Fabulous Fifties: 2009 Honda Metropolitan

Cute Scoot.

Fabulous Fifties: 2009 Honda Metropolitan

To offer its customers a classic-styled scoot, Honda put mod plastic bodywork, complete with chrome and two-tone paint onto a tube-steel chassis. That makes the Metropolitan lightweight at a claimed 176 pounds full of fluids. It shares the lowest seat of this bunch with the Yamaha Vino, and everything about it is cheery and unthreatening, making it ideal for novice and smaller riders.

The 49cc four-stroke Single (similar to the Ruckus' mill but with an 18mm carburetor instead of 15mm) propels its rider to around 40 mph on level ground. That may be a little too slow for major thoroughfares, but the good fuel economy we saw in our unscientific testing is a good enough excuse to take the long way.

Physically it's a small scooter, but storage space under the Metro's seat is capable of swallowing an open-face helmet and change of clothes, or a big bag of groceries. Inside the locking 22-liter compartment is a latch clamps that the centerstand in place for security. That's a nice feature to have in case the scooter gets bumped when parked. No really, since 50s fit nicely between parallel-parked cars and invite casual groping from passers-by and children. Nothing is worse than returning from an errand finding your scooter lying on the ground bleeding its life juices onto the pavement like the victim of a drive by.

Light, fun, practical and easy-to-ride transportation, it's hard to beat a Metro, unless your idea of fun doesn't begin until the speedometer needle passes the 40 mark.

List price:|$2049
Engine type:|sohc four-stroke Single
Seat height:|28.3 in.
Fuel capacity:|1.3 gal.
Claimed wet weight:|176 lb.
Claimed mpg|N/A