Honda Activa Review
Improved & RefreshedTuesday, November 12, 2013
Design and Style
The Honda Activa represents the pinnacle of the international automobile manufacturer’s attempts to capture the two-wheeler market, and the market has taken to it with enthusiasm. But how does it match up to its many rivals?
Design and Style
Honda has clearly spent considerable time and energy perfecting the design of this gearless scooter to make it appeal to the metropolitan driver, and the new model shows some significant and welcome changes, with a fully revamped tubular underbone chassis. While not the most adventurous design you’ll see, it’s a bold effort with many positive features. The mudguard, side panels and front fairing are sleek and well designed, and all display the main body color. The mask of the bike features large headlamps and oblong turn indicators; and the rear-view mirror, which is black on all models, is also attached to the mask. The bike’s body is solid and sturdy, and weighs approximately 110kg, making it heavier than its rivals in the same class.
The instrument panel on the Honda Activa is well-designed and clear, with large displays for the speedometer and tachometer. It also features low oil and low fuel indicators and the fuel gauge, with clearly visible indicators that can be read at a glance.
Engine and Gearbox
The Honda Activa is, Honda claims, developed on its world-class and extensively tested engineering technology. It is powered by a 109cc dream mileage engine. It generates maximum power of 8 bhp at 7500 rpm and maximum torque of 8.74 nm at 5500 rpm. It boasts v-matic four-speed transmission.
Acceleration and Top Speed
The bike’s top speed, according to the manufacturer, is a highly respectable 80 kmph; but some riders have reported that they are able to push the bike to a max of 90 kmph, a truly impressive top speed for a vehicle of this kind. On this gearless scooter, the acceleration is capable of pushing you from 0 to 60 kmph in 10.2 seconds, which is a respectable performance for this type of scooter. Even when heavily weighted down with a pillion and on-board luggage, the acceleration responds admirably.
Honda promotes the Activa as offering a mileage increase of 15%. However, when put to the test the bike’s performance places it as merely average in its class: you can expect to get roughly 45km/ltr in inner city areas, and 60km/ltr on highways with the new Dream Mileage engine. The fuel tank stores 5.3 (Standard) or 6 (Deluxe) litres of fuel, giving about 240 kilometres before you’ll need to refuel again.
Comfort While Driving
Comfort is clearly a priority with this scooter, and the Honda Activa is one of the most comfortable scooters in the market to drive. Its upright seat is wide and comfortable, and the pillion is equally expansive, with a well-placed footrest; and it includes tuff-up tubes, good storage space and a smart seat arrangement.
The Honda Activa Deluxe comes complete with a key shutter, to help to insure it against theft. The tyres of both the Deluxe and Standard models feature tuff-up tubes, which incorporate a double layer insulated with fluid that makes the tyre significantly more resistant to punctures.
Storage space is one of the bike’s unique selling points, with a generous allowance that all drivers will appreciate when on the go.
Suspension and Brakes
The bike’s suspension is, on the whole, well designed and performs to a high standard on ordinary road surfaces. It includes competent shock absorbers on the front and back tyres. The front tyres have bottom link suspension with spring-loaded hydraulic dampers; the back tyres feature a unit link with spring-loaded hydraulic dampers. However, the bike is very clearly a city bike, and the suspension is not equal to less accommodating surfaces such as dirt tracks or uneven tarmac, and fails to cushion the driver from shocks.
The brakes system of the Honda Activa is another strong feature. The brakes feel solid and are responsive to the squeeze of your hand, showing significant improvement on the previous generation of Hondas thanks to the inclusion of a new Combi Brake System (CBS), which applies the front brake at the same time as the back brakes, resulting in greater balance and a shorter stopping distance.
Ride and Handling
Overall, Honda Activa feels capable and powerful, and is energetic from the moment you start it up. It’s certainly one of the best-performing bikes of this type, particularly when weaving in and out of dense city traffic. The bike’s weight, while inconvenient when storing or raising it, is actually an advantage for its handling: it is less affected by cross winds that can make riding bikes of this kind quite challenging. The bike feels very steady and stable on all sorts of terrain.
Front and back, the bikes tyres are 90/100 x 10” metal alloy wheels. Its large wheelbases offer greater safety while riding by ensuring a better grip on road surfaces and improved stability in motion.
The Honda Activa is available in a range of eye-catching colors, including Purple, Black, White, Grey and Red.
The original Honda Activa model, released back in 2001, is no longer available for purchase. Instead, Honda’s current model comes in two variants: the Honda Activa Standard, and its premium version the Honda Activa Deluxe.
The bike’s front locking system includes a protective lock shield.
Reasons to Buy
The Honda Activa is advertised as the ideal city scooter, and it certainly delivers on that promise, delivering great manoeuvrability, acceleration and handling.
Value for Money
The Honda Activa is a powerful scooter with plenty of driver-friendly features that put it ahead of the competition, making it good value for the asking price of around INR 46000 (may vary). Its viscous air filter now offers a longer interval between services than previous models, which will help to keep the bike’s running costs low.
Although it has several flaws, including disappointing fuel efficiency, the Honda Activa is a high quality vehicle with strong design and ample storage space, and comes highly recommended.