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Review: Honda Activa 125

Driven August 2014

Review: Honda Activa 125

When we first set our eyes on the 125cc Activa in the Honda pavilion at the Auto Expo earlier this year, its basic design struck a different chord with us. The 12-inch front wheel, the chrome-plated ‘Y’ apron up front, the tall and upright seating posture – all looked very Aviator-like. A scroll through the spec sheet revealed that even the CVT and suspension bits are carried over from the older scooter. From the looks of it, what sets the new scooter apart from the Aviator are the new headlamp and taillamp units along with the elongated rear grab handle, the badging and shapely all-metal rear footpegs. These new exterior features give the 125cc Activa a somewhat diluted presence.

Looks aside, the main talking point of Honda’s updated flagship scoot is the new 125cc engine that propels it. Previously, there was just one engine option on offer – the 110cc motor that powered the Activa, Aviator and the Dio. Now, the addition of around 15cc means that the power figures of the new Activa are up from 8bhp and 9Nm to 8.6 horses and 10.1 torques. This bump in the numbers means that the Activa 125 skips off the line a little quicker than the 110cc variant, requiring less throttle action than before.

Where the engine really makes a difference, though, is at cruising speed. While the 110cc scooter hit a sweet spot at around 45kph, the 125cc engine makes the new Activa feel very comfortable at 55kph. Just as with the scooters before it, the refined nature of Honda’s new motor is excellent. Even at 70kph, engine vibes are barely noticeable. The tried-and-tested wheel configuration of the Aviator copes with bumps at low and high speeds in much better fashion than the lesser Activa, even with a pillion aboard.

The new Activa feels slightly edgier too, with its light front-end. The brakes work really well in stopping the scooter in emergency situations. The Activa 125 returned an overall fuel efficiency figure of 47kpl.

The new scooter looks and feels a bit more upmarket compared to the HET Activa with nifty new features which include a part-digital display, an odometer, five-spoke alloy wheels, a front disc brake and tubeless tyres. However, it would have been classier had the display been lit up in white instead of amber.

There are two versions of the Activa 125 on sale – the standard variant, priced at ₹62,276, comes with a drum brake up front and gets a rear brake lock, while the Deluxe, priced at ₹68,742 (both prices on-road, Mumbai) gets a front disc brake and strangely, no brake lock for the drum at the back. At this time, Honda informs us that the 125cc will sell alongside the 110cc Activa, Aviator and Dio, with no inclination of halting production of any of its existing scooters.

The numbers
Single-cyl, 124.9cc, air-cooled, 8.6bhp, 10.12Nm, kpl: 47 (overall), ₹68,742 (on-road, Mumbai)

The verdict
Honda ups the Activa’s user-friendliness by borrowing traits from the Aviator. It’s added a refined pinch of style to the existing mix of practical frugality

Christopher Chaves

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