Why is the Honda Dio still popular among Pinoy riders? Here are six reasons

Despite its absence from the local scene for more than three decades
by Aris Ilagan for TopBikes.ph | Jun 1, 2021
PHOTO: Honda

We’re pretty sure many scooter lovers are now having sleepless nights after Honda Philippines (HPI) officially announced the Dio’s return to the Philippines by June this year.

Naturally, there have since been endless queries regarding its arrival. The question is, why does the Dio remain a household name despite being absent from the local motorcycle scene for more than three decades?

To answer this, we asked some of our friends who keep bugging us about it. Here are six things they said about this little cute scoot that flooded the local market back in the late ’80s and ’90s:

1) It’s very affordable.

Many riders, who are probably between 50 to 60 years old by now, remember the Dio as a very affordable scooter. Back then, it sold for P3,500 each—and in some cases, P10,000 for three units. There were some people who bought one for each member of the family.

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2) It’s easy to maintain.

The Dio units that arrived here a long time ago were bare-bones—no digital display, no computer box, no electronic sensors. It was simply a hyperactive scooter powered by a two-stroke engine, along with other mechanical components. They were easy to repair and maintain, serving as good training tools for many successful motorcycle mechanics.

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3) It’s customizable.

Even though importation of the Dio stopped sometime in the ’90s after the government tightened its policies on secondhand vehicles, owners kept their units and even transformed them into bike showpieces as if they were simple high-school art projects.

4) The model name is easy to remember.

What’s in a name? The Dio tells us why there are some motorcycle models that live beyond their existence, and it’s probably because they have names that stick with us. Dio sounds like a term of endearment—agree?

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5) It gave way to motorcycle racing.

Since there were many available parts at the time (oftentimes sourced from junked units), several Dios found their way onto racetracks. Wannabe racers with low budgets would buy a Dio, strip it of its headlights, turn signals, taillights, side mirrors, and even body cladding, and use it for racing events. And after every race, the parts would be re-installed to make the unit street-legal once again. 

6) It was given to kids by their parents.

We have heard so many tales about the Dio being given by parents to their children during the ’90s. Many yuppies that ride motorbikes nowadays were taught how to ride by their dads using the little scooter. How's that for memorable?

Do you think the new Honda Dio can live up to its colorful heritage? Let’s wait and see.

NOTE: This article first appeared on TopBikes.ph. Minor edits have been made.

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PHOTO: Honda
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