SINGAPORE – I was initially not keen to review this big-capacity scooter because I assume its heft would be accompanied by the agility of an aircraft carrier and slow acceleration.
But the 2021 Honda Forza 750 is deceptively fast. It sprints from 0 to 100kmh in about 5 seconds – a tad slower than most 1,000cc sport bikes but still faster than many sporty cars.
Traits commonly associated with small scooters – such as lazy acceleration, rudimentary suspension and poor handling – are not found in the Forza 750. Touted as a luxury scooter with grand touring capabilities, it completes the Forza line-up, which also includes Class 2B and Class 2A variants.
While Forza scooters are targeted at city slickers because of their hassle-free operation, practicality and agility in city traffic, the keyless Forza 750 maxi-scooter has one more advantage – sporty handling.
I attack roundabouts and bends as if I were on a sports bike. As I brake hard and effortlessly steer the Euro 5 scooter into turns, its engine downshifts automatically to the tune of auto-blipping. I glide briefly before winding the throttle again, watching the engine revs climb up to its 7,000 redline.
Of course, the action is less frenetic in automatic transmission. But when you ride in manual mode, gear changes happen quicker – thanks to the bike’s seamless dual-clutch transmission.
On tighter roads, riding in Manual also affords more control. Sometimes, the Auto transmission tends to downshift mid-turn, unsettling your cornering line.
What aids the scooter’s quick-footedness is its 745cc parallel twin-cylinder engine, ergonomics and ride comfort. It shares the same engine as Honda’s offroad scooter, the X-ADV.
But the Forza 750 makes a little more power and torque – 58bhp and 69Nm, versus the X-ADV’s 54bhp and 68Nm. At 235kg (kerb weight), it is 1kg lighter and has compact dimensions.
Design-wise, the Forza is a mix of curves and sharp lines. All its lights are LEDs. Under the seat, you can store a full-face helmet in a 22-litre stash space, which also has a USB charger.
You sit upright and low on the wide seat, protected by a large windscreen. Extended floorboards allow you to stretch out on longer rides. The bike’s centre of gravity is directly below the rider’s seat, making it easier to steer than the taller X-ADV.
A pair of 41mm upside-down forks and a rear mono-shock give plush damping whenever the front 17-inch and rear 15-inch wheels hit rough patches. A two-channel anti-lock braking system is standard fare.
The six-speed Forza 750’s electronics package is kept simple, without going overboard with settings and gauges. Tech-savvy riders will appreciate the new Honda Smartphone Voice Control system, which connects to a smartphone, allowing voice management of calls, music and navigation.
The throttle-by-wire scooter has four ride modes – Rain, Sport, Standard and a customisable User mode.
Engine behaviour varies for each mode. Rain sees gentler gear changes lower down the rev range, while Sport affords punchier gear changes higher up the rev range.
All the selections are clearly visible on the light-sensitive 5-inch, colour TFT screen.
You choose your settings on the left handlebar control, which has seven inward-facing buttons close to one another.
The horn is also too close to the signal light button. On a few occasions, I found myself hitting the wrong button when I meant to sound the horn.
Niggles aside, the Forza 750 is a comfy scooter with a big dose of entertainment value. HONDA FORZA 750
PRICE $35,000 inclusive of
COE and road tax
ENGINE 745cc 8-valve parallel twin, water-cooled
TRANSMISSION Six-speed dual-clutch, chain driven
POWER 58bhp at 6,750rpm
TORQUE 69Nm at 4,750rpm
0-100KMH 5 seconds (tested)
TOP SPEED 175kmh (estimated)
3.6 litres/ 100km
AGENT Boon Siew Singapore