Honda Activa 125 Review: It's all about expressing yourself
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The pros: Simple and attractive design, disc brake at the front, good ergonomics, refined engine with a top speed of 100kmph.
The cons: Stability issue but it is more stable than its previous models.
The crux: The scooter has got the all. So, it can be your ride if you are looking for a stylish and reliable two-wheeler with some extra punch.
Honda Activa is undoubtedly the biggest brand in the scooter segment in India and to cash its popularity Honda Motorcycle and Scooter India adding more to the brand. After the Activa-i, the latest product to share the brand name is the Honda Activa 125. It is the flagship scooter of the company and unlike the Activa-i, the scooter doesn't share much with the Activa. Design wise, it's fresh as the breeze, Honda designers took care of the every detailing and the result is an eye pleasing scooter.
Well, when we talk about commuter segment, the designing takes a back seat and convenience play a vital role. To find out this, we did an exhaustive ride of the scooter and here is what we found.
As described above, styling is the best element of the new Honda Activa 125. It gets an all new design with best aerodynamics among all of its siblings. It looks quite interesting from the front with chrome plated ‘V’ shape panel on the front apron, which is further extended with sharp clear indicators making it look premium. To match up with the rest of the design, the headlamp cluster is also different from the Honda family scooters and it has an adequate fairing with a sporty black visor.
Side panels of the scooter are longer and sleek, which appears snazzier. The flamboyantly designed rear turn indicators are integrated with the tail lamp, which looks like a single unit. The analog-digital instrument panel of the scooter gets an aluminium finish stripe on the lower side, which gels well with its practically designed rear grab rail.
We rode the Deluxe version of the new Honda Activa 125 for review, which also gets 5-spoke alloys and a 190mm disc brake at the front. Combination of the alloy wheels and front disc enhances the premium look of the scooter and makes it glittery.
Switch Gear and Ergonomics:
Starting from the well designed instrument cluster of the Honda Activa 125, which combines of an analog speedometer, an LCD screen and other tell tale lights for the rest of the information. The LCD screen shows the odometer, trip-meter and fuel gauge.
You might familiar with the switch gear of the scooter as it gets the similar unit, which comes with the other Honda scooters. Right side of the handlebar comes with the electric start and headlamp switches, while the left side gets high / low beam, turn indicator and horn switches.
Seat of the Activa 125 is longer and wider, which is cushioned well to provide better comfort to both the rider and pillion. The rear grab rail has been designed perfectly, which is easily accessible for the pillion. Height of the seat and foot-board is perfect and handle bar is well positioned, which provides a perfect ergonomic seating position.
When it comes to the convenience, It comes with an ample 18-litre under-seat storage space. the deeper under seat storage can swallow a full face helmet easily, which is a quite difficult task with the standard Activa. The floor-board is larger to keep more stuffs, while keeping your legs in a restful position.
Engine and Performance:
Engine is known as the heart of a vehicle and Honda never compromises with this part of engineering in any of its product. Propelling the Activa 125 is an all new 124.9cc, 4-stroke, single-cylinder, air-cooled motor, which is claimed to make power up to 8.6bhp at 6,500rpm and torque up to 10.11Nm at 5,500rpm.
Low end torque and pick-up of the scooter is what we liked the most. However, as most of the scooters it too has a linear power delivery. The scooter hits 70 kmph speed mark effortlessly, and till that there are no signs of vibes. After 70kmph, it feels like a better and more refined 110cc motor, rather than a bigger 125cc. Honda engineers more focused on the refinement and fuel economy figures, which kills the fun element of the engine. The CVT gearbox works well and there is no sign of any delays, it shifts on the flick of your wrist. Top speed of the scooter is around 100kmph, which means a good increment of 15 kmph than Activa 110's 85 kmph.
Honda has used its latest Honda Eco Technology (HET) in the engine, which makes it more fuel efficient and the company claims that it can deliver up to 59kmpl of mileage in standard conditions. The technology is all about to reduce the power loss in friction and inertia of the engine's internal parts by reducing the weight of the components. Lesser power loss results in better fuel economy and the mileage of the Activa 125 doesn't goes below 45kmpl.
Riding and Handling:
Stability has always been the most crucial issue with the scooters. However, Honda has tried its best to enhance the stability of the new Activa 125, which has worked well and it does better when compared to all other Honda scooters. The aerodynamic design and bigger 12" front wheel, telescopic suspension unit at front enhance the riding and handling of the scooter in both straight road or twist and turn riding conditions.
Yes, finally, Honda has used telescopic forks, which has improved the stability of the scooter on pits and bumps. The rear gets the same single unit hydraulic damper, however its working better due to re-positioning. Ground clearance of the scooter has been set at 155mm, while keeping the seat height at 765mm, which is suitable to both male and female riders. The larger wheelbase of 1260mm has increased the turning radius of the scooter, however it has also increased the stability on straight roads.
Braking of the new Activa 125 is excellent and we have the DLX variant of the scooter with front disc brake for review. However, the dual drum brakes will also work satisfactory with the CBS technology. This new Activa 125 remains more balanced while braking is also better than the other models available in the market. On the whole, ride quality of the scooter is much better than many other offerings in India
So, the good looking Honda Activa 125 has got enough juice to rival with competitors in the market. Well there is not much of the competition available as none of those 125cc scooters are selling well. Therefore, Honda has got a very good opportunity to shape up the 125cc segment. The scooter has got the all, style, a refined engine and better ride & handling.
The scooter targets to Gen-X, which carves for more and it do justice with their demands. So, it can be your ride if you are looking for a stylish and reliable two-wheeler with some extra punch. Honda Activa 125 DLX comes at Rs. 58,241 (ex-showroom, Delhi), and if you don't need the alloys and front disc, the Activa 125 STD is available for Rs. 52,532 (ex-showroom, Delhi).