Nearly 2 decades ago, Honda launched their 4th venture into India with the establishment of HMSI, the two wheeler manufacturing arm of Honda back in May of 1999. With Honda coming, the Activa brand of scooters made their way into India. Today, the brand still lives, rather lives royally dominating the market it exists in, dominating it like becoming a synonym for mopeds & scooters. The Activa is the largest selling brand of 2-wheelers sold in India, 9 out of 10 sold scooters in India is an Activa.
With the BS-VI norms deadline coming up in March 2020, Honda has taken the lead with the launch & sales commencing of its Activa 125 BS-VI. The Honda Activa was never a performance-oriented scooter since inception, it was a simple scooter that could do the job delivering good fuel economy. Today it has built itself a legacy of being India’s most loved scooter brand, and the Activa 125 BS-VI shall take the torch ahead.
The All new Activa comes with a newly designed engine powered by a Fuel Injected 124cc engine with Honda’s friction reduction technology that produces 8.29Ps of power and 10.3Nm of Torque, which meets BS-VI specifications. It now comes with a AC motor silent start system, which is surprisingly very silent. It basically removes the need of a starter motor & gears meshing together that used to produce that harsh sound every time you hit the start button. The top model of the Activa 125 BS-VI also features a fuel saving feature, like the I3s we have seen in some other brand of motorcycles, I guess you know which OEM am I talking about. The feature allows your engine to stop every time you wait still at one location for 3 seconds, and start engine instantly as soon as you accelerate. The whole system works flawless and instantaneously starts the engine silently to resume your ride saving fuel where it could.
The engine delivers refined and peppy power in the low to mid rev range, helping in head starts in traffic situations. It quickly accelerates upto 70kmph, after which it starts loosing its breath and maxes out at 95-100kmph. The engine runs refined & silent, making it one of the most silent scooters in its segment. The new BS-VI engine now delivers approx. 30% more mileage than before and the ARIA certified fuel economy is 60kmpl, which is a benchmark in itself. The Activa 125 BS-VI comes with a 5.3 liter fuel tank giving it a range of approx 250kms before you hit the fuel bunk.
The new 2020 Activa 125 delivers a comfortable ride on tarmac & broken roads alike. The 3 step adjustable rear suspension gives you the option to tune your ride as per your comfort, the front telescopic forks too are tuned to softer setting to take the beating without compromising on rider comfort even on broken roads. But this does affect the high speed & cornering stability, and the Activa aint very confidence inspiring in corners, but then, if you are expecting high speed cornering stability from your Activa, who are you fooling? Me or yourself? The Activa comes with added safety features like CBS with equalizer, to distribute equal braking force on both the brakes, no matter which brake lever you pull, ensuring best braking performance in all situations. The Activa comes with a 90/90-12 section tyre on the front while on the rear is a 90/100-10 section tyre, which kind of looked skinny at first glance, but a short ride on the Activa, and that view completely changed as the tyre’s provide good grip and traction on highways and roads less travelled on.
In terms of design, it looks just like any other Activa without any major design changes with bits of chrome added to its front fender and side panels to make it look that bit premium, like before it’s an All metal body, making it sturdy & less prone to breaking & cracking. The New Activa comes with a lot many updates & features that hide beneath. The front fender gets a wide chrome grill that also houses the side indicators. It gets a conventional Honda Activa headlamp unit but with a LED bulb now, with an apron wrapping it from sides.
This is what you see, behind this hides a new glove box, integrated in the front panel on the left, on the right is a First in its Class key switch, giving you direct access to turn the Activa On/Off, Open the Newly designed fuel Cap on the rear panel and the Open the Seat lock. As you come towards the rear, the side panels now come with a chrome dash on it, giving it a refreshing look. It also comes with a Side stand indicator and immobilizer incase you leave the stand open, its an added safety feature to make sure you don’t make a silly mistake.
The rear end too has been updated, with a Fuel Tank Cap now placed right in the centre, and a chrome grill with Activa branding on it. The instrument cluster is now a digital analogue type, with a analogue Speedometer paired to a digital meter displaying information like time, odometer, fuel-gauge, range to empty, making the Activa loaded with features never seen in its segment. So what did Honda miss out on? Well, to me, I missed having a USB mobile charging port maybe in the glove box or the 5.5Litre bootspace the Activa BS-VI comes with.
The All new Activa 125 BS VI now starts with a price tag of 67,490 for the base variant and 74,490 for the top end model with Disk brake, which is a whopping 6.8k more for the base variant, and 9.4k more for the top end model. But then, the Activa is the only scooter delivering best in class mileage, with a 3+3year warranty, which is again something no other OEM promises. It is available in 4 color options -Rebel Red, Pearl White, Heavy Grey and Midnight Blue. Expect similar price hikes across the segment, as BS-VI becomes a norm, so will fuel injection & choking engine performance to meet those norms.
Words – Suraj Sawant
Photography – Shrikhar Khairnar