With very few exceptions it’s possible to see a positive reason for the existence of almost anything with two wheels and an engine. Honda’s Integra is, however, one of those exceptions.
The Integra manages to fall into the no-man’s-land between a scooter and motorcycle, thoroughly failing to satisfy either camp particularly well – which is probably why the Integra has, so far, bombed in so many markets.
On the face of it there’s nothing much wrong with the Integra. It has the same 745cc liquid-cooled parallel-twin motor used in the NC750X and S models. It has the same pleasingly easy-to-ride chassis (but a different swingarm), wheels, brakes and suspension, too. It handles really well for a scooter thanks to the fitment of bump-smothering 17in wheels and decent Bridgestone T30 sports-touring tyres. And it really can be hustled along at a decent pace when out of the urban environment in which it was designed to work at its best.
New for 2016 is an updated Dual Clutch Transmission (DCT) which now sees the existing D (Drive) mode complemented by three different levels of the S-mode (Sport) setting. Each one from S1 (mildly sporty) to S3 (most sporty) gives a different riding experience. The biggest change though is the fitment of new Showa Dual Bending Valve suspension, which really works well to improve the control, damping and stability over the outgoing model.
The new full-colour dash is clear and can even be programmed with a personal message which greets you when you switch the ignition on and off. It’s all very nice, easy and the bike is extremely well finished.
But, and actually it’s a series of rather large buts, there is little reason I can see for buying the Integra over an NC750S or X. Maxi scooters should boast large underseat storage compartments... the Integra doesn’t. Scooters also need to be almost maintenance-free, while the Integra has a messy chain drive. Plus, the seat is uncomfortable, as it puts all your weight through your backside, and at £8149 it’s shockingly expensive. So it’s hard to see many of these selling in the UK.