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2003 Honda Reflex


  • 2003 Honda Reflex

    The Honda Reflex is the smallest of the "Big Three" maxi-scooters offered for sale in the United States. It sports a 249cc liquid-cooled single-cylinder four-stroke engine, the well known V-Matic automatic transmission, and un-linked single disc front and rear brakes with hand controls, and weighs in dry at 351 lbs.

    As all the maxi-scoots in this category do, the Reflex comes stock with a large, comfortable driver/passenger seat, windshield, a body style that helps protect you from wind, under-seat storage, and an impressive array of 'dash' controls including a gas gauge, tach, speedometer, clock, etc. etc...I

    The stock seat is 28.3 inches high. Shorter folks may find flat-footing it a bit of a challenge, but keep in mind there is no gas tank width to further get in your way. For those of us who are above-average in height, the Reflex is a blessing with it's roomy dimensions yet beginner friendly power and weight ratios. I am 5'8" with a 33in insteam and I am not cramped on the Reflex.

    On the first tank of gas, I average 62mpg with a combination of city/rural riding, speeds averaging 45-55 miles per hour. After a thorough break in, that should level at about 70mpg per others' reports.

    f you wish to review the rest of the specifications, please visit the Honda website.

    Let's get to the fun stuff!

    I started riding on the Reflex's "big brother"- the Honda Silverwing- and traded it in on a "shifty thing" after 4 months and 3000 miles. It didn't take me long to realize I really missed having a scooter and we decided a smaller scooter for running errands, commuting and quick trips around town was reasonable. We were actually looking for something in the 80cc to 125cc range when we found the new '03 Reflex after the '05's came out. The out-the-door price that was too good to be true.

    That was one month and 300+ squeezed-in-between-rotten-weather miles ago.

    The Reflex gets an A+ as a beginner bike- and the + signifies it's ability to grow and keep performing as your skills improve. Throttle response is good without being too touchy, manueverability is above average, and she's light enough to easily correct off-balance mistakes. Perfect for the rider starting in the parking lot, graduating to the side streets, venturing out through town and eventually down the rural roads with hills and curves at 50-55mph. When you're ready, she will take on the Interstate- I'm not saying she has a lot left at 70mph+, but she'll do it and stay stable while she does.

    Although I would prefer a quicker brake response, from a new-rider perspective, the Reflex will brake adequately without being 'touchy' if a bit of a grab is thrown in with the 'squeeze' when nerves take over for a moment!

    The Reflex also gets an absolute, solid A as a buzz-around-town commuter and week-end relaxing-ride-through-the country bike, no matter what your skill level is.

    I've ridden the Reflex on smooth pavement, grated surfaces, gravel roads, and rural country roads with less then desirable surfacing and have no complaints regarding the small wheels, stability or the quality of the ride. Granted, I dodge the pot holes- we've got some good ones!- but quickly discovered dodging is fun when a bike responds as quickly as the Reflex does!

    Although you will feel some wind buffeting when it's blowing, it's generally not difficult to keep the scoot under control. I did choose to take an alternate route one particulary windy day- steady 20-30mph winds with gusts- but we were on a wide open, two lane highway with a 65mph speed limit and a lot of tractor-trailer traffic. Once on the 50mph back roads with a little coverage, we buzzed happily along with no problems. I think I'd have chosen the alternate route if I'd been on the V-Star!

    I have to reserve judgment on the Reflex's long-distance travel qualities, as we haven't had a chance to try it yet. I will update when we do.

    If you're interested in an automatic and looking for a beginner bike that will enhance your ability to quickly and confidently improve your skills, check out the Honda Reflex. They've been around for a few years so used ones are available for those who don't want to cough up the rather intimidating 'new' scoot price (normally around $5000-$5500).

    If you're an experienced rider looking for a scoot that gets good gas milage, is easy to handle and a lot of fun yet capable of longer hauls and faster speeds when you need them, consider the Reflex. IMHO, it's truly an 'all-around' type of scoot.

    Stay safe-


      OBX-RIDER commented
      Editing a comment
      Good report. I had a Reflex for a few years and found it fun around town and trouble free. My grandson (who is a BIG boy 400+ lbs and 6'2"...) really liked it so I gave it to him for his birthday a couple of years ago. He has done a few 200+ miles trips on it and it is his daily transportation.
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