Generational Gap

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Generational Gap

Postby soyavenger on Wed Feb 23, 2011 5:53 pm

Ive been looking for a metropolitan for my wife for a month or so, and found this message board about a week ago, and i have a few questions. ill start with the talk ive seen on the forum about met 1 or met 2 and such, and im guessing these are different generations of metropolitan. can anyone tell me or know a site that outlines the differences between the generations? are there any weak links for any particular generation or mets in general i should be wary of when buying a used met?

thanks,
jack
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Re: Generational Gap

Postby GizmoGal on Wed Feb 23, 2011 10:13 pm

soyavenger wrote:can anyone tell me or know a site that outlines the differences between the generations?

I have no idea why you would need a site that does all that evaluation in an outline and I couldn't tell you of one place to read it all. If you use the SEARCH feature on this board you could probably get the answer to every question you have by reading about this. Perhaps 500 threads have previously addressed your question which is how do Met I and Met II compare?

Here's a head start about the non technical differences in older Met models and those of today: Older Met II models were SLOW. All Met I models of any year are way faster than Met IIs. (maybe they are called generations, but I just call 'em older and newer Mets. The Honda Metropolitan scooter isn't around 50 years to earn the word generation. But it's a way of thinking if you prefer it.)

Both the Met I and the Met II were sold in the United States at the same time through the 2005 model year. I think it all may have started here around 2000, so I'm resistant to "generation". All the bodies and panels are identical (except not every color was made or sold in every model year) and panels are interchangeable. Only engines were lately enhanced, but not basically changed to a big noticeable extent, not to an extent that servicing them is much different. All Met scooters are single cyclinder, 4 stroke, liquid cooled, only drum brakes front and back (Integrated brakes), 10 inch wheels. All of 'em. After 2005, starting with the 2006 models and newer you will not find anything called a Met II. The original model number for all Met I scooters (then and now) is CHF50. The Met II was identified as CHF50P. There is no CHF50P beyond 2005.

The Met I is and was an unrestricted engine. Up until 2005 the top sped of a Met I was about 38 mph. Pretty fast and I ride a 2005 Met I with great pleasure (I am 63 yo). The engine was improved for the sake of speed (and probably other technical modifications) by Honda in subsequent models of the Met I after 2005 and now reaches about 43 mph. even if it was born yesterday. The Metropolitan (Met) II was a retricted engine that allowed a top speed of only about 25-28 mph, sold in the United States through the 2005 model year and was discontinued after that. So if you buy a scooter whose VIN indicates it is built after 2006, you will only get a faster scooter, the Met I. If you buy a Honda Met scooter from 2005 or before, you should check to make sure you are buying a Met I (unless you happen to prefer a slow boring Met II for some insane reason).

Things to look for buying a used scooter are well covered in many posts on the board. Do well to go looking via SEARCH for yourself to find it worded the way you like. Overall, you want what is obvious in any vehicle: less mileage is better but not a priority. Mets last forever with good care, so higher mileage is not a deal breaker. I put on 1000 miles a year and rarely ride in winter, so that is just a good load of recreational miles in a 6-7 month season. You want it very obvious that it has not been dropped or crashed (yeah, body work is obvious. It's all plastic and painted panels better be really good. Original colors are more desirable, and some years had special color patterns). Check the tires for fine cracks near the bead (sign of dry rot, even with low mileage. Age is not kind to rubber) and examine tread wear. Ask about the service record or oil change interval, battery age, spark plug change out, and antifreeze fluid freshness. See if the bike starts with the electric start button instantly, without stalling and gagging and requiring a lot of throttle fussing. The seller may be able to prove whatever blather he offers about the bike's maintenance. If it's dirty and beat up and starts with a lot of coughing and coaxing, it probably needs an oil change and a new plug, no matter what the story is. Ask if the seller can PROVE they own it and has the right to sell it (amazing number of stolen scooters are sold to people horribly surprised when they get arrested riding them or have them confiscated and returned to the real owner! This is completely avoidable if you have integrity and no decent owner would resent the question.) If you buy a Met II , be prepared to go slow and enjoy it on a limited basis. Drivers hate scooters, so slow is not a safety advantage. Met II scoots have almost no resale value as most people do not want them and there is no particular benefit in spending hundreds of bucks and hours to make the thing modified to do a rousing 33 mph. Anyone believing their spouse will love football or clothes shopping (depending on gender) after they are married will believe it is worth it to take a 25 mph bike and sweat to make it a 33 mph bike. Buy what you need to meet the road conditions, rider skill level, and expected speeds around your nabe. Do not plan to put two people on a Met unless one is a miniature schnauzer. It has adequate but not spectacular brakes, lil bitsy 10 inch wheels and so-so pickup. Used as directed it is safe, peppy and fun. Two adults will be a burden, and in most states it is illegal to ride two-up on a bike that small. The thing is super fun, but limit your expectations to a small fun vehicle, not King of the Road.

Buy your own new helmet, no matter if a used bike comes with a used helmet. It's your head you are trying to protect. Don't spare the expense. Accessories like a front inner basket or rear rack or top case are very desirable.

Others here may help with much better detail on the exact differences in the newer faster Mets compared with the Met II. I gave you the non-technical aspect with the net effect, not the why. Be a very careful buyer and try to ride one or get your wife on one before handing over money. You may be able to make a very good deal for a new one with a Honda place if it is still wintry where you are. Once gas prices go up a lot (that will happen very soon) and mild weather hits, EVERYONE wants a scooter to save money and have fun, so the dealers become much more profit minded. While it's just dead inventory they have laying around, you can make a deal, rather than wait to find the "perfect" used one. Search for used in Craigs List and search here for ones offered that may be near you.

Hope I have helped. SEARCH is your friend.
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Re: Generational Gap

Postby soyavenger on Thu Feb 24, 2011 3:53 am

thanks for the info, gizmo, believe me i did try to search on my own, but the search function ignores the keywords "met 1" and "met I" and such because they are too common.

while i am familiar with buying used vehicles, im not at all familiar with honda metropolitans, or their particular quirks. for example, i used to have an 82 honda nighthawk. it ran flawlessly once it was warmed up, but it was extremely cold blooded. after getting on a nighthawk forum, i found out that nighthawks are notoriously cold blooded. someone buying a used hawk, not knowing that quirk, might think theres something wrong with the bike.

i imagine the differences between met I and met II are pretty technical, as far as restriction or different engines entirely, so i thought a link to technical website might save someone a few paragraphs of explanation. what i was most interested in at the moment is if they had any little quirks that were more common in one model vs the other, like drivetrain problems or carb problems or what have you.

thanks again,
jack
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Re: Generational Gap

Postby rv-rick on Wed Apr 06, 2011 9:03 pm

Gizmo; you answered more questions than I had thought to ask. While I'm saving for the Elite 110, I have my eye on an '02 Met. Haven't seen it yet so i don't know if it is a I or II. Probably won't buy it if it is a II. He's asking $800 (high, I think). If it's decent, I'll offer $500 and go from there. Thanks.
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