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★★★★☆

“First impressions after riding normal motorbikes....”

Written on: 30/01/2014 by bmw e30 (1 review written)

Ok. This is purely a review based on my test ride and after purchasing, the ride home so those of you like me who ride normal motorbikes can get an idea of what to expect.
I have a Ducati Monster 600 and a Yamaha Fazer 600, the latter I am looking to sell and keep the Innova as my commuter bike to work etc.
I test rode the 2003 Honda ANF 125 Innova late afternoon in a cold 4 degrees and wet rainy weather. Not ideal but I can't change the weather lol.
Starting the bike on electric start or kick starter. It idles smoothly and very quietly, maybe idle a tad low but I can sort that. Having not ridden a step thru for 18yrs, I found it very 'alien' but easy to do. Wierd not seeing a clutch lever at the handlebars. Into 1st, pulling away the bike is instantly easy to ride and balance on those super skinny tires. Back off throttle a tad when changing up the gears, release the gear lever slowly and there was hardly and jerking. Down changing is more awkward. I'm not sure if your supposed to use your heel or toe of your boot to press down on the rear of the gear lever but there's definitely a knack to smooth down changes. Mine were more instantly engaging lol. Need to work on that! NOTE. There is a cycle on the gearbox if you come to a standstill you can change straight from 4th into neutral(no-one has mentioned this, it's in the Honda handbook, I thought my gearbox was broken when it did it accidentally!). This action is blocked tho if you are moving forward so it cannot happen when riding as that would be dangerous. Neat trick Honda!
Rear drum brake is good, front much less so. Has had new shoes and pads so I'm taking it 'as is' but until I check it out I can't say they're all like this.
Steering is precise and huge steering lock to lock so you can turn this round in a very tight circle.
Anyway it can get up to 40mph very respectably, 50mph is still good but acceleration is noticeably less urgent. I changed into 4th gear at 50 and it was very slow getting up to 57mph(ran out of road, it would go more btw), counting the mph 1 by 1 kinda acceleration. Turned around and did the same again but staying in 3rd it pushes through passed 50 and nearly 60mph so see 4th as an overdrive an use the 1,2&3 gears to get up to speed as 4th can't pull much but could probably hold the speed as long as the wind wasn't too strong.
I'd guess indicated 55-60mph happy cruising speed, top speed maybe 68-70mph but I don't know yet.
Handling at slow speed under 20mph is fine. Above this feels nervous but again, I've come straight off riding 600's with 120 and 160 width tires so I'm guessing this is more down to me being nervous about skinny tires than their grip. And being wet and raining and flooded roads you can imagine how I felt!
Indicators and horn are on the left and easy to find without looking, the headlight....apparently was improved for injection models '07-on and was a worry for me as I commute in the dark mornings but tbh I was surprised how good it was. Maybe I had low expectations but its headlight had good flood pattern spreading wide and 20-25 ft ahead, and lit roughly 6ft in front of the bike, main beam was good too. Nice even spread like the dipped but further. Up to 40mph was quite ok on unlit roads. So not something to concern people who commute in the dark. The bulb btw is apparently 12v 35/35w so low power, something that could be improved upon maybe later.
Things to look out for are rusty downpipe on the exhaust and wheel rims rust, and mine has some rust on the swing arm but only surface rust. Engine looks dry underneath, no oil leaks.
Mine has a Honda top box that can fit helmet and gloves and is lockable and seems to be the genuine Honda one as the mount is part of the original grab rail. Very handy to have.
Centre stand and side stand is good too. Easy to use.
The seat feels ok. I found I was sitting near the front in order to use the gear lever more easily.

Overall if your commutes are local and under 50mph this is perfectly suited. I'd be worried on buffeting along dual carriageways but it will do it. Don't expect to overtake stuff tho, it isn't nippy enough at speed to have the get up and go. This is purely speculation as I've not done it yet.
There is a nice feeling about this Innova, a care-free feel as its cheap, reliable, easy to ride and light weight(99kg dry) one, something that bigger bikes never have. I will update later once I have put some miles on and had a good look around it but so far I'm pleased with it.

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