Honda’s original Activa can rightly stake claim to having resurrected the Indian scooter industry from the dead. Just when we’d all given up hope and thought ours was solely a motorcycle market, Honda brought on the Activa in 1999, their first two-wheeler for India to prove everyone wrong. There’s been several scooters from other manufacturers, along with several minor Activa upgrades from Honda, but the fact of the matter remains; an Activa is an Activa.
Honda has milked the Activa cash cow, without ever tampering too much with the proven formula. Major upgrades have come in a shift up from 102cc to 109cc, and more recently in the engine embracing Honda Eco Technology, HET technology, plus a new body. Still, the Activa is now a shade long in the tooth, and it’s a good time to move on.
So the Activa 125 steps in on cue, to fill in the blanks left vacant by previous Activa models. The new 125 includes a tough metal body, often looked up to and preferred in India, with elegant, still conservative body lines. A single, halogen powered headlight is at hand, as are clear lens indicators, flush fitted to the front apron. Instruments are a mix of analogue and digital, sitting over a silvered casing, speedometer calibrated up to 110kph and a green economy zone marked from 30 to 50kph. Levers, grips, mirrors and switches are just as comfortable to operate as expected, and there’s a broad, flat floorboard. The Activa 125 comes with alloy pillion footrests and a wide, comfortable riding saddle that’s long enough to easily accommodate a pillion. From behind, the 125 looks every bit an Activa family scooter, showing off a large, alloy grab handle and prominent tail light cluster.
The Activa 125 is powered by a four-stroke, 124.9cc, single-cylinder and forced air-cooled engine. Power is 0.6bhp up on its predecessor, 8.6bhp made a 1000rpm lower at 6500 revs. Peak torque is likewise higher, 1kgm at 5500rpm, and the carburetted powerhouse provides a manual choke knob located just below the handlebars. There’s a viscous type air-filter. Power is transferred to the rear wheel via a CVT system on this automatic scooter. A maintenance free (MF) battery supported electric starter is standard, with kick lever provided for added safety. The Activa 125 engine comes with roller supported rocker arm fingers for good efficiency, and given its conservative power figures, you can expect an only nominal fuel-efficiency drop over the smaller, 109cc Activa. Also look forward to a Honda typical engine that provides refined and smooth performance.
This new Activa seats riders in a comfortable, upright riding position. Keeping with its premium positioning, the upcoming Activa 125 features five-spoke alloy rims, a pair of telescopic forks as front suspension and single rear shock absorber, with engine doubling up as a stressed member of the frame. A hydraulic 190mm front disc brake is optional, while a cable actuated 130mm drum handles stopping duties at rear. Additionally, the Activa 125 comes with combined brakes. Tyres are tubeless at rear, with a larger 12 inch front wheel and 10 inch rim at rear.
All in all, the Activa story is about to turn over a new leaf, with the 125 all ready and raring to go, properly equipped to script a new chapter in this grand Honda success story. It’s certain to be a high quality, well built scooter with improved performance and better comfort, as well as handling and braking, a potential segment leader in the making.
Honda aims to bring the exciting new Activa 125 into showrooms around India by April 2014, sensibly priced at around Rs 60,000. All said and done, the Activa 125 is sure to make yet another winning package from the big H right from the word go.