Telescopic suspension, 12-inch wheels and a lot more. Has the country’s popular scooter added another great chapter in its success story?
The Activa monicker needs no introduction. With over 2.3 crore units sold since its inception in 2001, the scooter has been Honda Motorcycle and Scooter India’s biggest success story. As the Activa enters its 20th year (and with the BS6 deadline around the corner), Honda has decided to overhaul the 110cc scooter, and do more than simply making it BS6 compliant.
On the features front, the Activa now gets a sleeker DC LED headlamp, complete with LED DRL (for Deluxe variant only), a redesigned switchgear that houses a new integrated starter and kill switch and a new headlight switch with integrated pass switch. Just like the Activa 125, Honda has given the Activa a multi-function key switch with which you can also access the underseat stowage and open the fuel lid. Yes, Activa now gets external fuel lid for added convenience.
Like most manufacturers, Honda has decided to go for a fuel-injected engine instead of a carb engine to comply with the stringent emission norms. Activa 6G is equipped with a 109.51cc, single-cylinder engine producing 7.79bhp and 8.79Nm, which is a tad lower than the outgoing model. Honda, however, has worked on improving the refinement and efficiency of the engine. The engine now gets an off-set cylinder with kickback function, which gives the motor a “running start”, ensuring a smoother starter. It now also features the piston cooling jet seen in the other BS6 products from Honda. The jet squirts oil on the underside of the piston to ensure that the engine performs at the optimum temperature and aids fuel efficiency.
One glance at the new Activa and you’ll notice that the scooter now has grown in size. That’s down to the fact that the Activa now shares its underpinnings with the 125cc sibling. This has resulted in a 22mm longer wheelbase and a 72mm increase in length. For the first time, Activa gets telescopic suspension and 12-inch wheel at the front, which has contributed to increasing the ground clearance to 171mm (best in class). Despite all the new equipment and bigger dimensions, the Activa 6G weighs a whole 2kg less and also is 13mm slimmer than the outgoing model. But how does it all translate in the real world?
Honda is known for its refinement and reliability and with the Activa 6G, the story is now different. The ACG starter motor works seamlessly to bring the engine to life. The new dimensions have translated to a more comfortable riding position. In fact, now the floorboard is also longer and won’t feel cramped even for big-footed folks.
The acceleration is super smooth and the scooter feels quick to the 60kmph mark. Even with a pillion on board, the scooter easily managed a speed-indicated 85kmph with zero vibrations whatsoever.
The handling of Activa 6G has improved tremendously, courtesy 12-inch front wheel and the telescopic suspension. The Activa now feels much more confident while flicking around the city traffic. The scooter also tips in easily into corners, however, there’s little feedback from the front, but then again, you wouldn’t be going all Marquez on a scooter.
I wasn’t a big fan of the tele-linked suspension, and thankfully now that Honda has plonked in telescopic suspension, the scooter easily soaks in the bumps and undulations of the road.
The brakes on the Activa work well too, offering enough stopping power and feedback, especially at the rear. With the added safety net of the combined braking system, the scooter managed to hold its line even under hard braking.
With all the added features, coupled with Honda’s refinement, quality and the 3+3 year warranty, the Activa 6G presents a strong case. However, at Rs 63,912 for the standard version and Rs 65,412 for the Deluxe version (all prices ex showroom, Delhi), the Activa is pricier than its arch rival, TVS Jupiter BS6, which retails at Rs 61,449 (Standard) and Rs 63,449 (ZX). The Jupiter benefits from features like a digital/analogue console, which Honda has ditched from Activa 5G and a disc brake at the front. But we’ll have to ride these scooters back to back to understand how they fare against each other.