Friday 26 May 2017 News Updated at 03:05 AM IST
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Honda reinvents Activa 125 in BS-IV avatar - Deccan Herald
Honda reinvents Activa 125 in BS-IV avatar
Hrithik Kiran Bagade, DH News Service,
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It was the early 2000s, and the Indian scooter industry was slowly waning from its prior glory, which it enjoyed through the likes of the Bajaj Chetak and Kinetic Honda DX.

In 2001, Japan’s Honda, with its then new subsidiary Honda Motorcycle & Scooter India, launched the Activa, a revolution that revived the dying scooter space. This gearless sensation sold 55,000 units in its debut year. Recently, the Activa achieved a milestone of 1.5 crore-unit cumulative sales, and is India’s first scooter to reach this landmark.

The Honda Activa could achieve its commanding market share owing to multiple reasons. Primarily, it brought a sense of owning a 'foreign’ vehicle, in a market that was sans such novelties then. Also, its realistic design, reliable built, superior quality, ease of ride and frugal running costs, made it a winner, among both youngsters and family commuters.

Arrive Activa 125

In 2014, Honda upgraded the Activa range, which so far had seen only 100 cc and 110 cc machines. Eventually, as part of its steadily rising Activa line-up, Honda added a 125-cc offering, which can be claimed as having a sort of first-mover’s advantage, since its only-known real competition is in the form of the formidable Suzuki Access 125.

After eliciting good response in the budding 125 cc scooter segment in the country, with over six lakh customers, the company recently upgraded the Honda Activa 125 to meet both AHO and BS-IV norms set by the government. And the new Activa 125 seems refreshing from its predecessor version.

The new Activa 125 boasts of what Honda has christened as 'Frontastic’ style overhaul, and is claimed to be the industry’s first automatic scooter to meet both Automatic Head Lamp On and Bharat Stage-IV emission norms.

In looks, the new Activa 125 is not much different than its predecessor, except that it is composed of the new striking LED position lights integrated into a premium front chrome chest, with a larger 3D Honda emblem for a more differentiated kind of styling.

Obviously, the Activa 125 continues to look heftier than its siblings. The quality of materials used becomes apparent as one sets eyes on the scooter for the first time. After all these years, the Activa retains its sense of reassurance and one can seldom go wrong with it ever. In terms of comfort, the new Activa 125 is okay. The seating feels a little a stiff, with a narrow handle-bar to hold onto, while the console seems bulky. However, with the seat being long and wide, it could be fun for pillion riders.

The scooter has set new paradigm in relevant features. A mobile-charging socket ensures that one always remain connected, while a retractable front hook takes one’s extra-storage worries away with style. A deep 18-litre boot is ideal to keep a full-sized helmet and store many other little essentials.

Serious presence

The Activa 125 is a serious scooter for the serious commuter. It is one of the best bets for the office-goer, who wants to graze through notorious traffic that is commonplace in India nowadays. A ride from Mekhri Circle in Bengaluru to the Kempegowda International Airport and back renders an apt experience of what the Honda Activa 125 promises.

At the heart of the Activa 125 is Honda’s trusted 124.9 cc Honda Eco Technology (HET) engine, which feels smooth. The net power of 6.35 kw (8.52 BHP) @ 6,500 rpm and higher torque of 10.54 Nm @ 5,000 rpm give it better pick-up, load-carrying and superior climbing capacity. While gliding through the busy traffic, the engine feels solid and reliable. A hassle-free experience come from the telescopic suspension, bigger 12-inch rim size at front wheel, longer wheelbase, comfortable upright sitting posture, and CLIC mechanism (CLIC or the Convenient Lift up Independent Cover mechanism makes maintenance easy and simple to operate). The elegant legible digital analog instrument cluster is a treat, and seems quite premium.

With many aspects working in its favour, the scooter also disappoints here and there. As mentioned earlier, the Activa 125’s hard seat exposes itself more on the ride, with the bumpy road becoming all the more evident since the seat lacks that little softness that was needed.

Also, with a top-speed of 84 kmph, the scooter feels a tad-bit slower than the competition, which can easily clock 100 kmph. But the engineers’ point of view can be understood, wherein they have attempted to create a perfect city commuter scooter, with a mileage of over 60 kmpl.

The five-spoke alloy wheels with disc brake also feels a little low in response, but firms up suitably well with the moderately fast 125 cc scooter.

One of the most irritating bits on the Activa 125 (which isn’t its fault, and a commonality on all vehicles going forward), is the AHO function. It is an odd feeling to have the headlight on all the time when riding, and omitting the headlight switch altogether.

With five stunning colours - Mat Crust Metallic, Pearl Amazing White, Midnight Blue Metallic, Black, and Rebel Red Metallic - the Honda Activa 125 can be had for prices beginning from Rs 61,780 (ex-showroom Bengaluru), and is a good option for a city rider.