Honda’s Activa has had the same impact on our market the Maruti Suzuki Alto has over the last two decades. Both are hugely successful models and rake in the numbers like no other two-wheeler or four-wheeler can manage. In fact, the Activa is so popular, that almost every scooter in the market is considered an Activa, particularly by laypersons. The Activa has mainly become a hit among Indian customers for its reliability and refinement. The Honda badge plays a major part here as well, making it the ‘dream scooter’ for many Indian families. The scooter segment has witnessed a massive evolution over the years – and the Activa has stood the test of time, with multiple updates having been given to it to help keep it modern and desirable.
Playing it safe
The exterior updates are minor, but if you’ve got a keen eye, you’ll be able to spot them. For one, it looks sharper than before; the headlamp design is sleek, so are the apron and the chrome accents on it. The mudguard up-ahead looks identical to the one on the Activa 125 – and while the side panels remain largely similar – there is a bold character line that gives it a masculine definition from the side. However, a few plastic parts didn’t feel up to the mark. The rear-end is where you’ll notice the design of the tail light has been inspired by the Honda Activa 125 – and for those of you who’ve always loved it for its metal body – fear not, for the new model retains it, barring the plastic headlamp fascia and the central part of the apron of course.
Thanks to the increased wheelbase, telescopic fork up-front and its 12-inch front wheel, there is a change in the way it rides. The frame of the Honda Activa 6G is similar to the one on the Activa 125, but it has now been toughened a bit to help it deal with more power and weight. At high speeds, it stays composed and darts through traffic effortlessly. However, if you push it past 60kph, it feels a little unsettled. Handling has improved; so has stability. Ride quality is good, and the Honda Bikes absorbs bumps very well.
The engine on the Activa 6G is all-new, featuring a different bore and stroke, and also makes do with fuel-injection now. Typical of most BS6-compliant engines, the power and torque figures have dropped to 7bhp and 8.79Nm. Unfortunately, if you’re looking for quick acceleration, the Activa is not the scooter for you. It feels a bit sloppy on its way to its top speed of 75kph. The engine never feels strained though; it is refined throughout and if you’ve owned Activas from the past, you’ll know just how quiet the new one is. Performance may have taken a dive, but frugality has improved. Ergonomics-wise, the Active is wide enough to accommodate two large adults, and the handlebar is placed close to the rider, which can prove to be quite comfortable for someone who isn’t tall. There’s also ample space for your feet on the foot-board. At city riding speeds, it feels agile but isn’t so fond of corners. The riding position remains the same, meaning the seat is nice and comfortable
The instrument is a bit too basic with that analogue cluster, but there are features worth a mention – like a kill switch that can also be used as a starter button, which is like the one on the Activa 125. There’s a pass-light switch, an external fuel filler cap and an LED headlight available on the Deluxe variant.
The Honda Activa is a proven formula – time and its very many happy customers would have you think so at least. It’s a great scooter for regular use and comes across as a practical offering from Honda Bikes. The on-road price of the Deluxe version closes in on the 1 lakh rupee mark, but that hasn’t stopped its customers from lapping it up. In the Honda Activa 6G, the customer has not only found style and decent performance, but durability and low maintenance costs as well. Remember, it isn’t the highest-selling scooter in the country for no reason – it has lots of strengths that make it the tough contender that it is in the segment. Also, grab the latest info on the new scooty, only at autoX.