Bore x stroke:
Front tyre dimensions:
Rear tyre dimensions:
Weight including oil, gas, etc:
Often with fantastic motorcycles there is an unquenchable thirst, a fire and brimstone slake for more power, stretching ever faster, watching the landscape blur with an unfathomable winged-footed swiftness. Gripping legs hard around the bike, squeezing the handlebars with white knuckles and ducking down behind the windscreen as the body braces for unparalleled, breathtaking speed! And then there are other times, eliciting none of that description, when you just want to pop to the shops. May we present, the 150cc Honda Elite.
What the Honda Elite is actually elite of, is anyone’s guess. It’s not even elite in its own family, given there is a 250cc Elite. However, the Japanese manufacturer had made plenty of in-roads with its existing 125cc four-stroke engine offering. In an Orwellian 1984 when the Apple Macintosh was being launched and the world was flat, the year heralded modern technologies never seen on planet earth (or on a 125cc at least). The world of scooters was embracing technology, with the Elite boasting a retractable headlamp, a liquid-cooled engine and a digital dashboard. Photocopiers don’t have wheels, but if they did, they would be elite ones. It fashioned a bespoke look, too. Enhanced by elegant straight lines so sharp you were told off for running with one in case of an accident. The ensemble indicated to all passers-by loud and clear, ‘yes, I am still a virgin.’
In 1985, Honda introduced the 150cc in two mouth-watering editions: Standard and Deluxe, both with a single carb, both weighing a butterfly-light 102kg, and both virtually guarantying you’d die alone. The Standard, as per the pictures on Shepsters, seemed to also come with a mini-clothes line out the back, probably for socks or mittens. We’d like to suggest an additional use: if you carefully gathered all the modicum of cool you’d inadvertently and undoubtedly undeservedly amassed, you could hang it out to dry there. The fact you could even purchase such a thing as an Elite Standard and Elite Deluxe beggared belief, and clearly others agreed as the former model only lasted the year. The difference by the by was only in a flip-up headlamp and digital instrument cluster, but since LCD was everything in the 1980s (LSD being more of a 90’s vibe) it was a pretty big deal. Knowing they were onto a sure thing, in 1986 it received a slighter curvier design – it would be a push to claim any ‘aerodynamic’ improvements – solidifying its place as one of the best scooters of the modern era. The entire run came to a halt by 1987.
Despite the world baying for a 250cc speed machine, there are, amazingly, plenty of 150’s still about, with the lineage of Elite’s still holding fast. Mechanically they were excellent, were immensely comfortable to ride, ran on virtually breaths of petrol, and therefore sold in the bucketload. Did we mention the flip-up headlight? Unfortunately, when digging into this famous machine, the light was, as expected, prone to breaking. But this could be turned into a positive note. Yes, you may be a forever virgin dying alone, but at least you’d do it in the dark.