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Old 10th August 2014, 19:45   #1
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Default Relative gifts me a Honda Activa!

Today was awesome. A relative of mine bought another Scooter and gifted me her Activa!

I went and picked up the vehicle in 'as-is-where-is' condition. I don't know the terms and conditions of the deal, but as it looks now, I'm the new Owner and the bike will continue to remain on her name till she decides to of her own accord sign the papers and transfer it to me

There is nothing I could find wrong with the scooter, its aged yes. I do not even have documents for the vehicle, she said she will search and give them to me, but as far as I know, its a 2002 model. Will confirm once I have the documents

My life has suddenly changed. I had a bus pass and used to use public transport, walk a lot, but now its twist-and-go

The vehicle has done 47,000 kilometres.

- The vehicle has pretty new tyres both front and back, both Ceat, they still have their new tyre stubbs on them
- The paint has faded a lot
- I am planning to take off the extra-fittings and get it to how it looked right out of the factory
- With this bike slowly I'll get to know how many kilometres I cover every month
- The Activa is right up my alley, most of my commute is to work and back. With a bike, its constant gear changing in Bangalore traffic, wearing your back-pack with heavy laptop inside it and carrying your helmet around. With the Activa, there are no gears to struggle with, the bag can be kept on the footboard and the helmet can be locked away in the dickey below the seat.
- I am planning to slowly get the paint shining back again after a polish, get a leather seat, halogen bulbs - its on stock bulbs now
- The indicators chime while in use, will be interesting to see how other road users react to that
- I also plan to feed the Activa only with Shell petrol
- Maintain a detailed log to keep an account of what happens with this Scooter now that it is going to be with me

The first thing I wanted to do was get all the extra fittings out of the way, remember, I wanted to get this to stock factory condition, but before that I had to get it cleaned up. Took it to a water service station and got it washed thoroughly top to bottom and under. Then took off the front mudguard-guard, the body guard around the back and finally the seat cover. Wanted to leave the seat cover on, but 'City Honda' written on the cover did not gel with my image of an Activa!

Once the front bumper was removed, I noticed rust, rust had formed where the bumper met with the body, this meant that water for all this years did not drain away but kept collecting and being held in-between the bumper and the mud-guard to allow rust to form

The removal of the all round back guard lightened up the looks of the scooter if not the scooter itself. It provided easy access to the rear foot-pegs and reduced the width of the scotter overall

The seat cover when removed revealed the original seat the scooter came with. It was about to tear in 3 places and was very moist, guess water was being retained between the seat and the seat cover that was on it. I have to get a proper seat cover in place ASAP

The bike runs quite well for a 12 year old vehicle. Everything works, or rather still works, the indicators with their buzzer, the horn, the self starter, headlights, low-beam, high-beam

Its very easy to ride. I use it mainly as a single-seater and that is what I think the Activa is best suited for. Having 2 up and if both are over-weight, would complicate things for the bike. There is something wrong with the sitting position. A normal sitting position gives me a back-ache, what I do is slide back and use the seat more, by moving on the seat, I can create innumerable options for myself and get comfortable. Since your legs are there just for the ride, they help in balancing the scooter

The things I did not like about the bike

- Does not have a headlight flasher. This feature is very useful especially when the person in front of you can see you, this way, there is no need to use the horn and in some situations it is much more effective than the horn, especially when you have pedestrians balancing on the footpath wondering if they should cross the street before you pass or after you pass

- It does not have an engine kill switch. There is a spot above the self starter where Honda can place and engine kill switch, they have the dipper at that spot on the left hand side, an engine kill switch would really help at traffic lights where you can switch off the bike using the switch instead of turning the key off like you have to do now.

- Another thing that I find annoying is the anti-dive feature that comes fitted in the front suspension. I remember, the later Chetaks had this feature and Bajaj even advertised it as a virtue. When you apply the front brake and as it bites, the scooter front rises up, not from the ground, but rises up nevertheless

- The handle locks on only one side, the funny thing is, once you are parked, it's difficult for you to bend down and adjust your hair! I have to walk to the other side of the bike to get a clean look into the rear-view mirror

I have been riding the bike at the marked economy range on the speedometer. Get there and stay there. Surprising thing is there are so many other two-wheeler riders too who ride in that range and all of us stick to the left side of the road and ride along together

Another thing I have been taking care of is to judiciously use the throttle. What I have noticed other gearless Scooter riders do is open the throttle fully and let the scooter accelerate ferociously from standstill, what I think this does is increase wear and tear and waste fuel, the CVT is working overtime and the fuel is going down half-burnt. What I do is twist the throttle slightly and wait for the CVT to catch up, once it has caught up, give the throttle another incremental twist, that way, the fuel and CVT move in tandem

The Scooter is a handful when it rains. I got caught in the rains while coming home one night and continued to ride on as it poured. Its scary when you are riding fast in the rain, there is very less grip and the faster you go the more you are riding your luck

The Scooter is also not very grippy on sand or patches of sand on tarmac and tends to slip and slide ever so slightly

I feel that riding a Scooter anywhere above 50 on less than proper roads is asking for trouble. That is why maybe we do not have powerful scooters

The under-seat storage is a revelation. It takes my Schumacher replica full face Vega helmet easily, no more carrying around the helmet when you are off the two wheeler. I have never been a big fan of helmet locks because
- If it rains, your helmet gets wet
- In College, I knew mischievous friends who used to spit into helmets kept on bikes and then laugh away when the unsuspecting rider came strapped it on and rode away
- I've known the same guys to have broken helmet visors too when left unattended on bikes
The only down-side is that your helmet is warm/smells of odour if left in the box for too long or when its moist or left there after a longish ride

Its very easy to control the vehicle with 2 fingers on each brake, you can have your own 'combi-brake' set up with your fingers! Its also easy to work the throttle with your palms when your fingers are around the brake

I've taken care to always start the Scooter with a kick in the mornings. Whenever it is left parked for more than 5 hours or so, I ensure I use the choke while starting it. The kick starter does not return to its position when kicked, it gets stuck and has to be manually prodded back to its position. Must remember to get that checked at the next service

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Last edited by GTO : 21st August 2014 at 10:20. Reason: Adding your review to the opening post
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Old 10th August 2014, 20:35   #2
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Default re: Relative gifts me a Honda Activa!

Quote:
Originally Posted by TheARUN View Post
but as far as I know, its a 2002 model.
The vehicle has done 47,000 kilometres. Will keep updating this thread

- With this bike slowly I'll get to know how many kilometres I cover every month
2002 model is 102cc engine; current model have 110cc.

If engine condition is good(for it's age) you will be looking at Rs.2 per km.
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Old 11th August 2014, 03:23   #3
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Default re: Relative gifts me a Honda Activa!

Congratulations on your new (to you) scooter, TheARUN !

IMO, the beeping turn indicators are an excellent idea.
Because it is difficult and costly to build self cancelling turn indicators into a scooter or motorcycle, it's nice to have something that tells you they are blinking. That way, you won't forget to turn them off after you've made the turn. Don't concern yourself with what the others around you are thinking. Your safety far outweighs whatever their thoughts might be.

If you didn't get one or don't have one, do yourself a favor and buy a good full face crash helmet and a pair of gloves with leather palms.
If you have the misfortune of "going down" the helmet will protect your head and face and the leather palmed gloves will keep your hands from getting "road rash".

Assuming you haven't ridden 2 wheelers at speeds over 35 kmph, follow this advice.
I give it because most bicycle riders seldom ride at these speeds so they are not aware of what it's like to turn or change lanes at these higher speeds.

Take your Activa out for short rides at a speed of 35 kmph or faster and practice moving from the left to the right and right to left in your lane as if you were avoiding some small obstacle in your path. Also practice turning corners at these faster speeds.

You will find that at these higher speeds, you need to turn the handlebars in the opposite direction than the direction you want the scooter to go. That is, to turn or move to the right you will have to apply a small amount of pressure to the right handlebar which actually turns the handlebar to the left.
Doing this will cause the machine to lean slightly to the right and it will then proceed to turn to the right. As it is turning, allow the handlebars to return slightly and the machine will maintain its lean and continue to turn. To return to a straight line of travel you will push slightly on the left handlebar. This will take the machine out of its right lean and bring it back up to a straight, upright position so it will proceed in a straight line.
This process is called "counter steering" and it applies to any 2 wheeled vehicle from the smallest scooter to the largest motorcycle.

Unless your in a panic condition where you need to rapidly change direction, this counter steering is a very slight, subtle thing and some people are not aware that it is happening.
It is important to know in case you are ever faced with a need to swerve to avoid a collision.

Also, don't forget to remember my rule #1: NEVER trust anyone or anything to do the predictable. Cars will turn in front of you. Dogs and kids and adults will run out in front of you. Wind gusts will try to blow you sideways. Small puddles of water will turn into deep holes as you pass thru them.
Always have a mental plan on how your going to avoid them when this happens.

Now that I've touched on the negative things, a bit about the positive.

Your scooter will give you a sense of freedom unknown to those who haven't ridden a 2 wheel vehicle capable of higher speeds.
After you get to know it, it will respond to your slightest thought.
It adds a new dimension to living and life that will add immensely to your enjoyment like no other thing can do.

Be safe and have fun riding.
Jim

Last edited by ArizonaJim : 11th August 2014 at 03:27.
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Old 11th August 2014, 08:20   #4
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Red face re: Relative gifts me a Honda Activa!

Quote:
Originally Posted by TheARUN View Post
I'm the new Owner and the bike will continue to remain on her name till she decides to of her own accord sign the papers and transfer it to me

I do not even have documents for the vehicle, she said she will search and give them to me, but as far as I know, its a 2002 model. Will confirm once I have the documents
Not to dampen your enthusiasm mate but I would be careful here. It would be better if the ownership is transferred to your name and all the documents related to scooter are in your hands. Till that time I would advise not to venture out in places where the chances of getting caught are high.

You in return wouldnt want your relative's name to be dragged in case anything happens when you are riding the scooter since the owner is still your relative. I assume you also dont have the service record of the scooter, a quick checkup at the local Honda workshop would be appropriate to confirm if everything is in place. Lastly although there are lot of advantages of driving a scooter through the traffic, it's at the same time dangerous if you are still learning.
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Old 11th August 2014, 09:11   #5
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Default re: Relative gifts me a Honda Activa!

+1 to that ^^

From the type of number plate and the look of the accessories and the fact that it has new tyres , it looks like quite a packet has been spent on the scooter recently.

Fortyseven thousand kms is steep not for the engine but for the transmission.The transmission whine is irritating.

As @ghodlur said , you must have all docs in hand before you venture out into riding.

Please check the floorpan for corrosion and rectify.

good luck !!!
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Old 17th August 2014, 15:16   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vigsom View Post
From the type of number plate and the look of the accessories and the fact that it has new tyres , it looks like quite a packet has been spent on the scooter recently.
Yes, looks like the Scooter has had a recent service too since it runs quite well. Will get one done early next month, must remember to check the oil, have not checked that

I think the Scooter has done 37,000 kilometres. The odometer is stuck between 3-4 and hence I am not able to tell if its 37,000 or 47,000 or even if both of them are genuine

The speedometer glass has developed a lot of scratches and the speedometer needle is cut 2/3. With 1/3 of the needle moving, its difficult to tell the speed. Will be getting a new console in place soon and the odometer will start again from Zero!

The good lady managed to give me a bunch of documents, most of it was junk, but I found a photocopy of the Registration certificate and Insurance certificate. The Insurance is third-party and most importantly, is active till February next year. Turns out that the Scooter was originally golden when bought and somewhere along the way has been repainted black. Its crying out for a paint job and before it goes for its FC in 3 years time, will get it back to golden

Will check the floor-pan at the next service for sure, there definitely is rust there, but not so bad that your feet would go thorough it!

Quote:
Originally Posted by ghodlur View Post
Not to dampen your enthusiasm mate but I would be careful here. It would be better if the ownership is transferred to your name and all the documents related to scooter are in your hands. Till that time I would advise not to venture out in places where the chances of getting caught are high.
Even I would love to have the ownership transferred but it is too delicate a topic to broach. I have two choices, 1-return the scooter, 2- ride it as carefully as possible, I'm going with 2

Luckily for me, the documents were in place. The only thing missing was a pollution certificate which I promptly got today. The Scooter is 100% legal now and no Cop would be able to pull me up for documents for sure

Quote:
Originally Posted by ArizonaJim View Post
Congratulations on your new (to you) scooter, TheARUN !
Thank you very much, it won't do me harm to carry a print-out of what you have said in my top pocket everytime I ride. Thanks again 'well wisher'

Quote:
Originally Posted by ramzsys View Post
2002 model is 102cc engine; current model have 110cc.

If engine condition is good(for it's age) you will be looking at Rs.2 per km.
Even I think so, it costs just as much, if not lesser than taking public transport, and that is saying a lot

A blessing has been the petrol price going down every fortnight

Last edited by GTO : 21st August 2014 at 10:24. Reason: Merging back to back posts
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Old 21st August 2014, 10:23   #7
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Default Re: Relative gifts me a Honda Activa!

Thread moved from the Assembly Line (The "Assembly Line" Forum section) to the 2-wheelers Section. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 21st August 2014, 10:41   #8
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Smile Re: Relative gifts me a Honda Activa!

The active sure is a joy to ride. If painting the whole scooter is on your list of things to do, might i just say "Matte Black "

Also, If you are looking for cheap spares and replacements, i suggest you go through OLX. They have a considerable amount of things listed on there.

For eg http://www.olx.in/q/activa/c-377 .
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Old 21st August 2014, 14:58   #9
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Default Re: Relative gifts me a Honda Activa!

I think this is post 2005 model; I've a 2004 Nov/2005 Jan registered model that has black decals at engine cover. The speedo is not colored one. The model that came out after my purchase has this type of Honda Wing decals & colored speedo.

Congratulation, buy a good helmet & ride safe.
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Old 23rd August 2014, 21:13   #10
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Default Re: Relative gifts me a Honda Activa!

One more week went by on the Activa

- Its a handful when it rains. I have always wondered why people buy motorbikes when scooters are so convenient to use, the answer I figured out after using the scooter, was 'big wheels'. They make a lot of difference to the ride quality and stability. If you are travelling long distances on a two-wheeler or going over all kinds of tarmac, then the scooter definitely gets found out, and you are better off on a motor-bike
- I was also developing back-pain while riding the scooter. I tried different adjustments to my riding posture but the pain came back. I finally figured out a remedy - 'push-ups'. The Activa got me back to exercising, and now with regular push-ups I have banished the back-pain to a large extent!
- The fuel gauge is showing half after a week's running, will fill it up to the brim and calculate the kilometres to find out what mileage I am able to squeeze out of the scooter. I have never crossed the economy zone and have been riding in that zone 70% of the time and below that zone 30% of the time
- I spent the Saturday afternoon cleaning the vehicle, also slowly ventured out to experiment on the mechanicals a little. Opened up the front apron that covers the battery. The main reason I did that was because there were two rubber strips on either side of the apron and they were falling off. Anybody could pull them off when the bike is parked in a public place, and I wanted to push them back into their place, but it was impossible without removing the apron. The apron came off quite easily, just two screws under the handlebar and you had to prise it open from 2 stays at the bottom. I noticed then that the battery was unsecured, the bolt holding it had fallen off and also that there was an 'anti-roll bar' kind of plate holding both the left and right leg guards that had worked loose after it lost a nut and bolt. I tried and fixed the nearest fitting size of nuts and bolts into place, put the rubber strips into the sockets and replaced the apron after a lot of trial and error
- Becoming bolder now, I opened up the 'hood' portion of the Activa. This feature had always fascinated me as I saw many Activas at garages with their hood opened like a car bonnet. 3 screws and I was able to prise up the hood, it also had its own holder-like a car bonnet, that keeps it up. I had two major shocks waiting for me
- The chassis had cracked in 2 places. Both the pipes had cracked into half and only the bottom half was holding the chassis together. It was a clean see-through crack. Don't know if it can be welded or if it has to be replaced
- The second shock, engine oil was leaking near the wheel and when I opened the dip-stick to check, the oil level was below minimum

I'm very confused, don't know what to do

Riding around with a cracked chassis is surely asking for trouble and I don't know why the engine oil has leaked too

The scooter is running fine though. With the hood in place, you cannot feel the cracked chassis and the lack of engine oil. Now I realise why we get advice to carry out preventive maintenance and look for trouble before you actually get into trouble

Last edited by TheARUN : 23rd August 2014 at 21:21. Reason: added text
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Old 24th August 2014, 00:47   #11
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Default Re: Relative gifts me a Honda Activa!

Without seeing it, I'm guessing about the repairability of the cracked chassis but getting it fixed should be just below getting the proper papers/license, at the top of your "to do" list.

A good weld shop should be able to either rejoin the broken pieces or add additional pieces to bridge the broken areas.

Again I'm guessing because I don't have access to a scooter like yours but, on some scooters, the transmission has its own oil supply.
As it is usually very close to the rear wheel, it may be the source of the oil leak.

Find someone familiar with the Activa to get guidance in checking the transmission oil level if it is separate. (I'm sure our members can help with instructions for doing this).

The engine could also be leaking the oil. Anyplace where a rotating shaft comes out of the engine has a flexible seal to keep the oil in.
Over time, these seals can either loose their elasticity or just plain wear out. They are not something easily replaced by the backyard mechanic.

There are also gaskets on covers on removable, things that don't move like valve covers, sideplates, etc. that can leak. Often, removing the part, wiping the area clean and applying a paste gasket compound and replacing the part will solve the oil leak problem.

My recommendation is for you to check the oil level(s) often to see how often the oil level needs to be topped up. If it is a once a week or more and your willing to add the needed oil, you can probably go for a long time before you will need to have it fixed.
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Old 2nd September 2014, 06:01   #12
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Default Re: Relative gifts me a Honda Activa!

Another week passed with the Activa. Nothing major to report. I filled up the tank and a back of the envelope calculation gave me 46kmpl

Have been riding the scooter in the 'economy' zone all this while, now I have changed my style to RAYP (Ride-as-you-please) Can't wait for the next tankful to see how the Activa delivers

I also topped up the oil last week, got to check and see how that is holding up. The scooter is smooth to run, very rarely rattles, if there is a pothole and the scooter crashes into it, the experience is very unpleasant

Also, riding above 50 does not inspire confidence, the Scooter is able to handle well but panic braking from that speed unsettles the Scooter. I tried to simulate few situations and came away scared

The brakes also seem to have worn out, the lever is now having to travel more to provide the same bite that the brakes had a fortnight ago, will adjust the brakes soon
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Old 2nd September 2014, 09:39   #13
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Default Re: Relative gifts me a Honda Activa!

Managed to take pictures of the cracked chassis

The smaller of the cracks in the chassis. The closest picture I could get
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This one is at a longer range
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This one is at mid-range of the same crack in the chassis
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This is the other crack in the chassis, the one that looks more dangerous, have got it at different angles so that the crack can be dissected well in pictures
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I love this feature in the Activa, the ability to lift the body like the bonnet of a car and hinge it. It also has a purpose built hinge to keep the body open
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This is the rust that has accumulated over the years under the floor-mat
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One good news for me was that the oil level did not diminish, the stick was at the same level where I had checked it last time. The next time I have a few minutes to spare, want to remove the rear wheel to see if I can identify the source of oil leakage

Last edited by TheARUN : 2nd September 2014 at 09:47. Reason: Adding text
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Old 29th September 2014, 22:24   #14
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Default Re: Relative gifts me a Honda Activa!

Have not updated the status in a long time, so here goes

- I have not spent money on anything other than petrol
- The Activa is now on a regular diet of Shell normal petrol
- The ride to the Office and elsewhere has become an absolute pleasure, there is no hint of fatigue or tiredness and I don't shudder when I see a traffic jam up-front
- Having ridden the vehicle for so long, I have become an expert, can balance it well and slide in and out of traffic. Its a pleasure to ride the torque, especially when you power away mid-way through a corner
- The rear wheel keeps loosing pressure, I did not notice this. One day when a friend who weighs as much as me requested to be dropped a small distance away, the vehicle was behaving as if it was punctured. The next day when I checked the blow, it showed 15ps!
- Now I check the blow whenever I tank up
- The Activa when ridden in a 'ride-as-you-please' mode gives 40-45 kilometres per liter
- The battery has become weak and the scooter does not self-start if kept unused for more than a day or when starting in the mornings. Also, the starter has developed a mind of its own and hence I do not switch off the vehicle at the traffic lights
- I'm seriously considering getting a new battery
- October is going to be a big month. I'm also keen on getting the chassis welded or replaced and maybe get a leather seat :-)
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Last edited by TheARUN : 29th September 2014 at 22:26.
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Old 7th October 2014, 08:33   #15
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Default Finally the chassis is fixed

Saturday was a big day for the Activa, I took it to a friendly neighbourhood garage and left it there to get the chassis welded. I had the option of going to the Honda service centre to get it repaired but the only option I got was a Rs.5,000 chassis change. I decided to get it done outside because there was no risk, worst case scenario I could still go to the service centre and get the chassis changed.

I wanted to take it to Tara Motors, a private garage who are specialists in Activa and only service that brand but then chose to go to the neighbourhood garage.

I wanted to also stay along with the bike and watch it being fixed, but again left it with the mechanic who asked me to pick it up in the evening. I went there in the evening and it was standing there ready, after being repaired. I wanted to ask him to take the hood up and show me the welds, but thought I could go home and take a look myself and if I was not satisfied, could always go back to him

After the job, the Activa now feels taught. There was a flex in the chassis before, especially when you hit a bad patch of road, now it feels stiff on the same roads. This has been a learning for me, I now know how chassis flex feels and it will help me judging future used purchases

I bought some polish and gave the Activa a much deserved rub down, its paint lustre has now improved
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Last edited by TheARUN : 7th October 2014 at 08:55. Reason: Adding pictures
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