Modern underbones in USA, such as Honda Wave

Discussion in 'Battle Scooters' started by domingo3, May 12, 2009.

  1. domingo3

    domingo3 Been here awhile

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    Hi. I posted some of these questions in the Honda SuperCub to USA thread, but thought they might deserve their own thread.


    I owned a SuperCub 90 about 10 years ago when I was living in Japan and loved it. Periodically I would search the web to try to figure out if I could buy an underbone in the USA, and didn't get anywhere until I saw the news about the Wowow/Symba.
    I would honestly prefer one of the more modern underbones like the Honda Wave. Are there any legal underbone imports? I've seen a couple of Chinese knock-offs online, but they were the mail order variety that I'm not even sure if I'd be able to register.
    Someone in another post said that the chances of Honda re-introducing the SuperCub to the US market is "less than zero". Why is that? I tried asking a dealer - who told me he never heard of underbones, but got back to me with a standard answer of "there are no plans to import any at this time." I was hoping for an answer - like it would be too expensive to make some aspect of the bike meet US regulations, or it wouldn't compete well with another product, but nothing was given.

    Thanks,

    d3
    #1
  2. approachbears

    approachbears 250cc is 50cc too many

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    I suspect that modern underbones are absent in the US because of lacking popularity. They look a lot like half assed motorcycles and yet not quite like scooters. They're pleasing to neither crowd. The seat looks like a scooter to the motorbike folks who can go buy a dual sport or a little supermoto bike if they want something lightweight. And the Wave is lacking in cc's for the modern motorcycle owners who consider 250cc to be too small and a 650cc a starter bike. Meanwhile, the 4 speed transmission removes one of the fun parts of owning a scooter. The lack of under seat storage and flat floorboard make it an odd man out as well.
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  3. domingo3

    domingo3 Been here awhile

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    Thanks for the reply.

    I'm kinda of a motorcycle guy, and if I was going to get a two wheeler that I needed to straddle, I'd get a bigger (>800 cc) motorcycle. Traditional scooters don't appeal to me because I absolutely can't stand the flat floorboard. I don't know why; I just can't get around it.

    I could go without the manual transmission, but to me, manual is "fun". I like the bigger wheels, too. I guess I'm just in the minority as far as USA population goes. They're wildly popular other places.
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  4. ronnath

    ronnath Long timer

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    ok, i'll bite.

    what's the underbone? the frame?
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  5. approachbears

    approachbears 250cc is 50cc too many

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    Yep, the frame is the underbone. The engine is down there as well.
    Lots of people assume that the late '50's Honda Cub was the first underbone, but there's been motorcycles with similar designs since the early 20th century.
    Here's the recent Honda Wave:

    [​IMG]

    Here's the 1922 Ner-A-Car:
    [​IMG]

    BTW, I personally feel that once Honda stopped selling the Passport in the US back in the early '80's they lost the market for bringing in the Wave 15 or 20 years later.
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  6. ernest t bass

    ernest t bass Been here awhile

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    So, would a Honda C70 Passport be considered an "Unberbone" as well?
    [​IMG]
    This is a 1983 Passport - Last Year Imported I believe.
    [​IMG]
    #6
  7. approachbears

    approachbears 250cc is 50cc too many

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    Exactly. The Passport started its history as the Cub, which might be the quintessential underbone (which is why people sometimes think it was the 1st underbone design). The Wave/Innova/Supra was Honda's replacement/update of the Cub in many markets in the mid-1990's.
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  8. P B G

    P B G Long timer

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    In my state it would have to be a 50 cc and not go fast to be a moped, so that moves many of this type into a class L or M endorsement.

    And oddly many people find going and taking a MC test to be something difficult? It certainly isn't.

    Anyway, if I represent a demographic, my enjoyment of riding mopeds is severly limited by the way they are defined, would I buy something in the underbone style? Possibly but it wouldn't count as a scooter or moped if it had enough CC's for me to enjoy. The 50 cc scooters are fun for 10 minutes, then you haven't reached your destination because you are using side streets that aren't 45 mph zones and stopping ever block, no thanks.

    If I had to pick a styling that I would find ideal the Sachs madass would probably be one. Something that says hey I'm not wearing flipflops. An underbone with no real plastic to speak of and some ponies would work too.
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  9. domingo3

    domingo3 Been here awhile

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    I agree that getting the M endorsement is no big deal, and probably should be encouraged for anyone motorized on two wheels.

    The Sym Symba, meant to copy the SuperCub, is a 100cc bike with a top speed of about 55mph, so there's no need to avoid the 45mph zones.

    The MADASS could be good, but I have read bad things about quality issues since production has shifted from Germany. Also, with no plastic on the frame, it looks strikingly like a bicycle.
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  10. BikePilot

    BikePilot Long timer

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    I suspect that the M endorsement isn't the big deal, but rather the need to insure, tag, registrar, have annual inspections and all that bureaucratic crap is what pushes people toward a 50cc scoot.
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  11. P B G

    P B G Long timer

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    It all goes hand in hand with going out of "scooters". Of course some places you need to tag, register, and insure a 50cc scoot. Of course its all noticably cheaper.

    But still when you get into the range of 100CC underbones, I'm just going to want to buy something in the 150+ range to get the ability to go highway speeds.

    ALthough the underbones with their larger diameter tires I feel are more stable.
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  12. Northwoods Yeti

    Northwoods Yeti Almost house broken

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    Like the brakes? I think they look great:clap


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  13. domingo3

    domingo3 Been here awhile

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    Anybody know how hard it would be to swap in a bigger engine? I have no experience in these things, but I wouldn't think it would take a lot more ccs to get to decent highway speed. 100 cc on that frame will already take you to 55.

    d3
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  14. weave88

    weave88 Adventurer

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    underbones over my area are wildly popular =)

    for me, i love the suzuki raider 150
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    btw every person i knew who got a madass had issues with their machines
    #14
  15. domingo3

    domingo3 Been here awhile

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    weave88,
    Where are you?
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  16. Tim-Rodriguez

    Tim-Rodriguez Been here awhile

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    Honda inova 125cc injection?

    [​IMG]
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  17. weave88

    weave88 Adventurer

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    singapore :1drink
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  18. P B G

    P B G Long timer

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    I'd have to be insane to go on the highway here with something not capable of getting into the 75-80 range, and in that zone there would still be plenty of moments with people flying by 10 MPH+ faster.

    That's the thing, either its 50cc moped, and around town no highways or its gotta be capable of the real Chicago expressway experience.
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  19. domingo3

    domingo3 Been here awhile

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    The Innova pictured above has a max speed of 74.5 mph. The Suzuki Raider 150 supposedly goes 87.
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  20. GIJoeBob

    GIJoeBob Foolish and Inexperienced

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    That's two scoops of wicked right there!
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