Honda Neo has been my companion to work and home from the day I joined OD. Its biggest USP is the simple and no fuss ride that this machine delivers during city jaunts. This bike is in its sweet spot when ridden between 40-50kmph. As a result, it has been delivering a consistent efficiency of around 57kmpl even when ridden in Mumbaiâ€™s cut-throat traffic. Above 55kmph though, the engine starts to feel slightly strained. Above 60kmph, vibrations from the engine begin to show through the handlebar. The vibrations are also quite prominent during low speed crawl, sometimes resulting in a sore left wrist when negotiating bumper to bumper traffic. This bike is shod with front and rear drum brakes which have adequate bite for normal city use. The feel during hard braking could have been better, though the bike remains stable without losing its composure when the anchors are let go during emergency braking. We still wish a front disc brake was on offer.
The bike handles well at normal speeds and is easily flickable when entering or coming out of gaps. Damping from the suspension is good and takes whatever our poor roads have to offer pretty easily. The seat is comfortable â€“ the cushioning is adequate, lying in the sweet spot between too soft and too hard. I havenâ€™t had the chance to go on very long rides, but during normal city commute, Iâ€™ve never encountered any back problem whatsoever. Itâ€™s quite a comfortable machine.
I would have appreciated a stronger headlight beam but switch gear quality is good for its class and the clutch lever is well weighted for daily use. Little niggles here and there donâ€™t affect its credibility as a proper city street bike. Like most other Honda two wheelers, the simplicity surrounding the Neo makes it a really easy piece of machinery to live with.