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Chuck Mixon Honda EliteThe Story of Chuck

I certainly couldn't be considered young anymore, but I like to have fun.

I keep myself in excellent shape, so that I can continue to be active. I love running, weightlifting bicycle riding and just about anything physically challenging, especially if it involves outdoors.

When I was a younger man, I had a passion for riding motorcycles. But somewhere along the way between work, marriage and kids, I managed to go more than 15 years without owning anything with two wheels. There just didn't seem to be time or sometimes money to do something that I would actually dream about.

Fast forward to 2005, (notice I'm being very careful not to reveal my age). Unfortunately after 15 years of marriage I was going through a divorce. I was pretty depressed so I came up with the idea to buy a scooter, it sounded like fun. Naturally, being recently divorced I thought it would be wise to be conservative and ended up purchasing a Chinese made scooter for about $1000.

It was fun, but I soon found out why the scooter was so inexpensive. Luckily I am a decent mechanic of sorts, so I was able to address the many problems that my spiffy looking Longbo 150cc scooter presented to me. It wasn't all bad, I had fun modifying the scooter for more performance and learned a lot about mechanical scooter stuff that I didn't know.

I owned the scooter for less than a year and it was stolen! It had developed a serious engine seal oil leak. I left it outside (locked up) because it was partially disassembled and dripping messy oil all over the place. I guess I need to move to a better neighborhood, because one night was all it took. It was gone the next morning and I had to call the police and deal with my insurance company. Between depreciation and the deductible, my insurance company wasn't real helpful.

After doing much research online, I took the advice of some ScootDawg members and purchased a Strada Eurojet 150i. This scooter was about $1600 at the time, and right away it was easy to tell the quality was a step up from my previous Longbo 150cc. I rode that scooter for about a year and was happy with both the performance and the quality. Just routine maintenance and it ran pretty well. As they say, all good things must come to an end. I was diagnosed with cancer. I was in for the fight of my life, and I knew it. Surgery and then radiation therapy in the head region. I thought my divorce was one of the hardest things in my life to get through, boy was I wrong! I got very, very sick. Needless to say my scooter sat untouched for more than a year. During that entire time I only tried to ride it once and I felt absolutely miserable after just a few minutes. Not long after that I sold it.

Things always get better if you keep trying, and after about two years I was getting my health back. Naturally one of the first things I started thinking about was another scooter. My business was doing well, though taking up a lot of my time. After much deliberation and research, I purchased a brand new shiny red Honda Elite 110. I paid $3000 out the door for it, and let me say it is worth every single penny! The Elite 110 feels faster to 40 mph than either of my previous 150cc scoots. Water-cooled, fuel injected, both the engine and the suspension are very smooth and quiet in comparison. The center of gravity is low, allowing quick and stable handling that inspires confidence. Rev-limited to a top speed of 52.5 mph, it still gets there with two people, just takes a little longer. The under seat storage is absolutely huge, enough space for two larger helmets with room to spare. It has a small locking glove box with two compartments. The gas tank is underneath the floorboard, the locking gas cap is easily accessed at the base of the seat. The seat easily handles two riders, with folding chrome foot pegs for the passenger. A nicely integrated chrome luggage racks also works well for a grab handle. The floor space is adequate, though not particularly spacious. Braking is excellent, even with the weight of two people. Fit and finish is flawless, pretty much standard quality for any Honda. The headlight is rated at 55/60 watts and illumination at night is exceptional. After about 300 miles the engine is really starting to loosen up, I have been averaging about 105 mpg.

There are better scooters to be purchased, but the beauty of the Honda Elite 110 is that it can do all things very well, which makes it an incredible value and great all around scooter. The only thing that might be considered weak performance is the top speed. But in all fairness the Elite 110 was not designed as a highway tourer. Still it is rocks steady at 52.5 mph, and I estimate it would top out between 60-65 mph if the rev-limiter/final gearing were set up differently.

The price of the Elite 110 is quite a bit higher than a Chinese brand. But when you factor in longevity, reliability, resale value and fuel economy, I think it actually ends up being a better value. Let's not forget to mention peace of mind and not having to spend significant time on repairs. That's just my humble opinion. After owning several Chinese scooters and then a Japanese scooter, I won't be tempted by a bargain price again. Because most of the time you get what you pay for....

Chuck Mixon
 

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Last modified: August 22, 2013
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