News Releases 1998  
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MotorcycleJapanJanuary 26, 1998
Honda Announces Launch of Fully Upgraded Series of Lead Scooters - the First Two-Wheeled Vehicles to Comply with the New Japanese Motorcycle Emission Standards

Tokyo, January 26, 1998 --- Honda Motor Co., Ltd. has announced the launch of the fully upgraded series of Lead scooters, which will go on sale in Japan on February 25 (50cc Honda Lead) and March 10 (Honda Lead 100). The 50cc Honda Lead and its big brother the Lead 100 have both proved popular due to their elegant styling and high quality look, particularly with men. The changes include a variety of modifications designed to make the bike comply with new Japanese motorcycle exhaust emission regulations. These scooters are the first two-wheeled vehicles in Japan to meet these new standards.

The series' last full makeover was back in March 1988. In the latest upgrade, the series' styling has been made uniform, and the old Lead 90 has been fitted with a new 2-stroke engine with 10cc more displacement to become the Lead 100.

Both bikes feature air-cooled 2-stroke single-cylinder engines that deliver plenty of power at low revs. The modifications allow the carburetor settings to be altered for a leaner air-fuel mixture, which reduces the amount of pollutants generated during the combustion process. A new kind of oxidizing catalyst unit (or catalyzer) has also been fitted inside the muffler. These modifications reduce the amount of pollutant gases in the exhaust by a substantial degree - reducing both carbon monoxide (CO) and nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions by half, and hydrocarbon (HC) emissions by more than two-thirds.

The modifications made to the muffler also enable the Lead 50 to comply with the new Japanese motorcycle noise pollution regulations due to be enforced in October 1998. The Lead series also features an innovative combined brake system that connects the front and rear brake systems, enhancing safety.

Prices for the new Lead scooters are unchanged from the old models, except that the Lead 100 is 7,000 yen more expensive than the old Lead 90 model.

Honda Lead
Honda Lead

Honda Lead 100
Honda Lead 100

Domestic annual sales target: 40,000 units

Main Features of the Lead and Lead 100

  • First 2-stroke engine motorcycles to comply with impending Japanese motorcycle exhaust emission regulations

    Both bikes feature a new kind of oxidizing catalyst unit (or catalyzer) fitted inside the muffler. Made out of stainless steel with a platinum and rhodium coating, the unit is highly effective at purifying the exhaust gas stream, as well as being highly durable and compact.

    The Lead complies fully with Japanese exhaust emission regulations for new Class I motorcycles (50cc or less) due to come into force from October 1998. The Lead 100 complies fully with similar regulations for new Class II motorcycles (50cc ~ 125cc) due to come into force in October 1999. Furthermore, after the engine has warmed up, the new modifications reduce emissions of white smoke, compared to current Honda models, by more than 90%, (values are taken from Honda-conducted light permeation tests on Honda products).

    The Lead 100's engine has been improved by inserting an airtight intake chamber between the carburetor and the reed valve. By boosting throttle linearity in the mid-speed series, it increases mid-series power.

  • Body design gives the user a comfortable riding position

    The design concept for the exterior styling mixes solidity with comfort - the perfect balance for a scooter designed for adults. As well as a long, comfortable seat and a wide floorboard, the new frame is about 20% more rigid than previous models. Comfort is further enhanced by the addition of telescopic front suspension.

  • Other features

    • Combined brake system, which has proved so popular with the Dio and Foresight models, has been added as standard for enhanced security and easier handling
    • A central stand/lock-in construction and a strengthened combination and lock switch to deter thieves.
    • Newly designed aluminum wheels at the front and rear
      Lead (50): Precious Gray Metallic, Mute Black Metallic
      Lead 100: Precious Gray Metallic, Mute Black Metallic, Azalea Orange Metallic, Green Metallic

Main specifications

Model Lead Lead100
Type Honda BB-AF48 Honda BD-JF06
Length x width x height (m) 1.795x0.680x1.060
Wheelbase (m) 1.255
Ground clearance (m) 0.115
Seat height (m) 0.660
Curb weight/dry weight (kg) 91/84 99/92
No. of riders (person) 1 2
Fuel economy (km/l) 46.2 (30 km/h test on flat ground) 43.1 (60 km/h test on flat ground)
Minimum turning radius (m) 2.0
Engine type AF48E
(air-cooled 2-cycle single-cylinder)
(air-cooled 2-cycle single-cylinder)
Displacement (cm3) 49 101
Bore/stroke (mm) 40.0x39.3 51.0x49.6
Compression ratio 7.1 6.5
Maximum power output (PS/rpm) 5.9/6,750 9.3/6,750
Maximum torque (kgm/rpm) 0.65/6,000 1.0/6,000
Carburetor type APBB1 APBC3
Starter self-starter (combined with kick-start)
Ignition capacitor discharge (CDI)
Lubrication separated lubrication-type
Fuel tank capacity (l) 7.5
Clutch dry multi-plate
Transmission freely variable (V-matic)
Gear ratios 1-speed 2.750~0.850 2.400~0.790
Rake (degrees)/trail (mm) 27o30' /68
Tire sizes Front 3.50-10 41J 100/90-10 56J
Rear 3.50-10 41J 100/90-10 56J
Brakes Front hydraulic disc
Rear drum
Suspension Front telescopic
Rear unit swingarm
Frame type underbone
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