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Honda Forza 750 (2021) | Maxi Scooter full road ride review

Honda Forza 750 2021 scooter review

Visordown review the 2021 Honda Forza 750 after around 650 miles. Much more than a maxi-scooter, this feels like a genuine sports scooter commuter mix!

Details
Manufacturer:
Category:
Maxi Scooters
Price:
£ 9999
Overall
Not rated

CROWNING the Forza range from Honda is the Forza 750, part premium maxi-scooter, part motorcycle. It’ll happily do both Grand Touring and ‘spirited’ sports riding, outfitted with top-spec kit making it an adept commuter, tourer, and back-road monster.

We had the Forza 750 at Visordown for 2 weeks, and in that time covered around 650-ish miles. We were able to try it out in all weather, on all manner of roads, and for different purposes, from lugging shopping in the massive underseat compartment, commuting to launches, and even having a laugh on the twisties.

New Honda FORZA 750 (2021) Review | Sporty maxi-scooter? | Visordown.com

For a starting price of £9,999 you get a ‘mega scooter’ packed with tech, underlined with a nifty 6-speed DCT (which realistically deserves its own review), and self-proclaimed ‘ultimate GT scooter’ title. It’s certainly a premium option for a premium buyer, and one that will no doubt find a home in sunny scooter-mad EU countries. But how does it fare on the rain-soaked streets of the UK?

Let’s get on with it, starting with….

Forza 750 Engine & Power

You’ll find a 745cc parallel-twin motor tucked away in the Forza, with figures peaking at 57.7 bhp at 6750rpm (redline is 7k), and 69Nm / 51 lb-ft of torque at 4750rpm. Revving low and pulling hard, this liquid-cooled Euro 5 compliant motor gives you the choice of riding hard and fast, or nice and relaxed on national speed limit roads - plus it can be restricted down to 47bhp for A2 riders.

On the face of it, you could be fooled into thinking the Forza will be a bit of a loaf when riding around, but it certainly doesn’t hang about when prompted. When cruising, an excessive twist of the throttle will coax the DCT to drop a couple of gears to find some extra pulling power. The twin will then roar into life, with a surprisingly aggressive exhaust note that can feel like it’s audibly prompting you to ‘give it some ya ******!’

Consider it a proper sleeper, to the untrained eye on the road it may seem a big-n-heavy loaf of twist-n-go scoot, but in reality, you get off the line quickly, accelerate up to 60 shockingly quick, and can sit at motorway speed with ease - or get you out of trouble on a busy road. Put it this way, you can surprise plenty of road users.

Dual Clutch Transmission & rider modes

You can’t talk about the engine without mentioning the spectacular DCT gearbox. With dual clutches managing 6 gears, throttle by wire actuation and chain drive (yeah, it’s chain over belt, but it’s hidden away in a shroud of plastic covers) everything works in unison with the 4 rider modes to pick from.

Honda’s DCT has been around for 11 years, with over 140,000 two-wheelers equipped with the dual-clutch tech - you could say they’ve started to perfect the formula in that time. It’s a really consistent, effortless means of riding, and you get used to it by the time you’ve got down the road. 

Both clutches operate independently yet together, and interrogating the duo with excessive throttle twists gets you the answers you’re after - rapid, confident shifts up the box quicker than any quickshifter I’ve used. It’s practically one gear, great fun, and if you need up or down, you have triggers on the left of the handlebar to prod at if needed. 

Shift timings depend on the mode you’re in. With 4 to pick from, Sport will hang on to gears longer, Standard/Rain will shift up sooner than you can say Honda Selectable Torque Control, great for economy, but not as much fun. You can also adjust the shift point, too. User is your special little place to set your own Engine Braking, Power, Traction Control dream - and adjust shifting points in the main menu.

Sport was my mode of choice for the most part, but User mode was handy to craft a Sport mode for rainy weather, or some super-eco mode. Whatever floats your goat.

Handling (suspension, brakes, tyres, modes)

Over the 650-ish miles I had atop the Forza 750, it took on any road with ease. Detouring down backroads was great fun, whilst sitting on busy dual-carriageways in the wet was just as comfortable, thanks to a decent screen and plenty of coverage from the elements.

Motorcycle dynamics galore here, and the Forza 750 impresses for a machine with almost Titanic proportions - 2200 mm long with 1590 mm wheelbase, 790 mm wide, but all comes together impressively with motorcycle dynamics and feel on the road. 

Filtering the Forza in traffic can be a bit nerve-wracking as a result. At 235 kg wet and a tad wide at 790mm, you have to be careful when slowly lunging in tight gaps. At one point on a massively congested A1(M) with narrow lanes I was forced to sit on the outside lane surrounded by lorries and transits - the width of the scooter held me in place.

41mm Showa USD forks with 120mm travel are, again, firm but fair. If you’re hauling down a bumpy lane you may find yourself dethroned by successive jolts, but I was only abdicated a couple of times - more of a statement on the state of little country roads near me than anything. On normal roads it truly handles like a gaucho’s dream, Showa forks and pro-link rear shock soaking up everything nicely with no unsettling dive or bounce under heavy load. 

Riding in town is a treat, and it’s really where the Forza’s comfort comes into its own - DCT box, sharp responsive brakes with twist-n-go power makes scooting about effortless. I found the mirrors pretty good, too - they’re placed on long stalks towards the front. It’s a bit of a reach to adjust them on the fly, mind. 

Brakes & Wheels

For hoops, the Pirelli Diablo Rosso are exceptional on the front 17” and rear 15” wheels - really confidence-inspiring on wet roads, incredibly grippy and all-around brilliant - I’d be more than happy with these long term in all weather. 

Stopping power is provided by powerful radially mounted Nissin discs with 2-channel ABS, twin front 310mm (4 piston) and a rear 240mm single disc (1 piston). The brakes brush off speed without feeling like they’re fully engaging, and only when asking the most serious of questions does the ABS start speaking - but not so much to get in the way.

There’s also a hand brake to pull if parked on the side stand on an incline (can’t leave it in gear), with an indicator on the dash if you’re parked on an incline. Or just stick it on the centre stand.

Quick note on the front wheel being 17”. It’s a bit odd to have mismatched tyres on maxi-scooters, but you feel the extra stability without really losing much in the way of manoeuvrability, it’s a nice setup.

Electronics

Plenty to talk about here, starting with the 5” TFT display. And it is a lesson in how a dash like this should be done, in my eyes. Clear, customisable, and with plenty to configure. You can pick from 4 display design settings, and with the use of the switchgear, you can select your required mode (and make changes to the User mode). It’s a shame I found the switchgear a bit awkward to use, holding left & right to operate menus isn’t the best - and the indicator switch is placed a bit lower down than I was expecting, but you’d soon get used to it after a few horn taps.

Keyless ignition works well, you can keep it in your jacket and have no issues - the majority of button pushing is done on the bike itself, with ignition, twist-to-lock, seat and fuel buttons all towards the front. 

LED lights all around, and ESS (emergency stop signal) will activate the hazards if you brake hard, and auto cancelling indicators.

Comfort and ride

The Honda Forza 750 is a very comfortable place to be, really. Long days in the 790mm contoured saddle is overall lovely, I’d like more leg support (but not sure that’s just a ‘me problem’ at 6’3” ish). Shorter riders may find getting a foot flat to the ground possible, but quite the balancing act, especially when navigating the middle of the scooter body. I’m quite tall so got on fine, but keep aware of the weight when moving around in a tight space.

To check out the two-up potential my other half jumped on board. There’s a lovely pillion seat with grab rails for your lucky other-half to perch on and grab. She was happily sat back there on a quick 20-mile ride, her only real comments were relating to feeling a bit exposed with nothing behind her when accelerating. No complaints about leg comfort, and from my side the added weight was manageable at low speeds.  

Sitting normally behind the tall screen deflects the majority of wind, but it’s not adjustable - so unless you pay for a bigger screen you have to be happy with that arrangement. I found a lot of wind smacking me in the forehead of my helmet at speed, so tucking in was the only real option (and that can get a bit old after a while).

Maxi-scooter wise, the underseat storage is a little cave where you can store your treasures - be it a large AGV K6 and gloves, a full rucksack, a takeaway Nandos - it’s all good. Plus, there’s a USB-C socket to charge your gadget, which is nice! You’ll find a tool kit and little light to see what’s going on in there in the dark. 

The little cubby hole is good for… maybe your sunnies in summer? It’s not lockable so nothing valuable when you’re away, and there’s no charging socket for your phone - I didn’t really use it in my time riding. Everything was either under me or in my jacket.

The 13.2 litre tank could be a bit bigger, you’ll get around 160-180 miles per tank (heavily depending on your riding style), not quite the claimed 78.5 mpg. Sitting at 70ish on a dual carriageway returns an estimated instant 60-65~ mpg figure, but it’s much closer to 150 or below on single A roads. 

Accessories

There are accessory packs available, of course. Colour matched panniers and top box sets for around £1,000, heated grips for £300 (which I’d go for in a heartbeat, my hands were freezing), leg deflectors and city commuter packs. 

Honda Forza 750 Price & availability

Starting price for the Forza 750 is £10,000 - well, £9,999 - and it’s available in Jeans Blue Metallic & Graphite Black, two pretty options. 

You can find the Forza 750 in dealers, and if you’re considering a PCP option, a current offer sees a £2,000~ deposit netting you a £129 / 36-month deal, with £4,707 final fee after 3 years (4000 miles per annum). Not bad if you’re looking at travelling into London from one of the commuter towns as it’s much cheaper than a train ticket, and far more fun.

Honda Forza 750 Verdict

It’s incredible what a sporty maxi-scooter can do, and this Honda Forza 750 is a well-specced option for a rider who may need the practicalities of a big scoot, but who doesn’t want to relinquish the fun of a sportier machine. This really is a happy medium, a scooter that offers motorcycle dynamics but with a sensible character results in an adept grand tourer. 

The price tag may be up there, but compared to rivals on the market it becomes a genuine option, not every scooter offers a sublime DCT gearbox and top power paired with Showa USD forks. If you’re after a cheaper commuter-scoot, there’s always the Forza 350 - but you’ll struggle to find a scooter that is this adept on the UK roads. 

It shapes up well against the rivals: consider the Yamaha TMAX, Kymco AK550, BMW C650GT, perhaps even the Honda X-ADV (that we reviewed earlier this year) - it’s a strong option against any of those. The BMW may have a touch of added power, but it weighs 30kg more (and no DCT), the other two non-Honda options don’t offer the same amount of power or spec. It’s well worth a test.

3 things I like

  • DCT. It’s superb, makes riding exceptionally easy
  • Underseat storage - I found it really spacious
  • Top spec - Showa forks, twin Nissin discs, Pirelli Diablo Rosso hoops, great TFT dash

3 things I don’t like

  • I’d want cruise control, adjustable screen & heated grips as standard, but you can do without.
  • A larger fuel tank would be nice, even if just an extra litre and a bit to get 15 L like the rivals
  • Left switchgear could do with a redesign

Check out the full info on the Honda website.