Honda Activa 125 Long Term Review
Bikes Tested: Honda Activa 125
Kms Done: 3804 kms
Test Started at: 773 kms
Test Concluded at: 4577 kms
Mileage: 48.10 km/l, 52.5 km/l (best), 44.88 km/l (worst)
Fuel Consumed: 79.25 liters
Fuel Cost: Rs. 5550/-
Rs. per km: Rs. 1.45/-
The Honda Activa 125 is a great scooter package of performance with practicality
There’s a difference between being successful and being famous and when both are under the hood, one has the best achievement! The scooter which has dominated the market of commuter motorcycles is none other than the Activa and yet Honda hasn’t stopped, with the Activa 125 it just wants to get every other scooter off the sales charts. Honda has two more scooters in its stable, the Activa has yet dominated both of them. With the sales figures climbing all the time and the scooter making its space in every Indian family, the launch of Activa 125 gave in a blow. Lucky us, we had the scooter for the last six months as a long termer and the Activa has impressed us to its every bits.
Even being the most chosen scooter company, Honda doesn’t fail to set some confusion, yes it offers various variants with almost all of its models like a standard and a deluxe variant. The standard loses out some hardware while the deluxe is loaded with all the possible hardware and comes at a premium price as well. We had the deluxe variant of the Activa 125 and yet it had a list of accessories which could be opted afterwards, we didn’t take any extra fashion elements and kept the scooter raw. While completing a set of 1000 kms, we had our initial report which had all of details regarding city and local riding, yet a tad bit of highway experience.
As a scooter rider since 2008, I was pleased to get the Honda Activa 125 as a long termer but at first, the commuter seating position didn’t please me much, the front felt way too high while the rest was a bit serene. But the 8.6 horses underneath the scooter actually are capable of taking long distances and we did go for some. The 125cc Activa could do 200 kms at a stretch without any hesitation unless the tank became dry. The tank is a bit small as it fills to the brim within 5-litres of petrol. The fuel consumption varies depending upon the method of riding, yet the scooter returned good km/l figures, all thanks to Honda’s HET technology.
The styling isn’t much to talk about but yes the design does help in decent riding dynamics as the scooter is stable at high speeds and is also easy to ride within heavy traffic. The handling is good and the steering response is quick. The scooter has a short handle and it just glides through traffic, it’s stable on the highway as the suspension setup is a bit on the stiffer side though the front telescopic suspension absorbs bumps very well. The single sided rear suspension is a bit disappointing as bad roads and the hard setup doesn’t gel in for a commuter based scooter.
The brakes and the tyres on the Honda Activa 125 are the best available, the CBS inspires confidence and makes sure the scooter stops. The deluxe version gets a front disc brake with the CBS system and this makes it the best braking setup available for a scooter in India. The front holds a 190 mm disc brake and a 12-inch alloy, the tyre mounted on it is a 90/90/12 tubeless by MRF and a 90/100/10 section rubber is mounted on a smaller 10-inch alloy at the rear. There are two tyre suppliers for the Activa 125, sticky MRF rubber or long-life TVS rubber, both having the same dimensions. The MRF is more preferred as the braking confidence and power delivery of the scooter works well with the grip of these tyres.
The comfort of the Activa 125 is good for the rider and is actually much better for the pillion. The seat is wide and soft and provides good thigh support. The foot pegs for the pillion are placed indifferently, yet they sometimes create an issue for the rider while manoeuvring through traffic as they hit the rider’s legs when put down. The footpegs for the pillion are of fold-in type making them very useful while riding solo, but with the pillion on-board, the protruding pegs make the scooter way too wide and zipping through traffic is a concern for the rider.
The 125cc mill of the Activa is powerful yet smooth, best for city as well as highway riding
The storage space in the scooter is in abundance, the underseat compartment gulps in a medium sized full-face helmet and quite some papers with a toolkit. An optional front storage (our scooter didn’t have one) is also available and it can hold a lot of small items. The legroom for the rider is enough to seat a huge pet or if the rider is tall enough, there are still no issues with the seating what-so-ever. The scooter isn’t very huge but the dimensions are proportional and very well set.
The durability of the Honda Activa 125 is one to be talked about, not upto the mark as of the old gen Activas but not bad at all. Some panels on the scooter are of plastic and the rest metal, the combination of the same feeds some vibrations. Though the engine is refined, there are some vibes felt through the handlebar and similarly the panels do make a clingy noise while going through bad roads. Headlamp compartment delivers the noise most of the times. The illumination is decent and wide spread, there is also an option to adjust the headlamp position according to the riders necessity. The 35/35W bulb isn’t as bright but illuminates the road to a manageable distance, the battery is a small 3 Amp maintenance free unit, making it a difficult proposition for opting for some brighter headlamp bulbs as the load wouldn’t be bared by it.
Honda Activa 125 Cost Of Service
* Service cost – Rs. 400/-
* Engine oil – Rs. 240/-
* Air filter – Rs. 160/-
* Disc pads – Rs. 650/- (front disc brake)
* Consumables – Rs. 30/-
The Honda Activa 125 has a pilot lamp too which is missing in the other Honda scooters (except the new Honda Dio). There’s a classic single piece horn which is loud and good enough for the scooter. Yet the wiring on this is A.C. hence the power loses out gradually if the scooter hasn’t traveled much and the headlamp and horn are continuously used. The LCD panel in the console which displays information very well doesn’t seem to consume much battery as it has orange back-light on all the time. With the fuel level and the odometer, the small LCD panel even displays a trip meter. The semi-digital console has an analog speedometer which ends at 110 km/hr of which the scooter manages to do the 95 km/hr, once flat-out. The console is cornered with a silver protruding panel which holds a Honda logo in the centre, giving the dull centre a better look.
The Honda Activa 125 is one hell of a package and that results in it possibly being the best scooter available in the market today. With a no-brainer, Honda has put up a great move by launching the Activa 125 which focuses on commuter comfort, better performance and provides much more hardware features. With a steeper price tag than the rest of its siblings, the Activa 125 might have a tough time in getting onto the streets, but the reliability of Honda engines and the popularity of the brand, the Activa 125 is worth the buck spent. Now only if Honda plonks in the 110cc engine in the same body and hardware, then we can call this scooter brand, truly Activah!
The Honda Activa 125 might be a bit costlier than its rivals but the extra money gets you amazing performance, real good hardware and good quality provided by Honda.
* Engine performance, the Activa 125 has the power for slick riding
* Front disc brake with combi-brake setup, offers sure-footed stopping
What’s Not So Cool
* Bouncy rear suspension, stiffly sprung for high speed stability
* Clingy vibrations from front panel
Further Reading –
Picture Editing – Sri Manikanta Achanta