Expert Review of Honda Activa
Honda Activa is a name well known in the automatic scooter market, after its launch in 2000, for a very a long time it has been synonymous to the scooters. Launched in 2000 with its companion the Honda Dio, it started a new era in the two-wheeler industry and a revolution, much alike to the one bought by Kinetic Honda. Activa became the choice of people, irrespective of age, sex or profession, specially because of its well-balanced style combined with smartness of kick-cum-self start ignition system and puncture resistant Tuff Up tubes. This Japanese machine came powered by a 102cc 4-stroke 7bhp mill. In 2009 came some significant technological advancements in the scooter like Combination Braking System and Anti-Theft key shutter which ensured safety of riders along with security of vehicle. This was not at all a halt for the advancements which the vehicle bought.
The improvised machine came with an altogether new power house with not only a higher power and torque numbers but with an improved power delivery along with an excellent mileage return. With a 109cc, air-cooled, 4-stroke, single-cylinder OHC engine, the new version of Honda Activa gave 15% increased fuel-economy making the overall figure a notable 52 kmpl. And to transmute this amazing mileage into a long trip of 276km, the vehicle was packed with a whopping 5.3 litres fuel tank. Honda Activa is able to produce a power of 8bhp at 7500RPM for a maximum torque of 8.74Nm at 5500RPM with the help of its V-matic transmission system, a viscous paper air filter and a suspension system made up of a Bottom Link contrivance for the front end and a Unit Swing mechanism for the rear and both of these are paired up with a Spring Loaded Hydraulic Muffler.
In 2011, the scooter was again revamped but just with some minor upgrades to its looks. It is an undeniable fact that Honda Activa is by far the best deal provided to the Indian masses by the automatic scooter industry, obviously after the iconic Kinetic Honda. This 12-year old Japanese machine has been upgraded frequently with the latest technical advancements giving a more impressive performance combined with increased comfort and safety level.
Mileage and Fuel Economy
The best update made in the scooter is certainly with regard to increase in its mileage. The revamped model of Honda Activa gave a straight away increase of 15% in the mileage, taking the figures to an impressive 60kmpl with its new Dream Mileage Engine, and this high mileage is certainly a dream as it is not a common sight in the scooter segment. To make Activa the most fuel-efficient option, it is packed with 5.3 litre fuel tank and when combined with the amazing mileage, it is sure to run for 276km non-stop, when filled to full.
The company provides this scooter in many different colors which though being very vibrant, are classy like Geny Grey Metallic, Wild Purple Metallic, Candy Lucid Red, Black and Pearl Sunbeam White.
Acceleration and Pick up
Except for a borderline lag in Continuously Variable Transmission, which is usually experienced during the very initial split seconds, Honda Activa does not gives any other problem regarding the acceleration or pick-up. It does not take any great time in rushing and eventually attaining the top limit of 85 kmph and to be precise, all it needs is just 9 seconds to go from 0 to 60 kmph. This all is possible because of the unmatchable combination of linear power delivery with excellent throttle response and tremendous low and mid range pick up.
When it comes to looks, Honda surely knows no compromises. Activa is undisputedly a winner of all the scooters out there, when it comes to appearance. A fascinating front fascia, all made out of metal is what makes head turn round with this strong and sturdy vehicle. The company designers have done a commendable job by coalescence of sharp edges, bold cuts and all the rage curves with sleek and elegant profile. The package is surely a decent ride for older generation with enough fun quotient for the youth.
Comfort and convenience go hand-in-hand with the name of Honda Activa. And to start the count, the first and the most prominent comfort feature of the vehicle is the storage space. 18 litre box under the seat, a large optional inner box in the front along with a hook under the seat for holding on to all the bags, all this together ensure that from the next time when you are shopping around you need not worry about carrying all those bags. Another of the feature is the plush and elongated seat which offers perfect body support, giving a comfortable and pleasant trip to the riders. And, when this is combined with flat and spacious floor-board along with ergonomic positioning of the seat and handlebars, it helps the driver in keeping a straight stance throughout the ride. And to help the riders in the nighttime journeys, it houses a 35W halogen headlamp articulated to the 12V power supply which is capable of providing continuous and bright illumination. Making the maintenance easier and simpler, the clic mechanism helps you to conveniently lift up the entire body cover.
Boasting the overall dimensions of 1761mm x 710mm x 1147mm and built upon a High Rigidity Underbone chassis, Honda Activa provides a good ground clearance of 145mm along with a convenient saddle height of 765mm. This sturdy body comes with a long wheelbase of 128mm, which gives a comfortable seating area to the driver as well as the pillion-rider.
The first Activa which came in 2000 was powered by a 102 cc four stroke engine, but later in 2009 it was upgraded to a 109cc engine, which continues to work for the recent model also. This a new and improved air-cooled, 4-stroke, single-cylinder OHC engine which not only gives commendable power and increased torque figures but this is the reason behind scooter’s 15% boosted mileage in comparison to its older models. The power house works with a stupendous side system, comprising of a Viscous paper air filter which enables advanced filtering action and eventually results in lower maintenance demands, an efficient V-matic transmission mechanism and a kick-cum-self start ignition system for more convenience. The engine is proficient enough to reach a maximum of 7.89bhp at 7500RPM for a top 8.82Nm of torque generated at 5500RPM.
Honda Activa drives on tyres with dimension of 90/100-10 53J, at both front and rear end and comes with a puncture-proof Tuff Up Tube, especially for its rear wheel. This tuff up tube works in a manner that whenever a sharp object penetrates the rubber, the anti sealant gel which is packed in the rubber gets released by its own around the alien object and solidifies to seal it immediately which in turn eliminated the possibility of a flat tyre then and there. Though, these type of tubes do not assure a complete safeguard against flat tyres, but do provide a reduction in the frequency of flat tyres by a big notable difference of 70% which promises a very much safer and trouble free ride across different terrains.
This is the only area where Honda Activa gets hit on the face by its biggest rival, TVS Wego. Though the suspension is well designed with competent shock absorbers on the front and back tyres, it is good for ordinary road surfaces. The front tyres employ bottom link suspension with spring loaded hydraulic dampers while the back tyres feature a unit link with spring-loaded hydraulic dampers. It gives a smooth and supple ride to the passengers on city roads but the suspension is not good for less accommodating surfaces such as dirt tracks or uneven tarmac, and fails to safeguard the driver from shocks. There is a good scope of improvement which certainly can not be ignored.
Handling and Control
Honda Activa has always been known for is its easy handling and composed ride and the company surely does not want to compromise on that note. Even after being revamped quite a few times, the same characteristics get carried forward in the new model as well. The ride undoubtedly feels a bit stiff, but the manoeuvring capabilities of this scooter have no fault at all. It is energetic from the very moment you start it and certainly one of the best-performing scooters of this type, especially when weaving in and out of dense city traffic. Short U-turn radius together with efficient combination braking system and wide tyres, help the driver in keeping a good hold over the ride. The only problem comes due to the lack of a telescopic suspension system, which makes Activa feel a bit unstable over sharp turns and bends.
Presence of Tuff Up Tubes, increased storage space, easy to use, good quality plastic and metal body giving a robust frame and improved braking system.
Less ground clearance, absence of a central locking mechanism, lacks telescopic suspension, conservative design and long wait for delivery.