Honda Activa HET: Road Test
Ride and Handling:
All though power and torque figure remains un-changed and the Activa still employs the 109cc, single-cylinder, air-cooled engine producing 8.1PS of power and 8.82Nm of torque. The changes made to the engine make their presence felt as soon as you twist the throttle. For starters the engine feels more peppy and responsive; overtaking is much easier thanks to the smoother transmission which aids the scooter in laying down its power effortlessly. While the HET-update has made the engine livelier, it’s the efficiency which is the highlight of the up-date. The updated Activa delivered an impressive efficiency figure of 51.6kmpl overall.
No changes have been made to the Activa’s chassis, but handling has improved thanks to the tube-less tyres which now come standard on it. Handling was one of the trumps which made the Activa so successful and with the more grippy tubeless tyres it’s a joy to flick the bike in traffic and also the ride quality has improved.
Though the rear-suspension does its job well, I felt the front suspension is on the stiffer side and one can feel the handle judder when going over small potholes and uneven surface. The Combined Braking System (CBS) make their presence felt under hard braking and do a satisfactory job. Still one feels that Honda should have give an option of disc-brakes like they do for the Aviator, since they provide much superior braking than the drums.
Currently the Activa has no real threat in terms of competition, but with the scooter segment witnessing the bulk of action in the two-wheeler market with other manufacturers Yamaha, Hero, Suzuki, Vespa etc wanting to penetrate the scooter market it’s a good move by the Japanese based manufacturer to update its torch bearer.
The HET update has helped the new Activa in a number of ways, the major being the fuel economy, 51.6kmpl (overall) which will make our mileage obsessive consumers happy to the core. But its just isn’t the efficiency figures that have been improved the new Activa feels much livelier and yet smoother. With this update and pricing the Activa competitively at Rs. 47,188(ex-showroom Delhi), it seems Honda have maintained its supremacy for now, but with a slew of launches speculated, it will be interesting to see for how long it maintains its reign.
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