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Honda's super-scooting Silver Wing

2010-05-26 08:04

Dave Fall

Vehicle Specs
Manufacturer Honda
Model Silver Wing
Engine 582cc twin
Power 37 kW @ 7500 r/min
Torque 50 Nm @ 6000 r/min
Zero To Hundred 5 seconds
Top Speed 170 km/h
Fuel Tank 16 litres
Front Suspension hydraulic forks
Rear Suspension wing arm, twin shock
Price R81 999
It’s big, bold and brash. I’m not talking about our politicians, rather something far more interesting and down to earth – Honda’s Silver Wing super-scooter.
Suffice to say I’ve never had so much fun on two wheels for quite a while … and this on a scooter. Well, initially it does appear to be expensive at R81 999, but let’s consider the facts for a moment

For this sort of money it should have a big motor – how does a 600cc twin sound to you? — because that is what powers up the 2010 Honda Silver Wing. I’d also want ABS brakes, disc brakes back and front, motorcycle-style wheels and forks on a machine that should really be comfortable and nippy to enable one to ride long distances when the moment grabs you, and obviously it must have loads of carrying capacity.

Well, the good news is that’s exactly what you get with a Silver Wing. This bike is long — really long — longer than a BMW650 Funduro or even a Triumph 955. Yes, she’s got automatic transmission, but there’s nothing wrong with that. If A to B is your sole aim day in and day out you really ought to take a closer look at a Silver Wing.

Mirror, signal, outmanoeuvre

Fellow riders might well know Military Way on their way to Simon’s Town — that corridor link off the M5 towards Muizenberg along old Main Road. During busy times you can reckon on a 10-minute “stop-go” trip — I kid you not, I made the same journey on the Wing in just over two minutes in rush hour — such is the nippiness of the machine.

In Japanese culture the English words learn and copy are the same … never ones to be afraid to “perfect” other bike manufacturer’s ideas, a real trick up the Silver Wing’s sleeve is to offer coupled brakes as standard fare — a great idea probably pinched from Moto Guzzi around half a century ago.

There’s no clutch on this bike because as I’ve already told you, it’s automatic, but the “clutch” lever remains in place and only operates the rear brake. Don’t yank it in when you actually need to stop though, because you’ll probably end up flying over the handlebars. There’s even a pull/push handbrake discreetly hidden from view and perfect for parking on a slope. How thoughtful is that?

Perhaps the pièce de resisténce is the Wing’s ability to carry clobber. Rainsuit, crash helmet and gloves can all be safely stowed away when leaving the machine at the local shopping mall so you can walk around unencumbered; return to the bike with a bag of shopping under each arm, don your gear, stow your luggage and away you go. It’s all very civilised.

The Wing’s top speed is largely academic but you’ll be for the high jump should you get stopped or have your picture taken because you were caught speeding north of 160 km/h. There’s a comprehensive set of clocks and digital playouts including a fuel gauge, rev counter, temperature gauge, two trip odos for starters, and then there’s the luxury of a 16-litre fuel tank, windscreen, legshields and wing mirrors that really do their job — most of the touches you might find on a regular motorcycle, but in a far more compact package.


Unless something better comes along — I’m thinking about the likes of Suzuki’s new fuel cell-powered machine that’s surely due over here soon — I don’t honestly believe there’s anything to come close to the Silver Wing. Yes, I know there are lots of lesser-priced scooters around, but none of them, not even the eponymous Vespa, come close to providing such an exciting ride.

Do you have, or have you considered getting a super-scooter? What do you make of this Honda? Tell us


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