Honda just launched the Navi miniMOTO, but there are already customs for it. These projects came about due to the early access the brands were given to the platform.
The 2022 Honda Navi miniMOTO is a charmer of a bike for the US market. Two aftermarket partners were given early access to the platform to enable customers and fans to see the possibilities that can be achieved. The builds were showcased during Honda’s media ride at Westside Museum in Southern California.
Two brands were involved in this undertaking, namely MNNTHBX and Steady Garage. At a retail price of $1,807 USD, there is bound to be some post-purchase budget leftover for modifications, right?
Such a small bike doesn’t need a big engine. Its 109.2cc single-cylinder punches out just enough power and is perfect for beginners to swing a leg over. On top of that, it also gets a CVT for easy twist-and-go riding.
The two aftermarket brands went to town with their units, dressing them in all manner of parts and pieces that give the Navi a more serious look. MNNTHBX put on a racetrack pit bike theme for its build. The result is a red white and blue paint job with the go-fast bits to match. Yes, those are Öhlins on a pit bike. On top of that, you get a sweet Yoshimura exhaust wrapped in carbon. That’s not all, though, another notable addition is a kicker speaker mounted to the side of the bike. MNNTHBX figured, “if you’re in the paddock, you always want some tunes, so we built a billet enclosure to go in that same space and integrated a Kicker sound system. It sounds really good!”
Next up is Steady Garage with a different take on the Navi. The build took inspiration from the Grom and the Ruckus. They managed to fit a larger and wider tire, but just barely. The wheels have been swapped out as well and a custom Vance and Hines exhaust system that is unique to the build. No Öhlins on this one, but it did get a custom high-end rear shock from Taiwanese company Gears Racing. All in all, the result is a super clean look.
Following that, Steady Garage “custom-built a carbon-fiber seat off of the stock seat pan, following the lines of the diamond tail.” Perhaps the most eye-catching touch on the paintwork is the “illuminated pinstriping,” which is a last-minute addition and achieved via a series of LED strips that can change colors.
This exercise was to illustrate to consumers just how flexible the customization options are or will be for the Navi miniMOTO. I’ve seen all manner of decked-out Groms, but I’m quite surprised that there are already projects coming out of the woodwork just a few days after the launch.
Honda Partners Reveal Custom Navi Project Bikes
November 20, 2021 — COSTA MESA, Calif.
MNNTHBX, Steady Garage projects demonstrate the possibilities of miniMOTO personalization
Aftermarket also expected to support the Navi with special components
Just days after American Honda confirmed the availability of the Navi miniMOTO to U.S. customers for the 2022 model year, a pair of aftermarket partners showed off custom Navi builds during the model’s media ride event at Westside Museum in Southern California. After being given early access to the Navi, noted miniMOTO cultural trendsetters MNNTHBX and Steady Garage each put in long hours in order to complete their projects in time to display during this weekend’s IMS Outdoors motorcycle show at OC Fair & Event Center.
Since its Tuesday announcement, the Navi has earned headlines as a great choice for new riders, thanks to its affordability ($1,807 MSRP!), approachability (automatic transmission) and fun styling. That said, customization is always a priority for many miniMOTO customers, and the MNNTHBX and Steady Garage projects show what is possible with a vivid imagination and skillful execution.
It’s hard to find anyone with their fingers more squarely on the pulse of the miniMOTO community than MNNTHBX co-owners Kevin Estep and Greg Hatcher, who are also the organizers of Barber Small Bore, an annual miniMOTO mecca at Barber Motorsports Park in Birmingham, Alabama. Upon receiving the Navi at their Seymour, Tennessee, workshop, Estep and Hatcher immediately pegged it as being perfectly suited for a racetrack pit bike, so they went with a sporty design. “We were really inspired by the bike’s utility, and how we could take that and make it cool,” Estep said. “We’ve done a lot with bikes that are carbureted and have CVT transmissions, so that was in our wheelhouse. It’s sort of a blend of a Grom and a Ruckus, both of which we have a lot of experience with.”
The bodywork was covered in racy red, white and blue graphics, an Öhlins shock was fitted via a billet-aluminum mount, and a Renthal low-positioned MX-style handlebar was clamped in place, as was a Yoshimura carbon-fiber exhaust. The Navi comes with 12- and 10-inch front and rear wheels, so to give it a road-race-style balanced effect, MNNTHBX sourced the largest rear tire they could fit. While that and the colors make for a sport bike look, the project’s highlight is arguably its full sound system, including two 6.5 inch Kicker speakers between the rider’s legs, along with an amp and a controller integrated into the panel in front of the bike’s seat. “The Navi already comes with a storage compartment, so we thought about how we could repurpose that,” Estep explained. “We figured if you’re in the paddock, you always want some tunes, so we built a billet enclosure to go in that same space and integrated a Kicker sound system. It sounds really good!”
Located just 40 minutes north of the IMS Outdoors show in Irwindale, California, Steady Garage has birthed four previous special Honda projects, but the Navi was something different for partners Kevin Dunn, Jimmy Chen, Bhwe Suh and Duy Nguyen. “It was a brand-new bike for us, so we had to do a lot of research and trial and error,” Dunn said. “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.”
Out back, Steady Garage 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 said. “Then we custom-built a carbon-fiber seat off of the stock seat pan, following the lines of the diamond tail.”
Like MNNTHBX, Steady Garage opted to retain the Navi’s signature storage area, though they did trim the pod down for a narrower profile; the box can also be removed and replaced with a handy molle panel. The bodywork is all custom-painted, and it’s all highlighted by what Dunn admits was a relatively last-minute addition: “illuminated pinstriping” achieved via LED strips that change colors, giving the effect of a rolling neon sign.
REAL-WORLD CUSTOMIZATION OPTIONS
For Navi owners interested doing their own customization, both MNNTHBX and Steady Garage will offer several of the components used in their Navi projects, and Vance & Hines has developed a tapered exhaust system for the bike. In addition, Honda Signature Accessories is offering special graphics kits that were developed in a pair of collaborations – one a vibrant, colorful version designed by edgy Portland gear manufacturer Icon and the other a Viper Urban Camo version designed by South Carolina hunting-apparel company TrueTimber.
Attendees at this weekend’s IMS Outdoors show can see the custom bikes in person at Honda’s booth. New riders will also have the opportunity to try out the Navi at the show’s Ride With Us Moto Intro program, organized by the Motorcycle Industry Council.