Motorcycle Handling With The Convenience Of Twist-’N-Go

Honda improves its Integra lineup yet again ahead of the 2018 model year. The Red Riders added two Special Edition paint schemes for this year, but it’s the Honda Selectable Torque Control that steals the show. Traction control is a rarity amongst scooters, but this isn’t your average scooter; in fact, it’s not even really a scooter in the traditional sense at all. A 745 cc, twin-cylinder engine delivers 40.3 kW — far beyond the vast majority of rides that identify as scooters — and Honda’s Dual Clutch Transmission provides the same twist-and-go operation you’d expect from a scooter, but with some very important differences. Yeah, it’s an unusual combination of platform and features to say the least, so let’s dig in and see what all the Integra has going on over there.

Continue reading for my review of the Honda Integra.

  • 2016 - 2018 Honda Integra
  • Year:
    2016- 2018
  • Make:
  • Model:
  • Engine:
    Parallel-Twin
  • Displacement:
    745 cc
  • Price:
    8399
  • Price:

Honda Integra Design

2016 - 2018 Honda Integra
- image 781504
It has the best of both worlds with the convenience and ease-of-operation of a scooter while delivering motorcycle-like performance and handling.

To understand the Integra, you must understand its name. Honda’s New Concept division named this model thusly because it integrates the best of both worlds with the convenience and ease-of-operation of a scooter while delivering motorcycle-like performance and handling. This ingeniously clever name turns out to be a genuine instance of truth in advertising as the Integra seems to perform as promised.

It launched in 2012 and got a facelift in ’14 for the look that it more or less carries today. Head-on, it’s difficult to immediately identify the Integra as a scooter ’cause it bears a strong resemblance to many current sport-tour bikes, and that’s just what it looks like coming at you. The recessed LED headlight/turn-signal lens dominates the front of the fairing with panels on each side that simulate that sportbike scoop and intake vents that shunt pressure away from the entry to reintegrate with the slipstream through vents on each side. This helps to reduce drag-inducing turbulence, and that concept carries on up into the vented windshield that completes the protective pocket started by the front fairing and legguards with low turbulence up top to reduce the head-buffet effect.

A negative-LCD instrument cluster displays all the usual metrics with a three-stage “S Mode” indicator plus fuel economy information that allows you to moderate the throttle to get the max mileage out of each drop of dino-juice. Honda’s Ignition Security System takes care of business with a wave-key gadget that detects the ID chip in the physical key and disables the ignition if a code mismatch is detected. Behind the fairing, a rather full tunnel almost completely fills in the step-through area ahead of the flip-up seat that covers a 21-liter storage space that can hold a single full-face bucket or a decent amount of groceries/stuff/whatever.

A tapered, deep-scoop seat cradles the rider’s rear at 790 mm off the deck with full footboards behind the legguard to finish out the relaxed and comfortable rider’s triangle. Out back, LED lighting and a mudguard/plateholder unit finish off the tail gear, and much like the head-on view, the view from the rearward arc looks much more like the arse-end of a proper sportbike than a scooter. Of course, that’s easy to do since this isn’t really a scooter.

Honda Integra Chassis

2016 - 2018 Honda Integra
- image 781510
It's a fair compromise between agility and stability with acceptable parking-lot behavior, and the weight balance falls out evenly at 50/50 between the 17-inch wheels that give the Integra its motorcycle-like handling.

A diamond-type frame forms the structure with steel-tube members for strength, because after all, unlike a scooter-style swingmount drive, the Integra carries its powerplant forward within the main body so it needs to be properly buttressed. The front suspension comes in a standard configuration sans adjustments, but the Showa forks that showed up in the 2016 models aren’t completely vanilla as they come with the Dual Bending Valve technology that provides a superior ride to that of straight-up plain stems.

Out back, a monoshock supports the motorcycle-style swingarm with spring preload as the only tweak. The steering head rides at 27 degrees with 110 mm of trail and a 1,525 mm wheelbase for a fair compromise between agility and stability with acceptable parking-lot behavior, and the weight balance falls out evenly at 50/50 between the 17-inch wheels that give the Integra its motorcycle-like handling. A single 320 mm disc and twin-pot caliper slows the front with a 240 mm and single-piston anchor out back and a two-channel ABS on overwatch as the first layer of stability insurance.

Frame: Diamond; steel pipe
Caster Angle: 27°
Trail: 110 mm (4.3 in)
Suspension, Front: 41 mm telescopic fork, 120 mm (4.7 in) stroke
Suspension, Rear: Monoshock damper, ProLink swingarm, 120 mm (4.7 in) travel
Brakes, Front: 320 mm single wavy hydraulic disc with 2 piston caliper and sintered metal pads
Brakes, Rear: 240 mm single wavy hydraulic disc with single piston caliper and resin mold pads
ABS System: 2 channel ABS
Wheels, Front & Rear: Multispoke cast aluminum
Wheel Size, Front/ Rear: 17M/C x MT3.50/ 17M/C x MT4.50
Tire, Front: 120/70ZR17M/C (58W)
Tire, Rear: 160/60ZR17M/C (69W)

Honda Integra Drivetrain

2016 - 2018 Honda Integra
- image 781516
As cool as the traction control and larger-than-normal-for-a-scooter engine is, it's the transmission that steals the show.

New to the model family for 2018, the Honda Selectable Torque Control (traction control) provides the second layer of stability augmentation to make the Integra suitable for the bottom experience tiers. Speaking of experience, Honda makes the Integra available to riders at the A2 license tier with a conversion kit that knocks the 40.3 kW down to an even 35 kW to meet the necessary requirements.

The liquid-cooled, parallel-twin engine also packs 68 Nm of torque to back up the top-end power that is now top-endier than ever with an elevated rev-limit of 7,500 rpm. It runs with 77 mm bores and an 80 mm stroke with a 10.7-to-1 compression ratio, but it’s the 270-degree firing order that gives the mill its most distinctive feature; a rumbling lope at idle.

As cool as the traction control and larger-than-normal-for-a-scooter engine is, it’s the transmission that steals the show. Honda’s Dual Clutch Tramsission delivers much the same twist-and-go operation you’d expect from a “scooter,” but with so much more to offer. First off, the transmission is a proper gearbox with a pair of clutch packs that alternate and feather power to a pair of shafts rather than using a variable-diameter pulley-and-belt system typical on scooters. Riders can choose between a “D” mode for economic riding, three “S” modes for sportier shift intervals and an “MT” mode that lets you push-button shift up and down the range. Pretty nifty stuff indeed.

Engine: Liquid cooled, 4 stroke, 8 valve, SOHC, parallel 2 cylinder
Displacement: 745 cc
Bore & Stroke: 77 mm x 80 mm
Compression Ratio: 10.7 : 1
Max. Power Output: 40.3 kW (54 hp) @ 6,250 rpm (95/1/EC)
Max. Torque: 68 Nm (50 lb-ft) @ 4,750 rpm (95/1/EC)
Ignition: Computer controlled digital transistorized with electronic advance
Carburetion: PGMFI electronic fuel injection
Starter: Electric
Clutch: Wet multiplate hydraulic 2clutch
Transmission: 6 speed Dual Clutch Transmission
Final Drive: Chain

Honda Integra Price

2016 - 2018 Honda Integra
- image 781517
MSRP comes in at just over £8k, which isn't a bad price for what you get.

U.K. riders can expect to shell out £8,399 for an ’18 Integra. Color choices include Candy Chromosphere Red and Matte Gunpowder Black Metallic with Matte Alpha Silver Metallic and Matte Majestic Silver Metallic as the Special Edition hues.

Instruments: Digital speedometer, digital bar type tachometer, clock, bar type fuel meter, two trip meters, gear position indicator, ‘instant’ and ‘average’ fuel consumption and coolant temperature
warning light.
Color: Candy Chromosphere Red, Matt Gunpowder Black Metallic, Matt Alpha Silver Metallic (Special Edition), Matte Majestic Silver Metallic (Special Edition)
Price: £8,399

Honda Integra Competitors

2017 - 2018 Honda X-ADV
- image 781344
2017 - 2019 BMW C 650 Sport / C 650 GT
- image 781452
That's really what the Integra provides: ease of operation with much the same performance as a comparable streetbike.

How does one compare a scooter that isn’t? I mean, we have the even more streetbike-tastic X-ADV, but it’s another Honda product as well. BMW fields the C 650 GT that is absolutely about as top-shelf as you can get at this displacement. It’s a business-class scooter that will definitely appeal to a mature rider with 44 kW and 63 Nm on tap from its 647 cc powerplant and traction control to boot, but at the end of the day it’s still a scooter with a swingdrive unit, not exactly the same as what Honda fields in the Integra.

There are also plenty of mid-displacement streetbikes/standards/cruisers out there that can get you around town, but most won’t have the traction control yummy-goodness, nor will they be as easy to mount and handle at low speeds. That’s really what the Integra provides: ease of operation with much the same performance as a comparable streetbike. Easier to mount than the streetbike alternative since the fuel tank has been relocated, but still not exactly a streetbike either. It’s an unusual machine, to be sure, and for now there aren’t any real toe-to-toe matches for it.

He Said

“Unusual doesn’t always mean bad, and this is one of those instances. I imagine this confuzzled little ride will be suitable for folks who would have difficulty throwing a leg over a proper streetbike, or perhaps riders who commute in office/ice cream/Sunday-go-to-meeting clothes. That puts it squarely into the business/school class and potentially unlocks a new type of customer; the non-scooter rider.”

She Said

My wife and fellow motorcycle writer, Allyn Hinton, says, “Even though this doesn’t look as scooterish as a stereotypical scooter, it is more scooter-like than it was before the 2016 update. That said, this is kinda like the best of both worlds. It handles like a proper motorcycle with the convenience of the DCT, twist-’n-go operation. The only thing it really lacks is storage space. The underseat storage is small and awkward to get things in and out of because it’s tucked so far up against the seat hinge. In order to really be the best of both worlds, a topcase might be in order. As a commuter, though, it’s going to be hard to beat.”

Honda Integra Specifications

Engine & Drivetrain:
Engine: Liquid cooled, 4 stroke, 8 valve, SOHC, parallel 2-cylinder
Displacement: 745 cc
Bore & Stroke: 77 mm x 80 mm
Compression Ratio: 10.7 : 1
Max. Power Output: 40.3 kW (54 hp) @ 6,250 rpm (95/1/EC)
Max. Torque: 68 Nm (50 lb-ft) @ 4,750 rpm (95/1/EC)
Ignition: Computer controlled digital transistorized with electronic advance
Carburetion: PGMFI electronic fuel injection
Starter: Electric
Clutch: Wet multiplate hydraulic 2 clutch
Transmission: 6 speed Dual Clutch Transmission
Final Drive: Chain
Chassis:
Frame: Diamond; steel pipe
Caster Angle: 27°
Trail: 110 mm (4.3 in)
Suspension, Front: 41 mm telescopic fork, 120 mm (4.7 in) stroke
Suspension, Rear: Monoshock damper, ProLink swingarm, 120 mm (4.7 in) travel
Brakes, Front: 320 mm single wavy hydraulic disc with 2 piston caliper and sintered metal pads
Brakes, Rear: 240 mm single wavy hydraulic disc with single piston caliper and resin mold pads
ABS System: 2 channel ABS
Wheels, Front & Rear: Multispoke cast aluminum
Wheel Size, Front/ Rear: 17M/C x MT3.50/ 17M/C x MT4.50
Tire, Front: 120/70ZR17M/C (58W)
Tire, Rear: 160/60ZR17M/C (69W)
Dimension & Capacities:
L x W x H: 2,215 mm x 810 mm x 1,440 mm (87.2 in x 31.9 in x 56.7 in)
Wheelbase: 1,525 mm (60 in)
Seat Height: 790 mm (31.1 in)
Ground Clearance: 135 mm (5.3 in)
Curb Weight: 238 kg (524.7 lbs)
Oil Capacity: 4.1 L (4.3 qts)
Fuel Tank Capacity: 14.1 litres (3.7 gals)
Fuel Consumption: 28.6 km/l (67.3 mpg) (WMTC mode, Tested in D Mode)
Electricals:
Battery Capacity: 12V/11.2AH
ACG Output: 448W/5000 rpm
Instruments: Digital speedometer, digital bar type tachometer, clock, bar type fuel meter, two trip meters, gear position indicator, ‘instant’ and ‘average’ fuel consumption and coolant temperature
warning light.
Security System: HISS
Headlight: LED
Taillight: LED
Details:
Color: Candy Chromosphere Red, Matt Gunpowder Black Metallic, Matt Alpha Silver Metallic (Special Edition), Matte Majestic Silver Metallic (Special Edition)
Price: £8,399

References

Honda X-ADV

2017 - 2018 Honda X-ADV
- image 781332

See our review of the Honda X-ADV.

BMW C 650

2017 - 2019 BMW C 650 Sport / C 650 GT
- image 752232

See our review of the BMW C 650 Sport & C 650 GT.

Honda’s Triple-Threat Automatic Transmission Program

Honda's Triple-Threat Automatic Transmission Program
- image 758078

See our article on Honda’s DCT Transmission.

All images featured on this website are copyrighted to their respective rightful owners. No infringement is intended. Image Source: honda.com, bmwmotorcycles.com

Press release
What do you think?
Show Comments
Motorcycle Finder: