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Old 29th July 2013, 14:18   #1
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Default Ownership Report: 2013 Honda Activa

Hello All! This is my first ownership review and I'll try my best to keep it as informative as possible. But still, if you have any query, I'll be happy to help you.

Introductory Message:-
• The views and opinions in this review are limited to myself and are limited to me only.
• I'm not into technical things. So, I'd like not to go deep into the technical details by myself and if I write names of some parts wrong, then please excuse me!
• If you feel that I'm wrong in any section, feel free to contradict me.
• I won't mention the names of dealers I encountered, due to personal reasons. However, I'll obviously mention the name of dealer from whom I finally bought the vehicle.

The Prelude:-
With a city-friendly Verna, highway-friendly XUV and a novice-friendly Eon (now sold!), my family really didn't require a new vehicle for myself. Our office employees required a single vehicle for office purposes (You know, they won't use their personal conveyance for office puposes, right?). Our daily usage wasn't going to exceed 60 kilometres at max (Including our personal usage). They didn't need a car as their daily run was going to be from the office to market to collect supplies or to deliver supplies from office. Hence, we first decided a bare-bones motorbike such as Bajaj Boxer, Yamaha Crux etc. But since we required space for parcels (Underseat storage and storage on the foot-board), bikes were eliminated mainly due to their lack of required storage. Hence, we zeroed in on CVT Automatic Scooters which are city-friendly as well as have storage space.

The Requirements:-
• Storage space (highly important)
• City-friendly nature (highly important)
• Good fuel-efficiency (important)
• Price under ₹50,000. ₹55,000 at max! (important)
• Good Reliability (important)
• Good After Sales Service (not that important as I could get it serviced from my local mechanic)
• Neutral styling (not that important)
• Good, neutral colour (not at all important for me, but even employees do have some requirements ).

The Search Begins:-
I was interested in the following models, though most got eliminated towards the final selection:-

I. Honda Aviator
The factors that worked for us (top three, as else are irrelevant) :-
  1. Good under-seat storage
  2. Good mileage, as proven by many and refined engine
  3. Average city manners

The factors that didn't work for us (again, top three) :-
  1. Heavy body
  2. A bit stiff ride
  3. Poor rear drum-brake. Frontal disc is fine but rear isn't good.

My office's main employee followed me along. We reached our nearest Honda dealer (My friend had purchased an Activa from here) by 1:00pm and asked for a test drive. They were more interested in selling us Activa. However, we first wanted a ride of Aviator. The drive was arranged, however we had to wait for a while. The TD vehicle had clocked a good number of kilometres and hence, it could be a good oppurtunity to test it fully. The engine is refined and a peppy powerplant with good low-throttle response. It's handling is just about average, with enough poise to putter around town comfortably. But the rear drum brake was poor and it literally had to be pulled to experience any braking. The front disc brake had good bite and with Honda's CBS (Combined Braking System, which optimises brake force b/w front and rear brakes, thus giving a shorter stopping distance). On the whole, a good ride but the quote given by them put us off and I had lots of better contenders, so it was ruled out.

II. Honda Dio
The factors that worked for us:-
  1. Good mileage and refined engine
  2. Lighter body than Aviator
  3. Just the right size for the city, neither too puny like pleasure nor heavy like aviator.

The factors that didn't work for us:-
  1. Highly extrovert styling, which is more suited to a college-going bloke
  2. Lesser storage space than Aviator
  3. Test car was rattling with the speedometer unit feeling like a hand could easily brake it.

I went to the same dealer and asked for a test drive of Dio. They didn't have one and promised a vehicle by 3 days. But we needed a vehicle urgently within two days. So, I went to another dealer, around 3 km from this one and got a Dio for TD. The vehicle that I was presented was really flashy, green color and couple that to extrovert styling, my dad wholely rejected it for office purposes. Still, I went in for a TD. The vehicle was good, and almost similar to the Aviator in the engine department. But it felt nimbler than the heavy Aviator. But, I went in for TD only due to interest factor and it was already rejected. So, even this was eliminated from my list of considerations. I wished to TD the Activa, but after riding two Honda's, I thought of saving it for the next day.

III. Suzuki Swish
The factors that worked for us:-
  1. Power! 125cc in a light-weight scooter
  2. Enough pep for the city
  3. Similar dimensions to the Dio

The factors that didn't work for us:-
  1. I felt the storage to be less than Dio
  2. Average fuel efficiency, as told to me by many
  3. Anonymous styling, although not a deal-breaker for us

I reached their dealership at 1pm in afternoon. A clean, well-presented showroom with a Swish, an Access and a Slingshot on display even if the the showroom was small. I ask the sales-guy to provide me a Swish for a ride. He presents the vehicle and gives the vehicle for a measly 1 km. And all the time he was going gaga over the Swish, exclaiming it to be the best and stating that it was THE-scooter I need. The TD impressed me and it felt nimble enough but still, it had lesser storage even than Dio, which had the least storage amongst all the vehicles I had tested. Well, this broke the record and hence, was removed from the list, even though it was a good vehicle.

IV. Suzuki Access
The factors that worked for us:-
  1. Power, as usual. Felt good in straight line
  2. Neutral styling
  3. Good space on the footboard, if not below the seat

The factors that didn't work for us:-
  1. Stiff ride
  2. Mentioned earlier, less underseat storage
  3. Bad fuel efficiency, as told to me by many.

After the Swish ride, the Access was on my radar. I liked it at first sight. It lived upto my expectations, except on F.E. and under-seat storage part. Rest all, it felt similar to Swish, even if a tad slower and less nimbler. So, drove it for a paltry 400m and returned it to the showroom guy with me discarding even this one.

V. TVS Wego
The factors that worked for us:-
  1. Nippy handling, thanks to that 'body balance' stuff!
  2. Consistently good Fuel Efficiency, as told by many
  3. Alloys, front disc brake etc like nifty features

The factors that didn't work for us:-
  1. Limited storage
  2. Stiff ride
  3. Comparatively lesser grunt than the previous one's tested.

So, after TDing all these in one day, I had two contenders left, TVS Wego and Honda Activa. So, I went to the TVS Showroom and asked for test-drive for Wego. Till the time I was waiting for the vehicle to come, I was drooling over that black Apache ABS. Still, I controlled my horses and went for a ride. Initially, I felt it suffered from lag (IDK if this is with me only) which made it reluctant to move, but only for a minute time period which most won't notice if they drive it first time. But the ride felt really stiff to me and I was bouncing whenever I passed any crater. Moreover, it's storage was much lesser, I felt. So, it was eliminated.

VI. Honda Activa
The factors that worked for us:-
  1. Typical refined Honda engine
  2. Easy driveability
  3. Good Fuel-Efficieny

The factors that didn't work for us:-
  1. A tad wider than Dio, and even Access, which I considered to be perfect
  2. Price was beyond the ₹50,000 mark
  3. No front disc brake to complement this package

If you remember, I said I'll save this one for last. After all, the best should be saved for the last, right? I again went to the aforementioned dealer for a TD. They brought a vehicle and as soon as I sat on it, I found the seat to be very comfortable. After 5 minutes, I decided that it could-be the vehicle I needed. After-all, 'twas comfortable, rode well, had good storage and fuel-efficiency, all I needed.

The Final Contenders and The Selection
After 2 hours of head-scratching, thinking, phone calls to Dad and final selection, Aviator and Activa were the main contenders. So, you must be wondering why Activa was preferred over Aviator? Simple, it is the best-selling scooter and bread-and-butter model of Honda. So, it's spares could be easily available and I'd have complete peace of mind, owing to Honda reliability. Aviator was discarded purely by opinion. Employees and Dad preferred Activa more than Aviator. Hence, The Activa it was!

The Scooters weren't considered
The following scooters weren't selected:-
  1. Mahindra Rodeo/Duro- This was eliminated due to lack of service network and a still unfamiliar vehicle to local mechanics and masses.
  2. Yamaha Ray/ Ray Z- This was eliminated due to same reason as the Dio. Good for college chaps and it remains there only.
  3. Hero Maestro- Similarly engined to Activa and has almost the same ride and handling traits. Storage space is identical too! Then, this should be the one, right? Wrong, my friend's Maestro's digital speedo developed problems and went to Showroom almost every third day. But the guys at Hero weren't interested in solving it. So, finally he sold it and bought an Activa for peace of mind.
  4. Hero Pleasure- Marketed as feminine, sold to feminine and bought by feminine. Why'd our employees be interested in this when majority were males. So, 'twas eliminated as well.
  5. Vespa LX/VX 125- Ridiculous, stratospheric pricing for a legendary product. Agreed it has a lot of heritage and is used in films, but I needed a basic scooter. That's it! A cheap frills Scooter and no more.
  6. Honda Activa I- No spy-shots, no information, no interest, just a launch all-of-a-sudden. Moreover, it came much later when I bought Activa. Had it been there, it would have been a strong competitor.

Last edited by S@ndy : 19th August 2013 at 15:17.
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Old 29th July 2013, 22:03   #2
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Default Re: Ownership Report: 2013 Honda Activa

From booking till Delivery
What booking? What waiting? Just a single phone call, the vehicle was booked and handed over to us after 3 hours . I purchased the vehicle from Arneja Honda and the whole process was really smooth and my father had to come just once with his proof for the paper-work. Just one thing was left, the colour. Now, this was done by a referendum-cum-poll system. Switched on the Ipad and made a facetime call to our office Ipad. From the dealership, I could see each employee and gave them two options, white or grey. Most raised hands and voted for grey. Note that this was in a 60/40 % split. Clearly, majority won and a grey Activa was brought to office.

Payment Method And Some Small Details
The total initial cost of the vehicle can be summarised as below:

₹ 46700 (Ex-Showroom Price)
₹ 1300 (Insurance Price)
₹ 2369 (RTO Registration Cost)

Something that ridiculed me was the lack of a side stand and side step as standard accessories. I don't know if this is normal or not but I felt it to be strange. Still, where we've spent approximately ₹ 50,000 on a vehicle, spending some more wouldn't hurt our pocket. So, I got the following accessories installed:

₹ 200 (Side-Stand)
₹ 300 (Bumper. Note that I got this from aftermarket)
₹ 150 (Side-Step)

.......And that's it! So, the total came to be approximately ₹ 51,019 (Round off that Rs. 19). After this, We signed off the Cheque and handed over to them. There was no waiting and I got our Activa within 3 hours. The main time taken was for registration (I'm yet to receive RC of the vehicle, lucky we! No cops encountered till date!) and the mandatory wash-up. Since I was left alone, I drove the Activa and rode her to the office. I'll elaborate on this in next section.

Initial Reactions And Sub-25 km Drive Impressions
Just as I was handed over the keys to our grey ride, I inserted the key in the slot, twisted it to start-position, pulled the brake lever and pressed the ignition button, and found out the start to be really smooth. Engine felt refined! As soon as I slightly (READ, Slightly!) twisted the throttle, Activa leaped in front almost spontaneously! This feeling was similar to the one I had when I first drove the Verna. Within 400m, I encountered a stretch of traffic which would really test the Activa's city-friendly nature. When I reached the place, I found a narrow gap and puttered Activa into it and within no-time, I lead the traffic convoy, standing near the Police-wallah. After that, there was a 1km empty stretch of road.

Now, I better clarify this, I don't believe in running-in and no one in my family does. When I got my Verna, I took it to Ludhiana at speeds above 100 kmph (yeah, it felt wobbley and much like a Pogo Stick). Similarly, on the delivery day of XUV, I and my brother drove it to Mogha and Chandigarh. Since, we haven't faced any problems with the two.

Now, to continue the story, I on my Activa standing in front a 1km road with none in sight. So, I fully twisted the throttle and within 10 seconds or so, I was at the speeds of 60kmph but the engine felt like it could do 10kmph more w/o any sweat. I feel I forgot something! Ah! The Brakes! Well, the brakes were good and stopped the Activa in a short distance and felt like they could hold on till the first service, surviving the ravages of continuous usage in city confines.

Lemme tell you something, Amritsar's typical city confines have highly notorious drivers that drive their AutoRicks like Michael Schumacher driving his F1 Car. They swerve in any corner they like without leaving even an atom of space between them and another vehicle. Since I travel frequently in such confines, I've become used to this (and the YO-YO Honey Singh raps that are continuously played here and are highly over-rated and the preferred by each n' every teen here and even I, to some extent) and consider it to be a normal part of my life. This, coupled to small alleys, can make even an experienced driver fret while driving any car here. So, I have my trustee Firefox cycle whenever I need to go there.

The Activa passed this test and made me smile when I reached office. A pundit was already arranged at office and he made a swastika sign and broke a coconut in front of it, and applied tikka on our foreheads. Instead of looking at him, I was smiling at the li'l Activa and hoping to ride her like a lunatic, puttering around streets, wandering here-and-there without any reason.

Last edited by S@ndy : 17th August 2013 at 09:41.
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Old 17th August 2013, 10:07   #3
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Default Re: Ownership Report: 2013 Honda Activa

Sub 250 km Drive Impressions
The Activa reached a milestone of 250 km and the first service was in around 15 days. And exactly on the fifteenth day, we reached the 250 km mark. The only difference I noticed is the lack in bite of brakes. They aren't as effective than the initial days when we bought the vehicle and result in considerably long stopping distances than needed. Infact, one of our employees rear-ended a Bolero. I guess this would be rectified after the first Service. Rest all, Activa is performing really well. The city confines are it's habitat and it doesn't even break a sweat when subjected to any kinds of traffic jams. Rest all, it is fine.

Sub 500 km Drive Impressions
Till the time Activa reached the 500 km mark, all problems I faced was a puncture, yes! Just a puncture was all that we faced. Apart from that, the braking issue was resolved and the brakes are fine now. At this mark, I'd like to comment on Ride and Handling aspects. Ride is good at low speeds but however, if you pass any large crater at high speeds, then be prepared for getting a vigorous jolt! But this is to be expected with small tyres and moreover, it doesn't have telescopic front suspension. Obviously, we can't compare it to the motorcycles as they have comparatively better ride quality than Activa, owing to their larger wheels. Handling, as expected is neutral. So, don't expect it to meet your expectations of R15-style handling. Tyres are good for city use but not good for undertaking corners at high speeds. But Activa isn't meant for that, right? The engine is still butter-smooth and Activa truly shines in the city department.

Sub 1000 km Drive Impressions
Well, within the first 500 km, the main area where it was used 95% of time was the city. However, due to change in order locations, this phase also covered highways. I've ridden Activa on highways and can say that maximum speed that I was able to achieve was 80 kmph (obviously, this was when I saw it. Speedo Error isn't being taken into consideration here). But where the Activa shines in city, it becomes a dud on the highway. The small 8bhp engine doesn't have the grunt to cruise the motorway all day long and even overtakes seem like a difficult job. This is where the extra grunt of Access/Swish shines. Still, we haven't faced even a single issue since then and I prefer this in a scoot primarily meant for the city.

Sub 1300 km Drive Impressions
Every morning at 5:30 pm, I need to go to attend my tuitions. Since the cars are taken by elders of the family, these days I take the Activa. Nothing has changed since then. Activa is the same today as it had been on the day it walked outta the showroom. It is about to go for Service as well and I would keep you informed of the costs.

The Mileage I Get
So, I've calculated the mileage on a timely basis. Lemme tell you that we had bought it sometime in March 2013 and it is the HET (Honda Eco Technology) and they claim HET Activa to be 15-20 % more efficient than the non-HET equipped Activa. To read more about this, click

Within first 15 days
4 litres (Fuel filled)
194 km (Distance travelled by these 4 litres)

During this time the throttle was used conservatively but these are the figures in start-stop traffic. So, by simple mathematics, this equates to around 48ish kmpl. Good but I expected more, especially when Honda quotes a mileage of 60 kmpl. Note that the figures that I'm mentioning are average figures within the time span. Sometimes, the figures that we've received are exemplary (more than 50kmpl) while sometimes the figures I got are nothing to write about.

Within first 3 Months
4 litres (Average amt. of fuel filled in this time)
176 km (Distance travelled)

During this time, the throttle was abused well in city confines. These figures equate to around 44 kmpl which isn't bad considering how roughly the employees drove it during this time period.

Within next 3 Months
4 litres (Average amt. of fuel filled)
215 km (Distance Travelled)

During this span, as I mentioned earlier, Activa was ridden on highways with a light hand and produced this figure of 53.xx kmpl. I wonder if I'd ever be able to touch company's claims of 60 kmpl.

Within these figures, have you noticed something similar? I've used 4 litres of fuel as an average each time I calculated the mileage. This is so as to maintain uniformity in each case.

Last edited by S@ndy : 17th August 2013 at 14:42.
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Old 17th August 2013, 14:58   #4
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Default Re: Ownership Report: 2013 Honda Activa

Some Pertinent Points
  • Neutral styling may not be to everyone's taste. However, in my case I needed a scoot for our office.
  • Apart from India, Mexico is the only country where Activa is sold.
  • When it was launched, it had a 100cc engine which was updated to 109cc engine during the second-gen model.
  • I wonder if HET has something to do with mileage. When I asked my friend, he too quoted similar figures saying HET is just a marketing gimmick. Don't know whether he is right or not.
  • Production in India began in 2000 while in 2004, it began in Mexico.
  • Honda markets it under the tagline 'JOY ON AND ON'. I wonder if it's applicable to it! This tagline is better suited to something like Swift or Punto or for instance, R15 as well.
  • Activa-i, the junior (dare I say, female?) version of Activa costs almost ₹5,000 cheaper than Activa. If it had come at that time, I might have bought it. Click here (Honda Activa-i : Ready to Fly) to read an excellent report on Activa-i by BHPian rohan_iitr
  • Click here to view the specifications of Activa.
  • I guess it's about time to improve the styling to bring it to modern times. Ya, it's unoffending but is getting long-in-the-tooth now.

I've already mentioned the pros and cons of Activa earlier, so won't like to go in too much detail.

Niggles, if any
  • A puncture
  • Self-Start and Horn stopped working once, but they got fine the next morning. Strange, huh?
  • The OEM floor mat gets soiled really easily. So, I bought a plastic mat for it as well.
  • Since the color of our Activa is grey, small scratches are easily visible and it's an eyesore.
  • Whenever you need to access engine bay, you'd have to lift up the whole rear. May not be a good thing for DIY guys.

That's all I can think and remember right now. No major niggle or an irritant has been observed since last 6 months

My Wishlist
  • POWER! In Jeremy Clarkson style! However, I'd not want this at the expense of fuel-economy
  • Better Headlamps. OEM One's are fine, but lack a wide reach.
  • Telescopic Front Suspension. The standard Spring Hydraulic one was used earlier and most have switched to telescopic systems
  • Front Disc Brake. This was where Aviator was better than Activa. Good Brakes are a must, from a humble cycle to earth-tearing hypercars

Some Smaller And Significant Things
  • During monsoons, the black OEM Mats get soiled easily.
  • It's good that moisture hasn't accumulated in speedo or any of the lamps, despite the heavy rains. My friend's Swish accumulated moisture inside it during this similar time period.
  • Brakes get weakened when Activa is driven through still water that gets collected in monsoons. I guess there might be a technical reason behind it. Experts can comment on this.
  • By far, the only Scoot that has a heavier body and handle than Activa is the Aviator.
  • I don't know how many times I've said this but this is by far the most neutral scooter available in the market.
  • We have to refill the petrol tank each weekend! Based on this, you could guess our usage!
  • Our employees are so rough with Activa that one employee got fired the previous month. But still, The Activa developed only a few scratches that can be easily hidden.
  • The horn is meek but not the Scooty Pep Plus Peep-Peep type meek.
  • The previous Activa had a 100 cc engine and a heavier metal body, but this one has 109 cc engine. Yet still, the previous Activa accelerates faster than this one! Not sure why!

Last edited by S@ndy : 18th August 2013 at 22:32.
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Old 18th August 2013, 12:24   #5
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Default Re: Ownership Report: 2013 Honda Activa

The Pictures Of Our Reliable Steed
This section is dedicated to the pictures of our reliable steed, that has covered around a couple of thousand kilometres without breaking down even once.

The Camera Equipment Used
Well, to be honest, I am not much into camera's. So, don't expect real-life pictures from the thread that are possible only by DSLR Camera's. in my case, the camera is my humble Canon (Forgot the model name) and my Iphone 5

NOTE- Click the pictures to view a larger resolution version

The kilometres covered at the time of writing this thread
Ownership Report: 2013 Honda Activa-img_01671.jpg

The frontal view
Ownership Report: 2013 Honda Activa-img_01681.jpg

The technology behind that 60kmpl marketed mileage
Ownership Report: 2013 Honda Activa-img_01691.jpg

Just look! How the mats get soiled during monsoons
Ownership Report: 2013 Honda Activa-img_01701.jpg

The Honda badge is housed in a seperate area. Also visible is the surface of Handle, which looks rough
Ownership Report: 2013 Honda Activa-img_01711.jpg

Tactile but economy-grade switches
Ownership Report: 2013 Honda Activa-img_01721.jpg
Ownership Report: 2013 Honda Activa-img_01731.jpg

The rusting on the bumper!
Ownership Report: 2013 Honda Activa-img_01741.jpg

The back view
Ownership Report: 2013 Honda Activa-img_01751.jpg

Quality of stitching on seats is good....
Ownership Report: 2013 Honda Activa-img_01761.jpg

Last edited by S@ndy : 19th August 2013 at 15:27.
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Old 18th August 2013, 20:35   #6
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Default Re: Ownership Report: 2013 Honda Activa

...But there is an ugly face to it as well
Ownership Report: 2013 Honda Activa-img_0180.jpg

A panel gap
Ownership Report: 2013 Honda Activa-img_0177.jpg

This area brings and directs air to engine
Ownership Report: 2013 Honda Activa-img_0178.jpg

All serviced and ready to rock!
Ownership Report: 2013 Honda Activa-img_0179.jpg

First Aid Kit provided by Honda
Ownership Report: 2013 Honda Activa-img_0181.jpg

I got fuel tank cap changed to lock-one's to prevent petrol theft
Ownership Report: 2013 Honda Activa-img_0182.jpg

Check the storage
Ownership Report: 2013 Honda Activa-img_0183.jpg

The keys to machine & a size comparison with my hands
Ownership Report: 2013 Honda Activa-img_0184.jpg

The marks caused by rubber beadings under the seat
Ownership Report: 2013 Honda Activa-img_0185.jpg

Earlier I said about 'no moisture in lamps' but ironically, I found some spots where Moisture was collected (to bottom left)
Ownership Report: 2013 Honda Activa-img_0186.jpg

Last edited by S@ndy : 18th August 2013 at 22:30.
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Old 18th August 2013, 20:51   #7
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Default Re: Ownership Report: 2013 Honda Activa

Look! Rust on below side-stand
Ownership Report: 2013 Honda Activa-img_0197.jpg

Tyre pressure information
Ownership Report: 2013 Honda Activa-img_0198.jpg

Another area where coating has fallen off
Ownership Report: 2013 Honda Activa-img_0199.jpg

Look at that panel gap below the handle
Ownership Report: 2013 Honda Activa-img_0200.jpg

Some random shots
Ownership Report: 2013 Honda Activa-img_0201.jpg
Ownership Report: 2013 Honda Activa-img_0202.jpg

The rear indicators look like tail-lamps of 350Z
Ownership Report: 2013 Honda Activa-img_0203.jpg

Sturdy footrests can handle abuse
Ownership Report: 2013 Honda Activa-img_0204.jpg

Another inlet for air to enter into the engine
Ownership Report: 2013 Honda Activa-img_0205.jpg

A scratch near rear keyhole
Ownership Report: 2013 Honda Activa-img_0206.jpg

Last edited by S@ndy : 18th August 2013 at 22:09.
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Old 18th August 2013, 23:12   #8
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Default Re: Ownership Report: 2013 Honda Activa

Service costs and Intervals
To sum this section up, the activa has been really reasonable when it comes to service part. Moreover, it's service time gets delayed many times (sometimes even upto a month) but still, no problems till now (I must've said this many times by now)! To view various service intervals, click here to view various service intervals of Honda Activa, Aviator and Dio. First three services are provided for free.

First Service (15-20 days or 500-750 km)
  • Vehicle was washed
  • T'was checked for any problems
  • It was test-ridden by their staff to check any problems

Usually, first service covers these things only and is not a major service, so it can be missed (though not advised). It was FREE of cost!

Second Service (105-120 days or 2500-3000 km)
  • Both Engine and Transmission fluids were changed
  • Vehicle was washed
  • It was checked for any problems
  • It was test-ridden to find any problems

Second service mainly focuses on oil change and this service is important for continuation of your warranty. Since it was covered under free services, it was FREE of cost. After service, a person from their staff advised me to use the kick-start atleast once or twice each month. I wonder why so?

Third Service (195-210 days or 5500-6000 km)
Activa has yet to go for third service. I'll keep you all notified. Oh and BTW, I haven't opted for extended warranty or Honda Shield which extends warranty by upto 5 years or 60000 k in case of scooters. In case of Motorcycles, warranty increases by 5 years or 75000 km.

Some Expectations From This Thread
  • May this thread help all BHPians
  • May this thread be the most comprehensive thread on Honda Activa which covers each detail
  • May this thread receive a good rating and response

Summary Of My Activa
At this time of writing it, I'd like to say that Activa is a neutral vehicle and usually, best sellers are neutral in nature. As Alexander Pope's couplet says, one who neither leans on this side nor that is the real winner. This is the reason why it's the best selling scooter in India. Period. It's a scooter that appeals to the head, and not heart. And it excels in the areas it is meant for and has well-guarded it's turf since then. It isn't offending in any aspects and happily accpets all the challenges thrown to it, provided they aren't out of it's capabalities. The sales of Activa are a testament to Honda and I'm happy that I'm a part of many of satisfied Activa owners. Treat her well and she could last you many years!

Atlast! My dog, Teddy got so excited that he couldn't resist jumping and posing for a photo!
Ownership Report: 2013 Honda Activa-image.jpg

Last edited by S@ndy : 19th August 2013 at 15:28.
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Old 19th August 2013, 20:59   #9
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Default Re: Ownership Report: 2013 Honda Activa

A previous-gen Activa owner's comments

The owner of a previous Activa is my friend Mayank and the comments are from his POV (No! Not a BHPian!)
Ownership Report: 2013 Honda Activa-image.jpg
  • The new Activa is an important model for Honda to build upon the previous Activa's strengths. This HET version takes things further forward.
  • My 2003 Activa is initially hesitant when full throttle is used, but exactly after a second, it comes to life and goes VROOOM!
  • Previous Activa feels stable at high speeds tha newer one.
  • The tyres on my Activa are MRF's while the ones on new HET version are TVS Tyres
  • My Activa crashes over potholes. This new version has a softer ride than the previous one which is much better.
  • Fuel-efficiency of HET Activa is better due to some fancy HET stuff!
  • Earlier Activa's orange colored indicators are history and aren't as bright as transparent units with orange bulbs in them of new Activa.
  • 14,000 km's and no rattles or any niggles! Bullet-proof Honda reliability!
  • If you feel Maestro is fancier than Activa, then I don't think so! I'd prefer Activa.
  • Spares of Activa are cheap and easy on pocket!
  • My Activa has a 100 cc engine which was later upgraded to 109 cc in facelifted version
  • My Activa still feels like it can go on for other 30,000 km.
  • I've got tyres changed only once. MRF's are sturdy enough to withstand abuse!
  • The Activa has always been evolutionary, rather than revolutionary. I like it!
  • If you want a no-nonsense, neutral, fuel-efficient 'Fill-it, Shut-it and Forget-it type Scoot, then it's difficult to ignore Activa. Not to mention, Reliable too!
  • Even though this new Activa is a better value, I'd still like to keep my Activa for atleast another 6 years.

Keep revvin'

Last edited by S@ndy : 19th August 2013 at 22:48.
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Old 19th August 2013, 22:41   #10
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A Long Term Review of my first generation Honda Activa at S@ndy's request:

My Honda Activa came home on Feb 14th 2003 – Valentine’s Day. It has done more than 15,000 kms till now, during the ten and a half years it has been with me. Though more than ten years have elapsed, the Activa is kept rockin’, though many, many niggles have come my way. I have three cars and another two wheeler, so the use of this two wheeler is limited to my going to crowded places.

All the free services were done at the dealership. The quality of free service is poor- dealer Sudharshan Motors, Nagpur, is also to blame, other than the system. The scooters are given a neat wash, oil is changed if desired, but very less attention is paid to the normal check-ups as listed by the company, during each service.

Coming to the scooter’s body and suspensions, the less said the better. The looks are OK for the older model, (including the refreshed version of the original) but its newer or current model lacks good looks. For the design job, it appears that the designers were different for separate portions. They met later and the whole scooter was put together, it appears.

Back to my machine, ever since it was new, the front suspension emitted and continues to emit a metallic sound, every time a pothole is traversed unguarded, with me applying no brakes. The front suspension is among the worst taken all the two wheelers, I have driven, as far as sturdiness and the solid feel are concerned. The soft front suspension of the Ind-Suzuki AX 100 can be comparable. As a matter of record, there were no front, twin fork scooters, when I bought this one in 2003 – the Bajaj was selling the Wave, but the buyer’s were not buying. Even now with twin fork being available in the Access, Aviator and Wega, the Activa makers still capitalize on the Indian psyche and ignorance, marketing this one as a cheaper variant, with the old suspension for the front. The twin forks are any day safer and sturdier. So if you need one from Honda, pay more and buy the Aviator. Even the trendy Dio, has such an old kinda suspension.

The rear suspension is OK and nothing to write home about or deserving praise. It does its duty and that’s all. The brakes are also quite OK, though they don’t provide discs for the Activa.

The plastics are of a very poor quality. The mirrors casings as OE get whitish grey in no time and even after trying to keep these looking spick and span, (plastic care polishes) nothing works. The plastics on the inner side of the vertical part of the front guard too become whitish grey. The front axle has plastic covers and these are akin in quality to some China made children's games bought from the roadside. The metal sheet of the body is quite prone to dents at the slightest provocation.

The engine was a gem and once upon a time, when new, being so smooth and silent, that I had a tough time sometimes guessing whether it is on or off. Now the engine sound is quite audible and not so pleasant to the ears. All this, after only 15,000 kms of very careful usage, with all the care. And Honda engines are known for their silent running and durability under adverse conditions. No way here!

The engine would habitually misfire since the past three years, when decelerating. The fault was traced to a defective valve. The valve was replaced about two months back. The engine was thoroughly cleaned of all the carbon deposits. The self had actually conked off suddenly, and had to be worked upon. The bendix of the self had got jammed and the engine would not crank and so had to be opened, so all the faults were rectified. The rear wheel was jammed as a result of the bendix getting stationary, that led to this kind of repairs.

The tuff -up tube is much hyped about. This scooter had two major punctures on the rear wheel about six months after it was bought. Roadside puncture wallahs treat these tubes, the same way as any other. But luckily apart from the solution draining out fully from it, the tube is perfect till this date. Luckily, I had no more punctures ever since. And the inner wheel rim- the rear wheel rim when opened during July and Sept 2003,( after one monsoon and 5-7 mths of use) showed rust on the metallic silver paint. I have a garage and do not live in a coastal area. The wheel rim quality is deplorable. The silencer also gets rusted within a month of use.

The new battery (Exide) conked off in 2005. For a few days, I was kick-starting and using the scooter. Kick-starting it with the rider seated and the centre stand taken off is well nigh impossible. Even kick-starting the scooter otherwise is a turn off. The kick-starter is very funnily located. The kick starter is the least user friendly and appears fragile. If kicked hard, some plaintive noises are emitted and we take pity, feeling something should not break within.

The batteries were replaced in 2005, 2008 and 2011 (all Exides). The last one is an Amaron and is doing well since two years.

Coming first to its DIY adaptability, though the whole body (Honda calls it a bonnet) of this scooter lifts up to open and facilitate repairs, accessing the spark plug is problematic. I had the whale of a time doing the jobs on Lambretta and Vespa/Bajaj scooters. Also accessing the carburettor in the Activa for getting it opened is a problem. These take unwanted, extra time, create some tense moments and could have been made more accessible and better located. The air filter, oil change (both gear and engine) ports are well located, though. I've been tinkering on this scooter. But other than routine maintenance like changing the engine and gear oils and cleaning the air filter/ carburettor/ spark plug, I do not attempt more. Recently, I had to change the headlight bulb and My God! It took me about half an hour to do so, as some plastic panels on the handlebar have to be unscrewed and refitted. I have also worked on other scooters, including the Lambretta and Vespa /Bajaj. The Lambretta was the most DIY friendly, followed by the Vespa/Bajaj. The Activa is very DIY unfriendly. If the design was more DIY friendly, the dealers wouldn’t have made money.

As is evident in all Activas and all the New Gen scooters, the disengaged centre stand will never allow the rider to use the kick-starter. How about my friends who could not get the battery replaced or friends whose scooters have fault in the self starter mechanism? In traffic signals and jams, if the engine stalls then it’s very tough. Drag the scooter to the corner, put the centre stand and only then kick-start the scooter.

The scooter is otherwise dependable with its existing niggles and easy to use handle in any kind of city traffic. Its fuel consumption is about 41-45 kmpl depending upon the riding style. The variomatic transmission and fuel economy do not go hand in hand. The two-stroke Kinetic Honda with a 100cc engine consumed almost the same amount of petrol. A four-stroke engine and that too from Honda, who have perfected the 100cc four-stroke, ever since the Honda Cub was introduced in 1960, is at least expected to do well in the fuel consumption stakes.In fact, the Honda Cub operated in the most adverse third world conditions in South East Asia and Honda Motor Company founder, the Late Mr Siochiro Honda, took all the care to research and perfect the technology. It is acknowledged as the world leader in this segment.

The Activa is not an iconic machine with any kind of USP or anything,that may lend it a special character of any kind whatsoever. It is a mediocre performer with a very poor build and with its niggles. The best part is it is easy to manouvre and use through the “Bharatiya traffic” and gives a total peace of mind to the rider as far as driving and parking are concerned. Another plus point, is that spares are available anywhere and the repairs are carried out anywhere within Bharat.The spares are not costly too!

Given a chance, I will never buy another Activa, but settle for something better.The Valentine, has done its duties though, but has also not been hassle free at the same time!

Thanks S@ndy for your invitation to write about my Activa to make the thread more comprehensive.

Last edited by GTO : 29th August 2013 at 11:48. Reason: Copying your review post to the opening page
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Old 20th August 2013, 15:41   #11
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Default Re: Ownership Report: 2013 Honda Activa

Thread moved from the Assembly Line (The "Assembly Line" Forum section) to the 2-Wheeler's Section. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 20th August 2013, 20:11   #12
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Default Re: Ownership Report: 2013 Honda Activa

What a well written review of the Activa! Congrats and ride safe We bought a Activa HET for city use too, and I prefer to use it over my bike for shorter commutes. It has 700 kms on the odo and the engine feels much better than it used to before. Mileage hovers between 45-50kmpl
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Old 20th August 2013, 23:30   #13
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Default Re: Ownership Report: 2013 Honda Activa

Good review, S@ndy!

Originally Posted by S@ndy View Post
...that has covered around a couple of thousand kilometres without breaking down even once.
It should! That's the bare minimum. And it can serve you for many years to come.

Originally Posted by S@ndy View Post
The rusting on the bumper!
Originally Posted by S@ndy View Post
Another area where coating has fallen off
Please remove the plastic wraps from the bumper and side guards. The plastic wraps will retain moisture and water thereby accelerating the rusting process. Also, once you've removed the wrapping, a DIY with some anti-rust treatment and a can of spray paint can get rid of and also keep the rust at bay in future.

Originally Posted by S@ndy View Post
...But there is an ugly face to it as well
I had the same issue in my 2001 Kinetic Honda. The stapler pins will rust soon. But this is how most two-wheeler seat covers are installed.

Originally Posted by S@ndy View Post
I got fuel tank cap changed to lock-one's to prevent petrol theft

Originally Posted by S@ndy View Post
Look! Rust on below side-stand
This you can find on almost all two-wheelers. That is just the way it is!
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Old 21st August 2013, 12:20   #14
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Default Re: Ownership Report: 2013 Honda Activa

You made the right choice, the Honda Activa and the Aviator are really value for money scooters out there. However, I would like to point out a few things that you should look for in the future. My dad has one back in my hometown and I think he bought it sometime in 2005. But 2 or 3 year down the line, the exhaust system got rusted completely and the Activa was sounding like a Piaggio Ape without its tail pipe. The platform gets rusted and so does the entire front suspension as well. My uncle has one and he was waiting for the lights when suddenly he heard a noise and the activa looked like it was digging the road.

Like all Honda motorcycles and scooters, I really love the Activa for its butter smooth engine but in India, the quality of other materials other than the engine is pathetic. Cheers to your new ride.

Last edited by ron_9191 : 21st August 2013 at 12:31.
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Old 21st August 2013, 13:43   #15
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Thumbs up Re: Ownership Report: 2013 Honda Activa

Originally Posted by S@ndy View Post
VI. Honda Activa
The factors that worked for us:-
  1. Typical refined Honda engine
  2. Easy driveability
  3. Good Fuel-Efficieny
The factors that didn't work for us:-
  1. A tad wider than Dio, and even Access, which I considered to be perfect
  2. Price was beyond the ₹50,000 mark
  3. No front disc brake to complement this package
Thanks for the detailed review. Top rated!

I own a Honda Activa 2010 and it has some serious issues with braking and stability. if I have to apply brakes at anything above 40kmph on any type of road the probability of skidding becomes very high. I have infact met with accidents twice and then stopped doing anything above 40 kmph. I have heard many cases of accidents where the rider had to do a sudden braking at average speeds.

I hope Honda have worked on the stability issues and Activa 2013 is much refined. Please share your views.
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