Bill's Honda Helix pages
The NH80 "Aero"
This is how it starts - - you buy a scooter for whatever reason, and the next thing you know, you are having so much fun that the scooter takes over! Well, to be honest, it started in 1955 with a Cushman Eagle. I was a GI in Huntsville, Alabama teaching electronics at the Army Ordnance Guided Missile School in those days.

But in 2003 this little Honda Aero (NH80) got me "rehooked." (Is that a word?) on scooting. Then I discovered that 80cc 2-stroke
40 mph scooters can't keep up with "40 mph" traffic (that goes 55 to 60 mph.) Here're the Aero's pages.

So, what's a guy to do? A year of watching on eBay led me to this beauty; a 1984 Elite CH125. Still a Honda, but now, 4-stroke, water cooled; capable of 55 mph cruising speed.

I rode the Elite all around Chattanooga (that means HILLS folks, in case you haven't visited here) for more than a year. It kept up with traffic just fine on secondary streets and side roads - on the level. The CH125's Website is here.

After a lot of reading, questioning, and study I concluded that I had to bite the proverbial bullet and go to a "maxiscooter" to keep up with highway traffic . . . reasonably well, at least.

As any experienced motorcyclist will tell you, that means at least 250cc displacement; about 15 to 20 horsepower. With that comes an increase in weight and wheelbase for engineering reasons having to do with stability and control. Add all that together and shop around, and guess what? You find yourself staring at the Honda Helix (or its competition.)

Farther, I found this test done in 1997 in Motorcycle.Com -- subscribe if you are at all interested in 2-wheeling -- and I was completely sold on the oddball scooter!

I watched for "good deals" on a Helix, while trying to find some way of persuading my first wife (the one I married more than 50 years ago, and who still owns me) that a more powerful scooter wouldn't be unsafe (au contraire - being tailgated at 50 mph on the Elite by a 4 ton SUV made me pretty nervous.)

Thanksgiving weekend 2006 found us visiting one of our sons' and his family in Durham, NC. While there I casually Googled 'Helix' and found an ad in a NY newspaper; a black 1984 Helix, at a good price - - - -

- - - aw, what the heck; why not call the guy and see what's wrong with it?

We all know horror stories of folks buying from someone on the WWW and getting ripped off. Well, if this guy is a scammer, he is pretty good - said he was a retired NY Port Authority cop, gave me his name and address and his eBay name so that I can check him out. I do -- and he does.

A short (and not too happy) conversation with my wife-mate, and a PayPal transaction later, the money is in his hands, and I am hoping that I haven't made a BIG mistake. Now - how do I get my scooter from Long Island, New York to Chattanooga, Tennessee? Hhhmmm - that maps out to more than 800 miles - and since we are already 480 miles from home, that would be a 2,000 mile round trip - - no way!

Back to the WWW and search for motorcycle shipper - several pop up. At least one will Join the AMA today!give me a discount with my AMA number. (You don't belong to the American Motorcyclist Association ? Shame on you! Click the link and join up today!) But the clincher was "door-to-door" and I found a trucker (through uShip freight brokers) who was willing to do that, looked well qualified, and met my price for the job.

NEXT: My Helix comes south - and dies !
©2006 Bill Laudeman; all rights reserved. Page updated Friday, April 20, 2007 11:47 Eastern time.
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