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Old 03-17-2012, 07:22 AM   #1
BigCanoe OP
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2004 Honda Helix?

A local dealer has a 2004 Honda Helix for sale, with 8k miles. Any thoughts on this scooter? How are the highway speed manners? MPG? I assume they are pretty reliable?
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Old 03-17-2012, 07:25 AM   #2
elite1
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Mr Bishop? Where are you? This man needs a Helix review.
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Old 03-17-2012, 09:40 AM   #3
ronnath
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what's the dealer want for it?
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Old 03-17-2012, 09:52 AM   #4
BigCanoe OP
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$2199, bright yellow
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Old 03-17-2012, 10:09 AM   #5
cbolling
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Never heard anything bad about them. I know thati have always wanted one.
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Old 03-17-2012, 10:32 AM   #6
ronnath
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blue book value for an 04 in "excellent" condition is just under 2400.

if it checks out okay, 2199 is certainly in the ballpark.

the only bad thing i've ever heard is that on some of the older ones (late 80's into the 90's) there can be an issue IIRC with the intake manifold cracking. other than that, most people would call them pretty bullet proof. (and damn, i love the yellow ones)
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Old 03-17-2012, 11:00 AM   #7
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Mr Bishop can give you more details on these but I'll just tell you the basics and let him tell you about how they is.


Well they is very bullet proof, other than the already mentioned intake manifold. They can either look cool out quite outdated/funky or both, depending on your tastes. They have a well sized fuel tank [like 3+ gallons I think] vs normal 2.1 gallon or so for most scoots, allowing a better touring range.

As far as performance, the best thing about them is the speedometers are ACTUALLY ACCURATE! Something quite unique on the older Honda Scoots, my 86 Elite 150 is the same way, the speedometers will be within 1-2 MPH of a GPS always with stock tires! Nearly every Japanese motorcycle I's ever come across, has had a speedometer that reads between 5%-12% optimistic [meaning you think your doing 80 MPH when the actual radar/GPS speed will be more like 72 MPH], which is quite an annoyance, and can be potentially dangerious [particularly on a scooter where everybody thinks your going slower since your on a scooter]. Thats one big plus IMHO, even the Burgmans are 10% off!

As far as performance, I can't tell you the exact top speed, but I herd they'll top out at 72 MPH all day, and can reach about 78 MPH. They cruise at about 60-65 MPH quite comfortably.

Acceleration will be smooth and quite adequet. Even my 150 is quite adequet from 0-45 MPH. On the highway, the longer wheelbase gives it more stability.

You'll get lots of info here on these.

Price sounds quite fair to me, not bad for an 04.
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Old 03-17-2012, 05:45 PM   #8
HandKPhil
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If you get a good-running, dependable Helix, they're a blast. They're reasonably quick for a 250, and most top out at 70-73 mph. Mine would hit 70 flat, but as a previous poster noted, the speedo's are accurate, so it was an actual 70 mph. My drive belt was a little worn at around 12,000 miles, so this probably kept me from reaching an honest 75 mph. In any event, the suspension is the limiting factor on these bike's freeway manners, not the engine.

Speaking of suspension, the front suspension is a bit primitive, but it works fairly well. The front tire likes to follow cracks/seams in the pavement if the tire is worn or under-inflated. The rear suspension is plush, and the ride is comfortable. The seat is very comfortable. The headlight is great, and the dash and switchgear are all typical Honda quality. Brakes were just adequate. Storage room in the trunk was also just adequate. These bikes are fairly easy to work on. Many, many owners have put high miles on these bikes.

My Helix was not super dependable. I had a lot of niggling carburetor issues during the time I owned mine. After many attempts to diagnose a flooding carb, and countless replaced parts I finally tracked my problem down to a bad bystarter, which was failing intermittantly. When my Helix was running well, I loved it. Problem was, it only ran well about half the time, during the year and a half I owned it.

Before I sold it I made a monumental effort to make sure everything was in perfect condition and reliable. I sold it for a loss. I ran into the new owner a few months after I sold the bike to him, and he couldn't stop raving about what a great, dependable bike I had sold him. It figures....

Anyways, if that Helix you're looking at starts easily, runs well, doesn't overheat, etc., then that price is very fair. Oh, and you'll have to change two exhaust gaskets when you replace the rear tire. No big deal, but you have to be careful and do it right, or else the exhaust will leak and sound like crap. Good Luck!
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Old 03-17-2012, 07:13 PM   #9
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Big Canoe- I think I've seen you on a couple of other sites and remember that you are a good sized fellow. I'm 6'1" 250 lbs so this may be helpful.
I love my Helix, an 86 I bought last year with 12k on it. It is the most comfortable stock scooter I've been on, lots of room to stretch out. I took a couple of 800 mile 3-4 day trips last summer and it is a great little touring rig if you are not in a hurry. Mine likes to cruise about 60, will go faster but will also bog to 50ish on hills. I put on the cheapest Givi box and use it as my run around grocery hauler, quick trip up to Glacier NP scoot. The manifold problem isn't really a problem it's just that the rubber dries out and causes ratty running and/or cold starting problems. Parts seem easy to get and it is easy to work on.

That said I recently got a 600 Silverwing as there are some 2 lane roads here in Montana posted 70 that are a little uncomfortable for me on the Helix.

The yellow ones are my favorite. Good luck.
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Old 03-17-2012, 07:17 PM   #10
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buy it... why are you still here.
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Old 03-17-2012, 07:27 PM   #11
BigCanoe OP
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Thanks guys! The dealer has had it in stock for a while now, maybe he will deal :)

Any good support forums for the Helix?
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Old 03-17-2012, 07:29 PM   #12
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I bought an '06 Helix last fall for $2500 with right at 500 miles on it. I really bought it for my wife to learn to ride on but gotta admit I like running errands on it. I've had mine up to 70 mph but won't likely make that a habit. If I have a bunch of high speed interstate traveling to do I'll take a different bike. The Helix is my first scooter(was really hoping for a Burgman of Silverwing) but I have been pleasantly surprised with it.
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Old 03-17-2012, 07:34 PM   #13
bbishoppcm
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Here I am! That price is WELL within reasonable. If that bike were for sale in southern NH, it wouldn't be $2199... it would be $3500 (I am dead serious, book value does not always reflect regional prices!)

The 2004-2007 models have the carburetor brace, which EXCEMPTS them from the cracked intake flanges that plague these models (you can add this bracing to an older Helix, as I've done with my '98).

The Honda Helix is easily one of the most bulletproof rigs you can buy, and attaining 100,000 miles on one of these (with the original engine) is not uncommon; they're popular with cross-country riders, have been driven (with outstanding results) in the Iron Butt (cross country) Rallies. There is at least one man who managed to get roughly 180,000 miles on his... I believe it was a husband and wife team, actually...

Things to look out for;

-Tires (especially the rear). I would plan on replacing both.
-Chinese parts; AVOID THEM AT ALL COSTS! There are one or two Chinese companies making exact copies of the Honda Helix; the parts will usually bolt right up to a Honda, but the quality is TERRIBLE.
-Exhaust gaskets; they fail after around 5,000 miles (usually the life of the rear tire!) Replace them as soon as you can hear an exhaust leak, or whenever the rear wheel needs to be removed.

Front brakes are good for ~12,000 miles, and rear brakes will last ~24,000 miles. Drive belt ~12,000 miles, and the variator should be rebuilt when the belt is changed.

Top speed (on mine) verified by GPS; 73mph. I've had it up to 78mph on a calm day on straight section of highway.

I've driven mine in the pouring rain on the freeway at night, cruising at 70mph with no trouble at all. The headlight is a modular quartz halogen unit, VERY bright. Instrumentation is digital, and clear; the seat is about as comfortable as a La-Z-Boy recliner.

Most of the youTube videos of the Honda Helix are mine. You can find them at www.youtube.com/bbishoppcm (mostly service and review videos).

Enjoy!!
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Old 03-17-2012, 07:55 PM   #14
fullmetalscooter
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Get bikes since I own two. price is right but I still try to see if I could get it for less. It's not going to worth much less then 1500 5 years form now. Often seen on the Iron butt runs with them coming in near the top finishers. Simple dead reliable scooters..
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Old 03-17-2012, 08:12 PM   #15
windburn
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40,000 miles and still in service

The Helix is a great scoot. Here is the 1986 that I put 11,000 miles on before I sold it to a friend.
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