The build quality, engine power, brakes and ride are all excellent so it’s a great all around performance-touring scooter.
Technologically advanced engine
Stiff rear suspension without passenger
HONDA SILVER WING (FSC600)
Sold from 2002 to 2013, the 600cc Silver Wing (FSC600) was by far Honda’s largest scooter offering. Prior to the Silver Wing, Honda’s largest scooter had been 250cc (Elite 250, Helix, Reflex). The Silver Wing was the second full size maxi-scooter introduced in the USA (after Aprilia’s Atlantic 500), with Suzuki’s landmark Burgman scooter arriving a year later. Suzuki gets a lot of credit in the maxi-scooter scene as they were the first seller overseas, but Honda deserves kudos as well.
The Silver Wing remained on sale through 2013. That’s an impressive 12 years on the USA market with virtually no changes. In Canada this scooter was dropped after 2009. Overseas Honda has developed a few other versions of this scooter, but none have made it to North America. Internationally, the Silver Wing lineage does live on, so Honda may introduce a new generation to North America in the future.
Unsurprisingly, the Silver Wing was Honda’s fastest scooter ever, with a 0-60 mph time of 8 seconds and a top speed of 105mph (170km/hr). To achieve this, Honda designed their impressive 582cc parallel twin cylinder ‘DACT’ engine. This compact workhorse put out 49.6 HP @ 7500 RPM and enjoyed an array of fancy technology. The Silver Wing employed 4-valves per cylinder, liquid cooling and Honda’s PGM-Fi fuel injection. The Silver Wing DACT motor also used dual counterweights to balance the engine and reduce vibrations.
The CVT found the Silver Wing was also impressive in that it has 3 difference acceleration modes that it uses depending on how far the throttle is pressed. These modes eliminate wheelspin off the line and they improve fuel economy when power isn’t needed.
The downside to an engine this large is the serious fuel economy hit compared to smaller scooters. Honda’s 250cc scooters commonly achieve 60-65 mpg but the Silver Wing can only attain a meagre (by scooter standards) 40-50 mpg. There are a few cars who can equal this milage, so Silver Wing isn’t the best choice for someone looking to save gas money on their commute. A smaller 250cc or 400c scooter will do quite a bit better. Normally buyers of maxi-scooters aren’t buying for the same reasons as people often buy smaller scooters, so the Silver Wing is likely purchased more for touring capabilities, than for fuel savings.
Design and Amenities
On the open road the Silver Wing does quite well. It has great brakes with discs front and rear, ABS (standard as of 2011, optional before that) and CBS (essentially linked brakes so the left lever pulls both calipers).
The Silver Wing also has an impressive 55L (15 gallon) storage area under the seat that is capable of swallowing two full face helmets. Additionally, Honda has provided dual lockable cubby holes in the dash for holding your wallet, insurance slips and Fisherman’s Friend lozenges.
One of the most important considerations for a maxi-scooter is rider comfort and the Silver Wing does quite well in this regard. The seat is very comfortable for the driver and reasonably comfy for a passenger. The passenger seat doesn’t equal that of a Goldwing but it’s reasonable. The rear seat backrest is adjustable for the passenger and works well for its size. Once you are rolling, the Silver Wing is generally viewed as a very stable and agile bike. At higher speeds, the FSC600 offers decent wind protection and a more comforting ride that most smaller scooters offer. This scooter also includes both a centerstand and a side stand.
It’s easy to see why the Silver Wing was so successful as a maxi-scooter. It was sold for a total of 12 years with barely any changes. The styling remained fresh and it withstood the test of time better than its Suzuki competitors which have now been redesigned.
Due to its high price and healthy appetite for fuel, the Silver Wing isn’t the most practical choice in this group, but it tends to be a popular choice amongst enthusiasts. The build quality, engine power, brakes and ride are all excellent so it’s a great all around performance-touring scooter. Budget minded buyers might want to look at the lower cost Piaggio’s X9 and Kymco’s Xciting 500, while fuel concerned individuals should look at all three 500cc competitors and a smaller maxis still like Yamaha’s 400cc Majesty, Kymco’s Downtown 300i and Honda’s new 279cc Forza.