Review: Honda Activa-i
Why would you fix something that isn’t broken? Honda has a good enough excuse
Categorisation. The Japs felt the need to take the already impressive sales of the Activa a notch higher. So how do you improve on a scooter that’s already doing well in its segment? Easy. Make a more affordable version and slot it into a new segment.
Enter the new Activa-i, a more affordable version of the iconic Activa scooter. Honda has now classified the new Activa-i as a compact personal scooter, since the earlier Activa is now being perceived as a family scooter. Place the two beside each other and the difference is clear. Well, not really, but it’s all down to pricing, demographics and competition.
The all-new Activa-i, in essence, is the regular Activa (which has the Honda Eco Technology engine, or HET) currently on sale, now with a full-fledged cosmetic makeover. Its slender appearance and swanky panels result in a particularly feminine stance. There’s parking lights plus newly designed headlamp and tail lamp units – the redesigned tail lamp looks attractive but not muscular enough. The two-tone instrument panel has a very simple layout that’s easy to read on the go.
At the heart of the Activa-i is Honda’s 110cc HET engine that also does duty in the now more heterosexual-looking Activa. But that’s not all that the two have in common. The engine is just as refined as it is in the older scooter, with its sweet spot around 45kph. Both models have the same wheels, tubeless tyres, suspension and switchgear, among other bits.
Apart from the design, Honda’s R&D has even busy making the less expensive Activa-i more women-friendly by making this scooter lighter by 8kg compared to the older model. This makes the Activa-i feel much quicker and
more manoeuvrable than before.
On the road, you’ll find the new scooter is just as enjoyable to ride as the older one – just that its street presence is a bit girly. Still, the Activa-i also gets Honda’s tried and tested combi braking system, which works very well even in the rains.
Although the company claims mileage on the HET Activa scooters to be close to 60kph, down here on earth, we got a respectable 46kpl from the i.
Honda’s latest two-wheeler retains the frugal nature we’ve come to associate the brand with – providing a comfortable, easy-to-ride, economical-to-run scooter. But the Activa-i is quite unlikely to actually spice up sales, simply because it’s a vehicle that will not appeal equally to both sexes. Its charms are directed more towards the women than the men.
1cyl, 109.7cc, 8bhp, 8.74Nm, V-Matic, 103kg, Rs 44,200 (ex-showroom, Delhi)
The Activa-i is a more affordable version of the original Activa, minus the rugged looks.