  7. ElusivePedro

    ElusivePedro Layin' Low

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    Oh, and btw, what is this thing you mention about "valve adjustments" :1drink Just kidding - I'll just say that this thing is so under-stressed and overbuilt that I wouldn't even think about that with my bike. Now maybe if you were to use one for daily commuting at top speed, you may want to check them at the prescribed intervals, but in my case, I just treat mine as if it were a rock. Always there - always ready to go. Trouble free. All I ever do is just change the oil every now and then and check the tire pressures. But if I were to check the valve lash, I'd bet that it would be a pretty damn simple thing to do. :deal

    Oh - and a final note - the trunk WILL hold an 18-pack of beer. That sealed the deal for me! :lol3
    #7
  8. ElusivePedro

    ElusivePedro Layin' Low

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    Here's a really cool story about a Man Named Ed Otto, and his Honda Helix Iron Butt rally ride a few decades ago. :clap
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  9. Domromer

    Domromer Desert Rat

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    That's a dangerous game not checking that the valves are within spec.
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  10. ElusivePedro

    ElusivePedro Layin' Low

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    Yeah but I only have about a thousand miles on mine. I use it basically as a weekend get about. Basically, I was just kidding. Anyway, a "thank you" for the intensive write-up (for me with my limited typing skills) would be cool too. Just thought you'd like to hear something from a person that owns one.

    Happy trails!
    #10
  11. Domromer

    Domromer Desert Rat

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    Thank you for that intensive write up.
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  12. gasandasphalt

    gasandasphalt Been here awhile

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    Buy one, I bought a 2006 a year ago with 35 miles, LOVE IT, now has almost 4000 mi, about 75 mpg. Never a problem... Smooth as silk at any speed, starts and runs strong..... everyone needs at least one..
    #12
  13. delftvanp

    delftvanp Been here awhile

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    I don't want to hijack the post, however I am selling my Honda Helix, just have to relist it.
    Paul
    Doylestown PA
    #13
  14. Krusty ...

    Krusty ... What? Me hurry?

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    My GF has a Helix, she has no trouble holding 80mph for extended time. That trunk gives it quite a bit of profile so it's sensitive to strong crosswinds. Adding a top case makes this worse, obviously. I've ridden it some myself, but with my 32 inch inseam, it's not a good fit for me. I have to sit on the pillion section to keep my knees from hitting the grips. This puts ALL the weight on the back end, so the front end gets a little twitchy, especially at higher speeds :vardy.
    #14
  15. Woodsrat

    Woodsrat Gone ridin'

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    The proceedure for adjusting the valves on the Helix is so simple anyone can do it. It takes way longer to remove the body panels to access the TDC mark than it does to adjust the valves with their vernier adjusters. Once it's on TDC you simply loosen a 10mm headed bolt, rock the gauge to one side (zero clearance) and then move it back two marks and tighten the bolt. Done!!

    I thought riding mine was like sitting in a big hand. Definitely a flexi-flier, though--between the no-dampening suspension and the "hinge" effect formed by a long, flexible frame it's not something you throw into corners. Ridden with some common sense they're a hoot and I miss it. They were perfect in 55 MPH America and are still good if you stay off the autobahn.

    All that plastic was an invitation to disaster, though but it sure kept me dry and warm. I always thought the Big Ruckus with flexible dirt bike-style plastic wind protecters for your legs would've been awesome. A shame they didn't stay in production long enough for the aftermarket to offer them.
    #15
  16. Domromer

    Domromer Desert Rat

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    Alright you guys have me convinced. Now I just gotta find one. Last month I looked on my local craigs list and there were 4. Now zip..these little suckers seem to go fast. Can anyone comment on the legroom on the helix vs the silverwing?
    #16
  17. Wentwest

    Wentwest How's that work?

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    I've owned a Helix, and sold it because it gave me a sore back. I'm more comfortable on a sit up scooter, and I ride Honda CH250 Elites now.

    I do wonder about the Yamaha Morphous. It just looks so space age - like George Jetson might come motoring by any moment. Are they as solid, reliable and as well built as the Helix?
    #17
  18. bandito2

    bandito2 Been here awhile

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    The Helix is about the most comfortable to ride bike I've ever owned. Sold it to get money for an ultralight aircraft engine
    once upon a time and sometimes I miss that red "sweet 'n low" beauty. With 244cc and a 10" rear wheel, its not quite as
    fast as the Reflex with its 249cc engine and 12" rear wheel. I think they quit building/importing to north America both the
    Reflex and the Helix in 2007 but parts are still quite available for both. Though I must say it seems Reflex parts are easier
    to find than Helix parts. (check out part dealers and CL or ebay to confirm that.)

    I would ride it from here in SE MI. to Oshkosh WI. without too much trouble but always felt that it didn't have quite enough
    guts to handle expressway speeds. It could get up to about 70 mph if there was no wind and stay there all day long. (just
    a little faster if one could manage to draft behind other vehicles. Not a good idea I know, but at the time it is what I
    needed to do to get someplace in a reasonable amount of time.) The tail lights are kind of low and a concern by many
    owners and often remedied by adding lights higher up, usually to a top box.

    Maintenance is a piece of cake and usually only needs regular air filter replacement and oil, drive belt and tire changes. The
    valve check/set/reset usually happens after an initial break in period. Shouldn't be an issue now since virtually all Helixes
    have made it past that point. Relatively easy procedure if it still needed it though.

    One thing you may need to be aware of; that is if the later models are the same as the early models anyway. And that is
    that the rear brake is operated by a floor pedal and not like a lot of the newer scooters with the rear brake being operated
    by a lever on the left handle bar. You may want to check various other scooter forums that may deal more specifically
    with the Helix for more info.

    Its been quite a while since I last rode a Helix. But even back then I thought it had enough leg room. I like to stretch out
    in full feet forward style.

    Good luck scooter hunting.

    Some shopping help for you:

    http://claz.org/all.html?q=Honda+Helix

    http://www.cycletrader.com/New-Or-U...|356953,Trailer|3284663&&&keyword=Honda Helix

    http://www.wheelbynet.com/docs/moto..._id=3&make_name=Honda&type_name=Moped/Scooter

    http://www.adhuntr.com/2012/05/all....&newwindow=1&q=Honda+Helix&as_qdr=a&sa=Search

    http://www.reachoo.com/search?utf8=✓&keywords=Honda+Helix
    #18
  19. HandKPhil

    HandKPhil Been here awhile

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    Mine hurt my back too, after an hour or so of riding. Overall, an awesome scooter for it's time though. As someone mentioned in an earlier post, they are sorta "flexible". Between the long wheelbase and the primitive front suspension, they can be a little squirmy. Mine also tended to follow cracks and seams in the pavement, at least when the tires were worn or under-inflated.

    My biggest beef with the Helix (and almost all older Honda scooters) is the bystarter, or electric enrichment device. Mine all seemed to fail - repeatedly. My Helix developed a tendency to spew raw fuel out of the carb's overflow tube on hot and/or humid days. It took lots of time, effort and money to finally trace it down to a bad bystarter, and by then my love affair with the Helix was over.

    I'm sure if a person bought a new, perfectly functioning Helix back in the 90's, they would have fond memories of a nice scooter. The Helix was/is definately more than the sum of it's parts. Even though mine was ragged out and needed frequent repairs by the time I came to own it, I could see that it must have been a great bike when it was new. The gauges and lights alone were years ahead of their time.

    Having said all that, I always wished for just a little more power out of my Helix, and a little better front suspension.
    #19
  20. JerryH

    JerryH Banned

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    While valves do need to be kept track of, they do not usually need to be checked nearly as often as the book says. My '08 Vino 125 with 24,000 miles has had the valves adjusted once, and then just to get them perfect. They were within spec. And that is an engine half the size of the Helix, and run at WOT 90% of the time. I check the intake every 1000 miles when I change the oil, because it is right under the oil filler cap. I do not use any timing marks, just make sure the valve is completely closed. The Vino has a kickstarter to turn the engine over with.

    I would not hesitate to buy a Helix in decent condition at the right price. If I had a choice between a brand new Helix and a brand new Elite 250, it would be a toss up, mostly because I like the looks and maneuverability of small short scooters. But the Helix would definitely be more comfortable on a long ride, which is what I mostly use my scooters for. I am currently setting up my Zuma 125 for long distance non freeway touring.
    #20