Honda Motorcycle and Scooter India has sold its Activa in India for over a decade, introducing minor changes to the scooter’s styling and engine, but never shifting far from a tried and tested formula. The big H’s new Activa-i just broke cover, with a plastic body, refreshed styling and more petite dimensions.
Meanwhile, Yamaha has launched a similar scooter, the Ray Z. The Z is mechanically identical to the Ray, with louder graphics and some restyled bits. Both these rival scooters are at loggerheads and target the same customers. Let’s find out which of the two Japanese scooters side-lines its rival.
Riders on both scooters sit over four-stroke, single-cylinder, carbureted and air-cooled engines. The Honda engine is identical to the standard Activa, displacing 109.2cc with Honda Eco Technology (HET) coming into play. Power output remains 8bhp at 7500rpm, as is peak torque, 0.9kgm made at 5500rpm.
Meanwhile, the Ray Z houses a 113cc engine that generates 7bhp at 7500rpm, while peak torque is 0.82kgm at 5000rpm. Both scooters come with automatic, CVT transmission systems that work seamlessly. During performance tests, the Activa-i dashed to 60kph from standstill in 8.09 seconds, while the Ray Z achieved this in a tardier 11.35sec. The Honda went on to achieve a higher top speed of 88kph on the limit, while the Yamaha ran out of steam at a true 83kph.
Both scooters run vibe free and are tuned for city commuting.
The Activa-i weighs 103kg, while the Ray Z tips the scales at 104kg. Honda has disappointed to go with linked front suspension on the i, while the Ray Z comes with a set of superior telescopic forks that make a world of a difference to riding pleasure. At the rear, both scooters get identical suspension systems, a single-shock absorber bolted onto their stressed member engines. The Activa-i handles about as well as any other scooter in this class, but it’s the more neutral-handling Ray Z that enjoys an edge.
Speaking of ride quality, the Activa-i is firm, with potholes and undulations feeling that bit more pronounced, where the Ray Z is so much easier on the back. The Activa-i gets Honda’s clever Combined Braking System (CBS), which proves effective. During brake testing, we stopped the Activa-i in 21.62m from 60kph, where the Ray Z halted from this same speed in a slightly better 20.64m.
This ranks among the most important areas for Indian two-wheelers, in order to keep sales ticking in the Indian two-wheeler industry. The Activa-i returned 47kpl in city and 49.5kpl while stretching its legs on the highway. The Ray Z gave us 44kpl within city limits and an improved 45.6kpl on the highway.