If you want a small, fun, not-so-fast scooter, then the Honda Spree is a great choice. In this article, I’ll describe the iconic Honda Spree scooter, including all of its features and specs, so you can decide if it is the right scooter for you.
The Honda Spree scooter is a 49 cc motor scooter manufactured by Honda Motor Co. Ltd. from 1984 to 1987. This scooter utilizes a single geared AF05 engine. The Honda Spree top speed is 30mph, so it is street-legal in many U.S. states.
Read on to learn more about the Honda Spree scooter, including its specs, features, and pros and cons.
About the Honda Spree Scooter
Honda Spree Scooter models were manufactured by Honda between 1984 and 1987 in the United States and Canada.
In 1984, Honda released the sparkling red Spree model exclusively in the United States. The vista blue Spree model was exclusively sold in Canada. At the same time, the cortina white model was released in both countries.
The difference between the 1984 Honda Spree from the later models included the speedometer and the logo. Its speedometer featured the speed numbers 10-20-30-40. The other year’s models featured the speed numbers 5-15-25-35.
As for the logo, Honda used a small logo on the 1984 Spree, while the later models had larger ones. When the 1985 Honda Spree was released, the logo had noticeably become bigger and more visible.
The 1986 Honda Spree was more popular than the earlier models. It was also during this time when Honda launched a Special Edition Spree. It came in lollipop green and Shasta white colors. While all Honda Spree scooter models are rare to find nowadays, the Special Edition Spree is extremely rare.
There were a few changes made to the design of the 1987 Spree. These included changes in the tail lamps, front indicators, and dashboard. According to Honda, the aim was to make this model more aerodynamic.
Honda also added a glove box behind the shield or in front of the scooter. There was a glove box too underneath the handlebars and another one in front of the floorboard.
Honda also manufactured an Iowa Edition Spree to comply with the laws of the state. This model featured a restricted muffler, a 12:83 gear ratio, and a smaller main jet. Aside from that, its top speed was restricted to 25 mph.
Honda Spree Scooter Benefits
Though rare, you still probably notice Honda Spree scooters on the streets. For sure, you’ve noticed how cute and sleek they still look despite being more than 30 years old.
That’s because there are many Honda Spree enthusiasts out there who impressively exert their efforts to restore and maintain their scooters. This is not very surprising at all. Because if there are vintage or classic motorcycle enthusiasts, there are also modern classic scooter enthusiasts.
Here are some of the smart benefits of owning a Honda Spree scooter:
The Honda Spree scooter is a better option for quick and short-distance rides. Its features are ideal for getting from one place to another. It’s lightweight, it has rapid acceleration, and there’s the ease of mobility.
There’s no denying that scooters are convenient to ride. That’s why when Honda released the Spree, it had automatically become popular. In fact, it has remained popular up until now.
The Honda Spree is comfortable to use. Not to mention that it can be used by almost everyone, if not everyone, in the family. Unlike motorcycles, scooters are not complicated to use and are, therefore, hassle-free.
Among all the Honda Spree scooters, the 1987 model has the best storage. It has a glove box behind the shield or in front of the scooter. There’s also a glove box underneath the handlebars and another one in front of the floorboard.
Scooters are considered safer to use than motorcycles because of their low top speed. Aside from that, they are also lightweight. This makes their height and weight more manageable.
Honda Spree scooters have a simple structure and mechanism. This then makes it easy to maintain.
Also, because they are only used for short-distance rides, the scooter parts don’t get worn out easily. That way, you don’t always shell out money for maintenance costs. But if you do, the scooter parts are not costly, and they are not hard to find.
Honda Spree Scooter Specs
Here are the key specifications of the Honda Spree Scooter based on the following categories:
- Engine, Transmission, Fuel, and Frame
- Tires and Load Capacity
1. Engine, Transmission, Fuel, and Frame
The Honda Spree scooter features a 49 cc air-cooled 2-stroke single-cylinder engine with a 15-degree incline from vertical. Its bore and stroke measure 41.0 mm x 37.4 mm, or 1.61 inches x 1.47 inches.
Compression ratios vary per year model. For the 1984 and 1985 Honda Spree models, the compression ratio is 7.2:1. The compression ratio for the 1986 and 1987 models is 6.8:1. The Iowa Edition Honda Spree has a compression ratio of 7.0:1.
For the 1984 and 1985 models, the engine weight is 22 lbs. At the same time, it is 24 lbs for the 1986 and 1987 models. The idle is 800 +/- 100 rpm, the float level is 12.2 mm or 0.48 inches, and as for its lubrication, it is an oil injection type.
The carburetor for the 1984 and 1985 Honda Spree Scooters is 13 mm PA29C. It is PA29H for the 1986 and 1987 models and PA29L for the Iowa Edition.
In terms of the air screw settings, it should be 1 ⅞ turns out for the 1984 and 1985 Honda Spree models. It is 1 ½ turns out for the 1986 Honda Spree model, and 1 ⅜ turns out for the 1987 model.
The Honda Spree has a backbone-shaped frame. It has front and rear drum brakes. The caster angle is 27 degrees, and the trail is 76 mm or 3.0 inches. As for its fuel capacity, it is 2.5 liters or 0.66 U.S. gallons.
What type of oil goes in a Honda Spree scooter? As long as it is a 2-cycle oil, any oil brand will work fine in your Honda Spree. A 2-cycle oil is perfect for a 2-stroke engine. Never use the standard oil for cars because this will blow your scooter’s motor.
2. Tires and Load Capacity
The Honda Spree’s tire ply rating (PR) is 2.50-10-2PR for both front and rear tires. As for the tire’s PSI, it is 18/24 each for the front and rear tires.
Its maximum load capacity is 82 kilos or 180 lbs. The front suspension features a telescopic fork and 56 mm or 2.2 inches travel. When it comes to the rear suspension, it features a swingarm and 58 mm travel for the 1984, 1985, and 1986 models. The 1987 model has 45.5 mm or 1.79 inches rear suspension.
1984, 1985, and 1986 models are 60.2 inches in length and 36.4 inches in height. At the same time, the 1987 model is 59.3 inches long and 37.4 inches high. All models measure 23.2 inches in width.
The seat height measures 27.3 inches or 700 mm, the wheelbase is 1,065 mm or 4.1 inches, and the ground clearance is 105 mm or 4.1 inches. The dry weight of the 1984 and 1985 models is 85.5 lbs. It is 92 lbs for the 1986 model and 94 lbs for the 1987 model.
Features of the Honda Spree Scooter
Let’s further discuss the features of the Honda Spree scooter based on its motor, design, amenities, and colors:
This scooter is powered by a 2-stroke 49 cc engine that merely uses a belt drive. It doesn’t feature a multi-radio variator that exists in other Honda scooters.
Its top speed is 30 mph which makes it moped legal in several U.S. states. However, in Iowa, the moped limit is 25 mph, prompting Honda to build the Iowa Edition Spree.
The Spree makes use of a single-speed belt drive. It has a one gear ratio, and the lack of transmission makes it difficult to perform modifications. However, in other countries, Honda released versions of this scooter featuring a longer crankshaft with a regular variator. However, the parts required for retrofitting are extensive, and they are not practical to the source.
A few mph was added to the 1986 Honda Spree scooters. Honda made some modifications, including final drive gears and intake, air fan/shrouds, ports, compression ratio, piston shape, and main jet size. These have allowed the 1986 and 1987 models to have a maximum speed of 33 mph.
2. Design and Amenities
The Honda Spree is one of the simplest scooters available in the market, if not the simplest. The first 3 year models didn’t even have enclosed storage. But Honda did a pretty neat job of adding a glovebox in its 1987 Spree model.
Both the brakes and the suspension are basic. The front and rear brakes are drum brakes. At the same time, the suspension travel measures 2 inches. It may be fundamental, but you wouldn’t need higher brake and suspension features for this scooter anyway.
The 1984 model comes in cortina white color. However, in the United States, Honda released a sparkling red Spree. At the same time, it released a vista blue Spree in Canada.
In 1985, Honda launched Spree scooters in two colors, namely, sparkling red and black. The same colors were available in 1986. However, a special version was released in Shasta white and lollipop green.
In 1987, the Spree became available in three colors. They were sparkling red, black, and Kriti blue.
Honda Spree Scooter Pros and Cons
Earlier, I had mentioned the benefits of owning a Honda Spree scooter. Now, let’s take a look at both the pros and cons of owning and using one:
Honda Spree Pros
The Honda Spree is lightweight. It is a popular Honda scooter, making its parts easy to find. The mileage is great, and the gauges are neat.
2. Convenient to Use
It is convenient to use. You can reach your destination without any hassle. Not to mention that it is easy to park.
3. Enjoyable Ride
When running errands, it allows you to enjoy the ride. Even if the ride is only a short distance, it still allows you to have fun and be adventurous.
Honda Spree Cons
1. Slower than Other Scooters
As for its disadvantages, it is slower than other scooters and is not suited for bigger riders. You also can’t use it during the rainy season or even when it is scorching hot.
2. Can’t Protect You from Pollution
Using a scooter can’t protect you from pollution, dust, or even flying debris. You are exposed to water splashes and other elements that pose potential dangers while you are on the road.
3. Meant for Doing Simple Errands
Since it is a scooter with a simple structure and mechanism, don’t expect that you can do much about it. Apparently, it is meant for doing simple errands only.
Honda Spree Upgrades
Some Honda Spree owners and enthusiasts have upgraded their scooters. So, if you’re interested in doing the same, big bore kits are available and suited for the Spree. You can also swap the intake/reeds from the SB50 or Elite E/ES intake/reeds to improve its performance.
If you want more speed, it is possible to swap in another Honda 2-stroke motor. The ideal ones are those found in the SA50 (Elite LX/SR), Canadian Dio, and Aero 50.
Conclusion – Honda Spree Scooter Review
The Honda Spree scooter is a 49 cc motor scooter manufactured by Honda Motor Co. Ltd. in the 1980s. This scooter uses a single geared AF05 engine. In some U.S. states, you can operate it legally on streets or highways but with restrictions.
Honda doesn’t sell Spree scooters anymore, but a few second-hand units are available in scooter stores. However, you might have to exert a little effort in finding one as this is a rare scooter.
Most Spree owners still keep and maintain their scooters. They have fun maintaining, restoring, or upgrading their Spree.