Honda Activa 125 review
- Make: Honda
- Model: Activa 125
- Cubic Capacity: 124.9 CC
- Horse Power: 8.6 HP
- Top Speed: 90 kmph
- Mileage: 45 kmpl
- Delhi ex-showroom Price: Rs. 58,461/-
With the competition in the scooter segment being the biggest battle being played out in the Indian two wheeler market, it was the market leaders move to make at the Auto Expo 2014. The 125 cc version of the Activa was always on the cards and although it came in a bit late it sure was a much awaited scooter. The good thing is Honda just did not plug in the bigger engine on the existing Activa, but instead they made some crucial design changes to differentiate it from the older versions. Now how much of a difference does the new engine make? Does the new Honda Activa 125 fill in all the blanks that the lesser powered brother left us wanting? Read on.
Engine and Performance
Once on the move the new Honda Activa 125 surely makes its difference felt over its previous versions immediately felt. That CVT lag that we hate so much in the lower cc scooters is almost negligible. Up to the 20 kmph mark it is a bit slow to build up speed, but from there on till 70 kmph it pulls effortlessly, even with a pillion on board. City riding is bliss with the improved throttle response and power, enough pull to get past slow movers and super smooth while at it. You can cruise all day in the 40 – 60 kmph range effortlessly and the Activa 125 will never complain. All this new found ease is because of the increased torque to 10.12 Nm coming in as low as 5000 RPM. This ensures easier pull even with a pillion on board. Top speed was a speedo indicated 90 kmph for the Activa 125. Mileage returned by the new Activa 125 was 45 kmpl in the city and that improved to 52 kmpl with very easy and sane riding.
Look and Feel and Build Quality
The new Honda Activa 125 is clear to differentiate from its own 109 cc siblings, which is a good thing. Its got a very serious look about it, a very clean and formal look. You can pretty much predict the market that Honda is aiming to sell these scooters to, right by looking at them. Once you are sitting on the scooter, things are ergonomically quite comfortable. The seat is pretty good and the switch gear essentially is the same that we are used to. If you are of the taller stature your knees do come in the way while taking a sharp U turn, but that’s about all the issues you will face. Build quality is typical Honda and everything will last the test of time especially since it is an all metal body. Although we are a bit skeptical the plastic that surrounds the meter console, they have a tendency to fade with time. But nevertheless all in all pretty good build quality all around. Colour options on the new Activa 125 include Pearl Sunbeam white, Sword silver metallic, Midnight blue metallic and Black.
Handling and Braking
The version we tested was the Activa 125 DLX version, which means it came with the front fork, alloy wheels and a disc brake at the front. It also comes with the Combi braking that now is standard on all models of the Activa. Essentially what is does is that whenever you apply the rear brake it applies a bit of the front brake as well for better and more efficient braking. But the thing that we were most excited to test was the switch to the telescopic forks at the front. The older suspension system was just a pain and not at all confidence inspiring. The telescopic forks at the front surely made the ride that much more comfortable and stable. And it was everything we wanted it to be. Add in the disc brake to the equation and you now have scooter that handles and brakes very well. We only wish the rear suspension was a bit more plush. It was stiff and quite bouncy, it works better only when you have a pillion. But then that’s an aspect we are uncomfortable with on almost all scooters in the market today. Essentially almost all the scooters nowadays have the rear shock placed and functioning in the same way. Handling is quite simple, easy to change directions, and the weight remains at 110 kgs. Like we said the rear suspension settles down when you have a pillion so essentially the ride is more comfortable with a pillion.
Key features & VFM
Apart from the disc, telescopic forks, the obvious power bump and the visual update, there are some subtle changes on the Activa 125 that set it apart from its predecessors. Up front you get a LCD display that houses the odometer the trip meter and fuel gauge. A clock is missed though, not a necessity but would have been a classy touch. Another change that we should mention is that of the pillion grab rails, it has been redesigned and now is much bigger and easier to hold on to. A lot of minor changes all over essentially making it almost a new scooter inside out. There is one very interesting thing that Honda does and we certainly feel that takes a bite off the value for money bit. Parts like the side stand and the footrest board comes as additional accessory and needs to be paid extra for, not cool. General running costs are pretty much same as with all scooters out there, the improved mileage thanks to Honda implementing some new low friction tech within the engine is an added advantage.
The Activa name is probably that first that comes up when in the market for a scooter. It sorely missed out on features like the telescopic fork and the disc brake as competition started to catch up, but with the Activa 125, Honda does address these demands and also adds in some more punch to the engine to make it that much more easy to ride. When you factor in all the accessory prices then you see that the Activa 125 is actually at a slight premium over its competitors, but what you get is a tried and tested machine with good quality that will stay with you for years to come.
|Design||Air cooled, 4 stroke, SI engine|
|Bore * Stroke||52.4 mm × 57.9 mm|
|Torque||10.12 Nm @ 5000 RPM|
|Power||8.60 HP @ 6500 RPM|
|Starting aid||Electric and Kick|
|Transmission||V – Matic (Automatic)|
|Rear Shock absorber||Spring loaded hydraulic type|
|Brake system Front||Drum/Disc (DLX version)|
|Brake system Rear||Drum|
|Brake diameter front||Drum 130 mm / Disc 190 mm|
|Brake diameter rear||Drum 130 mm (CBS)|
|Front tyre||90/90-12 (Tubeless)|
|Rear tyre||90/100-10 (Tubeless)|
|Fuel tank capacity||5.3 L|
|Seat height||765 mm|
|Ground clearance||155 mm|
|Kerb Weight||110 kg|