On2Wheels went to Nice for the launch of Honda’s updated Forza 125 and 300 – taking the chance to put the pair of premium scooters through their paces.
First introduced back in 2000, the Forza has cemented itself as a powerful force in Honda’s two-wheeled line-up.
The first 300 model was the one that set the template – with its lively ride, abundance of storage, innovative (for the time) combined braking system, and premium-feel designed specifically with the European scooter market in mind; for customers who demand style, presence, performance and top-specifications from their two-wheeler. While retaining its trademark mix of sporty styling and urban usability, the Forza 300 has constantly evolved – but 2018 marks the unveiling of a radically revised machine. Essentially, it’s following in the hugely successful wheel tracks of its little brother, the Forza 125 (which has sold over 30,000 units in Europe since 2015) – and as a result, the 300 is lighter, smaller, smarter and sportier than ever before.
The Forza 125 and 300 share a surprising amount of features and characteristics. Their styling, equipment and chassis are pretty much identical with the main difference being their respective 125cc and 300cc power plants (which, as a result of some slightly different layouts, translates to a 20kg difference in weight). From an equipment perspective, they’re well specced. The clever Goldwing-style electric screen is arguably the Forza’s piece-de-resistance – it adjusts smoothly over 140mm of travel and is designed to provide wind protection (with airflow directed around and over the rider’s head) to help reduce wind noise and buffeting. I’m fairly tall at just over 6ft 1in and I found the screen more usable in its lowest setting with the wind deflected into my chest, rather than at my head. It’s a really nice touch on a commuter-oriented scooter and helps the Forza stand out from the competition.
Its seat height is 780mm, which should help make the Forza accessible for most and I found it really comfortable even after a full day in the saddle. There’s plenty of room for a pillion and there’s a decent bit of under-seat storage too, with room for two full-face helmets. In addition, the front left inner fairing pocket is lockable and also houses a 12v-1A charging socket.
There are analogue speedometer and rev-counter dials either side of a digital display that switches between three separate modes (controlled by a switch on the left handlebar); it displays odometer, range remaining and current fuel consumption; trip meter, average fuel consumption and timer; or ambient temperature thermometer and battery sensor.
Longevity and reliability
Honda knows a thing or two about two-wheels and from a scooter perspective, its Forzas are about as good as it gets. They’re well finished, high-specification premium scooters as capable as any other 125 and 300 on the market and they are probably quicker too.
They sit right at the top of the commuter pile. They handle extremely well, are fitted with an abundance of kit, and they are quick (and I mean quick)! The 125 got up to 75mph and the 300 got up to 90mph with room to spare.
They’re not especially cheap and you could get a budget scooter for significantly less cash, but if you’re serious about riding and you want something stylish, safe and reliable (and can afford it), then the Forza’s the scoot for you. Plus, it’s a Honda – it’ll run forever, will be well-looked after by the extensive dealer network and will hold its money fairly well too. If you get a chance, go and ride one. You won’t be disappointed.