HONDA METROPOLITAN / GIORNO (NCH50)
Honda has sold two distinct generations of the Metropolitan in North America. The first generation (model code CHF50) was sold from 2002 to 2009, with an update for 2006 and is dealt with separately. The second generation (model code NCH50) was introduced for 2013 and is the subject of this article. It remains on sale as of 2015. In Canada (and the rest of the world) this model is badged as the Giorno. Overseas the Giorno name plate has been in use for a while, so don’t confuse the older more vintage styled Giorno (1992 - 1999) with this recent iteration.
The prior generation of Metropolitan was actually Honda’s Crea/Scoopy model (which has now been discontinued) badged as the Metropolitan for the USA (Jazz in Canada), so this NCH50 Metropolitan is an entirely different model from Honda that shares almost nothing with first Met. The frame, engine and style are all new. The gauges and every body panel save the front fender are changed. Also new are the seat, front forks, handlebars and storage cubby hole. The rims, front fender and a few smaller bits are all that carries over.
The NCH50 Metropolitan uses Honda’s AF70E motor, which gives up the liquid cooling found in the first generation Met motor (GET2), but gains PGM-Fi (fuel injection). The motor has similar power spec’s (4.5 HP @ 8250 RPM) although top speed is down a few mph from the low 40’s to the high 30’s (37-38mph). Fuel milage is slightly higher, as Honda is claiming a 3mpg boost to 117mpg. Real world economy in mixed conditions should be right around 100 mpg.
The AF70E motor is bottom hung (mounted from beneath the engine) instead of top mounted like the GET2. This means you can’t swap this engine into an older Metropolitan or vice versa without extensive frame modifications.
Design and Amenities
The original Metropolitan used plastic body panels mounted to a technologically advanced aluminum frame. The 2013 Metropolitan abandons this expensive aluminum frame and instead utilizes a lower cost steel tube frame. Despite this, weight savings elsewhere mean the total weight is up only 3 lbs to 179. The NCH50 is about 40 lbs lighter than a steel bodied Vespa, and continues to allow much easier and cheaper to replacement of damaged body panels.
The Metropolitan / Giorno adds both a large storage cubby hole in the leg shield and a small hook above that, whereas the previous generation had neither. While a locking glovebox would have been nice, this storage slot is a step in the right direction. Unfortunately, the NCH50 Metropolitan loses the gas tank located internally in the floorboard (which requires a cost adding fuel pump) and instead uses a gas tank positioned under the seat. This simpler gravity fed system allows for a lower cost, but it does consume some of the underseat storage space. Still, many full face helmets will fit. Fuel tanks located under the seat are the norm, so the Metropolitan / Giorno surrenders its previous advantage in this area in exchange for a lower MSRP.
Like the previous generation, drum brakes are used front and rear in the Metropolitan, which results in lackluster but okay braking. It would have been nice to see a disc brake included like most competitors, but larger riders can upgrade the front brake for a few hundred in aftermarket parts if desired.
The restyled dash of the Metropolitan continues to be tastefully styled. There’s a speedometer, fuel gauge, odometer and a few small warming lights. The rear shock carries over from generation one, but the inverted front forks are new. Hopefully they are an improvement over the forks in the early Metropolitan which were widely panned as being too soft and easy to bottom out.
For 2013, the Metropolitan is being offered in Black, White and a Black/Red combo in the USA. Canadians only get two choices, but one of them is the handsome Azuki Brown (see top pic). The other Canadian option is White/Red. For 2014 Honda USA went a bit more daring and is offering the new Metropolitan in Pink Metallic, Pearl Blue or Candy Orange.
Honda clearly set out to compete more aggressively on price with the second generation Metropolitan, which lowers the MSRP $50 at a time when most competitors are creeping upwards. Most scooterists won’t mind a few extra pounds for the steel frame, nor notice most of the other omissions, so Honda may find they’re able to grab a larger portion of this popular niche with this new Met.
With it’s lower $1999 MSRP, the NCH50 Metropolitan targets competitors from Yamaha, Kymco, Genuine and Piaggio in this price sensitive segment. The NCH50 is a well built scooter that offers a few less features than some competitors in exchange for Honda’s renowned quality and engineering prowess. A few other scooters worth considering include Genuine’s Buddy (aka PGO Metro), Yamaha’s Vino 50, SYM’s Mio 50 and Kymco’s Like 50 and Compagno 50.
Overall, the 2013 Metropolitan / Giorno is a tastefully styled machine that trades a few of a predecessors premium attributes for a lower MSRP. As it’s known overseas, the Giorno is Honda’s entry level retro styled 50cc scooter and thus it competes closer with the rest of its North American competition - a niche where steel frames and air cooling are the sufficient norm. It’s not the technological marvel than the early generation was, but it is a solid reliable scooter with tasteful styling and a more attractive price tag. Plus that Azuki Brown color being offered to Canadians is in a league of its own.
OWNER REVIEWS (3) - Browse the Metropolitan Owner Reviews REVIEW - Add a Review
* Awesome milage / Fuel Injection
* Affordable MSRP
* Air cooled motor
* Tube frame
MotorscooterGuide Forums - Visit the forum on this site to chat about your scoot.
UrbanScootin - Online CHF50 oriented forum.
2013 (NCH50) Review - Motorcycle-USA takes the new Met for a spin.
Key Specs: 2013 NCH50 Metropolitan / Giorno
Engine: ‘AF70E’ 49cc air-cooled, SOHC, 2-valve, single cylinder 4-stroke
Power: 4.5HP @ 8250 RPM
Bore x Stroke: 37.8 x 44.0mm
Fuel Delivery: PGM-Fi
Transmission: Automatic V-Matic belt drive
Front Suspension: Twin-downtube inverted fork, 2.1”travel
Rear Suspension: Single shock; 2.3” travel
Front Brake: Drum
Rear Brake: Drum with CBS
Tires: 80/100-10 (Front and Rear)
Seat Height: 28.3”
Wet Weight: 179 lbs wet
Fuel Capacity: 4.5L / 1.2 gallon
2013: Pearl Black, Pearl Black/Red, Pearl White
2014: Pearl Blue/Black, Pink Metallic, Candy Orange/Black
2015: Pearl Blue/Black, Pink Metallic/Pearl White, White/Grey
2013: Azuki Brown Metallic, White/Red
2014: Pearl Blue/Black, Candy Orange/Black, Pink Metallic,
2015: Pearl Gemini Blue/Pearl Black, Candy Blaze Orange/Pearl Black, Spica Pink/Pearl Cotton Ivory