Honda Activa 5G: Road Test Review
- Jun 6, 2018
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So far, the TVS NTorq has managed to its worth by competing with almost every 125cc scooter on offer in India. But then, the Burgman Street has proved itself as a 'premium' go to family scooter in the 125cc segment. So how does the TVS NTorq fair against bold and beautiful looking maxi-style scooter?
Any 125cc scooter needs to have a bit more visual flair, considering the edge they possess over the 110s. And unlike the Access, the Burgman Street scores high on this front, bringing a dash of freshness to the age-old design approach of family scooters in particular. So, while the NTorq’s design, with its chiselled lines looks quite attractive, the bulbous yet handsome looking Burgman has a different aura to it. The only letdown is the tiny 10-inch rear wheel.
When it comes to build quality, the NTorq clearly has an edge here, since the fit and finish, including switchgear quality levels are top notch. The Burgman Street too is built to stand the test of time as the overall parts’ quality is definitely up to spec, but the fit-and-finish levels are not as good, as can be seen through the panel gaps in some places, mainly the floorboard area.
On the features front, the Burgman Street gets an all-digital console that includes all the basic readouts, including a clock, a service reminder and an oil-change indicator. Illumination from the rectangular LED headlight with LED DRLs is impressive and every obstacle is clearly visible even in the rains. To make this possible, Suzuki has set up the low beam to offer a more focused throw, while the high beam has a wider spread. The rearview mirrors offer clear visibility of the incoming traffic as well.
The NTorq, however, literally blows the competition off its feet. With TVS’ SmartXConnect, the all-digital console can be paired with TVS’ own smartphone app (currently for Android only), via Bluetooth. It helps locate your parked scooter, generate last ride report with information like distance covered and top speed, and also features built-in navigation, courtesy MapMyIndia. You can search for nearby fuel stations, hospitals, restaurants and authorised service stations as well.
That said, most of the features may sound cool but we never ended up using them once the novelty wore off. The Sat Nav also works well, but MapMyIndia maps aren’t the best. Another bit that’s annoying about the navigation is that it doesn’t reroute you in case you miss turns. Instead, it asks you to go back to where you messed up and strictly follow the set route. The only feature that proved really useful was the caller ID, which again can’t be used to its full potential, since Bluetooth connectivity isn’t seamless.
Other features include a ‘do not disturb’ mode, auto-reply for SMS and overspeeding alert, all of which works with ‘Street Mode’. With ‘Race Mode’, you can record top speed and lap times, which may seem a lot for a scooter but youngsters may think otherwise.
Apart from the basic information, the console even displays time, engine temperature and a service reminder.
The NTorq misses out on LED headlamp and gets a halogen bulb and an LED DRL instead. Illumination isn’t as bright as the Burgman Street, but definitely better than what we have seen on other 125s such as the Aprilia SR.
Unlike the Burgman’s beam throw, the low beam is slightly more spread out, while the high beam enhances that spread further. During the rains, visibility is better with the high beam. The RTR 200-derived mirrors provide plentiful rear visibility.
Here, the TVS edges a bit further than the Suzuki, with 22 litres of storage space compared to the Burgman’s 21.5 litres.
However, the difference lies in the way space is offered. The Suzuki gets a slightly deeper boot, whereas the NTorq gets a slightly longer one with decent depth - not as much as the Burgman’s though.
The NTorq also gets an LED light in the boot, which is an immensely useful feature in the dark and something that’s sorely missed on the Burgman Street. The light also comes with an integrated USB charging port. However, phones do tend to heat up a bit while charging.
One thing the TVS misses out on is the cubby storage area behind the front apron, which is there on the Suzuki. It’s a closable phone storage compartment with DC socket on the left and storage space big enough for a 1-litre bottle on the right.
Another point worth mentioning is that the flap for the phone charging compartment feels more solid than the one seen on the Honda Grazia, and even has a rubber ring around it to make it weather-proof.
The Suzuki Burgman Street comes with a remote seat opener in the key slot. But like the Access, the fuel filler cap is still placed under the seat.
The NTorq, though, gets a remote fuel filler cap. But unless you are flexible enough, you’ll need to get off the seat to open it.
Engine & Performance
The Suzuki Burgman Street is 7kg heavier than the Access but is still 0.5 seconds quicker to 60kmph, achieving the stint in 8.69 seconds. However, it’s still no match for the 7.65 second mark achieved by the NTorq, which is just 0.4 seconds short of the Aprilia SR 150’s time.
It’s a similar story with roll-on times as well. The added weight takes a toll on the Burgman’s responsiveness in the city. As a result, the roll-on time of 4.65 seconds from 20-50 kmph is the same as the Access, while 20-80kmph is achieved in 15.57 seconds as opposed to the Access’s 16.41 seconds.
On the other hand, the NTorq packs in plentiful mid-range grunt, making it the fastest-accelerating scooter here even from 20 to 80kmph, as it achieves that sprint in just 11.97 seconds, which is 0.2 seconds shy of the SR 150. It also manages a VBOX-tested 101kmph top speed as opposed to the Burgman’s 93kmph.
In fact, the NTorq feels stress-free even while riding at its top speed. While the Burgman Street’s motor is extremely smooth, it’s not as relaxed as the NTorq at its maximum performance.
Ride & Handling
Hit a rough stretch on the Burgman Street and you’re greeted with a ride quality that even though on the stiffer side, is very forgiving to the spine. Bumps and undulations are ironed out rather well, without unsettling the rider. It does feel bouncy while tackling large bumps but with a pillion on board, it feels a lot more plush.
The additional weight also gives it a more sure-footed feel in corners in comparison to the Access but it’s still no match for the pliancy offered by the NTorq, especially mid-corner. Also, the Suzuki tips into corners rather quickly, owing to the skinnier set of tyres, whereas corner transitions feel a bit lazy, mainly owing to the heavier front end.
In heavy traffic, the front feels a tad bit heavy to manoeuvre at crawling speeds, which takes some time to get used to. Otherwise, it feels quite nimble on city roads.
Brakes on the Suzuki feel quite progressive under hard braking. That said, the bite itself is far from sharp. In our 60-0kmph brake test, the Burgman Street 125 took 21.56 metres to come to a halt, which is a about a metre more than the Access, thanks to the added weight.
Our first road test proved that the NTorq loves corners. Not only that, it feels very nimble and changes direction quickly. The TVS Remora tyres also provide admirable levels of grip while cornering. However, the tyres easily give up on mucky wet patches. Mid-corner stability might not be at par with the Aprilia SR 125, but is still leaps and bounds ahead of other scooters we’ve ridden.
The NTorq’s ride quality is still segment leading and the Burgman can’t really match it, as the way NTorq handles bad roads is just impeccable. The telescopic front and rear mono suspension offer a sense of pliancy that's simply a step above any other scooter. What’s even more impressive is that the suspension doesn’t feel wallowy even after tackling potholes and bumps. On the other hand, the Burgman’s suspension, has a second wave of vertical travel before settling down.
It’s a different case with the brakes though. We aren’t really impressed by the feedback from the NTorq’s front brake. The brake feels a bit numb, due to which the bite-point is hard to judge. The bite itself doesn’t feel very sharp either. However, grab hold of the levers and the NTorq decelerates progressively. The rear drum brake on the other hand, has a sharper bite and hence, locks up under very hard braking.
That said, apply the two together and the scooter comes to a stop without any drama or screeching tyres. During our standardised test, the TVS NTorq achieved 60-0kmph in 18.93 metres, which is around 2.6 metres less than what the Burgman Street achieved.
The low-set floorboard combined with high-set handlebars not only make the NTorq a more approachable scooter for tall riders, but also makes for a very neutral riding position. In fact, the riding position is the best of all 125cc scooters in India.
However, when it comes to floorboard space, even though it's not as miniscule as the SR 125 but is much smaller than the Burgman Street’s. People with size-10 feet would want more room to move around. Also, while there’s enough room for a laptop bag, there’s a good chance, you’ll have your feet hanging by the edge of the floorboard.
The floorboard on the Burgman Street is raised, so you do sit in a slight knees-up position. But since the new handlebar is repositioned and slightly higher-set compared to the Access, you get a lot more turning radius before the handlebar ends hit your knees. The floorboard space is one of the best in the segment so carrying a laptop bag is no issue. But if you plan to ride with your feet on the footboard extensions, keeping a laptop bag in between will be a bit of struggle. Speaking of the extensions, riding with your feet extended gives you a very relaxing posture, much like a cruiser. Besides, it even helps with some movement when you spend long hours on the saddle.
Going by the seat height specifically, the NTorq is accessible to a wider range of audience as the seat is quite low and narrow at the front. The seat feels plush and comfy, so spending long hours in the saddle shouldn’t be an issue. Compared to the Burgman Street, the rear portion is raised, so getting onboard will be a bit of a concern for shorter pillions. In comparison, the seat is not only shorter in length, but narrower as well. So, while average-sized people should be fine, larger pillions may not be the happiest on the NTorq.
It’s no surprise that the most family-friendly 125cc scooter for all these years has been the Access. But the Burgman Street tops the Access in almost all aspects, including seating comfort. The seat offered is not only longer, but also wider than the Access’. Also, since the seat is flat, there’s enough space for even two heavy people to shuffle around. The seat is also well padded enough to give you a ride time of at least an hour before your bottom starts aching.
Of course, fuel efficiency figures play a vital role in any road test and more so in a comparison. On this front, the Suzuki scores high and is the most fuel efficient 125cc scooter we have tested. Thanks to its light weight and relaxed engine manners, the Burgman Street returns 54.9kmpl in the city and 54.7kmpl on the highway. Meanwhile, the NTorq manages 47kmpl in the city and 53.4kmpl on the highway.
The Suzuki Access has been the go-to family scooter for most families, but the Burgman Street steps up the game even further. It’s not just better looking, but also does the whole scooter thing a lot better as it’s more practical and comfortable.
But then, the asking price of Rs 9000 over the Access seems a bit too much. So, if budget is no major concern, we suggest you go for the Suzuki Burgman Street - it’s definitely the better “scooter” of the two, providing better comfort, practicality and efficiency than the NTorq.
But the TVS NTorq proves to be solid bang for the buck as it’s not only the sportiest but also has the best of features and ride quality in the Indian scooter segment today. If you are looking for something youthful and exciting without digging in too deep into your pocket, the NTorq still stands as our preferred pick from the 125cc range.
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