Honda Activa 5G: Road Test Review
- Jun 6, 2018
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Here at ZigWheels, the team has an ambivalent relationship when it comes to ‘special’ and ‘limited’ editions. For the most part we appreciate these offerings – if they come with tangible benefits like go-faster bits, better safety features, and creature comforts that aren’t available in the standard trims. If it is just another sticker and flashy graphics job – which, sadly, most special editions in India are – we tend to dismiss it as just another misguided attempt to shore up flagging sales.
The TVS Jupiter MillionR edition, thankfully, is more of the former, and has every reason to be here and on showroom floors. For starters, it is built to commemorate the millionth (that’s 10 lakh for you and us) Jupiter scooter being sold, and that alone, in a country ruled with an iron hand by the Honda Activa, is a reason to celebrate. And, rather than just festooning it with the aforementioned stickers and calling it a day, the blokes at TVS has bestowed the MillionR with 10 changes -- one for, you guessed it, every lakh units. Now, of course, all these ten changes aren’t all equally noteworthy, but hey, it is the execution that counts, right?
So rather than going about with yet another staid review of the Jupiter, which came out more than a couple of years ago and whose review you must’ve already read, let’s take a gander at these changes, and see whether they’ve improved what’s already an impressive scooter.
Let’s get the basics out of the way first. Yes, the TVS Jupiter MillionR is powered by the same 109.7cc single-cylinder air-cooled engine that does duty on the standard version. It still produces 8PS of peak power at 7500rpm and 8 Nm of torque at 5500rpm, which is on par for its class. If you might recall, the Jupiter is based on the Wego, but TVS has put a fair amount of work into refining the engine.
And it shows. On the move, the Jupiter MillionR is brisk, taking off effortlessly from standstill with just a hint of “whirr” from the variomatic transmission. Performance isn’t exactly a parameter anyone shopping for a scooter in this price bracket will look for, but, nevertheless, the Jupiter is zippy enough to stay abreast of most city traffic. It is also refined all the way to 70kmph, after which you can feel the engine straining slightly and the speedo needle slowing its trajectory to the right. Keep pushing though, and you will eventually manage something south of 90kmph.
On the fuel efficiency front, the Jupiter MillionR still returns almost 49 kilometres to the litre. Coupled with the 5-litre fuel tank, the MillionR should be able to travel approximately 250 kilometres or so before needing a fuel halt.
It also handles exactly the same as the standard Jupiter, which isn’t a bad thing at all. On the contrary, the Jupiter, aided by its 90-section tyres on alloys at both ends and telescopic forks up front, is as sure-footed as a scooter of its class can be. The dual-tone-coloured seat is a bit on the softer side, but it’s not something you will feel uncomfortable on short rides. The upright seating posture and 12-inch wheels aren’t exactly made to dice corners with, but maintaining a line and following through is as easy as reciting the alphabet. Perhaps even more importantly, squeezing through gaps in Mumbai traffic and squirting through them is something the Jupiter excels in. Point and shoot, this thing is!
Which brings us to the biggest change in the MillionR edition – the disc brakes up front. It is a 220mm affair, clapped by a single-piston calliper, and is a great boon for commuting in a country where following traffic rules are more of a courtesy than an obligation, and where the weather and road surfaces changes more frequently than the Martian landscape. The rear brakes are still 130mm drums but, in tandem with the front disc, they impart a feeling of reassurance that is more than worth the slight premium in the asking price. Initial bite could be a bit better, but from thereon, the brakes slow down the momentum progressively and in a sure-footed manner. We tried to unsettle the scooter quite a few times, but even with such panic braking, the tyres rarely lock up and always brought the bike to a halt faster than its standard drum-only sibling.
The front disc is where the list of important changes to the Jupiter MillionR ends and the cosmetic ones begin. As mentioned before, the Jupiter is based on the Wego, and their dimensions are almost the same throughout. But while the Wego had a flashy styling that is aimed at the college-goer and the typical young generation, the Jupiter has a safe and slightly bland styling that is innocuous and meant to blend in. There’s nothing to fault here, but there also is nothing to make it stand apart.
That’s where the MillionR comes in. With its bold new “Pearl Wine” paintjob and beige interior panels, it seeks to alleviate some of the Plain Jane looks of the standard Jupiter, and it largely succeeds. The MillionR looks a class apart from the usual crop of sober-coloured scooters that you usually spot lined up outside dealerships and service stations. It is especially beautiful in direct daylight, where the sun’s rays glinting off the maroon/violet-ish metallic paint gives it a premium luxury car feel.
The beige interior panels, too, mirror that of most luxury cars and are a welcome departure from the crop of stark black/grey plastic that plagues most scooters in this segment. From the interior of the front apron to the floor board, the MillionR gets the beige treatment. The seat is now done up in dual-tone colours too, with beige surrounds below the pillion area. They complement the new paint job well, although one can only wonder how long they can be kept clean, seeing as how these reflect dirt, wear and tear easier than unpainted black body panels.
The floor mat, also in beige, have been screwed to the body rather than just being left there, which is again a nice thought. It doesn’t skid or move around, and yet is easily removable for replacement or just the odd spit and polish routine.
The rest of the TVS Jupiter MillionR’s 10 changes are small bits and pieces to signify its slightly more premium positioning. There’re “MillionR Edition” stickers below the headlight and on the side panels, embossed over carbon-fibre-like graphics and ringed with chrome. The main “Jupiter” logo itself on the side is embossed in chrome, in a futuristic font that we really like. Oh, lest we forget, the rear-view mirrors also get the partial chrome treatment.
Other noteworthy aspects of the standard Jupiter are present and well on the MillionR too. The external fuel-filler cap, pass-light switch, reserve fuel light, and the decent underseat storage that can accommodate a half-face helmet are still intact. Instrumentation, while still minimal, is decent and the switchgear quality is up to the mark.
We have already appreciated the Jupiter’s handy USB charger underneath the seat, but while that was an optional feature in the standard model, it is now standard in the MillionR edition. And finally, the MillionR gets a special keyring to go with its flashy new colours, although our test unit didn’t come with it.
The TVS Jupiter MillionR edition retails for Rs 55,193, ex-showroom, Mumbai, which is exactly 4 large ones more than the standard Jupiter and almost 2k more than the Jupiter ZX. As a side note, it is almost 5k less than the Yamaha Alpha, which also got a disc brake variant recently. For that money, what you get is a stylish new colour scheme and an exclusive-looking scooter that handles everything thrown at it with aplomb while also looking the part. But, most importantly, you get a front disc up front in place of the archaic drum brakes, and this safety addition alone makes the MillionR worth the asking price.
If you have been eyeing the Jupiter, but have been putting it off for whatsoever reason, this is the time and the variant to go for. It is amazing what a simple change of clothes (colours) and addition of tasteful little details can do to a product, isn’t it? This is one “special edition” we can get behind.
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