Honda Dio Review
Much Needed MakeoverTuesday, November 12, 2013
Design and Style
With plenty of noteworthy launches into the two-wheeler market, it’s a difficult time for manufacturers who want to produce a stand-out model. Honda Dio 110 is powered by all-new Dream Mileage engine which also powers the Activa and Aviator. It has displacement of 109cc and generates maximum power of 8 bhp with maximum torque of 8.74 Nm. New Dio 110 is available in five shades: Sports Red, Matt Axis Grey metallic, Pearl Sunbeam White, Candy Palm Green and Leblon Violet metallic. The Dio 110 is a new offering from respected manufacturer Honda, but is it special enough to keep our attention?
Design and Style
Derived from ‘Dionysus’, the name of the son of Venus in ancient mythology, the Dio is a vehicle designed for riding pleasure. It is the perfect scooter for riders who want something a bit more flamboyant than the standard design of other scooters, without completely sacrificing practicality and utility. The Dio replaces the heavy steel form of the Activa with a sleeker plastic body that looks more youthful, sophisticated and cosmopolitan – and it’s this that makes it a hit with younger drivers. The newly redesigned Dio for 2012 has a completely revamped front: it features a brand new unit that incorporates the indicators and headlight that sprawls across the bike’s front panel, also the front fender has been reshaped to look sleeker. The rear has undergone a similarly radical overhaul: the grab rail, large tail-light cluster have been updated to incorporate a more edgy design. At 110kg it’s a solid and heavy two-wheeler with a highly rigid under-bone type chassis, and the build quality is excellent, suggesting that it’s a bike with a long life.
The updated instrument console of the Dio is smart and in keeping with the bold revamped design of the bike’s body. However, digital dials are still absent, with both the speedometer and fuel gauge still analogue. Nevertheless, all of the dials and meters are clear and well-formed, with strongly visible indicators.
Engine and Gearbox
Honda Dio's engine capacity has been increased to 109cc from 102cc, while retaining the air-cooled, single-cylinder, four-stroke OHC Dream Mileage engine type of the previous models, plus V-matic transmission. It brings a maximum power of 8 bhp at 7500 rpm, and a maximum torque of 8.74 nm 5500 rpm. While this is really only a token increase that most drivers won’t notice, it does positively impact performance.
Acceleration and Top Speed
Honda Dio 110’s improved power does slightly increase its acceleration. It offers a top speed of 78 kmph, which is by no means mediocre but fails to set it apart from other vehicles in this class.
Honda claims improved mileage for Dio 110, roughly 48 kilometres per litre; however, testing did not bear this estimate out. For riding in the city, the bike’s mileage is roughly between 45 and 60 kilometres per litre, which places it at the middle to high end of the market. Honda Dio's fuel tank is capable of holding 6 litres. It is now powered by Dream Mileage Engine.
Comfort While Driving
One point of contention that tall drivers may have is with the Dio's forward sloping floorboard, which negatively impacts the ergonomics of the seat for drivers over a certain height, particularly when travelling distances greater than about 20 or 30 kilometres.
The bike features foot-pegs for driver and pillion to enhance comfort and safety. The CBS system is an advanced safety feature, ensuring even-handed and responsive braking even at high speeds.
Storage space is disappointing in the Dio. Despite the 20-liter capacity on other Honda models, the Dio only manages 18 litres in the boot, meaning that you won’t be able to stow a helmet conveniently away.
Disappointingly, the Dio does not feature telescopic front forks, even though these have become practically the norm for bikes in this market segment, and would have dramatically improved the bike’s handling. The bike features spring-loaded hydraulic dampers on the front and rear wheels.
Like the previous Honda models, the Dio features 130mm drum type brakes for the front and the rear. As with other Honda models, the incorporation of the Combi Brake System (CBS) is a welcome addition, and should improve stability for drivers who have a tendency to brake imprecisely when they need to slow down quickly. However, it’s strange that the Dio doesn’t make use of the Aviator’s front disc brakes – this seems like a step backward for this model.
Ride and Handling
The small increase in the bike’s engine power adds up to an improved ride. The bike’s pulling power has improved and it is able to cope with weight loads such as an additional passenger. The handling, particularly through city traffic and in tight spaces, is quick and clean, although a lighter frame would have made a considerable difference to its performance. Overall, it’s a smooth, quiet and refined ride that feels effortless yet handles leans and curves competently. The body is stable and balanced. It’s a pleasure to drive in urban environments.
It’s unfortunate that here, again, Honda haven’t made much progress: the Dio features the same 90/100-10mm wheels seen on the Activa, and doesn’t jump up to the 12mm front wheel found on the Deluxe model of the Aviator.
The Honda Dio comes in a selection of punchy shades to suit any driver: Pearl Yellow, Red, White and Grey.
Accessories of Offer
With relatively few accessories included as standard, you’ll have to purchase separately to customize the bike.
The Dio is available in a single variant only; unlike other Honda models, it does not come in a Premium or Deluxe version.
Reasons to Buy and Value for Money
The Dio is undoubtedly one of the best looking and most practical scooters currently available on the market, recommended by its comfort and safety features. The Dio's price tag is more difficult to justify than that of the Aviator because it doesn’t make great gains in terms of power or storage space; but its snappy design must count for something.
Despite a dramatic visual overhaul, the Dio 110 is disappointingly similar to what we’ve seen before from Honda. Nevertheless, it’s a capable and comfortable ride that will please many drivers.