2021 is a big year for the impressive and popular Honda Forza range. For this article, I am sticking my full attention to the new A2-friendly Honda Forza 350.
Revised for 2021 to meet Euro5 emission standards and with an increase of 51cc in engine capacity, the Forza 350 could be the best version yet.
This scooter has seen quite a few upgrades for 2021 to help maintain it as a great mid-sized maxi-scooter option, but is this fun yet sophisticated large scooter still packing enough punch for an A2-friendly maxi-scooter?
Undeniably, the key change to the Forza this year is the engine. The previous 300 version housed a 279cc engine, this time around we have a 330cc engine, which sees an increase in capacity by 51cc and an extra 2.3kw in power. Further still to save a bit of weight the crankshaft is now 10% lighter.
This new 330cc engine itself is a liquid-cooled single-cylinder, 4-valve, single overhead cam that produces 28.8hp at 7,500rpm and 31.5nm of torque at 5,250rpm.
The new eSP+ Honda motor is designed with being efficient too and you should expect around 80 miles per gallon, so with a full 11.7-litre fuel tank, you can expect around 200 miles or more on a full tank.
With some proper aggressive lines to give it a sporty look, the Forza 350 is one great-looking maxi-scooter. And with its rather smart aesthetics, its sporty looks are done in a harmonious way so it will appeal to both commuters and enthusiasts.
With the large V-shape headlight, electric adjustable windscreen (which has been reshaped and increased in size) improved aerodynamics, and that gorgeous Pacific blue satin colourway, the front of the Forza 350 is very impressive and has noticeable visibility to it, not just the size but the lights, including those integrated indicators in the wing mirrors.
The seat height is an average 780mm though it is a tad on the wide side, so those shorter people like myself might find their feet slightly more tiptoed when on the tarmac. The seat itself is rather comfortable and with the back section segmented for rider and pillion, it's also designed as a nice backrest that keeps you well planted.
When it comes to storage the Honda Forza 350 offers rather a lot as standard. Under that large comfy seat is easily enough space for two full-face helmets. I was able to fit my old HJC i70 and new F70 in at the same time absolutely fine with plenty of space to spare.
On the back of the leg shield towards the left is a nicely designed glove box. Push that glovebox door at the top and it will gently lower and open a deep glovebox, which includes a USB Type-C charging port that’s hidden away in the darkness at the back.
Obviously, if you require more storage then an additional top box can be purchased, including a 45-litre version that uses smart key technology, the same as the ignition on the Forza 350.
Dash and switchgear
Unsurprisingly, you have a rather large dash on the Forza 350 which is split between analogue and digital. In the centre is the large LCD dash that's nicely displayed with a black background and white text. This digital display is home to rather a lot of information including (but not limited to): clock, fuel gauge, oil temperature, trip A, trip B, avg consumption, range, odotometer, air temperature and battery voltage. Below this, the rather nice Forza logo is home to the standard dash warning lights.
Head to the left and we are greeted with the silver metal finish of our first circular analogue gauge which is the speedometer, with miles per hour large on the outside and then the km on the inside.
Moving over to the right of the digital display and we have a matching circular analogue rev gauge which looks very nice. My only criticism and I am admittedly nit-picking, is that the digital dash could display less information in favour of having the on-screen information larger.
Brakes and suspension
With a 256mm front brake disc and a 240mm rear brake disc backed up with dual-channel ABS, the braking on the Forza 350 is more than efficient for everyday use and will inspire plenty of confidence for anyone riding it. A bonus still, whack on the brakes aggressively and when the ABS kicks in it automatically puts your hazard warning lights on to alert those behind you.
Suspension is provided through a front telescopic fork and rear twin shocks. When researching, I did notice that others have noted the suspension felt poor and bottomed out quite a bit on the test. I am not sure what set-up they had on their version, but I can only speak honestly, and I didn’t experience any poor suspension whatsoever. In fact, I found it a rather comfortable setup, even the miles and miles of bumpy Norfolk and Suffolk country lanes didn’t bottom out the Forza 350 for me.
On the road
I’m going to be quite honest, I like scooters and I really like maxi-scooters, so I was well looking forward to putting the impressive Forza 350 to the test. With a 51cc increase in capacity and respectable power improvement, things were set for an entertaining few days riding.
Greeted by the comfy and well-designed seat that kept me nicely positioned throughout, with an armchair-like neutral position I was ready to get going! With 31.5nm of torque, the Forza is spritely on acceleration, and it really didn’t struggle in the higher numbers as I expected. It does accelerate rather quickly indeed with a top speed likely around the high 80s maybe even 90mph. With the decent acceleration, it instantly gave me the reassurance that it had my back for overtaking and holding its own on the faster roads, and it did, with plenty of effortless passes on a stretch of dual carriageway. The Forza 350 really will handle motorways absolutely fine.
The Forza holds the road very well. Weighing in at 184kg and with the 15” front and 14” rear wheels, you are set up for plenty of miles. With that large electric adjustable windscreen keeping the wind buffering and worst of the bad weather at bay, the Forza gives a great riding experience. Sporty when you want it to be yet with the gentle grace of a tourer, the Forza has a great mix of abilities.
The acceleration took me by surprise a few times, especially when easing my way through the country bends in pure comfort and looking down to see I was going a lot faster than I was expecting! I think it’s the comfort that tricks you into thinking you are going slower than you are and a nod to how respectful the power is. Yes, you could expect more from a 330cc engine, but for me, the 28hp and 31.5 give a great performance for a maxi-scooter.
The keyless technology is user-friendly, and I didn’t have any issues using it whatsoever. It’s a great system even for those a little nervous around this type of technology.
The large digital and analogue dash is very impressive and looks proper smart, though the digital panel is slightly on the crowded side for me personally, it all worked perfectly well. To note for further dash options there is an ‘info A’ and ‘info B’ button on the left of the switchgear.
The switchgear itself is very well designed and feels great quality. To look at initially it might look busy, but you soon get used to the options available to you. I did feel the indicator was slightly lower than expected, the result of this being a few startled pedestrians as I had wrongly honked the horn instead of indicating – but this is something you soon get used to.
The 256mm front disc and 240mm rear work exactly as you’d expect, nice and progressive with the reassurance of dual-channel ABS. The suspension with a telescopic fork at the front and twin shocks to the rear do a great job of soaking up the average UK roads. Dampening for me didn’t bottom out once (though I’m not the biggest or heaviest of riders) and provided me with touring smoothness for the most part.
The Forza 300 was considered a great maxi-scooter, throw Euro5 compliance in the mix and Honda have gone big and upgraded significantly bringing it into the 350 era and, in doing so, are keeping it a refreshed and well spec’d machine.
When trying to search for anything I feel could be improved I’m really struggling! Some have experienced poor rear suspension, but I honestly didn’t experience this from my time test riding.
The Forza doesn’t have cruise control or heated grips as standard, so these are a couple of omissions to keep it priced well. Apart from that the only couple of small points I could make is that it would be great to have a slightly larger fuel tank to help improve its touring capabilities and that digital dash could be slightly less cluttered and information larger – but that really is me nit-picking!
The good bits? Well just about everything else! Aesthetically, it is a smart and sporty scooter and I think it looks fantastic! It’s not just that either, it’s packed full of great spec, loads of storage, a pokey motor which accelerates well, with touring comfort while priced very competitively at £5,469.
The Forza 350 has seen some significant and some not-so-significant changes from its former Euro 4 self and it is fair to say those improvements keep the Forza 350 at the forefront of the mid-range maxi-scooter market. I had a great time test riding the Forza 350. It is easy to ride through town, enjoy the country lanes or eat miles of motorway. It is a maxi-scooter more than adept to tackle whatever you want to conquer that day.
|Engine||330cc, liquid-cooled, 4-stroke, SOHC, single, Euro 5 compliant|
|Brakes||Front and rear disc|
The last stop
Watch the full review on YouTube!
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