Everyone knows how important a model the Activa has been for Honda all these years, given the fact it is India’s largest selling two-wheeler, with bikes and scooters included. There are over a crore of these modern and capable automatic scooters on our roads, and having been launched in 1999, it brought scooters back to life. As things stand today, the Activa has become more of an ‘iconic’ model in the Indian market. Honda launched the Activa 125 is 2014 and at 110kgs, it’s one of those solid metal-bodied scooters Indians are bound to like. The styling for the 2019 model has been revised to an extent, but still looks every bit an Activa with its simple, crisp lines, among a host of other changes and of course, an increase in price.
On the styling front, the Honda Activa 125 gets some all-important visual enhancements that include a restyled headlight panel, a compact new glovebox and chrome accents at the front and on the sides. The levels of fit and finish are not bad, although some panel gaps do show if you’ve got a keen eye. The drum brakes and steel wheels cost more too; so does the disc brake model. The Honda Activa 125 soldiers on as the most sensible buy in the segment, for it offers good practicality and performance. There are some new features that are worth a mention, helping enhance the premium experience. It is equipped with a smooth starter, a side-stand-down engine cutoff feature and an externally placed fuel filler cap. The top-of-the-line model even features an idle start-stop system that works effortlessly. Come to a stop for over 3 seconds, and the engine cuts off on its own. Open up the throttle again and the engine is instantly cranked to life. The top two variants get equipped with a new LED headlight and a new instrument cluster that gets a digital display for time, fuel efficiency, a trip meter and distance-to-empty gauge.
The road test
Engine refinement has seen a drastic improvement over the old model in terms of engine feel and sound. The new silent start system from Honda Bikes have now replaced the regular starter motor with an AC generator starter, so you won’t have to put up with a gear meshing sound. It can take a little getting used to, but thumbing the starter button results in the engine coming to life smoothly, in a hushed way. Even while you’re on the go, the engine is very smooth; so is power delivery – and there’s no jerkiness what-so-ever. Performance isn’t all that bad, to be honest. But if you push past 70kph, the engine does begin to sound strained. Top speed doesn’t exceed 90kph, and because of its weight, it doesn’t sprint to a hundred quicker than the TVS Ntorq 125.
The riding experience remains unchanged to a large extent since the chassis too, is the same. It doesn’t come with wide tyres, and thanks to the blend of a 12-inch front wheel and a 10-inch rear wheel, the scooter feels agile within the city but gets a little unsettled at high speeds, in a straight line or while cornering. Ride quality is decent, but we wish for more pep and maybe a lighter frame too. The riding position has the rider sit nice and upright, while the seat provides ample comfort and support. However, the low-set handlebar is bit problematic for tall riders.
Worth the bigger motor?
Price increases were undoubtedly expected, but then just bear in mind the fact that you get more equipment, like a disc brake that comes as standard across all variants. All Activa customers from Honda Bikes are sticklers for a hassle-free ownership experience whilst not paying too much attention on the equipment offered. Braking performance, however, will be an important factor. By and large, the Honda Activa 125 has gotten sufficiently updated to suit the modern competition. If improved refinement and additional equipment are a part of what you’re on the lookout for, the BS6 Honda Activa 125 might prove to be the perfect product. The updated Activa 125 is a worthy successor to the older model and hits the right notes in almost every possible way. It’s a properly premium product and has no reason to not contribute to the massive sales of the Activa 6G. Also, grab the latest info on the upcoming scooters, only at autoX.