This generation has seen the moment where motorcycle sales slowed down and scooters got ahead swiftly in the race. Honda said that their Activa is the largest selling scooter and of-course the largest selling two-wheeler in the Indian market today. Bajaj also claimed this fact once with their Discover range the moment it took over the popular Hero Splendor. Honda has also done it with the Activa and time will tell how long does this victory for Honda and scooters in general stays for.
Honda recently launched the Activa 125, entering the segment where Suzuki has been ruling for quite sometime because of no competition and then in the year 2012, Piaggio came with their expensive Vespa retro scooter and started rolling out variants of the same in due course of time. The Activa has come neck and neck with both its rivals because both have excelled in at least one fact. Suzuki has done it with value and performance, while Vespa has done it with performance and styling. The Activa 125 with its not so inspiring styling, similar performance and value for money quotient has raised a lot of eyebrows.
However, if we go step by step like how manufacturers do, we see that if a bigger scooter than the Activa 125 comes (the Hero Zir 150cc scooter is set for launch next year), it will be of higher capacity and will have more features, power and comfort. The 150cc segment is a huge segment in our market because the lowest possible performance motorcycles start from the 150cc category. How about a performance scooter then? Creating roughly around 14 BHP of power and 12 Nm of torque from a 130 kg machine with a CVT equipped engine sounds slightly daft at this point of time but the time when these scooters come is not far away.
Most commuters these days opt for 110cc scooters rather than geared two-wheeler motorcycles of the same displacement. Comfort is the main agenda and economy be damned. 55 km/l is what a scooter can give you max with extremely careful riding. Roughly the economy is around 45 km/l which is far away from a motorcycle of the same category which produces same power and gives 30% more economy in any condition. However the compromise results in more power. Usually we are asked questions that “I travel 50 kms+ for everyday travel should I consider a motorcycle or a scooter?” 150cc scooter with the power of a 150cc motorcycle and the economy also being the same, should make things brisk and time consumed would be less too.
When we take the enthusiast quotient in perspective, we are always happy with more power. A 14 BHP, 12 Nm equipped scooter would see most of enthusiasts commute in a very brisk manner towards home/college/office. Comfort and ease of automatic gearbox with an upright riding position is a very sweet deal and roughly the same economy as our performance motorcycles is turning out to be a superb proposition. Is there a place for a 150cc scooter or a more powerful scooter? Hell yes!