Over a million SH scooters have been sold in Europe over the last 30 years, earning the SH name the status of a brand-within-a-brand. These two letters have become a byword for premium performance and classy design, underpinned by Honda’s famed build quality and reliability.
The SH300i, with its compact, flat-floored step-through design and 16-inch front and rear wheels carries all of the SH signature touches, and packs something extra – a powerful engine delivering maximum response for both city and highway use.
Long regarded as the ultimate urban machine, it has evolved significantly for 2015 and combines fresh, contemporary lines with smarter engine reaction from standstill and greater fuel efficiency, plus enhanced all-round ease of use to reinforce its status as a real modern classic.
Michio Atsuchi – Large Project Leader (LPL) SH300i:
“The first SH300i brought exciting performance to our SH line up – with very strong acceleration and performance matched to agile handling. So the development team were delighted to hear it described by one journalist as ‘the perfect weapon for Rome’. This latest model is even sharper, with improved convenience, agility and styling. And even better acceleration!”
2. Model Overview
The new SH300i builds on the well-proven SH formula and features a brand new steel frame with slightly longer wheelbase which, while still providing the SH’s trademark razor-sharp handling, now offers increased under seat storage capable of holding a full-face helmet.
Having built its reputation on punchy all-round performance and crisp throttle response, the SH300i’s 279cc liquid-cooled single-cylinder engine – fuelled by PGM-FI – has increased torque for instant acceleration in the low-to-mid range. It’s a strong, willing and well-balanced powerplant, perfect for dealing with busy city traffic while making longer journeys out of town a pleasure. For 2015, fuel economy has also been significantly improved through the use of low friction technologies, and the engine is the first Honda unit to be compliant with incoming Euro 4 regulations.
Subtle changes create a slightly more upright, neutral riding position and easy ground reach. 1kg has been shaved compared to the previous model, contributing to the SH300i’s light and nimble feel; two-channel ABS is now a standard fitment.
The SH300i’s new lines exude strength and purpose, as does LED lighting front and rear. The addition of a Honda SMART Key System also elevates convenience for the rider and security for the machine itself.
3. Key Features
3.1 Styling & Equipment
For 2015, the latest iteration of the SH300i’s long-standing “power and dignity” design concept brings new lines and detailing that highlight its premium and sporty positioning. Its distinctive new face makes it immediately recognisable as an SH, while bodywork has been revised for a steelier, more muscular edge. LED lighting front and rear adds a crisp, individual signature.
With new styling comes enhanced practicality. Improved underseat storage – now big enough to carry a full-face helmet – bolsters the SH300i’s day-to-day stop-and-go convenience, and both usability and security are enhanced by the addition of a Honda SMART Key System. The compact unit (to be kept on the rider’s person) works in conjunction with the mode dial in the right hand side inner front cowl to enable operation of the ignition and seat release whenever the rider is within two metres of the machine.
Seat height is an easy-to-manage 805mm (just 5mm more than the SH125/150) and the standard SH flat floor (435mm wide) makes loads easy to carry as well as aiding the rider step on and off. The riding position suits a wide range of rider physique and delivers a relaxed, upright stance and great all-round vision. Total machine length is 2131mm, with width of 728mm and height of 1193mm. Minimum ground clearance is 130mm.
The 2016YM SH300i will be available in six colours:
Pearl Cool White
Pearl Nightstar Black
Matt Cynos Grey Metallic
Moondust Silver Metallic
Pearl Siena Red
Pearl Pacific Blue
A range of Genuine Honda accessories are ready for the SH300i owner to create their perfect long-range commuting partner, including colour-matched 35L top box, windshield, knuckle deflectors, heated grips, alarm and U-lock.
A brand new steel underbone frame incorporates a host of detail changes that enhance carrying capacity while maintaining the SH300i’s point-and-go agility. Alongside the 1438mm wheelbase (16mm longer than the previous model) the engine angle has been lowered 1° and the rear shock absorber now uses a 44mm stroke (from 52mm). The Oleo link system mounted underneath the engine assists handling feel and bump absorption.
Rake and trail are set at 27°30’/98mm and the handlebars feature a 45° turn radius from centre. Up front 35mm telescopic forks soak up the bumps while providing accurate feedback secure handling, while a cast aluminium rear swingarm ensures rock-solid stability and composure. Wet weight has been reduced to 169kg.
The front 110/70-16 tyre is matched with a 130/70R16 rear and the standard-fitment two-channel ABS operates 256mm single disk brakes front and rear.
The new SH300i’s engine is Honda’s first low-emission Euro 4-compliant unit. Breathing through a SOHC 4-valve head, it features bore and stroke of 72 x 68.5mm with compression ratio of 10.5:1. Peak power of 18.5kW arrives at 7,500rpm, with peak torque of 25.5Nm delivered at 5,000rpm. In comparison with the outgoing model, a little top-end power has been sacrificed in favour of an increase in both low-to-mid range torque and power for improved snap and roll-on acceleration in busy traffic.
At the same time, fuel efficiency is increased 8.8% to 33.3 km/l (WMTC mode) due to the application of low-friction bearings plus a revised cam profile, internal adjustments to refine oil release pressure and reduced ACG output thanks to the LED lighting – from 22.5A to 20.5A. A range of 300km is possible from the 9L fuel tank.