Ask any rider and their top choices for a 150cc daily commuter are usually models like the Yamaha Nmax, Honda ADV 150 or even the Click 150. The choices seem to revolve around some of the top-tier offerings of the brands, and unfortunately, also a long wait or lots of negotiation to get a unit.
Granted these models are pretty great, but what’s criminal is how underrated models like the Honda Airblade 150 are skipped over. With so many 150cc offerings in Honda’s lineup, many of their qualities and features tend to overlap. Admittedly, I didn’t quite know what to make of the Airblade either until Honda lent us a unit for a review.
The Airblade is offered as an urban-oriented daily commuter. As the name suggests, the Airblade gets its name from its very narrow profile, even thinner than the Click and ideal for filtering through traffic in the city.
Style-wise, the Airblade is very modern, bearing Honda’s twin headlight design and vertical position lights. It looks more like the ADV 150 than the Click. Behind, its taillight is pretty distinctive with its two LED lines. We got the lovely Black Edition, which mixes up the black body with gold accents. The black paint itself has multi-color flecks that you'll only notice up close, giving it a nice little touch of metallic.
For the rider, the Airblade offers a relatively sporty riding position. Either that or I’m too tall for the bike as I found myself leaning forward when riding it. It’s perfect for pinoys with a low seat height of just 773 mm. I like how the seat is also angled a bit upward toward the end, preventing you from sliding forward when braking.
Powering the Airblade is a 150cc liquid-cooled, SOHC four-stroke single-cylinder engine with PGM-Fi. Maximum power is 13.0 PS at 8,500 rpm, while max torque is 13.3 Nm at 5,000rpm. Honda claims this allows the Airblade 150 to achieve an average fuel consumption reading of 47 km/liter. Paired with a 4.4-liter fuel tank, it should allow riders to go as far as 200-km on one full tank. It also comes with Honda’s idling-stop system that maximizes fuel consumption even more.
The bike also offers quite a lot of utility. It comes with a 22.7-liter utility box under the seat. This is large enough to accommodate a full-faced helmet and a few personal belongings. There's even a removable divider to let you organize the space. Inside the U-box is also a power socket for recharging phones. Best of all, there’s also a built-in light, which makes it easy to find items in the dark.
Starting it up is done with a Smart Key which allows the rider to simply keep the fob in hist pocket to unlock and start the motorcycle when he or she is nearby. On the shield is the ignition knob that not only starts the bike but can lock it as well. Nearby buttons unlock the fuel cap and seat compartment.
Keeping it aloft is a telescopic fork in front and twin shocks in the rear. It rides on 14 inch wheels with pretty sporty tires. It’s then brought to a stop with a disc with ABS in front and a drum brake in the rear.
Admittedly, specs-wise, the Airblade may not sound very impressive. Yet take it out for a few days and you’ll be delightfully surprised.
Thanks to its very lightweight, the Airblade is pretty quick and zippy around town. It accelerates just as quickly if not faster than the other 150cc scooters. It handles well, eagerly leaning around corners. It’s also surprisingly comfortable. A twin shock setup in the rear usually returns a pretty stiff ride, but in the Airblade, it’s just right; soft enough to absorb bumps but stiff enough to return sporty handling.
What I enjoyed most where the very reassuring brakes. It’s easy to feel when the brakes begin to bite and modulate it from there. Thanks to ABS in front, there’s very little worry about locking it up. It stops just as quickly as it accelerates.
It really lives up to its name when it comes to filtering and parking. It’s not just the body that’s narrow. So are the handlebars, making it easier to squeeze into tight spaces that most motorcycles struggle with. Our office motorcycle parking is especially tight, yet I never had trouble finding a space the Airblade could fit into.
Perhaps another factor that wins over many buyers is the customizability. Granted, the Airblade may not have as many accessories as the ADV150 or click, yet it’s already quite attractive in stock form. If I owned one, I honestly wouldn’t change a thing.
All told, the Airblade is quite enjoyable, if not even faster and more agile than its stablemates. In addition, it has many of the best features of the more expensive models like the park brake lock, a smart key, ABS, and idling stop system. All of this comes at PhP109,000, a pricetag PhP20-PhP30,000 less than the premium maxi scooter models.
The Airblade is quite the all-rounder, offering a comfortable ride, enjoyable acceleration and handling, all in a compact size. We’re really surprised why we don’t see more of these on the road. It’s easily one of Honda’s most underrated models.