Owning a strange, low volume, imported car is hard work. When things go wrong, as they inevitably do, repairs can be a nightmare.
Spare a thought for Honda Beat owners then. Honda’s last Beat rolled off the line over 20 years ago and the company sold all 33,000 units in Japan. Parts are already scarce due to age, and second owners in other countries can’t exactly overnight them from Japan…
However this is about to change. To the surprise and joy of Beat owners, Honda is starting production on new replacement parts for the famous roadster.
According to the official Honda website, the program will start off with parts like tail lights, license plate lights, heater blowers, and seat belts. You can expect to choose from a selection of wheels and tires as well.
Honda has already listed prices for the selected parts, and other Beat accessories could be in the works.
If you’re not familiar with the Honda Beat, it belongs to a “Kei” class of cars (short for keijidosha, or “light automobile”). It’s a Japanese category of mini cars specifically designed to meet strict government regulations. That’s all down to Japan’s crowded cities and emissions concerns. Manufacturers aren’t allowed to exceed set dimensions, and there’s limits on engine capacity and power too. Owners get all sorts of tax breaks compared to larger cars.
The latest regulations adopted in 1990 increased the maximum engine displacement to 660cc and set the maximum power to 63 hp. Sportier versions could usually reach this output with a help of a small turbocharger. But that wasn’t the way Honda of the 1990s did things.
Thanks to individual throttle bodies for each of the three cylinders, the little Beat could produce 63hp at heady 8100 rpm. It would eventually hit 84 mph, if you could max it out in fifth gear.
Such a high-revving, naturally aspirated engine put the Beat on par with its turbocharged competitors. With the convertible body and the engine positioned behind the driver, it was a truly exceptional car the class.
The Beat stepped out of its domestic circle after making appearance in Gran Turismo 2. It was a moment when the entire world learned of Honda’s most interesting product.
In 2010 the Beat even made its way to Guinness World Records. Over 500 cars appeared at Twin Ring Motegi circuit to celebrate the model. At that time it was the largest single-model car parade ever held.