The Elite 110 have all the characteristics that make for a good scooter (small size, lots of storage, well designed, peppy).
Fuel injected & liquid cooled
Front disc brake
Huge storage (underseat and glovebox)
Passenger pegs, integrated lights and rear rack
HONDA ELITE 110 (NHX110)
The 2010 “Elite” or “Elite 110” was Honda’s first small wheeled scooter to be introduced in North America since the 2002 Metropolitan (aka Jazz in Canada). The Elite 110 was offered by Honda USA for only the 2010 model year, while Canadians were never offered this small Honda. Globally it remains on sale as the Lead 110.
This scooter marked the first new member of the presumed to be dead Elite family since the late 80’s. By naming this scooter simply the ‘Elite’, Honda created a mildly confusing situation since they also referred to their 1987 50cc Elite scooters as just the ‘Elite’. Those older Elite’s are generally referred to as Elite 50’s however, so hopefully not too many people will be confused. Still, before dropping thousands on a photo-less Craigslist posting for a “like new Elite”, you’d better make sure it’s the 2010 model.
The new Elite seemed to be a replacement for the departed Elite 80 (1985 – 2007) although if you follow its family tree back it was actually a successor to the Aero 80 sold here from ’83 – ’85. Overseas the Aero 80 was sold as the Lead 80. The Aero 80 was dropped here after 1985 but elsewhere it continued to be updated. It moved to 90cc in the late 80’s and then it was redesigned in the 90’s and bumped to 100cc (and 4-stroke). The present generation is the Lead 110, which is what arrived as the 2010 Elite.
Like the Elite 80 (and the Aero 80), this scooter offered small wheels and great power for running around town. At 108cc’s and a corresponding 8.9hp, the Elite 110 is a nice performer without creating any illusions of highway capability. With nearly 9hp and 6.9 lbs/ft of torque available, drivers have roughly double the power of Honda’s 4-stroke 50cc offerings and easily more than every 2-stroke 50cc on the market. Owners will have no trouble keeping up with traffic around town on this scoot. Top speed on the Elite 110 is restricted to 50-53mph. Unrestricted, the Elite 110 can wander to about 55-57mph.
Style and Amenities
The 110 achieved a fairly significant departure from the traditional Elite look, but it’s also 20 years newer than all previous Elite designs, so you’d expect some change. Any visual ties to the Elite scooters of old are minor, although he headlight shape and headset unit is reminiscent of the Elite 80. Overall, Honda did quite a nice job with this scooter. The rear rack and tail light area excellent areas and the entire rear ‘haunches’ are well done. The front of the scooter seems a little less inspired but its still a clean and flowing shape. A few other nice touches include the fold out passenger pegs and mini-SH150i rims.
For the North American market, Honda relocated the front blinkers to meet DOT regulations. The stylish integrated blinkers mounted just above the front fender were capped off and new blinkers mounted just below the brake levers. You can see these integrated blinkers in the silver photo below, and the USA spec blinkers in the first red photo. This change leaves an opportunity for enthusiastic owners to spend handsome amounts of money importing the stylish JDM indicators.
In the braking department, the new Elite has a front disc brake and a rear drum. Reviews of this scooter (see links) indicate the Elite has superb braking power and modulation for a scooter of this size. The Elite has ‘CBS’ aka ‘combined braking system’ which applies the rear brake automatically when the front lever is pulled.
As for storage, the Elite has it in abundance. In addition to a nice glovebox, the Elite 110 has enough space under the seat to swallow two full face helmets! With that plus the rear rack, front glovebox and grocery bag hook (seen just above the glovebox) this Elite is fully decked out. The only way to add more would be to add a rear case. If you need that, Honda will sell you a 27 liter rear case for an additional $144. Storage is definitely a strong point.
So what’s not to like? Well one minor thing is that it would be nice to have a kickstarter included. This isn’t a serious caveat, but a kickstarter is a nice backup tool. Aside from that, there are some complaints that the styling is little subdued. Despite early speculation to the contrary, Honda priced this scooter at quite a reasonable $2999 USD. At $850 more than Honda’s 50cc scooters, the Elite 110 delivered double the power, nearly as good milage, more storage capacity and a front disc brake.
It’s too bad Honda only offered this scooter for one year. 2010 was a rough year for the entire scooter industry, as it was still recovering from the recession years and sales were down more than half from 2008 levels across the industry. The Elite 110 had all the characteristics that make for a good scooter (small size, lots of storage, well designed, peppy) so it would have been nice to see it get more of a chance. Sales have carried on overseas, so one day we may see its return, which would be quite welcome since this model epitomizes what a well designed little Honda is all about.