Monday, July 09, 2012

2013 Honda Metropolitan NCH50 Review

After months of waiting for its release, I finally got the 2013 Honda Metropolitan in Pearl White.  This is my first gas-powered scooter and I am enjoying the ride between home, work, and light errands.  In two weeks I've ridden ~110.5 miles and am still on the first tank but I will need to fill it on my way home.  With its 1.2 gallon capacity, now I'll only spend about $3 every two weeks to fill up the tank!

So far I am happy with it.  It works well for me, for the places I ride it and how I use it.  By the way, there are many in-depth, professional reviews out there (links included below) if that is what you are looking for but this is not one of them.

I know very little about scooters and this was a personal choice for me after considering the latest Yamaha "Vino", Genuine Scooter "Buddy", and other makes/models available in the same class of 50CC or less -- which, in my opinion do not stack up.  I purchased the Honda Metro for its quality, service (when I need it), and value for the features.

This 49cc is considered a moped by the Nevada DMV so that means no insurance, no registration, no Class M (motorcycle) endorsement on my driver's license, and no helmet requirements (even though I always wear a helmet, safety vest, and emergency responder bracelet when riding) to ride it on public roads.  I like being able to park at the bicycle racks right behind my building at work.  I also don't have to pay $400/yr. for a parking permit to park on campus.

My commute is about 12 miles round trip and mostly on flat, single lane roads with speed limits ranging from 25 m.p.h. to 35 m.p.h.  On a flat road it can do 35 m.p.h. (with the rev limiter) and on hills with grades of 4% to 9% it can hold 22 mph (of course that depends on the rider and cargo weight).

Since I'm new to a gas-powered two wheeler, this 179 lb. machine will work perfectly for me.  It's light enough for me to handle and plenty fast for me to drive on surface streets I take to and from work and to run errands.  My only dilemma is finding parts (I'd like a windscreen and rear carrier) and putting miles on my bicycle which I had used a few times a week to commute.

That pretty much sums it up!  If you care to to know the details, please read on.
Pearl White color option
The other two color options are Pearl Black and Pearl Black/Red (which I like but it is expected to be released later this year and I could not wait that long).  The Pearl White is classy, will stay cooler in the sun, show less dust and scratches, and look cleaner even when dusty and dirty than the Pearl Black color option.

I like the headlight design better than the older models; it looks beefier.
I forget what the under-seat storage capacity is ...26 liters?  It's pretty big but know that the maximum weight limit is 22lbs.
It can hold a pair of shoes in the center compartment with plenty of room for other things.
My 13-in laptop fits, although cock-eyed and for some reason I have trouble getting it to fit when it's inside a backpack or bag.
My half face helmet fits in there and still there's room for other things.
You can also fit a whole adult cat (just kidding).  This is Havi, she's just checking it out LOL.
Tail lights, reflectors and signal lights.
It has a center kickstand and a manual kick starter should the fuel injection push button starter not work.
The knee area storage called the 'inner rack' is, in my opinion, a necessity.  I keep my coffee mug, cable lock, and garage clicker in there before I start my trip.  The hook and inner rack can support up to three pounds and I hang my lunch bag on it for easy access to its contents (like my phone) - not that I use my phone or eat lunch out of the bag during my ride but I don't want my phone bouncing around inside the tray.
I read somewhere that it can store a liter somewhere (or maybe they meant 1-liter capacity) so as you can see, it cannot hold a liter bottle but definitely 16.9 oz. bottle of water, can of soda and whatever else you can fit.
Don't even think about a half gallon carton of milk!  Maybe the shape of a half gallon container of milk will fit.
But it will hold a 32 oz. jar of spaghetti sauce!  Anyway, the weight limit of the tray and hook is 3 pounds.
This is the multi-purpose ignition; its function depends on the position the key is turned.  There's steering lock ... and a shutter clock to prevent people from tampering with the ignition using a screwdriver or whatever. The back of the key has an octagon shape that will open the ignition key hole.  To open the under-seat compartment, push on the key when it's turned to the SEAT position.
Near the left grip, there's the high beam light switch (the headlamp is always on when the scooter is running), the turn signal, and horn (it's pretty loud!)
The right grip is the throttle, there's the kill switch and start button (because this scooter is fuel injected, I just press the button to start it).  Just open the throttle to go and increase speed. Closing the throttle will slow the scooter down.  The left grip has the rear brake lever and the right grip has a back brake lever.
The instrument panel has the speedometer, odometer, fuel gauge (this is a 1.2 gallon tank and when the gauge needle first points to the red, there's approximately 0.34 gallons left or 1.3 liters), and indicators for turn signal, high beam, and programmed fuel injection malfunction indicator lamp (in which case I would have to use the manual kick start).
Elgy demonstrates how to hop on and ride!
It's a simple machine you can hop on and go!!


2103 Honda Specifications:
Motor Scooter Guide:
Review by Cycleworld:
Review by Motorycle:
Review by Motorcycle USA:
Review by Scoot! Club:
Review by Scooterfile:


JoeinVegas said...

Wow - that was a complete review, with lots of pictures. It sure looks like you like that thing.

Daly said...

It is fun to ride and I've ridden it every day to work except for the weekends. It's my commuter now. Glad you are back Joe! You were missed.

Chante said...


I was floored when I read you got one. I was terrified for your safety and held my breath until I read you don't go too fast on it.

Be safe little sister!

Big Sis

Daly said...

Thanks sis. The max speed the scooter will go is 35 m.p.h. and I only ride it on streets with that posted speed limit or less. For the most part, I will commute less than 6 miles one way. I also wear a bright safety vest and helmet -- and a medical bracelet with emergency contact information. I will continue to be careful. XOXO Love you guys!

Melodie K. said...

Daly ~

Your great post helped me decide between the two bikes I was considering - a Buddy and the Honda Metro.

I opted for the Metro in black and haven't looked back since.


Daly said...

Congratulations Melodie!! The black Honda Metro is sexy and was the one I would have liked but I would have had to wait several more months to get it. I think the Buddy is cute and considered it but when I saw it in person and how it is built, in my opinion, the quality of the how everything is put together just doesn't compare to the Honda. I hope you enjoy your scooter as much as I do!! I am still riding it in the freezing temperatures of winter.

john smith said...

Honda Scooter Nch50 has really dashing sports, design and storage. It has brilliant mileage. It is a new blockbuster after Honda Activa.

Auj said...

I got one exactly like it one month ago and I love it.
I like your review; especially your cat pix.
I think we have great taste!

Daly said...

Congratulations Auj! It is such a joy to ride, isn't it? We DO have great tastes ;-)

Jose A Moreno said...

I bought a 2013 metropolitan and took it back to service on the next day, beacuse of a nasty noise of the back left sise. The dealer kept it all day and they called be back when they were closed, so i have not picked it up yet. Anyhow, they are explaining to me that since they have fuel injection, they are supposed to make that noise. This noise happens at 30 miles only and i do not beleive what they are telling me, because they all could have mentioned this to me before dropping it. Its there like a lemon law, that protect us the cosumer like when you buy a car? Are out there other owner with this problem? Please help!

Daly said...

Hi Jose, I have not noticed any unusual noises with my scooter even at 30 miles per hour. Next time I ride my scooter, I will listen more carefully to the sounds it makes.

I am unaware of any laws like the lemon law that applies to mopeds but that doesn't mean there isn't one.

Since the scooter is new, it should be covered under the manufacture's warranty. You should have received a Motor Scooter Warranties guide with a summary of coverage. See page 17 of the guide on How to Get Warranty Service and steps to take for Customer Satisfaction if you are unable to get satisfactory warranty service at a Honda Dealer, or you are dissatisfied with a warranty decision.

As a last resort, the Better Business Bureau can be a good mediator at helping to come to a resolution but I don't think you will need to go that far. Good luck to you and your scooter!!

Jose A Moreno said...

Hi Dali, I picked it yesterday and the noise is there still. They claim is the new fuel injection system. I requested to ride another one to beleive them, but they dont offer that unless there was a used one. I guess I will ride it and if something happens, I will take it back for service under the warranty. For the noise, I can wear my helmet to block it, lol. Otherwisw, I am loving my new scooter. I had a Pegeaut and a chinese before and I can feel the difference.

beme89 said...

Hey there, usually I just read and not post. But when I saw Daly's comment I wanted to let him know that I have read about the same issue on other blogs, with the same response from the service centers- along with keeping it the whole day. I have a metro and I don't have that noise. I suggest you bring yours to another dealer and play one off the other. Like I said, I don't have that problem and there are others that don't either.
As far as finding genuine NCH0 honda parts check out Babbits Online. I have a black metro and had to replace the rear fender when it got scratched up, I let the service center put it on as I didn't have a clue. The concept is much more simpler than it's execution! Here's Babbits where you you find every part for the metro in it's different colors and for others honda bikes:

beme89 said...

Ooops! One last thing to find asseccories, like a windshield (almost a must!) depending where you live, and a trunk with the attachments; all of which are a breeze to attach... visit


This link will drop you off on the page for the 2013 metro. Just click on asseccories. They will be listed at the bottom of the page. Unfortunately no images are provided. To see what they look like visit:

and press "build your own scooter" by the metropolitan.
Note: sells the windshield for less (-$15???)