Honda Activa 5G: Road Test Review
- Jun 6, 2018
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Keeping it subtle and conventional are Hero Pleasure and Honda Activa i. They follow a simple design with handlebar mounted headlamps, and front turn indicators positioned on the apron. Both the scooters have a pleasing design, where Hero has attempted to add some zing with the recently introduced dual-tone colour scheme, while the Honda looks sleeker with narrow body panels.
Though the new TVS Scooty Zest follows similar design philosophy, it is spunkier with its unique front mudguard, which is integrated with the apron and bold curves especially at its rear end. Also distinctive is the interesting design of the rear indicators and LED taillight.
The sportiest scooter in terms of design is of the Yamaha Ray, with its sharp design language. It comes with its indicators neatly integrated into the headlamps and positioned on the front apron. The proportion and styling is excellent, making it one of the best looking scooters in the segment. But unlike the other scooters which run on tubeless tyres, the Yamaha comes with basic tube-type tyres.
When it comes to size, the Yamaha Ray is the lengthiest with 1,835mm as overall length, followed by the TVS Scooty Zest, Honda Activa and Hero Pleasure. While the Honda Activa i and the Hero pleasure have a width of 705mm, Yamaha Ray at 675mm, while the TVS Scooty Zest is the puniest, with a width of 660mm.
The other advantage that Zest has is its feather weight of just 97kg, compared to Pleasure and Activa i, which weigh another 6kg each, while the Ray is marginally heavier tipping the scale at 104kg. Considering the segment, the lighter and sleeker the scooter, the better it is considered. This is due to the large number of women commuters opting for these models. This is where the new TVS Scooty Zest earns extra brownie points with its super light weight and compact proportions.
Another important factor while purchasing a scooter in this segment is storage. Here TVS boasts of the best underseat storage space of 19-litres. The Honda Activa i isn’t too far behind with 18-litres and at the back of the pack is the Yamaha Ray’s 15.5-litre. Though Hero has not disclosed the figure, visibly the space under the seat seems on par with the Activa i, and also has a light attached in the luggage box.
The new TVS Scooty Zest and the Yamaha Ray have open storage cavities below the handlebar. However, the Hero Pleasure offers most utility with a complete front storage box which also has a mobile charging socket. Sadly, the Honda neither comes with front storage box, nor does it have cavities like the Ray and Zest, as standard.
The engine configuration of all the four scooters is quite similar. They use a single-cylinder, four-stroke, air-cooled motor mated to a CVT transmission; the difference being in the engine capacity and power output. The Hero Pleasure has the smallest mill of 102cc producing the least power of 6.8PS at 7,000rpm, and torque 7.8Nm produced at 5,000rpm.
The second least powerful scooter here is the Yamaha Ray, which interestingly has the largest capacity engine of 113cc, which produces 7.1PS at 7,500rpm and 8.1Nm at 5,000rpm. The new TVS Scooty Zest and Honda Activa i are closely matched as they are equipped with 109.7cc and 109.2cc mills respectively, producing a similar 8PS at 7,500 and 8.8Nm at 5,500rpm. Since the TVS is the lightest and most powerful, it has the strongest power to weight ratio.
Coming to the suspension, the Honda Activa i and the Hero Pleasure use the old school trailing link front setup which does not give a very pliant ride quality. On the other hand, the Yamaha Ray and the TVS Scooty Zest employ modern telescopic forks up front, which promise to iron out most road undulations.
In terms of braking prowess, all the scooters use 130mm front and rear drum brakes. It’s just the TVS Scooty Zest which comes with 110mm front and 130mm rear drums. None of the companies offer disc brake options as of now. The Honda Activa i with its Combi Brake System (CBS) and Hero Pleasure with Active Braking System as standard have an advantage over the others and claims to improve braking performance by almost 15 per cent.
Finally, let’s talk about the deciding factor for most Indian buyers. According to the claimed figures, Yamaha is the least efficient returning just 53kmpl. Honda using its ‘Honda Eco Technology’ (HET) technology and stretches a litre of petrol to 60km. TVS claims to offer the segment efficiency of 62kmpl. Unfortunately, Hero did not share the Hero Pleasure’s fuel efficiency figure.
The most expensive scooter in this comparison is Yamaha Ray priced at Rs 45,850 (ex-showroom Delhi), followed by the Honda Activa i and Hero Pleasure priced closely at Rs 43,680 and Rs 43,000 respectively (ex-showroom Delhi). TVS is playing the value-for-money card yet again, and has aggressively priced the TVS Scooty Zest at Rs 42,300 (ex-showroom Delhi). On paper, the TVS sounds like the most well packaged product but we’ll need to put these scooter through the ZigWheels’ litmus test to find out how they actually fare in the real world.
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