About two months ago, I purchased an electric bike to travel around the city. Shortly afterwards, it did not perform up to expectations.
The inexpensive Roketa ES-44 proved ineffective for my needs. In an attempt to sell it, I looked for something else.
Prior to getting an e-bike, a scooter was under consideration but didn’t make the cut because it was a bit intimidating (in terms of learning to ride it) and more expensive.
After a few quality control issues and mediocre performance, I decide to revisit the world of scooters. My interest was in the 49-50 cc class. These bikes are not only cheaper, but more fuel efficient and easier to handle while giving me enough juice to get from Point A to Point B.
Ideally, I liked the Vespa design and specs but the nearest dealer was over 200 miles away from Memphis. It was also more expensive.
Instead, I found more details about the second best thing…Honda scooters. Lo and behold, a dealership was within minutes from home.
After browsing through models and learning more about them, the Honda Metropolitan 2014 & Ruckus caught my eyes. Between the two, I chose the Metro and here’s why.
Appearance & Durability
From a design standpoint, the Metropolitan has a vintage Italian look. Although the cover plates are plastic, it is durable and resistant to the elements.
I learned this first hand when skidding on the trolley tracks on South Main Street two weeks ago. The right side cover got heavily scratched, but it did protect the metal frame underneath and cushioned my fall. Thankfully, the plastic cover is replaceable, but I can also hide the cosmetic damage with bumper stickers and decals or a coat of paint.
While riding it, I felt really comfortable riding the Metro. The seat is well-cushioned and reaching the handlebars isn’t a stretch. My feet also fit nicely on the floorboards.
Ease Of Riding & Speed
I must admit that I wasn’t sure how a gas-powered scooter would handle. It turns out that it does operate very well. I can make turns easily and it’s not too fast while learning more about riding on motor bikes.
The average top speed is 35 mph, but can go up to 40. I’ve rarely seen the big classic odometer speed past 35. The highest speed seen is 37 mph.
It’s good to ride on roads, but I would not dare put this thing on a highway or interstate (which is illegal for 49cc bikes).
I’ve felt terrified driving in a car, but oddly enough I feel much more comfortable riding on a scooter. Perhaps it’s from riding bicycles for a long time. I rather scoot down on Central Ave. on my Metropolitan than take a four-wheeled vehicle any day.
There’s a higher risk of getting hurt and exposing yourself to the elements on a scooter or motorcycle, but they are also more maneuverable and less intimidating than automobiles.
This element was by-far most important in choosing a scooter. There are varying models, but most are very fuel-efficient.
The Honda Metro excels getting the most out of a gallon. While the tank holds roughly 1.2 gallons, it gets up to 117 miles for a gallon of unleaded.
Realistically, I fill up every 80 miles and never run out. About 100 miles, I’d say it will run dry. With that said, it’s impressive that a scooter will get you far for just a gallon of gas.
This saves a lot of money as I fill up to about $2 every week! Right now, prices at the pump continue to fall so refilling the scooter becomes even more cheaper.
There was another reason behind getting this scooter: storage space. Under the seat, there is a compartment where one can store many things. Whether it’s a few groceries, lunch, laptop, or a full-face helmet, it’s great to have some space to store stuff.
Below the handlebars, there is another storage area where gloves and other goodies can go. There’s enough space to store a water bottle or cup of coffee while you ride but beware of spillage if moving over a lot of bumps.
As mileage racks up, it will be near time for a check up. Thankfully, it was purchased from a Honda dealership. I can take it there knowing the folks are familiar with the parts should something need to be fixed or replaced.
So far, it’s been fun and less of pain. Except with my skid (which I could have avoided by not going to Main St.), everything has held up. The Metropolitan hasn’t broke down, tires haven’t mysteriously gone flat, and has got a lot of distance for a tank of fuel.
I haven’t enjoyed riding it in the rain, but that’s inevitable. Thankfully, the clothing and gear I have currently protects me from most weather, but I’ll need some proper rain gear.
My only gripe about the Honda Metro are the brakes and acceleration. They work, but you’ll have to make earlier stops as it takes a little while for them to fully stop when needed. The scooter also takes longer to accelerate, but speed stays consistent while you’re finally moving.
All in all, I have enjoying taking the Honda Metropolitan to work and around town. Especially on mild, sunny days, riding on the road is a fun experience amid the crazy Memphis motorists.
Using this scooter makes me smile a bit and makes me yearn to earn a motorcycle license. By getting a Class M license, I could ride something with a higher speed and cc engine. It also gives me something to talk about with other scooter riders.
For now, the Honda Metropolitan suits me just fine especially as a scooter to train on. I’ll get something else later on, but it’s probably going to be a Honda bike.
This is a preliminary review after my first month with the scooter. I’ll give an regular update every 6 months to let everyone know how the Metro holds up. So far so good, I’m thoroughly impressed.
For more details and specifications on the Honda Metropolitan 2014, click here to the Honda website.