29 replies to this topic
Posted 2008-08-25 09:03:46
I'm considering purchasing either a Honda Airblade or a Yamaha Nouvo Elegance (135). I decided to rent each bike for 2 days and see which I preferred. It might seem obvious that the more expensive Nouvo with a significantly larger engine would run away with it. The results were closer than I expected. If I were buying a new bike, no question I'd pay the extra for the Nouvo. However, I can get a "full spec" second hand Airblade with only 2,600 Km and a 2 year warranty from a reputable shop for 40,000 baht. That makes the Yamaha with mags about 15,000 baht more expensive. Thus the reason for my comparison. I'm not a professional rider or reviewer. Most of what I'm putting here is just my opinion. It is also important to note that both bikes were rentals. They both had about 5,300 Km, but I have no idea when they were last serviced.
There is already a thread (112156) comparing the Airblade to the Nouvo with a 115cc engine, but it has little information on the 135cc model and has gotten off topic.
Here is a link with information about the Airblade: http://www.aphonda.c...ge85.asp?id=758. I can't find any good Nouvo information in English, but even if you can't read Thai you can check out the pictures here: http://www.yamaha-mo...t/?ProductID=62.
Performance - Yamaha
Obviously the Nouvo with a 135cc engine is going to outperform the 108cc engine in the Honda. They are both water cooled. The funny thing is, though, the difference wasn't as much as I expected. The Airblade easily hit 90 Km/hr and some. The Nouvo easily made 100 Km/hr before I backed off. It's clear that the Nouvo isn't working nearly as hard to get there. Also, cruising at 80 Km/hr it seemed like the Honda was working at it while the Nouvo was quiet, smooth, and had plenty in reserve.
Safety - Honda
I found the headlights on both bikes to be excellent. I'd say they were about even. The Nouvo seems to have better focused light whereas the Airblade has an odd reflected pattern that I'm sure you learn to ignore after a while. I think the Airblade probably lit up more of the road. The mags on the Nouvo will accept tubeless tires. One shop said it ships with tubeless another said it ships with tubes but you can replace the tires. I'm not sure which is true, but I've read that tubeless tires are a bit safer since there is less chance of rapid loss of pressure (something that hasn't happened to me in 7 years of riding). The reason I give the advantage to the Airblade for safety, though, is the brakes. I wasn't blown away by the Combi-Brake. I expected to be able to stop using just the left brake handle. While you can do that for normal braking, if you want to stop fast, you need to use both handles. Although I didn't do any actual stopping distance tests the Honda seemed to have noticeably better braking.
Convenience - Yamaha
The parking brake on the Airblade seems like a good idea. The kickstand sensor, though, is a pain in the neck. Fortunately it is easy to disable. The Nouvo has enough space under the seat to store a full-face motorcycle helmet. That's a huge plus in my book. The Airblade has lots of under-seat storage too (enough to hold 4 1.25 liter bottles) but it just isn't tall enough for a full-face helmet. The Nouvo also has a hook on the front pillar to hold your shopping bags which the Airblade lacks (probably because the gas tank is in the way). That said, you don't have to lift the seat to refill the Airblade. Since I only fill up about once a week but I go shopping several times a week (I like fresh food) this works out very much in the Nouvo's favor.
Comfort - push
The Nouvo seat was a bit more comfortable for me. I think the foot rests worked out better for me on the Honda. I really expected the Nouvo to win for ride with 2" larger wheels but I preferred the Airblade on bumpy roads. At speed, though, there is no question the Nouvo rode better.
Resale - Honda
I've been told several times that Thais prefer Honda and that the resale will be better on the Airblade. I've never seen a used Nouvo Elegance for sale, so I can't compare this myself.
Warranty - Yamaha
Both come with a 3 year warranty, but the Yamaha has a 5 year warranty on the engine. My Thai isn't good enough to understand what might or might not be covered.
Dashboard - Yamaha
The Honda instruments are easy to read and do the job but look like cheap back-lit blue plastic. The Yamaha, though, just looks elegant. The needles are clearly visible in the blue on blue color scheme. The digital odometer is nice. The big advantage here, though, is that the Yamaha has a water temperature gauge.
Appearance - Honda
Things like styling are down to the individual. I like the looks of the Nouvo, but I prefer the Airblade (especially the Phoenix Edition in red).
Honda has already announced a new version of the Airblade with fuel injection (the Click with FI is here already). I've also been told by a Yamaha dealer that the Nouvo will be getting fuel injection (probably next year) but that it will be expensive.
Posted 2009-06-04 23:23:16
Good review.. I know it's been a while since this post,.. but I too rode the Nuovo Elegance and was thoroughly impressed with the solid handling, smooth ride and powerful engine..
Posted 2009-06-04 23:35:00
I have an Elegance and love it. I looked at both bikes and, on balance, went for the Yamaha because I do a few 30 - 50 km journeys and I think the Elegance is better equipped for that.
When I go to Pattaya I rent an Airblade
Edited by Chaimai, 2009-06-04 23:35:23.
Posted 2009-06-04 23:41:44
Nice review - automatics have a limited life span, just take note how few of the original Nuovo's you see tooling around.
Sort of like buying a Ford.
Better off with a top of the line Honda Wave-i
Posted 2009-06-05 06:51:40
When I first moved to Thailand my wife had a 5 yr old Nouvo Elegance that still looked good and ran great, but we decided to trade it for a new one. But when we went to the dealer I saw a 135cc X-1-R that I fell in love with, so we ended up getting that instead. My wife liked riding it, and would come home laughing about how she had been doing 110-120 kph just going to the store. That was July of last year.
About 3 months ago I went to pay off the air-con and tv at a major store here in C.M., which also has a Honda dealership, and I saw the CBR 150. Came home and told my wife she had to see it. We go back and are checking it out when I spot a brand new Air-Blade. It was the Phoenix model with the beautiful red/white paint job. When she saw it she fell in love with it. I put a deposit down on it and told them I would be back on Friday (that was Tues) to get it.
When we went back on Friday, at first they wanted to keep the bike for another week, as it was only 1 of 4 in C.M. with that paint scheme, but I told them that if they didn't let me have it right now, I wanted my deposit back and I'd go buy an Elegance. Ten minutes later we had the Air-Blade.
I agree that the Elegance is going to be quicker overall, but with the fuel injection on the Air-Blade, it's a surprisingly quick bike that will reach 100kph with little problem when riding alone, but with both of us on it ninety seems to be top end for it. Although I have noticed that in cooler weather the 100 is reached without much problem with us both on it.
We both love it and the way it rides, and with the box on the back, combined with the storage space under the seat, it's convenient for those quick trips to the market when you need to get a few things, but not enough to take the car.
We gave the X-1-R to her son, who is a teacher at Techno Asia, and he loves it. Oh, btw, the guy told me not to buy the CBR I was looking at, as the new model would be out in about a month. He said he would call me when they got one. He called, I went, saw a beautiful black one, paid cash for it and got a pretty good discount since I also paid off the Air-Blade at the same time.
Both the Air-Blade and the Elegance have their good/bad points, so I think it pretty much comes down to a simple personal preference. While the Elegance is going to out perform the Air-Blade, I can tell you that the one we bought, with the slight modifications I've made to it, get's 20 times the looks as any Elegance you can find.
Posted 2009-06-08 14:38:13
Amazing.. Cos it hasnt been on the markt for more than a year or two..
Posted 2009-06-08 16:40:10
All you air-blade lovers. Disconnect the combi-brake - just another failed jap attempt to copy a unique moto-guzzi system. There will come an occasion when you need rear wheel braking only, and you just can't do it with this system. Be warned.
Posted 2009-06-08 16:52:03
5 years ago there was the yammy Nouvo, with one headlight and basket. Still have one. Replaced battery and auto-belt, nothing else.
4 years ago there was Nouvo MX, dual headlights, basicly same 115 cc engine, but with different carb/more power. More legroom, better handling. Replaced battery, nothing else. Still have one, kids use it to school.
17 months ago Nouvo Elegance 135cc was introduced. New engine, 15 cm longer wheelbase, longer seat, new auto. Great improvement (or a totally new bike)! Got my first one in april 2008 in HH and a second one in Phuket september 2008.
IMHO Airblade is on par with MX, but no chance against Elegance. Nice colors though. Sold Airblade 2008 a month ago.
Posted 2009-06-08 20:46:45
A good review, which one did you buy ?
Posted 2009-06-09 07:54:46
One option you might want to consider is something I mentioned in my original post, and that's the Yamaha X1R. 135cc, clutch, and will run circles around both the Air Blade and the Elegance. And while this is more in line with a "sport bike", the ride is very good, although you do notice the bumps a little more due to the stiffer suspension.
I've included a "stock" photo, which is identical to the one I had, then gave my wife's son. The only difference is that I added a box to the back for storage.
Posted 2009-06-09 11:03:52
Cant run circles with a beer in my left hand anyway. Thats why it needs to be auto
Posted 2009-06-12 06:11:52
Yeah, that's real smart thing to do on a motorbike. Do you also have a sign somewhere on it that says "Run over me cause I'm stupid!" ???
Posted 2009-06-12 06:23:22
Honda Airblade or a Yamaha Nouvo Elegance?
The Nouvo Elegance 135 hands down. I rented both bikes and found the NE much smoother. It's a perfect bike for town and shopping.
Faster too. Now if Honda came out with a 150 scotter then I look again.
Posted 2009-06-12 09:52:35
No sign on the scooter. Only on the 1800 cc V-twin and the Vigo 4x4 auto.
Posted 2009-06-12 23:13:36
Edited by soundman, 2009-06-13 10:08:56.
Posted 2009-06-14 18:22:15
The CBR looks good with the matching helmet, except for the totally fruity looking box on the back. Don't get me wrong, I understand the purpose of it, but I think I would always choose to use some soft saddle bags or a backpack before I would ever bruise the otherwise great looks of the CBR with something so,...so..ugly, to put it nicely.
Somebody had to tell you. I'm sure you were wondering if anybody would say anything. Now I've said what you already knew.
Your argument in support of the Airblade and especially based on the color scheme, I don't get it. Doesn't stand out to me the same way.
I bet that Yamaha X1R was a good little ride with some advantages over the CBR. Like the seat and lower profile, as well as the more upright seating position.
The new Yamaha Nouvo Elegance seems to be a superior scooter all around to me. With maybe the exception of the lack of fuel injection. Which should be rectified soon enough. For my stronger ride I think I will opt for the new Tiger 250 RS, and the New Nouvo Elegance possibly as well.
So many nice little bikes. Somehow I have a feeling I will end up with several of them once I have a place to keep them.
With all that said, I am a Honda lover. They just got beat out for my top choices this time around.
Posted 2009-06-14 20:37:58
I respect your opinion, but should let you know that you're in a minority of 1 in regards to the box on the back. Yeah, I had some reservations about it at first, but everyone who has seen it up close loves it and thinks it's a great idea, INCLUDING the police in BoSang, who said they are going to talk to their supervisor about getting boxes put on the back of their new CBR's.
As for the Air Blade, yeah, the Elegance is faster, but in my opinion the Air Blade has a better ride, especially on bumps. Basically that's my wife's bike, but when we go someplace together we usually take it (or the car if it's raining), as the seat is more comfortable for her than the CBR. And I've yet to see an Elegance with a paint scheme that even comes close to looking as good as the Air Blade.
The X1R was, and is, a great little bike. My son loves it. But let's face it, it really can't compare to the CBR when it comes to performance.
Posted 2009-07-05 14:15:12
Rented Air Blade for 2 weeks. Nice bike: pleasantly heavy, good convex mirrors (better than Nouvo Elegance\Nouvo mx), the gas tank position (low-middle) gives more stability along with lower weels, perfect rear break.
But it seems that the engine is not enough for this bike - first 50-60 km\h are quite hard to reach with a passenger.
Rented Nouvo MX and had accident the SAME day on dirty road that I've been passing no problems on AirB.
The bike seems to be lighter, the weels are higher and tank is top-back under the seat, appeared less stable to me, acceleration is better though.
But the mirrors have fewer convex\length between (?) so the dead zone is wider (+ im a big-shouldered person) - however can change them.
Breaks work different and this assisted in my accident as i got used to AirB - so the rear break is slight and front is sharper so when i applied both the front appeared to work far better taking me onto the ground.
Bought Nouvo Elegance and happy. I'd not say the AirB is vs. Nouvo MX, I'd put it somewhere in the middle between MX and EL.
Elegance is heavier (maybe same as AB) but 135cc work perfectly good for it. You dont notice first 60 km/h. Less vibrating and quieter engine. The weelbase is wider, that gives more stabiliy even with top-back gas tank and even a passenger. Goes more smoothly than BOTH AirB\MX.
Oh yes. The headlights are FAR BETTER then AirB. without this silly pattern on the road and light futher ahead.
Although the rear break is weaker than AirB's, its better then MX's (however could be adjusted), front is not so sharp, but all in all breaks work better than MX, but different style from AirB, so U just should get used to it.
So NE is my final choise.
Edited by DrLis, 2009-07-05 14:17:28.
Posted 2009-07-18 13:11:03
Good post by the OP and the follow-ups by others.
I'm still looking for an '09 Nouvo LC auto, with low Kms........ White, if I'm lucky.
Advertised in the TV classifieds and got didley squat replies, so if yr out there and see a goodie 4 sale, pls PM me.
Posted 2009-10-13 18:06:13
Still looking..... nothing so far !
Posted 2009-10-18 12:48:36
Those forks look like toothpicks
Doing over 100 kph is bad a idea in all these bikes they all have crap suspension and brakes compared to a proper bike.....
Edited by William Osborne, 2009-10-18 12:49:41.
Posted 2009-10-18 12:55:45
IMHO doing over 80 kmh is a bad idea. My Kwaker Ninja 650 brakes from 150 kmh better than my yammy 135 Elegance or Airblade injection from 80 kmh