With new beginnings in our minds this year, we here at Motorbikes India wanted to give our readers something fresh. Motorcycles are the top-selling two-wheelers in the country and essentially form the core of our magazine. However, we also are looking to dig in and explore the world of another popular vehicle in two-wheeler category, which already is a hit with the masses – the scooter. That’s right! Scooter or popularly nicknamed as “Scooty”, is perhaps as popular as motorcycles in India. This is so as more than fifty percent of sales revenue in the industry comes from scooters.
After Honda had officially cut ties with its longtime business partner Hero, it immediately faced with a challenge of starting all over and establishing itself. Aware of the fact that the Indian consumers are hardest to please, Honda needed a solid line up of vehicles to get back in the game. Honda Activa 4G is the latest in the line of Activa scooters from Honda. A successor to Honda Activa 3G, it features a fresh new take on power, design, and accessories. While adopting the BS IV engine technology, Honda has stepped itself up to match what its competitors are offering currently.
Last time when I’d visited our authorized partner showroom, Parkash Honda, for test driving one of the Honda bikes, I’d also discussed with their manager how I was looking for a reputed scooter to test drive for my next review. After hearing this, he very confidently suggested the all-new Activa 4G and how it was a perfect choice for first ever scooter review considering it had been named as the highest selling scooter in India for the last 7 years in a row now. This intrigued me and I told him that I’d be there next weekend for test driving it then.
The week went by faster than I had expected and the day of test drive had already arrived. After a quick phone call with the manager, I made my move towards the Honda showroom located in Sector 10, Noida. Once I reached the destination with my team, the manager leads me to the Activa 4G that I was meant to test drive. In no time, I was on it full on in my riding gear driving it towards open road out in the traffic. What follows, describes my complete experience riding the Honda Activa 4G.
Design and Color Variants
When it comes to marketing scooters in India these days, most are designed to especially target the female consumer base. However, with the launch of Activa, Honda made it clear that this scooter was clearly unisex on design and would appeal to both female and male riders in the country. The overall design of the Activa 4G isn’t very radically different from its 3G version.
Only someone who has been familiar with the previous versions of Activa scooters would get a hang of the subtle new changes, like upgrading the design of the latest Activa 4G. Featuring an electric start, the headlamp remains the same except that it now features an AHO (Automatic Headlamp On). This means that the headlamp would only go off if the engine shuts down. Apart from this, there have been reflectors provided on both sides of the front fender.
With the all-new BS IV engine, Honda has followed the footsteps of many companies in adopting the latest norms as per emission standards. Another commendable feature worth mentioning is the sharper design of the side panels. Perhaps, it is the most visible aspect of Activa 4G which makes it easier to distinguish it from Activa 3G on the design front. Then again there is the 4G logo of course, which makes it even more evident. However, there are no alloy-wheels present in this model, which can be a mild setback for the scooter.
When it comes to seeing this scooter in a variety of colors, Honda is available in two more colors, Matte Grey and Silver. Apart from this, buyers also have the usual color choice of Plain Black, Plain White, Metallic Brown, Metallic Blue and Metallic Red. The staff at the showroom told me how the new matte black color is quickly becoming the second favorite after pearl white. For me, I would give its classic white color a big thumbs up!
Performance and Handling
It is a known fact that Honda Activa has managed to break sales records as the highest selling two-wheeler in the country. In just 7 months, it has sold more than 20 lac units, which is not only impressive but also a hint towards just how reliable people find this scooter to be. Achieving this feat is equivalent to clinching gold at the Olympics. The sales figure solidifies its reputation as a two-wheeler that is on top of the game. So, how did it do when I tested its forte practically and took it for a demanding ride across the roads?
Weighing at 108 kilograms, it is neither light nor heavy for scooter and the same can be said for its 110cc engine. It seems just about right on power and efficiency. As I started the Activa 4G, it buzzed to life immediately. Upon acceleration, it went smoothly ahead and in no time I was doing 30-40kmph on the road in between city traffic. As someone who has already driven its previous 3G version before, it did not feel any different although Honda has provided the 4G with a higher torque this time.
Overall, it felt great to drive in between traffic as the breaks and suspensions worked nicely in reducing the impact of speed bumps. It is a breeze to ride at both lower and higher speeds and its metal body and great alignment make it a steady ride not to mention. This certainly is a plus point that Activa has over its counterparts fitted with fiber bodies. Like them, it doesn’t run all over the place and makes it far easier for the rider to control, especially for the learners. In this department, the Activa 4G demonstrated very clearly why it is the ‘boss scooter’!
Honda has audaciously claimed the Activa 4G’s top speed to be 83Kmph while its speedometer reads a full 100. But is it just a gimmick or a proven fact? I couldn’t wait to discover. So, I took it on to the freeway to register its top speed for us and the result really surprised me.
On pushing its acceleration, the scooter zoomed ahead and hit a mindboggling 85kmph on its analog speedometer! However, at this point, I could feel heavy vibrations from the scooter and its sound changed from a low-key buzz to some machine which seemed like it was ready to explode any moment. The top speed number really left me impressed nevertheless.
Mileage per Litre and Fuel Tank Capacity
The fuel tank of Activa 4G is capable of storing in 5.3 liters of petrol. This is again just average capacity as scooters such as Aprilia are offering as much as 7 liters on a full tank. When it comes to delivering mileage, Activa 4G delivered a little over average performance.
In between city traffic, the scooter ran a good 54 kilometers on a liter of fuel and on the highway it covered about 63 kilometers per liter. This is where Honda Activa really needs to step up its game as many scooters are easily delivering over 70 km on a liter of fuel.
Details and Specifications
Expectations were running high when Honda announced the launch of Activa 4G as an upgraded version of its very successful Activa 3G. However, it soon became evident that no real upgrades were made to the scooter except for the name. Everything remains the same in the details and specifications department except for a minor nip and tuck here and there. The speedometer remains analog and very simple on design indicating just speed and fuel tank capacity. Also, the storage space underneath the seat remains the same and comes with a USB charging unit.
Another addition is in the form of BS IV engine as mentioned before. Apart from this both its headlamp and tail lamp are the same on design. The only difference is that now you won’t be able to turn the headlight off like in the previous model if the engine of the scooter is still running. The quality of material used seems durable and the metal body works great in providing its body some longevity and sturdiness as required. Having no additional graphics on the scooter somehow gives it an elegant appearance and compliments its unisex design.
Technical specifications of Honda Activa 4G are as follows:
- Engine: 109.2 cc, BS IV, Aircooled
- Max power: 8 Bhp @ 7500 rpm
- Max torque: 8.83 Nm @ 5500 rpm
- Front suspension: Spring Loaded Hydraulic type
- Rear suspension: Spring Loaded Hydraulic type
- Front breaks: Drum, 130mm
- Rear breaks: Drum,130mm
- Front tyres: 90/100-10 53
- Rear tyres: 90/100-10 53
- Ground clearance: 153 mm
- Fuel tank: 5.3 liters (tank+reserve)
- Headlamp: Bulb and reflector
- Dimensions in mm: length = 1761 mm, width = 710 mm, height = 1149 mm
- Kerb weight: 108 kilograms
The Honda Activa 4G top model at ex-showroom rate would cost somewhere around Rs. 51,324. The price has remained quite competitive over the years in comparison to its other counterparts.
After paying GST, Road Tax, RTO, and Insurance, the cost of the scooter would add up by Rs. 13000 more. So, the overall price would be somewhere around Rs. 64,324 in New Delhi and NCR region.
Other Features and Accessories
Honda provides just a user manual, two keys in a keychain with the scooter and half a liter of fuel in the tank. Every other accessory such as helmet, footrest, seat cover etc., would have to be bought separately.
Pros and Cons
Although the Honda Activa has for a long time been the number one choice of public, it doesn’t mean that it is flawless. The competition in the market is only getting tougher and following is where I feel the Honda Activa 4G could improve.
- Tough and durable body
- High resale value
- Powerful and dependable engine
- No significant changes in the design
- Outdated speedometer
- Low capacity fuel tank
It’s hard to believe that it has been seventeen years since Honda Activa had debuted in India. It immediately struck a chord with Indian buyers considering it offered everything they needed in a scooter, thus appealing to the masses quickly. There is no doubt that it is dependable and has stood the test of both time and trends. Perhaps, it is this combination of technology and innovation, which has ended up making the Honda Activa the highest selling two-wheeler in India.
Speaking of its build, power, durability and my overall riding experience, the scooter is definitely a 9, if not a perfect 10. But, what about its looks, for they definitely matter here! Now, for the past five years or so, many big players from across the globe have forayed into the Indian market with their fancy new rides. Keeping this in mind, I believe that it is now time that Honda seriously starts thinking about giving its Activa 4G a makeover. If Honda can pull that off, then I do believe, Activa 4G would become a thing of beauty, which could be a joy to ride for a long time ahead, if not forever!
— Rahul Chauhan
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