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Honda CN250 Helix 250: review, history, specs


The Honda Helix was a Liquid-cooled single-cylinder four-stroke, SOHC; two valves per cylinder scooter produced by Honda between 1985 and 2007.

Honda-helix-2006-2006-0.jpg
Honda CN250 Helix
Manufacturer
Also called Helix, Fusion, Spazio
Production 1985 - 2007
Class Scooter
Successor Honda NSS250
Engine
Liquid-cooled single-cylinder four-stroke, SOHC; two valves per cylinder
Bore / Stroke 72.7mm x 60.0mm
Top Speed 60 mph
Fuel System 30mm CV carburetor with automatic choke
Air Filter K&N HA-2586 `86-87[1]
Ignition cdi
Spark Plug NGK DPR6EA-9 '86-07
Battery YUASA YTX12-BS '86-07
Transmission V-Matic continuously variable transmission
Final Drive Belt
Suspension Front: Bottom link; 3.2-inch travel
Rear: Swingarm with dual hydraulic shocks; 3.9-inch travel
Brakes Front: Single disc
Rear: Drum
Front Tire 110/100-12
Rear Tire 120/90-10
Wheelbase 63.82 inches (1621 mm)
Seat Height 26.18 inches (665 mm)
Weight 349.43 pounds (158.5 Kg) (dry), 158.0 kg (wet)
Recommended Oil Honda GN4 10W-40
Fuel Capacity 3.2 Gallon (12.11 Liters)
Manuals Service Manual




The Honda CN250 is a scooter introduced by Honda to the United States market in 1986. It was marketed in the US as the Helix and in other parts of the world as the Fusion or Spazio. It was so successful that, as of 2009, it was still in production in Japan. In the early 1980s, Honda introduced a line of scooters known as the CH series, comprising the CH50, 80, 125, 150, and 250 models. In the US, these were known as "Elite" scooters but overseas they were marketed under the "Spacy" name. The CH250 could reach highway speeds and be used for long-range touring. Honda then introduced the CN250 or Helix. This model lengthened the CH250 by 14 inches (360 mm), placed an integrated trunk in the rear of the machine and lowered the seat. The added length allowed a feet forward seating position and a smoother ride than that of previous models. The top speed of the machine was limited to 70-75 mph (about 113–121 km/h) but the drivetrain was of an under-stressed design allowing extended running at or near top speed. The Fusion CN250 found instant popularity in Japan. In Europe, the Japanese put Italian makers under pressure to improve their scooters' capabilities and reliability. In the U.S., the Helix was a hit with middle-aged and older people. The Helix attracted customers that desired long-range touring capabilities, but did not want to shift, were unable to shift, or did not want a large, heavy conventional motorcycle. The CN250 was a capable machine complete with trip odometer, fuel and temperature gauges, glove compartment and trunk. The Helix was in its last year in 2001 and was to be replaced by the NSS250. The NSS250 was marketed in the U.S. as the Reflex and in other countries as the Forza. The Reflex handled better and had a higher top speed than the Helix, but some Helix fans argued that there was a trade-off in seating comfort and ride. In the Japanese market the Helix had an aftermarket and cult following with the younger generation, not unlike sport bikes in America. Honda returned the CN250 (Helix) to all markets in 2004 as the customer base was still there. In the U.S., the Helix and the Reflex were discontinued with the 2007 model. Honda made very few changes to the Helix through its 20-year run. Aluminum rims replaced steel wheels in the early 90s, and a few emission controls were added to the engine. Apart from those changes, the machine stayed the same right down to its 1980s-style, multi-colored digital gauges. The CN250 was also manufactured and sold within Canada as the "Helix" as the first "maxiscooter" of its kind to be offered in that country. However, production within Canada was halted after the initial production year of 1986. Canadian citizens could still purchase a Helix as an import from the U.S., and a majority of Honda dealerships in Canada did not even stock a "floor model" for display. Additionally, the purchaser will often be required to pay or finance upfront for their purchase, sight unseen. It was the Japanese scooter "scene" that saved the Honda Helix/Fusion. Honda had intended to discontinue production in the late 1990s in favor of the "Reflex" and went so far as to cease production at one point. However, pressure from the members of Japan's now-outraged multitude of Fusion riding groups and modification enthusiasts pressured Honda into reinstating production with an announcement to that effect in February 2003, to begin production once again for the 2005 production year.


Contents

IntroEdit

The Honda CN250 hit the US market in 1986. It was marketed in the United States as the Helix and in other parts of the world as the Fusion or Spazio. It was the first scooter on the market that made no apologies for being a scooter. The product was so successful that as of 2006, it is still in production. Honda has stated that 2006 will be the last year for the CN250.


HISTORYEdit

 
1993 Honda Helix CN250 in Red

In the early 80's, Honda hit the market with a line of scooters known as the CH series, marketing the CH50, 80, 125, and 150. In the US, these were known as "Elite" scooters and overseas they were marketed under the "Spacy" name. While these scooters were useful as "scooters", their speed and comfort level limited them to short rural riding on back roads and inner city riding. Then Honda hit the market with the CH250. Overseas, this bike continued to be used in the city, but in the US the bike, with its ability to reach highway speeds, took on a whole new purpose as a long range touring machine. However, the Elite 250 still suffered from the limitations of all scooters such as limited storage capacity, short wheelbase, small size and relatively uncomfortable ride.

Honda's response was the CN250 or the Helix. Basically, Honda added 14 inches to the Elite 250, placed an integrated "trunk" in the rear of the machine, and lowered the seat. The added length allowed what many have referred to as a "Barcolounger" seating position and a very smooth ride. The top speed of the machine was limited to 70-75MPH but the drivetrain was of an "understressed" design allowing extended running at or near top speed.

In Japan, the Fusion was an instant hit. In Europe, the Japanese scooters forced the Italian makers to up their scooter's capabilities and reliability. In the US, unlike other areas of the world, the Helix was a hit with middle aged and older people. People that no longer wanted to or were unable to shift or hold up a large conventional motorcycle yet wanted long range touring ability bought the Helix. They were not disappointed. The CN250 was a deceptively capable machine complete with trip odometer, fuel and temperature gauges, glove compartment and trunk and plenty of room for two up. Furthermore, the understressed 250cc liquid cooled single cylinder engine could take the machine on 1000 mile tours with no issues whatsoever. There are many stories of extended touring with the Helix with the only concern being the relatively limited rear tire life of around 5000 miles, a function of the tire being of a very small diameter with a 10" rim. There are many records of Helix's reaching 70, 80, and even 100 thousand miles without so much as routine maintenance including valve adjustments and belt changes.

In 2001, the Helix was in its last year being replaced by the NSS250, marketed in the US as the Reflex and other countries as the Forza. Comparing the Reflex to a Helix is much like comparing a sports sedan to a luxury car. While the Reflex handled better and had a higher top speed, some argued that there was a tradeoff in seating comfort and ride. In the Japanese market, the Helix (Fusion) had an aftermarket and cult following with the younger generation not unlike sportbikes in the US. Seeing that the customer base was still there, the CN250 (Helix) made a return to all markets in 2004. In the US the Helix sold next to the Reflex and both were priced similarly.

But the days were numbered for the CN250. Superior machines from all scooter manufacturers were hitting the market. With that, Honda has decided to cease importation of the Helix to the US after 2006. At this point, it is unclear to this author if the Fusion in Japan will cease as well. This is an unusual decision since recently Yamaha has hit the market with its own modern interpretation of the Helix, the Morphus not to be confused with the Yamaha concept Morpho.

Fast facts

- Honda made very few changes to the Helix through its 20 year run. Aluminum rims replaced steel wheels in the early 90's and there were a few emission controls added to the engine. Beyond those changes, the machines stated the same right down to its 80's style, multi colored digital gauges.

-In the US, man touring modifications were available. Increasing appeal to the older customers, third party accessories such as sidecars and tricycle kits were available.

EngineEdit

The engine was a liquid cooled Liquid-cooled single-cylinder four-stroke, SOHC; two valves per cylinder. A 72.7mm bore x 60.0mm stroke result in a displacement of just 244.0 cubic centimeters.

DriveEdit

The bike has a Automatic transmission. Power was moderated via the Automatic.

ChassisEdit

It came with a 110/100-12 front tire and a 120/90-10 rear tire. Stopping was achieved via Single disc in the front and a Drum in the rear. The front suspension was a Bottom link; 3.2-inch travel while the rear was equipped with a Swingarm with dual hydraulic shocks; 3.9-inch travel. The Helix was fitted with a 3.2 Gallon (12.11 Liters) fuel tank. The bike weighed just 349.43 pounds (158.5 Kg). The wheelbase was 63.82 inches (1621 mm) long.


1985 Honda HelixEdit

 

Although the Helix is a Honda scooter introduced in 1985, the bike is still in production nowadays. However, the interesting thing is that the scooter was only known as Helix in the United States but, in other parts of the world, it became popular under the Fusion or Spazio name.


1987 Helix 250Edit



1993 Helix 250Edit


1996 Helix 250Edit


2001 Helix 250Edit


2004 Helix 250Edit


  • Engine Type: 244cc liquid-cooled single-cylinder four-stroke
  • Carburetion: 30.0mm CV with automatic choke
  • Ignition: CDI
  • Transmission: Automatic V-Matic
  • Front Suspension: Bottom link; 3.2-inch travel
  • Rear Suspension: Swingarm with dual hydraulic shocks; 3.9-inch travel
  • Front Brake: Single disc
  • Rear Brake: Drum
  • Front Tire: 110/100-12
  • Rear Tire: 120/90-10
  • Wheelbase: 63.8 inches
  • Seat Height: 26.2 inches
  • Dry Weight: 349.4 pounds
  • Fuel Capacity: 3.2 gallons
  • Available Colors: Candy Blue, Metallic Silver, Pearl White, Red, Yellow
  • Warranty: 1 year: Coverage of defects in materials and workmanship


2005 Helix 250Edit

 
2005 Honda Helix 250
 
2005 Honda Helix 250


  • Engine Type: 244cc liquid-cooled single-cylinder four-stroke
  • Carburetion: 30.0mm CV with automatic choke
  • Ignition: CDI
  • Transmission: Automatic V-Matic
  • Front Suspension: Bottom link; 3.2-inch travel
  • Rear Suspension: Swingarm with dual hydraulic shocks; 3.9-inch travel
  • Front Brake: Single disc
  • Rear Brake: Drum
  • Front Tire: 110/100-12
  • Rear Tire: 120/90-10
  • Wheelbase: 63.8 inches
  • Seat Height: 26.2 inches
  • Dry Weight: 349.4 pounds
  • Fuel Capacity: 3.2 gallons
  • Emissions: California version differs slightly due to emissions equipment.
  • Available Colors: Black, Pearl White
  • Warranty: 1 year




2006 Honda HelixEdit

Honda introduced the Helix in the mid-1980's, but this scooter proved to be a really successful model which was still being produced in 2005. The scooter received a new, exciting red color option for this model year, and retains the convenient and easy-to-use automatic transmission and electric starting, while providing ample storage for even more practicality.

With an extended range, the Helix is great urban machine, but in case your commuting route involved riding on the highway, you're also good for this, too. Add in a relaxed riding position and very good weather protection and you're up for quite some fun.


2007 Honda HelixEdit

 

Even though the Honda Helix is not a sporty scooter when judged by the looks, this machine spells practicality and comfort. Generously-sized and with a focus on rider and passenger comfort, this machine is also a real commuter, effortlessly reaching highway speed and providing excellent weather protection.

The rich, plush seat offer non-fatiguing riding for hours in a row, making the Helix a good machine for longer, overnight trips. Add in a powerful quarter-liter engine, generous storage and a full, comprehensive dash for a scooter which can indeed offer much more than meets the eye.


OverviewEdit

Honda CN 250








Helix / Fusion







SpecificationsEdit

Make Model Honda CN 250 Helix / Fusion
Year 1986 - 09
Engine Type Four stroke, single cylinder. SOHC
Displacement 244 cc / 14.9 cu-in
Bore X Stroke
Cooling System Liquid cooled
Compression
Induction
Ignition
Starting
Max Power 17 hp / 12.4 kW
Max Torque 20.5 Nm / 15.1 ft-lb
Transmission V-Matic continuously variable transmission
Final Drive
Front Suspension Trailing link fork
Rear Suspension Swingarm
Front Brakes Single disc
Rear Brakes Drum
Front Tire 110/100-12
Rear Tire 120/90-10
Wheelbase 1625 mm (64.0 in)
Seat Height 665 mm / 26.2 in
Dry Weight 157 kg / 345 lbs
Fuel Capacity 12 Liters / 3.2 US gal


In MediaEdit

See AlsoEdit

ReferencesEdit