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Honda Dio 2012 review

The Honda Dio has been with us since 2001 and apart from a change in the exhaust system in 2005 and minor cosmetic changes over the years this ‘moto scooter’ has remained the same and has become many a teenagers undisputable choice as their first motor vehicle. Honda Motorcycles India first presented the upgraded Honda Dio at the Auto Expo 2012 in Delhi. The new Honda Dio gets a power bump of 1bhp, an increase in cubic capacity to 109cc and a redesigned body. So how does the new Honda Dio perform in the real world? Read on.

Engine and Performance

The new Honda Dio for 2012 moves to a 109cc engine with a power bump of 1bhp. Now that might not seem a lot but this moto-scooter has an engine that performs quite well. The acceleration is smooth, constant and immediate. The throttle feels very light and easy to control. The engine is much more silent than its predecessor and definitely performs better. Even with a pillion on-board there was pretty much no lag to get going and the scooter pulled away cleanly to a respectable 80-85kmph.

Look and Feel and Build Quality

The new Honda Dio gets an all new design and is quite eye catchy especially in the strong red, violet and green shades. Apart from the pointy nose there is pretty much nothing that is brought forward. While half of us on the review team loved the new curves and the other half wished it retained its signature straight lines, but all of us definitely agree that this new design certainly grows on you. The build quality is pretty good and except for a bit of panel gaps at the rear, things are pretty much top notch. The rear grab rails are pretty beautifully designed with it blending with the body design, the pillion gets a static wide footrest which is again part of the body design while the average height rider gets good legroom. The foot board is more compact than the older Dio which according to Honda makes it easier to move the feet down, while this was true for our medium heighted test riders, the taller test riders were cramped for space. The riding position is quite upright and not as aggressive as its predecessor, which makes this new Dio more comfortable to a larger crowd. The switch gears are easy to use and have a confident feel to it.

Probably the first thing that you notice after the headlight assembly on the new Honda Dio is the 3D logo that goes on the side panels, it gives the scooter quite the posh feel. One point that we much mention is how much detail has gone into sorting out the wiring, everything is properly and neatly packed on the scooter, again giving it that upmarket feel.

Handling and Braking

The Honda Dio is light, its quick of the mark and that adds up to it being a delight in city traffic. The Dio now gets the combi brake system, which basically applies a bit of the front brake when the rear brake is applied, definitely a welcome addition. The suspension really backs you up in the handling department and is quite firm but the flipside being the ride being quite stiff and a bit unforgiving on the odd pothole. Also we certainly think its time Honda moved to telescopic forks for the front suspensions as the current ones are not that confidence inspiring. The stock TVS tyres probably were the only thing that we were not really happy with, as it did not inspire confidence on hard braking, fret not though as the Dio is available with the MRF’s also.

Accessories and Key features

The Honda Dio comes with a new console with a basic speedometer, an odometer, a fuel level indicator, turn signal indicators and a high beam indicator. Honda still is providing the side stand as an extra accessory. The under seat storage compartment is actually quite spacious, we found that while it could easily hold a half face helmet, a regular full face helmet was out of the question. A definite added bonus is the tubeless tyres, a very good move in the right direction. Optional accessories include the front luggage box, foot board mats, and number plates. Check out the Honda Dio part by part image gallery for more detailed pictures.

Value for Money

Honda claims an improved mileage of 15% for the new Dio. We got an average fuel efficiency of 40kmpl, pretty decent for an automatic. An advantage the Dio has is the all plastic body making it cheap to replace in case of a spill. The viscous air filter has a long er service interval than the conventional and is another factor that could keep regular running costs down.

Final Verdict

The 2012 Honda Dio definitely is up there with the best. There are a few things that work against it from being the perfect city scooter but then that is not a great deterrent for many. The Dio has always been about style and the new 2012 Honda Dio takes it forward quite proudly.  At Rs 42,362 (ex-showroom, Delhi) the Dio is quite competitively priced and definitely a strong contender in your options for a scooter.

Specifications Sheet
Design4-stroke, Air cooled SI engine
Displacement109 cm³
Torque8.6 Nm @ 5500 RPM
Power5.1 Kw (8.11 BHP) @ 7,500 RPM
Starting aidElectric starter & Kick
FrameUnderbone type
Front SuspensionLinked hydraulic dampers
Rear Shock absorberMonoshock
Brake system FrontDrum brake – with CBS
Brake system RearDrum brake – with CBS
Brake drum – diameter front130 mm
Brake drum – diameter rear130 mm
Wheel base1,238 mm
Ground clearance (unloaded)160 mm
Seat height (unloaded)765 mm
Total fuel tank capacity approx.5.3L Normal unleaded petrol
Kerb Weight105kg
Battery12 Volt 3 Amp maintenance free
Head lights12V 35/35 W H4

Motorcycle Courtesy:

Test Riders


  1. I’m planning to buy a two-wheeler. I live in chennai and in this traffic I’m tired of riding bikes, so planning to buy scooter. Is Dio right choice or Activa? I don’t want to get any comments that I bought a girl’s bike or something. I know both Dio and Activa is Unisex vehicle. Still wanted to confirm. Is Dio meant for boys? Thanks for your reply.

    • Hi Sandhya,
      While we were mighty impressed with the Dio on how it performs, handles and looks, we are still yet to get the scooter from Yamaha for a complete road test. In the mean while we suggest you test ride both the scooters at a dealership near you and make a final call :)

  2. It’s hard to come by knowledgeable people about this subject, however, you sound like you know what you’re tаlking about!


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