MOTORCYCLES have always given the air of freedom, and the restrictions of the pandemic have emphasized this independence even more.
With mobility restricted by laws, and oftentimes, by fear, people lock themselves in their homes. Motorcyclists however, have found good use for their machines to deliver goods, but not shuttle people. Silly regulations have prevented this from happening. And though these nonsense rules were overturned by the very ones who created them after realizing their folly and the public’s disenchantment, the damage has been done.
All these pandemic-induced challenges did not stop Honda Philippines Inc. (HPI) to continue to push its all-new Air Blade 150 launched just at the start of the year. Since the motorcycle has been around just last January—just 3 months before the lockdown, not many were given the time to see it or test ride it because the inventory was selling like the proverbial hotcake.
Many of its owners have not even given their rides the unnecessary, so-called “break-in,” usually by travelling long distances when the lockdown occurred.
The Air Blade is powered by a compact 150cc liquid-cooled, SOHC four-stroke single-cylinder engine. It sits low on the frame and gives a nice balance to it. The Intelligent Low Friction technology in the combustion chamber and PGM-fuel injection system makes the engine produce a maximum power of 13.0 PS at 8,500 rpm, with maximum torque at 13.3 Nm at 5,000rpm.
The power to weight ratio of the machine plus an average rider weight of about 60 kilos allows the Air Blade 150 to achieve an average fuel consumption reading of 47 km/liter. Paired with a 4.4-liter fuel tank and it should allow riders to go as far as 200-km on one full tank. Paired with Honda’s electronically controlled ACG starter, and a idling-stop system, it could potentially go even further.
Teddy Bomma is a health worker in a hospital in Laguna. His girlfriend surprised him with the his Air Blade last Valentine’s day.
“But I pay for the balance,” he said laughingly as he adds how he misses his girlfriend, a nurse, was locked down in Marinduque on a medical mission. “I planned to ride all the way there,” he added but found out there were roadblocks, checkpoints and that strange rule about disallowing back riders.
“Those rules just took social distancing too far,” Bomma said as he added his daily ride from Calamba to Nagcarlan in Laguna is just short work for his Airblade.
The unique riding experience this motorcycle brings to its riders with its features, such as the Smart Key, Power Socket for charging devices, LED Lamp, and a front-wheel Anti-lock Braking System (ABS), which helps prevent wheels from locking up. It also has a 22.7L Utility Box that can accommodate full-faced helmets with still enough room for personal belongings.
For Ronel Padilla, a new Airblade 150 owner who has been riding his motorcycle every day for the past two months, this motorcycle is “the perfect ride for city driving with its slim build and 150cc engine, making it smooth to move around even in areas with heavy traffic congestion.”
Another first-time motorcycle owner, Kelian Sunogan speaks highly about the convenience brought by his Airblade150 in undeniable. He also loves that it is fuel-efficient yet has great acceleration for a thrilling ride, and its big compartment and power socket make it the perfect motorcycle.
“The best part is, that it is very affordable. You pay for all the great features that will give you satisfaction. I thank Honda for launching this kind of motorcycle in the Philippines,” Sunogan said. The all-new Airblade 150’s suggested retail price of P109,000.