Review: Honda Grazia
It's late in the afternoon when I roll to a halt at a busy junction. Waiting for the lights to turn green, my attention is caught by the Grazia's reflection in the back window of an auto-rickshaw. It really does look good, I think to myself, when a 20-something rushes over. He wants to know everything about it - if it's as good as an Activa, how much it costs - and this is exactly the sort of person Honda wants to attract with its newest 125cc scooter. There aren't many twist-and-go 125s around. Choices include the Activa 125 and the Suzuki Access - both fine (if a little staid) options. At this time, 9 per cent of all Activas sold are 125s. Honda estimates that figure to go up to 20 per cent in the next five years. That's a big jump in terms of sheer numbers, and they need something to drive that growth. Now, the Grazia is aiming to add the spice this space sorely lacks. There's a hint of maxi-scooter about the Grazia's styling, and traces of the evergreen Dio are to be found here as well. That all-LED headlamp - the first of several segment-firsts - looks snazzy and the blacked-out body panels provide tasty contrast. Bundle that with the edgy design, and this is possibly the best-looking scooter on our roads today. The Grazia's 125cc motor is an old friend - it's refined, packs plenty of punch low down in the rev range and will chug along sweetly at 50kph all day. On the move, you'll also notice the three-step Eco riding indicator\: three green lights that fire up when you're taking it easy, and disappear the moment you whack it open. But you don't need to give it full gas, really - the Grazia is an easy-going cruiser, at its most comfortable between 40-60kph, with enough power on tap to execute overtakes at will. It'll power all the way up to 85kph, but the front-end feels a touch light at high speed, and that's no surprise. That said, for the most part, the Grazia feels assuredly solid. Threading through heavy traffic is a breeze on the Grazia. It can dart in and out of gaps effortlessly. The ride quality is firm, but not overly so, it handles confidently and stops rather well, too. The Combi Brake System works a treat, and on the Deluxe variant, you also get MRF tyres (Ceat on the base variant) and a 190mm front disc brake, which is fairly powerful. The practical sorts will be delighted with the useful little compartment in the apron, which can house a smartphone, and for about ?500 more, you can have a charging point charge fitted in there, too. There's also the four-in-one lock, which incorporates a switch-activated seat release mechanism (takes some getting used to). Also, the fully digital instrumentation is surprisingly bright and legible even under harsh sunlight. To note some minuses, the underseat storage won't accept a full-face helmet and the rear brake lock is crude and difficult to engage. The Grazia is exactly what Honda wanted it to be\: a feature-rich flyweight that can attract the youth. And for a pittance over an Activa 125, it makes for a pretty sweet deal. Most importantly, the Grazia is a 125 the masses will want -- and that in itself is a small victory for Honda. Specs125cc, 1cyl, 8.5bhp, 10.5Nm, CVT, 5.3L fuel tank, 107kg, Price\: Rs 63,888 (DLX, ex-showroom, Mumbai)Verdict\: Sharply dressed scoot with a few nifty features is just what the 125cc segment needed.