HONDA NSS300 FORZA (2018 - on) Review

Highlights

  • Excellent maxi scooter with low running costs
  • Honda build quality
  • More agile and better to ride than ever

At a glance

Owners' reliability rating: 5 out of 5 (5/5)
Power: 25 bhp
Seat height: Low (30.7 in / 780 mm)
Weight: Medium (401 lbs / 182 kg)

Prices

New £5,199
Used £3,700 - £4,500

Overall rating

Next up: Ride & brakes
4 out of 5 (4/5)

We're riding the significantly updated Honda Forza 300 (otherwise known as the NSS300 Forza) and can’t stop smiling. With the electric screen on its lowest setting, the refreshing cool breeze can be felt. Its sportier, lighter chassis is making easy work of the congestion and the premium scooter is eye-catching in the reflections of the exclusive shop windows. Move over supercar, coming through.

On the latest version there are new clocks, Honda SMART key, (keyless ignition) and LED lights. The optional 45l top box also uses the same keyless technology.

Honda have significantly improved the Forza, it’s a premium, good-looking, functional scooter, which should sell by the bucket load and continue the 2013 Forza 300's success.

The original Honda Forza 300 was low and laid back, more like a Honda DN01. This is a completely new look, with a ‘mass forward’ design. Honda wanted to give the Forza a quality feeling and appearance, which has worked.

There's a thiving online community for the Forza, along with PCX and SH125i scoots, at the Honda PCX/Forza/SH Forums.

Watch: Honda Forza 300 and 125 video review

Ride quality & brakes

Next up: Engine
4 out of 5 (4/5)

The 2018 model is shorter, 26mm, lighter 12kg, and the wheelbase has been reduced by 35mm. The steering head is steeper and the seat height is now 64mm higher (780mm), putting the rider more in control.

The new model is far more agile than the 2013 version, which actually seemed quite nimble at the time. The differences are more obvious at low speed.

Engine

Next up: Reliability
4 out of 5 (4/5)

The new Forza shares its engine with their cheaper Honda SH300i, which means a single-cylinder four-stroke, fuel injected, four-valve motor. Honda are claiming 24.8bhp @ 7000 rpm and 20fltb of torque @5750rpm.

Honda are claiming a top speed of 80mph, however on the launch in southern France we managed to edge out a few more mph. More importantly than top speed Honda are also claiming increased fuel economy, with a tank range of over 200 miles from the 11.5l fuel tank.

Reliability & build quality

Next up: Value
5 out of 5 (5/5)

There is no reason to question the quality of Honda’s new premium Forza, the single-cylinder four-stroke engine is unstressed and should run forever.

Value vs rivals

Next up: Equipment
4 out of 5 (4/5)

At the time, the £5099 Forza was on par with the popular Yamaha X-MAX 300 (£5199), but slightly more than the more basic Kawasaki J300 (£3999) and Kymco X-Town 300 (£3699). It's gone up £100 now so be exactly the same price as the X-MAX. 

Equipment

4 out of 5 (4/5)

The screen is now electronically adjustable, and one of the fastest we’ve ever experienced, almost like a Guillotine in reverse. It’s a simple, nice and smooth action, and can be set at any level, very much like the premium Honda Gold Wing.

Honda have re-positioned the battery and radiator to give even more under-seat lockable storage. With 53.5l of space, up from 48l there is enough room for two full-face helmets, with room to spare. There’s also a small storage compartment upfront, with a mobile phone holder, next door to a 12v socket.

Honda have chosen to fit HSTC (Honda Selectable Torque Control)

For the first time Honda have chosen to fit HSTC (Honda Selectable Torque Control) to their premium scooter, traction control for those who don't speak Honda. The system uses the ABS wheel speed sensors to monitor wheel speed and intervenes when it notices a significant difference between the front and rear wheel speed.

When the system intervenes, there’s a flashing T indicator on the dash. Traction control may appear over-the-top for a scooter, especially when riding in the summer. But, fast forward six months, the middle of winter, wet cold diesel ridden city streets of London, we’ll be thankful for some help.

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Specs

Engine size 279cc
Engine type Liquid-cooled, four-stroke, single
Frame type Steel underbone
Fuel capacity 11.5 litres
Seat height 780mm
Bike weight 182kg
Front suspension 33mm, none-adjustable
Rear suspension Twin rear shocks
Front brake 256mm discs with two-piston caliper
Rear brake 240mm single disc with single-piston caliper
Front tyre size 120/70x15
Rear tyre size 140/70x14

Mpg, costs & insurance

Average fuel consumption -
Annual road tax £44
Annual service cost -
New price £5,199
Used price £3,700 - £4,500
Insurance group -
How much to insure?
Warranty term Two years

Top speed & performance

Max power 25 bhp
Max torque 20.1 ft-lb
Top speed 85 mph
1/4 mile acceleration -
Tank range -

Model history & versions

Model history

The original Honda NSS300 Forza was made between 2013-2018.

Other versions

In 2018, Honda also slightly updated the 125 version of their Forza scooter. The Italian built Honda has been specifically produced for the European market and like the 300 is designed to be a luxurious scooter, to give the most a 125 scooter can offer.

Honda have tweaked the styling, new clocks and LED lights, but more importantly added an electronic adjustable screen. As like the 300 underseat storage has also increased, and now comfortably accommodate two full-face helmets.

The clocks are now neater; the overall design has a classy look to it. The electronic screen, as like the 300 isn’t fixed and can be electronically set at any position. Under the seat space has increased by 2l, and up front there’s additional storage with a separate iPhone holder and 12v socket. All the design touches give the 125 a quality feel.

The idling stop technology works effortless, like a modern car disabling the engine once you’re stood still. When you want to move away you simply twist the throttle and the engine turn backs on automatically. It’s designed to save fuel in town, Honda quote a 310mile tank range from the 11.5l fuel tank.

The 4v engine 125 four-stroke has some kick to it, off the mark it’s more than quick enough to keep with fast traffic. Even on fast roads it’s happy to cruise at 60mph and a little more. You can almost question why would you want the Forza 300 But at £4689 it’s only  £410 cheaper than the 300 and on PCP it’s actually £10 a month more. So, the question really should be why buy the 125?

Owners' reviews for the HONDA NSS300 FORZA (2018 - on)

1 owner has reviewed their HONDA NSS300 FORZA (2018 - on) and rated it in a number of areas. Read what they have to say and what they like and dislike about the bike below.

Review your HONDA NSS300 FORZA (2018 - on)

Summary of owners' reviews

Overall rating: 5 out of 5 (5/5)
Ride quality & brakes: 5 out of 5 (5/5)
Engine: 5 out of 5 (5/5)
Reliability & build quality: 5 out of 5 (5/5)
Value vs rivals: 5 out of 5 (5/5)
Equipment: 4 out of 5 (4/5)
5 out of 5 Brilliant lightweight tourer
29 August 2019 by Tim Dobby

Version: 2018 onwards model

Year: 2018

Good points Smooth, fast, economical engine with day long comfort, low maintenance and good storage. Light weight and low CO2 emissions. Class leader.

Ride quality & brakes 5 out of 5

Sportier handling than my previous BMW GT650 but like most scooters, jumps a bit on rougher roads and bumps.

Engine 5 out of 5

Engine smooth, economical (90mpg) and feels unburstable. I have used mine for touring with much bigger bikes in France and will run at legal motorway speeds unstressed albeit not much in reserve at 80mph!

Reliability & build quality 5 out of 5

Better quality manufacture than my previous BMW scooter and half the price. I would rate build so far as excellent at this price point.

Value vs rivals 5 out of 5

Too new to comment but with enclosed drive, 90 mpg and 8000 mile service intervals it doesn’t appear expensive

Equipment 4 out of 5

Favourite features : Electric screen, 12v socket, helmet storage, light weight and day long comfortable seat. Only equipment I would have added : heated grips, tyre pressure monitors

Buying experience: Crescent Honda Southampton: excellent people to deal with

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