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Old 15th November 2019, 21:47   #1
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Default 2005 Honda Activa - Refurbish or sell? Another tale of head vs heart conflict

For those with mindset of SBK (and Dio) can skip to Post #3 that is about restoration

History - Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it

2005 Jan, a beautiful looking Silver Honda Activa joined our family early in the month of January. In a way, you could say she was concubine trying very hard to replace my Rx that was out for a transformation (then). If you may ask why Activa in replacement for Rx, sorry, I don't have an answer. For some things you ought to take as what it is. So thus she came with high hopes, probably, trying to replace Rx, which she hasn't been able to do until now. But will she do it in the forthcoming days is another big topic to discuss & let's for a moment say, its OT because what we're going to look isn't that

The current ODO is around 39000 (38983 to precise); naturally some of you might feel holy crap, she's still a virgin & some might think ah! she's a oldie (138983).

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What if I tell you, she was only 22407 by Feb 2016 & suddenly as she aged, she started screaming on ODO, quite unnatural, yet we have to accept it & move on

Some fortunate vehicles in this country attaining one donkey age undergoes successful cosmetic surgery & we decided we will not do it for reasons such as...
1. 15 years is a long period & there're better looking models now
2. This is e-Age the p-Age (Petrol) saga is nearing extinction
3. BS6 is around the corner
4. Digital display, Disk brakes, FI, 12" wheels, Telescopic Suspension are the standards now

And the one we have is old puny 100cc, carb'd, dull colored, mildly dented, rusted number plates at corners yet she does her job dutifully

July 2019
This is when Ather 450 was launched. We promptly attended the launch event, had plenty of test rides & we were like W.A.A.A.O.O.W!! No denial that Ather 450 IS THE ONE to buy. Ather's joining bonus on goodies were really tempting as such, so then & there, paid the booking amount of Rs 5000. (add the customary sentence, and thus begins the painful waiting period).

Aug 2019
Every now & then we keep checking with few owners, sometimes with Ather and all we hear are positive news. That keeps us happy

Sep 2019
Ather kept their reputation, as usual, by delaying the delivery (which was fortunate for us) & all the more they changed their home charging unit to Ather Dot (which was even cuter + brought down the weight of scooter) all made us even more excited. All said, there was still something that kept us less excited, we weren't sure what it was.

Oct 2019
By mid, we were excited to receive an email that read "Payment window opens. Your Ather 450 is ready, take it home!" That is when the math was actually being done on XL using the real brain!! We had 3 options in the increasing order of expense...
1. Pay outright
2. Pay through loan
3. Lease

Come the next week, Bajaj revives Chetak in digital form (and someone commented it a Vespa replica blah blah). Whatever it is, it looked super fabulous. And indeed, that was a real turning point to think as well.

Last edited by aargee : 15th November 2019 at 22:02.
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Old 15th November 2019, 21:49   #2
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Default re: 2005 Honda Activa - Refurbish or sell? Another tale of head vs heart conflict

Until now we had some ugly looking escooters that were a little faster over a snail & sometimes having a need to push them when riding over a bridge (forget the mountains). Compared to them, Ather is undisputed king of escooters, with e-Chetak, we took it as a warning that the game is not going to be the same, it could soon change into a playground if not a war zone.

Which got us thinking...

If a regular petrol vehicle gets outdated in about 3 years time frame, for namesake, then what about these escooters? Especially Ather has brought so many changes in past year since their launch in Bangalore. Yes, their changes are OTR, but, what about missing features like ABS, a better mirror or engineering? How can those be accomplished OTR? So outright buying is certainly, considering that it's way too expensive, not really worth

Loan? Sheer stupidity to opt for a loan atleast during these times (unless we're the privileged business class)

So the best balance we found was Lease
- A down payment of Rs 60K can give you a pride ownership.
- You got to pay Rs 2999 a month for next 36 months
- End of 36 months, you pay, 10K more & buy it or simply surrender the vehicle for 60K

Sounds like a sweet deal, you get to own it as well as doesn't empty your wallet. That was until we once again took out another worksheet in XL you end up paying atleast 30K more than OTR.

Thus back to square 1!!

The only two scooters that we liked were Activa 125 (BS6 & nothing else) and NTorq. NTorq is great, no doubt, very less cost of ownership, but no Fi & not ready for BS6. Activa... whew!! less said better!! Honda attitude of take it or leave it!! They even had guts to charge a restocking fee of Rs 100 for a booking amount of Rs 2000. I just recall in 2011, the booking amount was Rs 5000 but they promptly handed over the money if you cancelled, no undercuts. They're badly in need of a super strong competitor!! All the ones like Vespa, Aprilia were ruled out because of extremely expensive + none of them were BS6.

Then one day, as I woke up, I got this idea - why not an used scooter? (no, I was not in shower or restroom). Say a 2-3 year old model, probably half the price; even at the half the price of Ather, I could get a fantastic Vespa or Aprilia. Sounds like a win-win deal, well quite not, read on...

First things to come on mind was Olx, Quikr & Google.

Ruled out Quikr as choices were less, with good old eBay gone, other useless sites that Google showed were not even worth checking, thus finally zeroing in with Olx. Armed with 2-3 months of time frame (as Jan 2020 was due for FC for my Silver Activa) I was confident I could find a decent one, even if it were another 125cc Activa, if not Aprilia.

The reality was hard to digest

The folks were selling Pep, Wego, Gusto, Streak or they were pre 2015 model of Activa, Access or Yamaha or the photo itself were horrendous. Clearly had to rule out out all of them.

The next set were what we were interested, Aprilia, Vespa, Activa 125, NTorq, Access 125, Ray, Fascino, but something didn't quite look right; the posted English language didn't quite sound well, if not all, most of them. And then came an interesting observation, most of these vehicles were from Chepauk Police Quarters, Old Washermanpet, KK Nagar localities. And prices they quoted were all ridiculous; and then after a week or so I was enlightened that these are actually used vehicle dealers.

As a last resort, before actually walking into any used vehicle dealer, I was talking to a FNG & got to know the truth & this is how the story went...

So there is this Dio that comes to his garage often & the scooter required some major work including changing the valve seating. The typical owner kept ignoring the suggestion. And this scooter was not to be seen for several months. And all of a sudden this scooter was bought in by a new guy for servicing. Even before servicing, the mechanic asked this new owner about the vehicle & he says this was bought at a used bike shop for 8.5K & he was quite happy that he got a discount of Rs 500 after quoting the Dio originally for 9K. After a prompt service, he calls up the old owner & talks to him casually & turns the attention to bring his Dio for service. The old owner says he sold the Dio happily for 4K because of the engine work being involved & 4K is good money for him.


After hearing this ordeal, my attempt on used scooter goes all in for drain & finally decide to fix the scooter, after all why a step motherly treatment to Activa when my Rx rose like a Phoenix from my home garage?

Last edited by aargee : 15th November 2019 at 22:05.
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Old 15th November 2019, 21:53   #3
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Default re: 2005 Honda Activa - Refurbish or sell? Another tale of head vs heart conflict

Thus a new saga of Activa restoration begins.

And this is quite balance between fantasy vs reality, cost vs quality job. This does not mean, we're replacing every part or we're replacing only the necessary ones. For instance, I've outrightly rejected a whopping 11K for a complete paint job at the same time, the painting will not be done without dismantling the scooter either. All the necessary parts will be painted to perfection even if it means to applying metal putty.

Some parts like, self starter assembly, engine, brakes (including the cables) are all exceptionally good; FE is awesome (Wife excels at 47+ Kmpl & once even at unbelievable 54 Kmpl, while I could barely cross 45 Kmpl). Parts like handle bar grips, lights (that are painfully pathetic, side covers, front panels, front fenner, all the plastic parts, switches, floor board, rubber mat, rear grab will all be repainted or replaced depending on the cost.

All other details like who's the mechanic, where's the garage located, what is the cost, how many days it takes will all be put up in the forthcoming days at the conclusion of this restoration work in the end. Until then...

2005 Honda Activa - Refurbish or sell? Another tale of head vs heart conflict-846f48bdb90c41dab70822ce40696168.jpg

2005 Honda Activa - Refurbish or sell? Another tale of head vs heart conflict-29c0954cf7aa4f5a8046c5f954fb279c.jpg

2005 Honda Activa - Refurbish or sell? Another tale of head vs heart conflict-7fca1c558d1440398d22eab6c268e9d2.jpg

2005 Honda Activa - Refurbish or sell? Another tale of head vs heart conflict-8f2b6a6c3502474b8e672dc643ae9e09.jpg

2005 Honda Activa - Refurbish or sell? Another tale of head vs heart conflict-72fed5e466a144fe8bcdf3758393e5cd.jpg

2005 Honda Activa - Refurbish or sell? Another tale of head vs heart conflict-e070c50a280f44fca83aab2434f51abe.jpg
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Old 19th November 2019, 07:46   #4
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Default Re: 2005 Honda Activa - Refurbish or sell? Another tale of head vs heart conflict

Thread moved from the Assembly Line to the 2-wheelers Section. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 19th November 2019, 10:08   #5
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Default Re: 2005 Honda Activa - Refurbish or sell? Another tale of head vs heart conflict

This was 2 days ago. Yesterday spoke to the garage owner to check if wiring harness is to be changed. He checked & found it to be intact, may be additional layer of taping. Best part being, wiring harness is untouched.

As the cost of painting was estimated to 11K (without even having to think) we planned to paint only one side, but then, this is the outcome of painting
2005 Honda Activa - Refurbish or sell? Another tale of head vs heart conflict-d204940a565d4a36aacdba59c784dd1d.jpg

versus OE
2005 Honda Activa - Refurbish or sell? Another tale of head vs heart conflict-30652259a77b46daaf4eb54b577e5fd8.jpg

For comparison
2005 Honda Activa - Refurbish or sell? Another tale of head vs heart conflict-7244e57abb01424b966ce5e4491afa64.jpg

Having seen the last one, we feel its simply not worth saving the few 1000s & asked to go in for painting the other side as well

And the engine cover
2005 Honda Activa - Refurbish or sell? Another tale of head vs heart conflict-d2be946c8e214ea491b32474d70a91e9.jpg

and the exhaust powder coated (sorry didn't have the pic of how it was before, all rusted in brown)
2005 Honda Activa - Refurbish or sell? Another tale of head vs heart conflict-786b66b9938d49e68a8a552ed7a0f27e.jpg

Last edited by aargee : 19th November 2019 at 10:10.
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Old 20th November 2019, 10:48   #6
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Default Re: 2005 Honda Activa - Refurbish or sell? Another tale of head vs heart conflict

Yesterday almost all the painted parts have come. It's difficult finding OE turn lights, surprisingly OE reflector & headlamps were found, while the parts are being awaited to be put in, here's something for viewing pleasure - The transformation of ugly caterpillar to butterfly...
2005 Honda Activa - Refurbish or sell? Another tale of head vs heart conflict-fennerchanges.jpg
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Old 20th November 2019, 16:01   #7
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Default Re: 2005 Honda Activa - Refurbish or sell? Another tale of head vs heart conflict

OE lights for Honda Activa are available on JC road. Take left at the signal, and you see the big Honda Wing on the right, he stocks everything.
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It's difficult finding OE turn lights, surprisingly OE reflector & headlamps were found, while the parts are being awaited to be put in[/ATTACH]
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Old 20th November 2019, 17:25   #8
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Default Re: 2005 Honda Activa - Refurbish or sell? Another tale of head vs heart conflict

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Originally Posted by Sebring View Post
OE lights for Honda Activa are available on JC road. Take left at the signal, and you see the big Honda Wing on the right, he stocks everything.
We finally managed to get one sir

2005 Honda Activa - Refurbish or sell? Another tale of head vs heart conflict-ece6b6b4943a4743a591b6ee70d70d24.jpg
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Old 21st November 2019, 15:14   #9
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Default Re: 2005 Honda Activa - Refurbish or sell? Another tale of head vs heart conflict

And thus finally, we're getting a 100% STOCK Activa refurbished nearly 15 years later. I really can't wait to share the pictures with you all here, it has been an awesome sight, especially the silver & black combo.

What if there's a stripes on the wheels? Would it look good? What color to choose? Black? These are some of the questions that I'm pondering since last evening.
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Old 22nd November 2019, 13:28   #10
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Default Re: 2005 Honda Activa - Refurbish or sell? Another tale of head vs heart conflict

Honda wing being red, go with that. Did you source original Activa stickers like the one you had?
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Originally Posted by aargee View Post
And thus finally, we're getting a 100% STOCK Activa refurbished nearly 15 years later. I really can't wait to share the pictures with you all here, it has been an awesome sight, especially the silver & black combo.What if there's a stripes on the wheels? Would it look good? What color to choose? Black? These are some of the questions that I'm pondering since last evening.
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Old 22nd November 2019, 16:12   #11
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Default Re: 2005 Honda Activa - Refurbish or sell? Another tale of head vs heart conflict

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Did you source original Activa stickers like the one you had?
Yes, we sourced original sticker, which is black in color (2005 model) But you've given a good idea, may be we should've opted for red, would've been something different from the rest for looks.
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Old 2nd December 2019, 11:53   #12
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Default Re: 2005 Honda Activa - Refurbish or sell? Another tale of head vs heart conflict

Correct decision, imo. A scooter is only point A to point B conveyance, makes no sense to sell off an old yet working model for a pittance & spend tens of thousands (or even lakhs) to get a new one. Refurb/reuse/recycle is the mantra
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Old 2nd December 2019, 22:03   #13
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Default Re: 2005 Honda Activa - Refurbish or sell? Another tale of head vs heart conflict

Wish you all the best on the restoration. We just got our 2004 Honda Activa restored and got the registration renewal done. The full body repainting costed 3500, and the tires got changed and total cost including painting, service, registration, road tax, etc was 5500 Rs.
This scooter was one of the vehicle which required the least maintenance and was trouble free all this while, except for the cold start issue and rock hard shock absorbers.
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Old 3rd December 2019, 12:41   #14
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Default Re: 2005 Honda Activa - Refurbish or sell? Another tale of head vs heart conflict

I could easily relate to your thread because my dad bought an Activa in 2004 (run 36,xxx till date) and we still have it. On having thoughts as to whether there's a need to replace it, we easily brushed it aside considering the factors that scooters seem to be ridiculously expensive now and for the kind of running we have, it's merely an A to B use. Plus, the scooter is super reliable and runs absolutely fine. Had a couple of minor issues which along with painting some parts for the fitness, etc costed so little. it still returns around 40 kmpl and my dad religiously services it every 6 months or so. Unless you're someone who uses scooters so much, I feel they haven't changed so much for people who drive so little to bother to change it.

Best wishes on your restoration and the decision. Wishing you many more years with your beloved Activa.
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Old 3rd December 2019, 15:28   #15
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Default Re: 2005 Honda Activa - Refurbish or sell? Another tale of head vs heart conflict

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Originally Posted by superbad View Post
Correct decision, imo. A scooter is only point A to point B conveyance, makes no sense to sell off an old yet working model for a pittance & spend tens of thousands (or even lakhs) to get a new one. Refurb/reuse/recycle is the mantra
Given the current pricing for new scooters, this effort makes a lot of sense, especially if one has had an attachment to the oldie.

However, another option here would have been to just pick up a newer low run pre-owned scooter for 20-25k.

The only negatives to restoration are

a) paint finish will start going dull/cracking up in 2 years max because of bad thinner and the putty
b) corrosion on metal panels would recur
c) a general feeling of not being able to let go of the machine after even 5 years since a packet has been just spent

These are just my views; I don't want to rain on your parade.
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