Ever since the Honda Activa landed on Indian shores a decade ago, it has been a runaway success, outselling all other non-geared scooters in the country.
Ask any two-wheeler owner which scooter to buy, and almost 4 times out of 5, you'll hear 'Honda Activa' as the answer. Ever since the Honda Activa landed on Indian shores a decade ago, it has been a runaway success, outselling all other non-geared scooters in the country and has practically become part of the urban landscape. The Activa is the scooter of choice for any urban dweller who needs a practical and efficient means of transport through busy streets. Even on the styling front, while it doens’t break any new grounds in terms of design, the Activa is such that it has almost an universal appeal.
Women or men, young or old, the unoffensive styling of the bike is pleasing to all. Last year Honda finally released an upgraded version of this old workhorse last year. The main change in the bike was and upgraded 110cc engine and also the ditching of the old design in favour of a newer one. Honda has introduced some subtle changes in the Activa's shape even after which it still remains instantly recognizable as an Activa, makes it look much better than it did before, thereby giving a new lease of life to an aging design. One new aspect on the new Activa which seems to have taken inspiration from Honda’s larger international bikes is the introduction of the CBS, or Combined Braking System, which engages both front and rear brakes even if one of the levers is pulled, greatly increasing safety in a panic braking situation. Ride quality does tend to be slightly on the bumpier side, but the overall neutral handling of the bike makes the riding experience approachable to every sort of rider, sex no bar, age no bar and skill nor bar.
Highly practical, easy-to-ride, a poster child for Honda's reliability and quite a looker now too; all this even earned the Activa the coveted ZigWheels Scooter of the Year 2009 award.
Engine: Single cylinder, air-cooled
Power: 8.1PS @ 7,500rpm
Torque: 8.8Nm @ 5,500rpm
LxWxH: 1761 x 710 x 1147mm
0-60 km/h: 10.3seconds
Top speed: 89.23km/h
Fuel efficiency (overall): 42.15 kmpl
Honda Activa DLX: 42,610 (ex-showroom Delhi)
1. Extremely refined engine makes for a smooth commute and is highly reliable too
2. Among the best headlights this segment makes riding at night a breeze
1. Ride quality is a tad too bouncy over bumps and undulations
2. As with most Honda bikes, the Activa has an overly long waiting period
1st Runner Up
One of the most favourite scooters of us ZigWheels staffers, the Access makes up for any of its minor flaws by dishing out fantastic performance. The 125cc mill has enough grunt to even give some motorcycles a run for their money. One thing that really works against the Access is the huge waiting period one must endure to get their hands on one of these.
2nd runner up
The Wego is quite a departure from the Scooty for TVS and it's a really brilliant scooter. Armed with a peppy 110cc 4-stroke engine with a responsive variomatic transmission and telescopic forks at the front, the Wego is an absolute joy to ride. It doesn't skimp on any practical aspects either, offering a large boot, comfortable seats and decent fuel mileage.
Hero Honda Pleasure
A practical and good looking scooter from Hero Honda the Pleasure does score high marks in reliability, but the company’s efforts to market the scooter to women only really does seem to keep men away from buying one.
The only scooter which currently offers front disc brakes as an option. Telescopic front forks and high ground clearance is perfect for Indian conditions. Tall seat height and high price does tend to work against it but all-in-all a fairly good product for urban commuters.
A rebadged and tweaked Kinetic Nova with a 125cc SYM engine. The Duro offers good performance, but its plain-Jane looks and overly soft suspension sees it lose a few points against the opposition.
TVS Scooty Streak
This 90cc scooter is among the higher selling scooters in India and is a worthy successor to carry on the Scooty legacy.
TVS Scooty Teenz
Targeted at women, this 60cc 2-stroke scooter comes in 99 colours