Single cylinder, two-stroke
249.00 ccm (15.19 cubic inches)
Bore x stroke:
72.0 x 60.0 mm (2.8 x 2.4 inches)
8.00 litres (2.11 gallons)
There were very few late-night, debauched liaisons between Robocop and a Volvo 760. It was a classic case of the before Robocop was famous in ’87 tag-line. But like any drunken night full of lust and regrets, the memories were there. Empty cans of off-diesel strewn across the garage, a worn-out fan-belt lying coquettishly across a puddle of radiator fluid. Who knew that, later, the world would welcome a bouncing baby Honda CH 250 Spacy – Elite. Not sure what the Elite is for, a last-ditch grasp at bourgeoise, or to make up for the errant ‘e’ in it’s prénom.
This single-cylinder, 249cc powerhouse with belt-drive and eight litres of juicy fuel capacity gave a range of about one hundred and twenty miles. It was the biggest scooter to ever hit American shores. The Elite was a maxi-scooter, no less. Up to this point Lambretta’s and Vespa’s only offered 200cc, but the extra oomph and a cruising speed of around 65-70mph opened up the highways to scooter riders. With a vast couch-like seat to keep you comfortable whilst your hair-sprayed buffon acted as some kind of moving flytrap, the maxi was a huge success.
Performance specifications are a little hard to come by for this two-wheeled ride-on printer – not a single person seems to have attempted a quarter of a mile speed test, for example – but the futuristic digital-dash is still a marvel. Fuel-gauge, clock, engine temperature, trip odometer and even the ability to switch between km/hr and mph for those cross-country sojourns you would probably never find yourself in. Additionally, it had engine-oil life indicator that switched from green to red for it was time for an oil-change, which is pretty neat. Our favourite aspect by far though at Fort Shepsters is that it offered its passengers a glimpse of the future, quite literally, as the dash proudly boasts it’s ‘Speed/Time’ dilation device. Honda knew what it was doing. This was a bike for the future. Or the past. Or present. But the vision was clear: time travel was possible, especially if you crossed a country or state time-zone.
As Honda, and all Japanese machines, came to signify, the Elite developed an ultra-reliable reputation, with the vertical liquid-cooled motor under low running stress. It spawned a whole generation of scooters, and in turn had successors of its own in the Helix, Fusion and unfortunately named Spazio. And production is still going strong too, albeit mostly in Japan, and as testimony to this, there are still plenty of bike parts for sale too. Highway cruising speed, great range, incredibly reliability and luggage spac*? A sur fir winnr.
*<Ed – I see what you did>
Notes: Country models differed between drum and disc brakes, Had a five year run from ’85 to ’90 in the USA