Today’s Nice Price or Crack Pipe Honda Helix has only 171 miles on the clock. It also has a digital dash and maybe, the stigma that almost all non-Vespa scooters carry. Will its price still carry the day?
I’m always intrigued by the NPOCP candidates that sell while we’re in mid-rumination over their valuation. I wonder, what did they go for? Were we in close estimation of that real world exaction? Did the seller leave a shame-worthy CD in the changer? The mind reels at the mere thought.
I’m reeling now since that was just what seemed to have happened with yesterday’s 2004 Volvo V70 R. While we were digging into its condition and $7,999 price, out in the San Francisco suburbs somebody was driving it away. Hopefully they were happy with their new purchase. And why wouldn’t they be? After all, that hot Volvo did earn our ardor and a decent 67-percent Nice Price win.
The current administration here in the U.S. is attempting to lower the Federal fleet average fuel economy standards enacted its predecessor. The outgoing standards were admittedly wildly aggressive—54.5 MPG average by 2025—and were intended to drive manufacturers away from fossil fuels as a primary energy source for their consumer wares. New standards have yet to be released by the EPA—they seemingly have other irons in the fire right now—but it’s expected that they will be substantially lower and hence more friendly to both the auto and oil industries.
This is at a time when we’re seeing gas prices on the rise after years of stability at record lows. You might anticipate this impending combination of poorer mileage requirements and higher gas prices with great delight if you choose There Will Be Blood’s Daniel Plainview as your role model, but for the rest of us it’s going to suck.
Oh course, you could aways buy and ride a scooter, as those things get pretty remarkable mileage. And, should you choose to go the route of a two wheeler witha step-through, you could do far worse than this amazingly untapped 1999 Honda CN250 Helix.
The CN250 was part of a series of scooters introduced in the mid-Eighties in replacement of the more traditional Elite models. Called the Helix in the U.S., it went by Spazio elsewhere, which honestly sounds like the name of one of the Welcome Back Kotter kids.
The Helix offered a longer wheelbase than the Elites—even longer than most Harleys. That served to provide a better ride that its precedessors, less twitchy handling, and a Barcalounger-like seating position for the driver. The CN250 is honestly like the Goldwing of scooterdom. The bikes even came with touring aspirations evidenced by their full fairing, trip odometer, and ample (for a two-wheeler) storage.
The 244-cc lay-down-sally single powering the Helix offered water cooling and a scintillating 19 horsepower. A V-matic CVT means pretty much anybody can ride one, while a 75 MPH top speed ensures that all those folks will mostly be able to get out of people’s way. A drum rear brake and disc up front—a first for a Honda scooter here in the U.S.—provide stopping duties. These bikes even offered an electric start and automatic choke so getting one lit up means only depressing the brake pedal and thumbing the starter switch.
This ’99, in Pure Red, comes with just 171 miles under its belt. The seller says that other than a couple of scratches in the paint and a nick here or there, the bike is as you might have expected it in the dealer showroom. Hey, remember when there used to be motorcycle dealer showrooms here?
The two-up saddle looks as comfy as Santa’s lap and while there is a hump dividing the floorboards meaning that it’s not a true step-thru, it’s still easier to mount and manage the bike’s 349 pounds than would be a traditional swing-your-leg-over motorcycle.
Full digital instrumentation greets you when you do take your seat, just like in Hnda’s S2000 automobile. You even get a gas gauge for the 3.2-gallon tank. That tank, by the way, should allow about 180 miles between fuel stops.
The question right now is whether this Helix’s $2,499 price tag should be a full stop. The Helix has an odd history of missed model years owing to a glut of product on the sales floor, while alternatively having to be reintroduced in other markets due to consumers having clamored for its return.
Today you still see them on the road if you’re paying attention—which you should be. What we want to know is, at that $2,499 price, should this low mileage example be seen back on the road?
H/T to Brent B for the hookup!
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