Should You Get India’s Favourite Scooter Or...
- Mar 20, 2020
- Views : 8592
Some names are synonymous and generic with the products they represent. Take Maggi, Xerox, Band-Aid, Bubble Wrap and even Google. When it comes to scooters there’s only one: the Honda Activa. The Activa not only revived the scooter segment but also made commuting less tedious. Such has been its popularity that it remains the highest-selling two-wheeler in India.
Now we’ve got its latest iteration: the Activa 6G. It gets a new engine, interesting features and revised underpinnings. Are these updates enough to maintain the Activa’s popularity among the masses?
Look at the scooter dead straight and you will be hard-pressed to differentiate the 6G from the Activa 5G. That’s because Honda wants to maintain the “Activa face.” While I do understand brand recall, I personally feel that Honda needs to move on and give it a fresh identity. The easiest way to distinguish the new scooter from the older one is the larger 12-inch wheel and the new telescopic fork up front.
The rear, though, is completely new, and now looks similar to the current Activa 125. The new tail section means that the 6G is bigger in size than the older scooter and while the wheelbase has also increased, it’s now 2kg lighter! The telescopic fork gives it a better stance but the Activa 6G still misses out on alloy wheels. The overall styling isn’t striking or unique and the 6G will be easily lost in the sea of Activas you’ll encounter everywhere in the country. Come on, Honda, you could have done better!
The new 110cc scooter is available in two variants: Standard and Deluxe. The one we rode, the Deluxe variant, features an LED headlight, while the standard gets a halogen headlight -- both DC units. Honda has added halogen headlight to the base variant to save costs as the base variant of the Activa 5G was running LED headlights. Activa owners will be happy to know that the 6G continues to sport an all-metal body.
Historically, Honda hasn’t been particularly proactive when it comes to adding features on the Activa -- barring the 5G, which surprised us with its LED headlight. As for the 6G, it gets an external fuel filler cap, something that the TVS Jupiter had since its inception around seven years back. However, unlike the Jupiter, here you can open the filler cap using the conveniently located switch next to the keyhole. An interesting addition is the ACG starter motor which starts the scooter in a very quiet manner.
Other new additions on the scooter include an engine kill switch and a pass switch. The instrument console is now a fully analogue unit, a surprising step back from the semi-digital unit in the older scooter. The seat can be opened from the switch next to the keyhole itself and, at 18 litres, storage space remains identical to the older scooter.
While Honda has added some new features on the new 6G, the fact that it misses out on a USB charger and an underseat storage light even now is disappointing to say the least. Maybe the Activa 7G or the 8G might get them hopefully.
A refined heart
On the mechanical front, the Activa 6G gets a new motor that has a longer stroke and reduced bore than the older engine. The 109.5cc, single-cylinder mill produces 7.8PS and 8.8Nm of torque. It’s also BS6-compliant thanks to fuel injection. Despite being friendlier to mother nature, the new engine hasn’t lost out much with respect to power and torque output.
The inclusion of fuel-injection means that the throttle response is now more direct and the 6G feels peppy, at least up to 40kmph. Post this, the engine loses steam and it gains momentum in a rather lazy manner. Cruising speed is around 60-65kmph, after which the scooter struggles.
One of the main reasons for the popularity of the Activa was its engine refinement, and the 6G continues this tradition and it’s definitely the new benchmark of the segment. The motor does full justice to the Honda badge and only at high speeds can you feel a minor buzz around the footboard. Honda claims that the new engine is 10 per cent more fuel efficient than the older Activa. We shall verify this claim when we get the scooter for a proper road test.
A major update on the new Activa 6G is the inclusion of a telescopic fork -- Welcome to 2020, Honda! The older Activas felt jittery on broken roads thanks to their trailing front suspension. Coupled with the 10-inch wheels, it was rather easy to lose the front on them, resulting in falls.
Gladly, Honda has also equipped the new scooter with a 12-inch front wheel that adds more stability. While the telescopic fork has helped improve it, overall ride quality is still on the stiffer side. And the Activa now features an adjustable 3-step monoshock for the first time. Tuning it could’ve probably improved the ride quality but since we only had a brief time with the scooter, we couldn’t change the suspension settings to check that out.
Despite the increase in wheelbase (plus 22mm), the 6G doesn’t feel lazy to steer and turns in very easily. It feels as agile as the older scooter and riding in city traffic is effortless. The larger front wheel also adds stability and gives you more confidence if for some reason you want to imitate Marc Marquez.
Braking hardware still consists of drum brakes at both ends and they offer decent bite working in conjunction with CBS. While I agree that disc brakes increase cost, they should have at least been offered as an option for the sake of safety.
Priced at Rs 63,912 (standard variant) and Rs 65,412 (deluxe variant), the new Activa 6G costs around Rs 8000 more than the older scooter. (Note: Both prices mentioned are ex-showroom-Delhi). That's a lot of money, but then that's the cost of BS6. The 6G remains a good option for point A to B commuting and it has the most refined motor in its segment as well. And if Honda's claim is to be believed it's going to be frugal too.
But to be honest we were expecting more from the Activa 6G. We were hoping it would get better styling, more features and be a step up in general.
So is it the best 110cc scooter on sale in India? For that, we will have to compare it against the BS6 TVS Jupiter. So stay tuned for that crucial shootout before making up your mind.
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