The brand 'Activa' is a force to reckon with in the Indian two-wheeler market. Recently, the Activa again became the best-selling two-wheeler in India, overtaking the Hero Splendor and that speaks volumes about how important it is as a brand for Honda Motorcycle & Scooter India. So it was only fitting that an 'Activa' to be the first Honda scooter to get a BS6 compliant engine and even though it is the Activa 125, it is a step towards the big BS6 transition. Apart from the engine, the 2019 Honda Activa 125 BS6 benefits from added features and significant updates to the design. Here's our review.
Also Read: 2019 Honda Activa 125 BS6 Launched In India
The new BS6 Activa 125 gets a new front apron and a new LED daytime running light along with a new position lamp. The tail lamp at the rear has been redesigned too and there are chrome bits all around which give a premium feel to the scooter. The overall fit and finish go up by a couple of notches but could have been ever better considering the price hike that the scooter is getting.
The biggest update of course is to the engine, which is now fuel-injected and conforms to Bharat Stage 6 emission norms. The internal components have been re-worked and some lightweight parts have been used as well along with low-friction parts. The other big change is that the bore x stroke ratio has changed from 52.4 mm x 57.9 mm to 50 mm x 63.1 mm. With the bore reduced and the stroke increased significantly, the idea was always to increase efficiency and Honda does claim that the fuel efficiency on the Activa 125 BS6 goes up by 13 per cent. The power output drops marginally from 8.52 bhp to 8.18 bhp at 6,500 rpm and even the peak torque output sees a slight decrease from 10.54 Nm to 10.3 Nm at 5,000 rpm. The Activa 125 was never built for performance and HMSI reiterates that focus was always on comfort and efficiency.
Also Read: Honda Activa 125 BS6; Variants Explained
We had the top-spec 'Deluxe' variant with us and it comes loaded with new features. The first of them is the AC generator starter motor, which allows the scooter to wake up smooth and quiet, making it feel more refined. This same technology also helps the idling stop system to work. Yes, the engine shuts off when idling for more than 5 seconds, thereby helping in increasing fuel efficiency. Then there is an external fuel filler cap which can be opened from the multi-function key slot, requiring you to never move from the seat when filling up. Honda has thoughtfully provided a pocket on the left side of the inside apron but that feels quite flimsy. The Activa 125 BS6 also gets a side-stand engine inhibitor system which means that if you deploy the side stand, the engine will shut off. The part digital part analogue instrument console is updated and now shows average efficiency and distance to empty as well. In a nutshell, the new Activa 125 offers more than just a new engine.
The first thing that strikes you as you thumb the starter is the refinement. It is a definite upgrade from the previous model and the difference in refinement is more than discernible. Twist the throttle and there is a sense of urgency with crisper acceleration on offer. The soundtrack is pleasing to the ears and till about 65-70 kmph, the engine feels smooth and offers enough juice. Prod it to go faster and you will realise that the engine feels strained after 70 kmph but as far as an urban commute is concerned, you will be satisfied with the performance. The scooter is happy cruising at 60-70 kmph it has a top speed of 90 kmph. But you will need a long stretch of open tarmac to reach 90 kmph. The braking performance is decent and with Honda's combi-braking system with equaliser, panic braking situations are
Also Ride: Honda Activa 125 BS6 Deliveries Begin
Ride & Handling
There is little difference in terms of ride and handling as the chassis and the cycle parts stay the same. The seat and the seating position is comfortable and scooter is nimble and one could easily filter through traffic when astride. The suspension is sprung well and the Activa 125 BS6 will not feel out of place on broken tarmac. Although, we would have liked thicker rubber wrapped around the 12-inch wheel up front and the 10-inch rear wheel! But that would have meant sacrificing some amount of efficiency.
Pricing & Competition
There are three variants of the Honda Activa 125 BS6 on sale which are the Standard, Alloy and the Deluxe variants. They are priced at ₹ 67,490, ₹ 70,990 and ₹ 74,990 respectively. Yes, there is a significant increase in the prices, about ₹ 6,000 for the base model and ₹ 9,000 for the top model. The standard and the alloy model miss out on the idling stop system. Although the side stand engine inhibitor system is optional on the standard model and it also misses out on the digital bit of the instrument console. The rivals for the Activa 125 will be the Suzuki Access 125 and the TVS NTorq 125.
The 2019 Honda Activa 125 BS6 makes sense for someone who is looking for a no-frills scooter which is comfortable and efficient. The performance does improve but won't set your heart racing. There are a tonne of features available and Honda also offers peace of mind with a special 6-year warranty package (3 years standard + 3 years optional extended warranty) on BS6 Activa 125. The prices do see a significant hike but it was expected and to be fair, the Activa 125 does offer more in terms of comfort and convenience.
Photography: Azam Siddiqui