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Honda Dio (First report)

16th Dec 2012 2:05 am

The recently upgraded Honda Dio doesn’t only up the style quotient, but also the performance.

 

The Dio has been with us for around two months now, and in this short time it has proven itself so brilliantly as an effective commuter that even buying groceries from down the street seems like it would be a huge inconvenience without it. And the more time I spend with this red example of ours, the more I’m convinced about just how gorgeous the sharp styling is.

You see, the facelifted Honda Dio attracts a lot of attention wherever it goes. Even though the original version had been around for many years, the facelift did well to breathe new life into the design. Some passersby don’t even recognise it as a Dio, asking if it was a new model and who its manufacturer was.

Strangely, a lot of this has to do with the removal of the graphics and decals from the body panels. Their absence actually highlights the striking edges and cuts in the bodywork, and the Honda scooter is all the better for it. The wide headlight and indicators neatly housed in the front apron —­ a Dio trademark ­— is a funky touch, too.

This being a Honda, you can expect high-quality switches, meters and levers, and you won’t be disappointed. However, the brake lock clamp on the left-hand side feels flimsy and is difficult to operate. When we took the scooter for a fun jaunt to ghats near Pune, riding it was a blast — parking it, less so. It took quite an effort to find a level patch among the slopes before we could park the Dio safely. This is a known issue with this scooter and we hope Honda pays it some attention.

I’m quite tall, and I tend to carry my backpack most places I go, soit’s a good thing the flat floorboard offers plenty of legroom. There’s enough room for the backpack too, and the bag hook below the saddle is a handy way to fasten it in place. And in case I need to do some of
that aforementioned grocery shopping, the under-seat bay is reasonably big too.

The refined, 109cc engine borrowed from the Activa and Aviator has made rides more peppy and responsive. Even with a pillion on board, the four-stroke engine does not hesitate to pull the gearless scooter firmly forward. As traffic signals turn green, the upgraded Dio is always amongst the fastest off the line thanks to its lively acceleration and smooth delivery of power.

The facelifted Dio’s increased ground clearance is an added benefit on Pune roads, which have numerous potholes and speed bumps aplenty. We wish the scooter had telescopic front fork suspension, but that said, both the front and rear suspension do their job decently. With the start of the monsoon here in Pune, the grippy MRF tyres feel planted on the wet roads, giving you a reassuring feeling even when you are in a bit of a hurry.

And the icing on the cake? Despite its peppy nature, the Dio has returned an impressive overall fuel economy of 44.6kpl during its time with us. Peppy, efficient and attractive — what more could you ask for?

AMIT PANDAY

 

Odometer 1100km

Price Rs 49,959 (on-road, Pune)

Test economy 44.6kpl  

Maintenance costs Rs 235 (engine, gearbox oil)

Faults None

 

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