The maxi-scooter world is relatively large these days, with BMW, Kymco, Suzuki, and Yamaha all fielding players. In 2008, however, the players in this field were rather scarce. One name that’s been on the list the entire time has been Honda. For this week’s Church feature, we go back to 2008 and the review of that year’s Silver Wing ABS. Penning the review is our friends at TheScooterReview.com. Oh, and by the way, the Silver Wing ABS is still around today, available at your Honda dealer for a starting price of $9,270. For more pictures of the Silver Wing ABS, hop on over to the photo gallery.
2008 Honda Silver Wing ABS Review
Honda’s big scooter offers luxury and the safety of anti-lock brakes
Jun. 12, 2008
Photos by TheScooterReview.com
Here’s a question for you: when are you old? Are you old at fifty years or is it more like sixty? Many years ago you were old when you were thirty; nowadays we live longer so it appears to have moved backward. Let’s call it sixty. What happens on the day you turn sixty? You go to bed middle aged and shazzam you wake up old. That’s a bit rough. So why am I suddenly concerned with how old I am? Well I’m not really; I’m not old, not for a fair while anyway. It’s because I was doing some research on maxi scooters and discovered that the average rider is… old. In fact after more exhaustive research it appears the likelihood of a young person buying a maxi scooter is 1 in 9,899,9999,345,678. This is… not very likely then.
All this research has caused me to come up with my own theory, see I don’t think it’s quite as simple as ‘old people ride maxis’. I believe there’s far more to it than that. I believe it’s a conspiracy of withering proportions; something that could tear at the very fabric of our society. I believe that Maxi scooters actually make you old. That’s right, the very second you purchase one and ride out of the dealership… OLD. Instant oldness. What’s worse is that you don’t even know it’s happened. This is why so many maxi scooter owners are older. It’s beyond your control entirely. Remember this as you’re drawn towards the latest super maxi scooter. It could be your last day as a young man/woman.
Large maxi scooters are something I’ve often thought made little sense. Take a small nimble scooter and make it neither small nor nimble. Now that you’ve added all this size and weight add a healthy increase in power and voilà: you have an automatic motorcycle. Sadly, adding a healthy dose of power has been skipped so most maxi scooters until recently have just been large, heavy two-wheeled vehicles with weak and very unexciting power plants. That however is beginning to change. Scooter manufactures have realized this maxi scooter thing is no fad.
For ease of use, the Honda is a bit below average for a maxi. It does have a 14.5 gallon under seat storage area which is good but no better than the Piaggio X8 400 and smaller than the MP3 400. Unlike most of its competitors the Silver Wing doesn’t have any kind of remote release for the under seat storage either. There are two glove boxes up front for smaller items and one of them is also lockable. This seems like the best compromise in my book for glove boxes although I wish they were a little larger. One ease of use issue that will affect most riders however is the massive effort required to get the bike off the centre stand. For smaller riders it almost impossible to get the bike off the stand on any kind of hill. It is however great fun watching somebody try and possibly a great alternative to training at the gym.
When it comes down to it, there aren’t a lot of options in the maxi scooter world. Sure there are plenty of different models but if you really want something with enough power to tour on it really comes down to the Silver Wing or the Suzuki Burgman 650. We’ve yet to test the big Suzuki but expect things to be pretty tight as on paper there’s not much in it. Yamaha also has the T-Max which a slightly sportier version of the maxi idea not unlike the Gilera Nexus. We’ll be putting them all head to head soon so we’ll have the definitive result. On it’s own though, the Silver Wing is highly recommended. It’s got a great engine and transmission, it’s very comfortable for long rides and will likely last a lifetime as, like most Hondas, it’s put together with great care. Oh and don’t worry about the old bit; old people are far smarter than younger people. Because… well old people are simply younger people who have lived longer and know more. So why do they ride maxis? Because they make a hell of a lot of sense. Definitely book the Honda Silver Wing for a test ride.
Thescooterreview.com is one of the most in depth scooter review resources on the web.