Written on: 23/06/2012 by MalcolmF
On the recommendation of my older brother, who has had more bikes than hot dinners and has a 2011 one, I bought a 2006 Innova as a runaround alternative to my `88 BMW R80 RT which was becoming too heavy for me off saddle. At £950, half the then new price, it seemed a bargain and looked great in red with 32L back box and Honda screen. I have loved owning and riding this machine although the rocking LH gear change took some getting used too. In fact, I once slammed it down into 2nd when at top of the rev range intending to go from 3rd to 4th - very scary but no damage done!
I have used it mostly for business commuting use (30 mile round trip average) as well as for fun rides, to save fuel costs, car parking problems/costs and high blood pressure sat in traffic jams. I did feel a little vulnerable on motorways but did ok, mostly tailing HVG's. Economy-wise, the best I could get was 144 mpg on a bike I have screwed 70 mph out of (just) when slightly downhill with tailwind. However, with the somewhat skinny tires, I feel 60 max is more comfortable.
Ultra reliable, adequate performance (you can always use more!), cheap to run and fun to ride, it takes some beating. After 9800 miles, in the past 15 months I have just fitted a new (copy) exhaust, back tyre and front (copy) pads - not bad. Parts are relatively cheap. Keep a careful watch on engine oil levels - I nearly let mine run out but got away with it. Like others, I have had to dismantle the footpeg/stand/back brake lever assembly to free things off and put up with some headlight/panel rattle - minor issues I think. Good appearance has been maintained by always thoroughly drying it off if wet before putting it away - well worth the trouble.
I had intended to treat myself to a new one in a year or two but recently found out that their import was being stopped to make way for the 110cc Wave model. I then decided to buy one of the last few available (I was told) in silver from Padgetts in Batley for £2100. We agreed a new Honda 32L back box included to bring it up to the £2170 RRP. I was lucky to get a rare (tall) Innova screen new off ebay.
I am even more pleased with this last version which I feel has been developed to its ultimate in terms of fuel injection, suspension, headlight, etc. With only 400 miles clocked up and still running it in, it is too early to judge performance but, from my brother's, I know it should be a bit better with max power being higher up the rev range.
Economy-wise, it is incredible. On my 2nd tankful (only 3.7 L - £4 to fill up!) I reckoned I got 150-160 mpg which I felt I surely must have got wrong. Last week when commuting, I managed to get 116 miles out of exactly 3L (2/3 gall) of fuel (carefully filling to tank rim each time) which works out at a fantastic 175.75 mpg!
Yes, I have ridden for economy, keeping to level roads, slow throttle opening, feathering back where possible without loosing road speed but just kept up with traffic in 30/40 mph limit areas and up to 45/50 occasionally on open A roads. I think the high screen has helped a lot.
My best mate is interested in my old red one at £850 (it reached a bid of £870 on ebay against a reserve of £950) which is good going for a machine owned for over 3 years. Some dealers are asking £1500/1600 for the same. All in all, with low tax/insurance, I have no hesitation in recommending this machine and I hope this has been useful to anyone considering its purchase. Have some fun!