Watch: Honda Activa 125 BS-VI review

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NEW DELHI: Is Activa talismanic for Honda two-wheelers? Well, believe it or not, the sober-looking, easy-to-ride scooter range is a major driving force behind the company’s success in the country. At the cusp of BS-IV to BS-VI transition, Honda Activa 125 has become the first two-wheel to undergo the change.

Two months into the sale, Activa 125 BS-VI has reached the homes of 25,000 customers, reflecting the graph of market dominance. Before we jump into the looks, features and most importantly the engine, one thing is worth mentioning. Prices of BS-VI compliant vehicles are going to significantly higher than their BS-IV counterparts, something even the manufacturers are reiterating time and again.

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The Activa 125 witnesses a hike of Rs 6,500 to Rs 9,000 (depending on the variant) over the previous generation. The standard variant, which is devoid of most cosmetic changes, is now priced at Rs 67,490. The alloy and deluxe variants are priced at Rs 70,990 and Rs 74,990, respectively (all ex-showroom, Delhi).

What’s new in the looks?

I was never a fan of Honda Activa, thanks to its uninteresting design. Activa’s USP, however, lies in the brand reliability and scooter’s simplicity. Young or old, anyone in the family can use it alike.

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The dimensions haven’t changed. Starting from the front, you witness an updated apron with a chrome cut-out clamped in the middle and headline flank it in the form of wings. Activa wears a new pair of tubeless shoes, 12-inch at the front and 10 at the rear.

Floorboard, seat, underseat storage and the massive grabrail are borrowed from the previous generation. Now you find an additional pocket at the front cluster, which can hold your phone or wallet on the go. While Activa gets an external fuel inlet cap at the rear, USB charging is still absent.

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Honda has become evolved the Activa technologically, offering an all-new instrument console. (Standard variant doesn’t have it though!) Laid on a black background, the speedo dial is painted in white and blue. Interesting tech bit, however, is situated under the speedometer. A digital screen displays various parameters like average and instantaneous fuel efficiency, clock, fuel bar, odometer and tripmeter.

How is it to ride?

Thumb the starter and enter Honda’s world of silent revolution, quite literally. No engine lag and minimal noise. The BS-VI equipped engine is supremely refined, and you understand that from the first wring of the throttle.

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Honda has tossed a handful of technologies – HET, ESP and others. We would intentionally overlook the engineering jargons and try to understand things by breaking down the elementary processes.

Beginning from the engine, it is now a 124-cc fuel-injected motor, which uses optimised fuel-air mix. Keeping the 124-cc displacement intact, bore and stroke volumes have changed.

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Importantly, negligible amount of power and torque are lost in BS-IV to BS-VI transition. Activa was never a performance-oriented scooter, faces marginal drop in output. The motor pumps out 8.3 PS power and 10.3 Nm peak torque. The power delivery is linear and the cruising sweet spot is somewhere around 60-70 kph. Wring it hard, the scooter doesn’t lose its composure even at 85kph. The top-spec variant employs disc brake at the front, which has a decent bite and prowess.
In the host of mechanical tweaks, frictional losses inside the engine have been significantly reduced. AC starter motor and side-stand engine inhibitor system are new inclusions. Halt the Activa for more than three seconds in the traffic or dock the side stand, the engine cuts off. Wring the throttle, and the Activa springs back to life instantaneously. Honda says these measures contribute to a jump in fuel efficiency.

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Speaking about efficiency, Honda Activa 125 BS-VI delivered around 53-54 kpl during our test run. Add to that a 5.4-litre fuel tank, a range of 275 kilometers should be sufficient to counter your weekly city runabouts.

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Final call:

Being first in the market has its share of merits. Honda is certainly reaping rewards with Activa BS-VI, which is the first and currently the only scooter offering a BS-VI engine. Prices have increased, but at the expense of a better and cleaner technology. Head to the dealership, grab the keys to the existing stock of BS-IV dealership, in case you’re on a budget.

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