Small, accessible, enjoyable and priced extremely competitively, Honda’s Navi miniMOTO appeals to a wide range of customers. Somewhat of a mix between Honda’s Ruckus and Grom (each of which is popular enough to have developed its own subculture), the Navi has the styling of a motorcycle and some convenience features of a scooter, including Honda’s V-Matic automatic transmission – just twist the throttle to go. It’s all wrapped up in an appealing miniMOTO package that’s fun, and most importantly, easy to personalize.
As such, it only took a matter of days since Honda’s Navi announcement for the first examples of custom Navi miniMOTOs to start popping up. After being given early access to the Navi, Steady Garage, a trailblazer in the mini moto community, was one of the shops to put in long hours in order to complete a custom Navi in time to display during the IMS Outdoors motorcycle show at OC Fair & Event Center in Costa Mesa, CA from November 19-21.
Located just 40 minutes north of the IMS Outdoors show in Irwindale, CA, Steady Garage has prided itself on the preservation of gasoline culture and a commitment to the community at large. Business partners Kevin Dunn, Jimmy Chen, Bhwe Suh and Duy Nguyen have been supporting their customers with the service and knowledge needed to both, kickstart dream builds of all kinds, or inspire the DIYers to keep riding and pushing.
“Over the years, we’ve built our reputation as the go-to shop for moto-lovers worldwide by maintaining Steady’s standard of excellence,” Kevin Dunn says. “From the work on our custom builds for companies such as Honda and Yoshi… to servicing the needs of our customers daily, our attention to detail and technical know-how come second to none.
“From the design process all the way to the engineering and final execution, we leave no stones unturned, aspiring for a certain refinement in quality that comes with over 14-plus years of experience.”
People come to Steady Garage because the shop is constantly striving to innovate, test and scavenge for new parts and is always providing technical knowledge to further grow customers’ love for the sport. Those are exactly the reason’s Honda choose Steady Garage for an advanced example of the Navi miniMOT coming to the U.S. in 2022.
The Navi miniMOTO checks all the boxes for new riders, like simple operation, a fun design, low operating costs and Honda reliability – all for well under $2,000 ($1,807 to be exact). The Navi also appeals to experienced riders, and its design is very customizable.
The model has a fuel-efficient, user-friendly 110cc engine and an automatic transmission, so no shift lever or clutch lever. The seat has a low, 30.1˝ height, so most riders can touch the ground with both feet. The combination is a bike that’s nimble for navigating city traffic, easy to carry on an RV bumper rack and lightweight to simplify maneuvering into tight parking spots. There’s even a storage bin for stowing a jacket, food or anything else that can fit.
Since its U.S. announcement, the Navi has earned plenty of headlines, but thanks to shops like Steady Garage, it’ll also be turning heads. Since customization is always a priority for many miniMOTO customers, the Steady Garage project shows what is possible with a vivid imagination and skillful execution.
“It was a brand-new bike for us, so we had to do a lot of research and trial and error,” Dunn says. “A lot of the inspiration was from the Ruckus and the Grom, so we modified some of our existing parts for those models in order to work with the Navi. The style we went with is similar to what we call ‘street Grom’ – low stance and a wide front wheel.”
For the back of the bike, Steady Garage just barely managed to fit a rear wheel that’s both wider and has a larger diameter, a choice that necessitated sourcing a low-profile tire. Vance & Hines contributed a unique custom exhaust with stainless-steel flex pipe and twin outlet tips. The shock is a high-end unit custom-built by Taiwanese company Gears Racing, and the bike’s overall styling is super-clean.
“We gave it what we call a diamond tail, which is also common with the Ruckus, and that really cleaned up the rear end,” Dunn says. “Then we custom-built a carbon-fiber seat off of the stock seat pan, following the lines of the diamond tail.”
Steady Garage also opted to retain the Navi’s signature storage area, though the shop did trim the pod down for a narrower profile. The box can also be removed and replaced with a handy molle panel. The bodywork also got custom-painted and it’s highlighted by what Dunn admits was a relatively last-minute addition called “illuminated pinstriping,” which was achieved via LED strips that change colors, giving the effect of a rolling neon sign. We told you it would turn heads!
For Navi owners interested in doing their own customization, several custom components are available, as well as a Vance & Hines tapered exhaust system and special graphics kits from Honda Signature Accessories with help from Icon and TrueTimber. The Navi’s low MSRP and gas-sipping performance puts it within reach of any customer, and it’ll show you how enjoyable, convenient and practical motorcycling can be.
If you have a motorcycle, ATV, UTV, snowmobile or jet ski you’d like to feature in MPN’s Ride of the Week series, sponsored by CanDo International, please email MPN Content Director Greg Jones at [email protected].