During the past 10 years, scooters have quickly become the most popular mode of personal mobility for many Filipinos, especially in highly urbanized areas. Its small, easy-to-operate (gas and go) and fuel-efficient characteristics appeal to a much broader demographic of newbie and experienced riders alike.
Like many Filipinos, my go-to ride when running errands or simply strolling around is also a scooter. It's a first-generation Honda BeAT 110 to be exact. So when our friends from Honda lent me the newest BeAT 110, I was very excited to try out and see the difference between the old and the new BeAT 110.
BeAT Street Premium
For this review, the unit we tested was the top-of-the-line, BeAT Street Premium, loaded with both the Idle Stop System (ISS) and the Combi-Brake System. It's priced at Ph₱70,400.
Almost immediately, I noticed that the new BeAT runs smoother compared to my personal one. The engine vibration is very minimal, which could be the result of Honda’s Enhanced Smart Power (eSP) technology.
In a nutshell, eSP is designed to increase combustion efficiency and reduce the output energy that is wasted. This system is made up of a new cylinder sleeve and offset design, a new roller-type rocker arm, and many more. Besides better efficiency, another benefit of eSP is smoother operation than the earlier versions.
Like the earlier versions of the BeAT scooter, its styling is just the right amount of simplicity and practical use. Simple in the sense that it is not too flashy like most scooters these days. It's also practical in the sense that its rider can use this scooter for errands around town. I was almost tempted to carry groceries in its large step board (not safe).
Fuel efficient as ever
Like my personal Honda BeAT, this newer version is still as fuel-efficient as ever. To give you an idea, me and my wife rode up to Tagaytay one night, coming from our home near Las Piñas. The new BeAT returned a delightful 50.1 kilometers per liter. So during the scooter's short but sweet tenure with me, I was only able to consume about 3.5 liters, amounting to 185 kilometers for both errands and leisure riding.
I think that the ISS also played a major role in its fuel efficiency. With the ISS, the engine shuts off a few seconds after a complete stop, like on an intersection or if the volume of traffic is heavy and at a standstill. When I need to start rolling again, all I need to do is to twist the throttle and the engine comes back to life.
I'm still hoping that new scooters sold here could be equipped with an Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) as standard, giving additional safety to Filipino riders. Though the new BeAT is not yet equipped with such, it makes up for it with its Combi-Brake System.
Instead of worrying about applying the right pressure on the front brake lever for optimal grip, all I have to do is just squeeze the left brake lever (rear brake) and the right amount of brake pressure is applied to both the front wheel and rear wheel.
It may sound simple, but this technology is also used by more complex and expensive motorcycle models like the BMW R 1250 GS.
The new Honda BeAT Street Premium may not be the most powerful scooter in the market today (less than 10 Ps of power). It may not also be the fastest, nor the most stylish, but for me personally, these characteristics are the ones that make it more desirable to own.
In a way, the BeAT is also a safe motorcycle to own. A BeAT is low profile and doesn't attract a lot of attention. In motorcycle parking lots, envy can drive some riders to vandalize another's scooter. Not with the BeAT. Motorcycle thieves are less likely to put a gun to your head to steal your BeAT. Chances are, they'll choose a more popular and expensive scooter to steal.
The BeAT is all you really need. It can reach 80 kilometers per hour really fast, which is just enough when riding in Metro Manila. And again, it is so damn fuel efficient!