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Old 8th September 2020, 15:42   #1
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Default Blu: The blue eyed boy - My Honda Activa 125 STD

There is a first time for everything and every firsts are memorable whether good or bad. Ever since I penned the ownership review of our Creta (The Big Fat Panda - Story of our Hyundai Creta SX+ Petrol), I was feeling a little guilty for not writing anything about my pet, an Activa 125 STD. This was the first vehicle that I bought with my own hard earned money and it have a very special place in my heart and life.

I don't know if anyone will call a scooter 'he', but he is my buddy and sure does feel like it. Not many ownership threads of scooters are also there since majorly they are met out with step motherly treatment and of late I too am guilty for the same. Fill it, shut it and forget it attitude. They are counted even below their own two wheeled brethren, the motorcycles. These guys do the duties from that of a two wheeler to that of an auto-rickshaw in many households and are not even properly appreciated for the versatility. Be it the ease of use or the decent fuel efficiency, these guys are the jack of all trades and through my thread I not only wishes to introduce my ride but to show my appreciation to all his kind who have made our life a whole lot easier, especially for guys like me who are not adept in using a geared two wheeler and maybe by doing so I can redeem myself for the indifference I showed during his purchase. Without further ado I'm getting on with my ownership thread after one little thing.

Disclaimer & Information: All opinions/views presented here are personal and/or from own experience and taste. No offense intended to anyone or any vehicle. The images used are from my photo gallery and internet. So credits to respective owners and internet. Also, this is going to be a long post. Once I start writing, I just go with the flow and some irrelevant matter also may get included, so please bear with me. (This is my personal format which I intend to use wherever applicable)

Prologue

The year was 2015 and much to everybody's surprise including mine, I landed a respectable permanent job with a steady salary. My parents were relived, every one in our kind of joint family was happy and I was simply elated and couldn't believe my luck. You wouldn't believe it too since I was then accused of being too care free and irresponsible.

So after the training, I was posted to Kochi, which incidentally is my hometown. Lucky break. Office was about 8 kms from home and I was using public transportation for the first six months. Then with the traffic during peak hours which is usually my commute time it began taking too long to reach office or home, after work. I was being reminded of my time in Bangalore (It was nowhere close, but still). Some days, especially weekends it took approximately 1.5-2 hrs for overcrowded public transportation to get me home from office. I didn't want to waste my time and energy like this. To top it, we here in Kerala loves our monthly strikes/lockdowns/hartals etc. My office doesn't give holiday for this and I have lost some leaves due to them. So in order to resolve this issues, I had a brilliant idea, and that was to buy a scooter.

Why not a bike, you ask ,huh? Simple answer, I can't handle one well. Multiple accidents in college while trying to learn and some permanent scars has put me off geared bikes for now. Moreover I was about to get married and logic was that a scooter can be used by both of us. With that decided now the question was; which scooter?

The Selection.

Honestly there was no selection process. My uncle had a 10 year old Activa and that little beauty was still going strong. The whole family hands down voted for an Activa and I, at that time didn't know much about the scooter scene or the importance of test rides, agreed for the same. I had just begun to read TBhp but was not a regular guest here then.

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Pic Courtesy - Internet.

So it was decided that I was getting an Activa. I wanted to see the Jupiter and Access 125 but didn't care much about the Maestro. Almost all Maestros I saw on road had their RVMs dangling like droopy flowers. I was worried about quality.

Blu: The blue eyed boy - My Honda Activa 125 STD-26990_heromaestroedge30.jpg

Pic Courtesy - Internet.

My cousin had an Access 125 and I had ridden it, the cold start was not an issue and the pickup was nice also it felt lighter but something didn't feel right.

Blu: The blue eyed boy - My Honda Activa 125 STD-suzuki-access-125.jpg

Never even went to the TVS showroom. I have mixed emotions about the decision as I got to know later on that Jupiter has the best in class ride quality and Activa's ride is on the stiffer side. The good thing about this is that since I made a rushed decision here, I have done proper due diligence in all my subsequent purchases.

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Pic Courtesy - Internet.

So the final pick was the Activa. So which Activa? I straightaway opted for the 125cc since I didn't want the scooter to struggle with 2 people on board. I was (still am) a bit on the heavier side and I felt the 110cc may not be able to handle my bulk up steep inclines of my office parking or the mall ramps with a pillion.

Blu: The blue eyed boy - My Honda Activa 125 STD-img_20181211_103949.jpg

This was during September - October 2016. Interesting tidbit is that this was the time I was searching for our first car and stumbled upon TBhp. I didn't think to look here for advice on scooter purchase though. It took me almost a year to finalize on a car but less than 1 hour to select a scooter. Goes on to show that how much I too took them for granted. So I along with my uncle went to the nearest Honda showroom which was a Muthoot Honda to look for my potential travelling partner.

We went there in the evening after office and there was a bit of rush due to the upcoming festival season. Even though there was rush we were promptly attended to by the staff and one lady SA came to take our requirement. This was the polar opposite of the reception we had when me and my wife walked into a TVS showroom 4 years down the line, to look at the Ntorq. That story is for another thread. Back to our main story, we were asked what we were looking for and I said the Activa 125.

Now they had only one Activa 125 in stock and I was told that if I will have to wait for a month for the next batch to arrive. This was a lie since no showroom won't wait that long for placing new orders for a decently moving product. I didn't knew this then and fell for it. So I told that I will take a look at the one in stock and decide. Usually I don't go for the last pieces, since most probably it's defective and shunned by everyone before. Had had a bad experience with a home appliance long time ago. I was skeptical but my uncle assured me that it's fine, there is nothing to worry about. Now he has a lot more driving and riding experience than me, also he was using an Activa for the last 10 years, so I took his word for it.

So they brought him from the basement parking and I had a good look at him. He was a bit dusty and without any bling but surely a looker. The metallic blue paint was not as bright as I expected but not that dull also. I loved the piano black cowl over the headlamp and the dual grab rail at the back. The whole metal body also gave confidence of durability. This was already a BS IV vehicle so I was not worried about discontinuation or resale after March 2017. The digital fuel gauge and odometer with the analog speedo was perfect. The Odo was showing 2 kms. I like my fuel, temp and odo to be digital and the rest analog. The needle doing a full sweep of the speedo was new to me and felt nice. I was sold. I wanted this. I loved it. I was like, take my money now.

Booking and Delivery.

So we went back inside and started on the paperwork. The quote was roughly like this.

Ex-Showroom Price - Rs. 60,661/-
Insurance - Rs. 1880/-
Road Tax and Registration - Rs.4853/-
Permanent Registration Charges - Rs. 615/-
Extended Warranty -Rs. 430/-
Accessories - Rs. 5534/-
Interest on loan. - Rs. 4526/-

Total On-road - Rs. 78,499/-

I was thinking that I will buy the scooter outright and won't go for a loan. My uncle told me to go the financed way even though I had the cash ready. He told me that it will reduce the burden of cleaning out my savings in one go. I ended up paying about Rs. 4000/- as interest to a 1 year loan but I got a decent credit rating because of that loan I guess. Now one lady from the finance section came to explain the terms and conditions of the loan and there was a new problem.

I have been only working for under a year and I alone was not eligible for a loan, even with my last six months' payslip. I had to give a surety or guarantor. My mother graciously agreed to be my guarantor. Here is what perplexed me, my retired mother's pension slip was acceptable to them than my monthly payslip which was substantially higher. Anyway, I took finance for Rs. 40k and signed the loan papers. The loan was an in-house one, from Muthoot Finance. They also took all necessary documents and signature from me for registration and I paid Rs. 1000/- as advance.

They called me after a couple of days saying that all paperwork is ready and as soon as I transfer the remaining amount they will start the registration process. I wired the remaining amount to the account number given and they confirmed the receipt. This was around the 4th week of October and they called me on 2nd November saying that my ride is ready to be rode home. The full registration process was done by the showroom guys and I only had to get the number plates made.

I went to the showroom straight from my office and he was standing there in the delivery area freshly washed, waxed and fully accessorized. The accessories had transformed the way he looked. With the SS crash guards, he looked a bit beefy and the bling matched his metallic blue colour. I had also opted for the underbody anti rust coating. They also provided me with decent enough Studds half face helmet along with the mandatory accessories like, mirrors, number plate, ladies footrest, side stand and a grab handle. In my excitement I went alone for taking delivery and finished the paperwork, grabbed the keys from the SA and set off on my new travelling buddy that I forgot to take/get even a single photo of the delivery process. I first went to the nearest fuel pump and being so pumped up I asked the attendant to fill fuel for Rs.300/- rather than asking for full tank. The fuel prices were much lower then so even after filling the tank to brim I had money left so I took the remaining fuel in a bottle. I took a long route to home since I wanted to get a feel of the ride and also I have been itching to do so since I saw him first at the showroom.

Thus came home my buddy Blu, who I named so on the ride home.

Blu: The blue eyed boy - My Honda Activa 125 STD-img_20161029_112721.jpg

Blu: The blue eyed boy - My Honda Activa 125 STD-img_20161029_112733.jpg

Blu: The blue eyed boy - My Honda Activa 125 STD-img_20161029_112921.jpg

Last edited by BLACNWYTE : 12th October 2020 at 08:28.
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Old 12th October 2020, 08:50   #2
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Default Re: Blu: The blue eyed boy - My Honda Activa 125 STD

Features on the center console.

The center console is basic yet modern, part analog and part digital. As said earlier the speedometer is analog and the fuel gauge, trip meter and Odometer are digital with amber backlight. The speedometer does a full sweep on turning the key to ignition, which I love and so does my two year old son. The fuel gauge shows the bars as per the driving style/conditions. In city it drops bars too soon and on highway runs the bars stays soon for longer. I have observed that after runs in dense traffic at crawling speeds, when I take to highway and if I keep sane steady speed for a couple of minutes, one or two bars reappear on the fuel gauge.

The Fuel tank has 5.2l capacity as per the brochure with 1.3l reserve. Upon reaching reserve the last bar starts blinking. Once, to know how far the scooter will run on reserve, I rode it till the engine began spluttering and I rode about 75 kms on highway. So in city the equivalent might be about 45-50 kms. Blu took 5.6ltrs of petrol at the next fill up. I guess I overfilled the tank above the metal strip which run across the mouth of the tank.

I also found by accident that running with choke pulled causes the engine to backfire and lose power. Choke should be used only for cold starts and is not recommended for running. I don't know if the choke allows more fuel in the engine or it restricts air to the engine, but since both cases will be causing the engine to run rich, it's not recommended.

There is also a push button for resetting the trip meter. You have to keep it pressed for 3 seconds to reset the trip meter. The trip meter will only read to 999.9 kms and then automatically resets to zero. There are no other readouts on the center console except for the turn indicator lights and high beam indicator.

Blu: The blue eyed boy - My Honda Activa 125 STD-img_20190724_084444.jpg

Riding, Handling and Braking

Honda engine is butter smooth and reliable. Blu has not let me down even once in these 4 years. Once I stupidly rode through a waterlogged section of the road and I guess the water choked the air filter and engine died. I panicked and was also feeling guilty thinking I have destroyed the engine. On the roadside, after 5-10 minutes of frantic kicking, he roared back to life and I breathed a sigh of relief. I went for a longer ride just to make sure everything was OK.

I think cold starts are the nemesis of Honda engines. Blu is very grudging during cold starts. As opposed to my cousin's Access 125 which starts with no fuss on the first crank, I have to pull the choke and have a kicking match with Blu to get him up to task. Once on the road, its super smooth and 50kmph is the sweet spot of this bike. No vibrations, smooth engine makes the ride pure joy.

Take it on a rough section and you will curse the person who tuned the suspension. One word H-A-R-D. The suspension is stiff, and while it may offer decent handling the ride is nowhere near plush or supple. Actually it's forbidden to use the words like plush, supple along with Blu. It is good on highway but on broken city roads its anything but comfortable. Any pothole taken over 10 kmph will send shockwaves up your spine. Reducing the the air in tyres will not help much. Also I guess the suspension travel for this is low since it bottoms out quite easily. I find it odd that a stiff suspension is bottoming out so soon. In comparison my another cousin's Hero Duet feels like a fluffy cloud ride.

Acceleration is decent but nowhere near that of Access 125 or Fascino 125. The rubber band effect of the CVT is very much felt on quick acceleration and it sheds speeds faster on release of the throttle.

OEM TVS tyres offered adequate grip levels but it could have been better. I got decent life out of the OEM tyre but I guess I pushed the replacement by at least couple of thousand kilometers (replace it on 23326 kms). The new rear tyre I got is CEAT Gripp, mainly bought for enhanced grip levels. While the grip levels are better than TVS tyre, especially the wet grip part, this one may not have the life of OEM tyre. I was running on a bit over inflated tyres which wore down the tread at center line. Even though I have changed to a reduced pressure set up, the tread wear is more than the previous one. The CEAT Gripp tyre has done only a shade over 10k kms but has only about 30-35% life left. Front tyre is still the OEM TVS one and by the looks of it will outlast the CEAT one too.

Braking is another area where there is scope of improvement. Combi brake system is OK, but since Blu is STD model, I've got drums on both wheels and the rear fishtails/ locks up on hard braking. It's truly horrifying when it happens. You don't have to do do silly speeds for this, hard braking from 40 kmph can also get you into trouble. Brake fade is also prominent if you are riding for more than 50 kms at a stretch.

Word of caution, don't take it to open highways carelessly. Crosswinds of even low speeds can unsettle it as in like any other scooter. I have had a couple of heart in mouth moments of my own.

Noise, Vibrations and Harshness.

On start up there is some rough noise and vibrations but as the engine warms up it become smooth. Noise is very much controlled in the 40-50 kmph region and gets louder as we climb up the speedo. It gets throaty at 70 and screams at 80 plus. The top speed I ever have done is about 90kmph for about 2-3 seconds. I just wanted to see how fast it can go and I almost went deaf with the engine and wind noise. This scooter is meant for 40-50 kmph rides, at max 60 kmph. The silly speeds with knowledge that the brakes are sub par is reason enough for me to never attempt it again.

As said above, cold start vibrations are there and also at lower speeds with full load. Once it crosses 20 kmph the vibrations are very much controlled till about 55- 60kmph.

Engine is harsh above 60 kmph. Not like the Yamahas. This one has a sweet spot at 45-50 kmph and if you keep it there it rides like a dream on open roads. At 50 kmph the engine note today is as same as that I had observed it when Blu was brand new.

Since Blu doesn't have end weights on the handlebar, my hand goes numb after about 30 minutes of continuous ride. Gloves helps a bit but not by much. I will be exploring the possibility of adding end weights to the handles so as to reduce vibration.

Fuel Economy

Honda advertised FE is 62 kmpl and I'm happy to say that I have never been able to get even close to that figure in these four years. I'm a sedate rider, who doesn't do quick acceleration, braking or running at high speeds. The maximum I have ever got out of this engine is 56 kmpl (90% highway) and minimum I've got is 38 kmpl (100% city traffic). My average hovers around 49 kmpl. This is as per Fuelio app, but I think this could be wrong as I was not doing the tankful- tankful method for almost a year before I started following tankful method. Realistic average would be around 45 kmpl, as I ride mostly in city traffic.

Last edited by BLACNWYTE : 14th October 2020 at 14:06.
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Old 12th October 2020, 16:14   #3
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Default Re: Blu: The blue eyed boy - My Honda Activa 125 STD

Services

First Service.

Free service. The service was done at ASS on 26/11/2016, after about a month from purchase with odo at 709 kms. Yes!, I rode that much in the first month itself, mostly in the excitement of getting the new ride and also due to the freedom it offered me. I also rode a lot to get myself familiar with the scooter as it was my first time riding a powered vehicle continuously. I also got a buzzer for turn lights installed at this time as I was forgetting to turn them off at times. The service cost came to Rs. 292/-.

Second Service.

Free service. Service done at ASS on 23/02/2017, with odo at 2552 kms. Routine service procedure as per the service manual done. Service cost came to Rs. 292/-.

Third Service.

Free service. Service done at ASS on 21/06/2017, with odo at 5321 kms. Routine service procedure as per the service manual done. Service cost came to Rs. 291/-.

Fourth Service.

One year up and final free service. Service done at ASS on 26/10/2017, with odo at 7489 kms. Again only routine service as per the service manual carried out. In the first year I rode Blu for about 7500 kms. Service costs amounted to Rs. 267/-.

Fifth Service.

First paid service. Done again at ASS on 26/02/2018, with odo at 10158 kms. The first paid service set me back by Rs. 1444/-, which was also due to the fact that I opted for an AMC plan. This plan gave me 10% off on parts and labour at each service and also two free washes. The plan, which cost me Rs.650/-, was actually a waste of money, which I got to know after taking it. I understood that it is only when the paid services start, the ASS people start to find various issues with your vehicle like brake is less, spark plug is gone etc.

Sixth Service.

Paid service. Done at ASS on 21/06/2018, with odo at 13161 kms. Again proceeded with regular service recommended as per service manual. This time also I got a call from the SA saying the spark plug went kaput and when I told him it was replaced during last service, it quickly became functional and only needed cleaning. Talk about pulling a fast one. The total bill came to Rs. 675/-.

Seventh Service

Paid Service. Done at the same ASS on 30/10/2018, with odo at 16735 kms. This marked the completion of two years and this year I clocked about 9250 kms. This year I took him for 100 kms one side journeys a couple of times and he performed flawlessly. All routine service procedures and thankfully they did not say something is wrong with the scooter. I was asked if I wanted to renew the AMC and I politely declined the offer. I had made good use of the two free washes, during the monsoon. The bill came to Rs. 864/-.

Eighth Service.

Paid service. Done at ASS on 28/02/2019, with odo at 20095 kms. This time the air intake filter, indicator buzzer were replaced and regular service of brake overhauling, clutch overhauling was done. Total cost came to Rs. 1303/-.

Ninth Service.

Paid Service. Done at ASS on 29/06/2019, with odo at 23488 kms. Regular scheduled service work performed and bill came to Rs. 937/-.

Tenth Service.

Paid service. Done at ASS on 01/11/2019, with odo at 26292 kms. We did about 9500 kms in our third year. The tenth service marked the end of warranty period. So this service was a bit more thorough than the last, which included head cleaning and gasket replacement and it cost me Rs. 1421/-.

Eleventh Service.

Paid service. Done at ASS on 03/06/2020, with odo at 31497 kms. Yes, as soon as the warranty got over I was of the opinion to shift to an FNG for all future services and that's when Covid happened. I was planning on getting him serviced in April as opposed to February, but the lockdown announced in March pushed my plans further down. I pushed the service to the eighth month as there were no issues noticed in Blu and running has become less due to Panda taking over more duties in the face of ongoing pandemic. As soon as the lock down ended, I took him to the ASS and got the service done. This time I got a new set of rear brake pads as the stock ones had no life left in them. Also got the spark plug replaced and head cleaned. They asked me before putting in the new spark plug but didn't inform about the head cleaning both the time. Total service cost, Rs. 2074/-.

Now, onwards I have planned for a six month/6000km service interval since I know my Blu can very well take it.

Last edited by BLACNWYTE : 14th October 2020 at 00:42.
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Old 12th October 2020, 16:26   #4
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Default Re: Blu: The blue eyed boy - My Honda Activa 125 STD

Maintenance and Accidents

Lock cable replacement. In March 2018, one fine day I found that I'm not able to open the seat. The Key is turning but the click sound is not heard. I was in the middle of an office errand and the documents I needed were in the seat compartment. Since this was soon after a scheduled service, I was pissed. I went to the ASS and they said that the lock cable has snapped and will have to replace it. It took 15 minutes and I was shocked to see a 2 mm thick braided steel cable frayed and snapped like a piece of twine within 18 months of life. I wanted them to replace it under warranty but they said it to be a wear and tear part and not included in warranty. They said they will waive the labour charges. Nice joke. I paid the part cost of Rs. 41/- and left.

Tyre and Rim Repair. July 2018, I was out on a night ride with my friend riding pillion. I took a nasty pothole at speed (40-50 kmph) on the highway. Thankfully nothing happened to us and the tyre was not punctured. Next morning I did a closer inspection and found the rim bent and tyre had lost about 50% air. Took it to the ASS and they pushed for rim replacement but I wanted a repair. So they did it but my tubeless tyre became a tubed one. Had I given it to an FNG it wouldn't have cost me the Rs. 720/- which I paid at ASS.

Exhaust Heat Guard. My younger brother managed to get into a minor fender bender resulting in a cracked Heat shield on the exhaust. And on a second time he managed to break it off cleanly. I sourced the part from Honda Genuine Spares and a couple of minutes of work had my Blu restored. Part cost Rs. 70/-.

Air intake Filter. This was during the infamous 2018 Kerala floods. My brother took Blu to his college near Aluva after the flood waters had receded. On his way back he parked the scooter at Aluva Railway Station and went to meet a friend. Then as per him, there was a heavy downpour for an hour or more which resulted in a flash flood kind of situation and water was knee deep at the parking. Once the water receded, he took the scooter, pushed it to a workshop and since the mechanic was overwhelmed with the already increased work load of flood affected motorcycles, my brother himself borrowed tools from the mechanic and changed the air filter which was drenched and full of muck. He however, could only put in an unbranded filter which was available at the shop at that time. This was later replaced with Honda Genuine Part later next year. My brother was pissed at the audacity of the mechanic who billed him for parts and labour and after some back and forth the mechanic settled for part cost +Rs. 100/- which he termed as cost for lending tools. My little brother is a bit of grease monkey and loves repairing things on his own.

Rear tyre. After using 23000 kms the rear tyres (OEM TVS make 90/100-10) had become almost bald and was losing grip even on normal braking. I decided to get it changed and got CEAT Gripp tubeless tyres for Rs. 1250/- including labour and nitrogen filling in both tyres. Since my rear rim was repaired one it meant that the CEAT tyre (90/100-10) also will be a tubed one, so I used the tube from the old tyre. The OEM TVS tyre lasted for 23326 kms.

Buzzer. The first one got damaged during one monsoon season and had to get it replaced during a routine service.

Battery. Blue came with an Exide ETZ-4 as OEM battery and it went dead one fine morning in May 2020. I used the kicker for starting and in my laziness I continued to ride Blu with a dead battery for about two weeks. When the hassle of kicking it finally started to bother me I decide to get the battery replaced. My brother had an unused new Amaron AP-BTZ-4L battery lying around and since it was shown as compatible I decided to swap it and avoid an extra expenditure. Replaced the battery with the help of my brother.

Last edited by BLACNWYTE : 14th October 2020 at 13:58.
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Old 12th October 2020, 16:42   #5
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Default Re: Blu: The blue eyed boy - My Honda Activa 125 STD

Niggles.

This is not a niggle per se, but I have never got the idling speed correct to my liking. Either it is high that engine revs or low that the engine stalls. Multiple SAs at the ASS have not been able to tune it properly. Currently I'm running on slightly higher idle speed and have made my peace with it. I'll try and set it myself once I read up properly as to how to do it.

The headlights are an issue. While it is good in city by-lanes and dark roads, a simple streetlight can drown the light from OEM headlamps. On highway during early mornings and late nights, it is almost useless. To make matter worse, I observed a shadow line on the low beam which runs horizontally across. This is due to the design/ manufacture flaw of the reflector. The reflector has a joint/raised line running across it's length and the light doesn't get reflected here, which forms as a unlit line on low beam on ground. I asked the SA to change it under warranty but he told it's the same for all Activas and even showed me a the ones which were there. They had it too. So I lost the hope of getting it replaced and I thought that I will do it myself when I upgrade the headlamps. Unfortunately it has not happened till now.

I had one puncture with the OEM TVS tyre due to a screw and had to get a mushroom plug repair done. Soon after that the rim bent fiasco happened and the tyre ended up with a tube. No issues with the CEAT tyre except for excessive tread wear.

This is not a niggle but an amusing incident where one filament of the rear light conked off and I ended up with only brake light. The rear light won't turn on if I switch on the head light but with brakes it lights up. My stop lamp was faulty and functional at the same time!. Issue solved with a new rear lamp for Rs. 25/-.

The latest proper niggle which I'm facing is the dancing speedometer needle, which may very well be my fault. As soon as I replaced the battery myself and took a test ride, I found that the speedometer needle was not moving for the first few minutes. The scooter started up on first push, all lights were working so I thought I have installed the battery correctly. I reopened the front cowl and rechecked the connection and everything was fine. I rechecked the battery compatibility in google and it showed in affirmative. I went for one more test ride and about 2-3 minutes into the ride the speedometer needle started moving again but it was all over the place. It will show 20 when I most probably would have been doing 50 and it drops to 0-10 whenever there is an undulation or speed bump or pothole. Basically the needle dances away to glory in the 0-50 region on rough roads and also when the engine is cold. It has been 2500 kms since and I have not found a solution. No other issues from lights or ignition.

Present and Future.

As on date Blu is 33600 kms old and still going strong. I have been using him less ever since the Covid outbreak . This month end will mark our 4 year friendship anniversary and it has been wonderful 4 years.

In future I see all LED lights. I want to change the reflector setup as well. I might go for the new generation Activa's headlamp setup if it's a direct fit/ swap otherwise I'll just change the bulbs. I like to keep my vehicles bone stock and at best I'll do modifications using OEM accessories and upgrade parts. I don't see myself going overboard with customizing Blu.

For all those who have patiently made it this far, I owe a big thank you. I was never good at keeping it short and simple/sweet. I will be updating this space as I go along since the plan for now is to keep Blu as long as I can.

Last edited by BLACNWYTE : 14th October 2020 at 13:31.
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Old 15th October 2020, 08:26   #6
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Default Re: Blu: The blue eyed boy - My Honda Activa 125 STD

Thread moved from the Assembly Line to the 2-wheeled Section. Thanks for sharing!

Your scooter is going to our homepage today .
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Old 15th October 2020, 10:31   #7
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Default Re: Blu: The blue eyed boy - My Honda Activa 125 STD

Thanks for the detailed review ! This should help prospective buyers as the 125 cc market is getting hot.


Quote:
Originally Posted by BLACNWYTE View Post
Niggles.

This is not a niggle per se, but I have never got the idling speed correct to my liking. Either it is high that engine revs or low that the engine stalls. Multiple SAs at the ASS have not been able to tune it properly. Currently I'm running on slightly higher idle speed and have made my peace with it. I'll try and set it myself once I read up properly as to how to do it.

The latest proper niggle which I'm facing is the dancing speedometer needle, which may very well be my fault. As soon as I replaced the battery myself and took a test ride, I found that the speedometer needle was not moving for the first few minutes.
Idling speed has always been an issue with Activas. When the engine is cold, its low enough to stall, but when it gets hot, the rpms are higher than usual. I used to tune it myself, keep it high during rains/winters. If you are into DIY, you can open the cover and adjust the screw which controls idling rpm. Its attached to the carburetor.

I believe the speedometer of your scooter is mechanical one and not electronic. It should be fairly simple to diagnose and repair. Search on youtube and you will find tons of videos on that. Note the needle mechanism on the dashboard never fails for the most part. Its usually the cable and the plastic gears inside the front wheel. The speedo wire needs good lubrication as it keeps turning inside the housing. Most service centers dont do it and that results in the wire snapping or loosening inside the housing. Also check the worm gear in the front wheel, it may have lost some of its teeth. Its fairly simple to check the cable, you just need a screwdriver and a plier (or strong fingers) to remove the cable from front wheel. The cable and gears cost approx 100 and 80 Rs respectively. (As a thumb rule, if the speedo needle shakes while riding and does not stay steady, its time to lubricate the cable)

Of-course my suggestion above is of no use if the set-up is electronic

Last edited by NiInJa : 15th October 2020 at 10:35.
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Old 15th October 2020, 11:22   #8
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Default Re: Blu: The blue eyed boy - My Honda Activa 125 STD

Quote:
Originally Posted by NiInJa View Post
Idling speed has always been an issue with Activas. If you are into DIY, you can open the cover and adjust the screw which controls idling rpm. Its attached to the carburetor.

I believe the speedometer of your scooter is mechanical one and not electronic. Its usually the cable and the plastic gears inside the front wheel. The speedo wire needs good lubrication as it keeps turning inside the housing. Also check the worm gear in the front wheel, it may have lost some of its teeth. The cable and gears cost approx 100 and 80 Rs respectively. (As a thumb rule, if the speedo needle shakes while riding and does not stay steady, its time to lubricate the cable)
Right now the idling rpm is bit on the higher side, but in the range I can live with. Earlier it used to be a lot higher and if I put the scooter on center stand and start, it will be running at around 20-30 kmph. Now its is in the 10-20 kmph range.

The needles behave normally on smooth tarmac. It's on rough and bumpy roads, that it shakes like a leaf. The knowledge about the speedometer is new to me, I'll have to read up before I commit to anything. By the sound of it, definitely worth a try. Thank you sir, for the information.

I will definitely try The DIYs you have suggested as soon as I get enough free time. Since the scooter is my daily driver, I can't spread the DIY over days.
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Old 15th October 2020, 13:58   #9
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Default Re: Blu: The blue eyed boy - My Honda Activa 125 STD

Excellent ownership report, many thanks for sharing. I believe nothing beats the convenience of a scooter, be it your Grocery runs or in city commute. I had an Aprilia SR-150 for a brief period but had to sell it off because of the super hard suspension, the motor was something that impressed me and easily propelled my 115 kg body weight even with my wifey as pillion at 95-100kmph without breaking a sweat. I am thinking of buying an Activa since we love to visit old Pune or the nearby street food joint, very inconvenient with the Himalayan since the engine heats up like crazy. Brain says 110 (money wise), heart says 125 (performance) with FI and disc brakes being the plus points. I did TD one of the current gen Activa and found it to be comfortable for city commutes.
Mite settle down with the 110, keeping the weight and the power in mind considering wifey who is a newbie into driving/riding mite start using it.

Last edited by rakesh_r : 15th October 2020 at 14:00.
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Old 15th October 2020, 15:21   #10
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Default Re: Blu: The blue eyed boy - My Honda Activa 125 STD

I too am around hitting a century by weight and so it will be comforting to know that my Activa 125 can carry me, my better half and about a month worth of groceries albeit some strain initially. It's a good enough workhorse but I'll advise to take test rides of Activa, Jupiter, Maestro and Fascino before making that purchase. Both on smooth tarmac and rough roads. Also check pulling power from an incline under load, because even with 125cc engine Blu struggles there. My wife's Fascino 125 with FI engine is so much better in this than Blu. So I guess the 110cc FI engine might be enough for your requirement. But do take test rides.
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Old 16th October 2020, 00:21   #11
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Default Re: Blu: The blue eyed boy - My Honda Activa 125 STD

Hi,
adjusting carbs is seen as a bit of a "black art" like "electrics", it is really quite easy once you understand the basics. Copy and paste this link :

https://bikeadvice.in/tuning-carbure...el-efficiency/

This article will help you understand how they work. Scooter and motorcycle carbs are pretty basic. There are only 3 adjustments that you can make, without taking the carb apart.

1. Before you do anything else make sure that the throttle cable has the correct free play to allow the throttle valve to close fully against the idle screw adjuster, otherwise you will not be able to set the idle speed correctly.
2. Identify which screw is the idle speed (tick over screw) and which is the idle mixture screw (slow running screw).
2. Idle speed screw. All this does is set the rpm that the engine ticks over at when you are not using the throttle. (It works like the throttle cable and slightly opens the throttle valve inside the carb).
3. Idle mixture screw. The idle mixture screw adjusts the fuel/air ratio at tick over only !!!, (some carbs have a "fuel" screw, this will be on the engine side of the carb, those that have an "air" screw will find it on the air filter side of the carb). Both do the same job. The idle mixture will regulate how well/smoothly the engine runs at tick over. It is NOT used to control tick over/idle speed. If it has been fiddled with by somebody and the engine is running baldly. Refer to your manual it will tell you a "base" setting to start from. If you don't have a manual, lightly screw the idle mixture screw all the way in, stop as soon as you fell it fully seated, do not over tighten it, then screw it out 2 full turns. That should give you a "workable" starting point.

What you are trying to achieve is a nice stable tick over at the correct engine speed.
Ride the bike/scooter for at least 5km to ensure the engine is up to full operating temperature. Adjust the idle speed screw to somewhere near the required rpm. Now adjust the "fuel" or "air" screw towards the lean position, the engine will slow down so increase the idle speed(tick over) with the idle screw to the required rpm. Find the "leanest" point that the engine will continue to run at, then adjust the "idle" mixture towards "rich" in 1/8 turns. The engine will speed up so keep adjusting the "Idle speed" screw to keep the rpm at about normal tick over speed. Keep adjusting until the "idle mixture screw" does not make the engine rpm get any higher. That is the optimum setting, finally just set the "idle speed screw" to the optimum rpm for tick over. Job done. It is a good idea to "blip" the throttle a few times in between adjustments to stabilise the engine. If the engine starts to get too hot ride the bike/scooter for a couple of kms. and continue adjustments. If in doubt always adjust it slightly rich, the tick over will be smoother.

Note : If adjustments to the "idle mixture screw" do not seem to have much effect it is likely that the very small passage ways in the carb body or idle jet are blocked. Carb rebuild and clean needed. In this situation you will either get a high speed tick over or constant stalling.
All of this assumes that everything else is in good condition, plug lead, plug, valve clearances, clean air filter, no air leaks between the carb and engine, no exhaust blockage, no excessive carbon build up on the piston, valves or cylinder head, good compression, ignition timing, good fuel quality etc.

When the "idle" circuit is blocked or incorrectly adjusted the engine will only run at a higher rpm. This is basically because the higher engine speed draws fuel through the carbs main jet which normally only happens at about 1/8 throttle opening and above. Up to 1/8 throttle opening most fuel is supplied by the idle jet.

These adjustments will have virtually no effect on fuel mileage or pick up, but should stop lag or hesitation on opening the throttle. Above 1/8 throttle opening the idle circuit is over ridden by the main jet and throttle valve.

Even a perfectly set carb may not provide an exact idle when the engine is started from cold, it is a compromise between "hot" and "cold" settings. Just be patient and allow a "cold" engine to reach a good temperature before driving off (good practice anyway as it stops the engine from being hesitant/jerky). Alternatively you can use a small amount of choke, which will slightly increase the tick over and make the idle mixture richer, for the first 1/2km or so until the engine is warm.

Depending on how strict your annual emission control tests are (I live in the U.K.) you may have to stop outside the testing station and lean the mixture 1/4 or 1/2 a turn to pass the test, afterwards just return it to the original setting.
I have adjusted all types of carbs for over 50 years. Every carb is a compromise between performance, economy and driveabilty. Have you ever wondered why highly tuned race cars/motorcycles are always revving their engines on the starting grid, it is because they have chosen the performance option and the engine will not tick over just run flat out for maximum power. You can't have all 3 perfect !! for that you need fuel injection and an electronic brain !!!!
I have just finished a total rebuild of my motorcycle carbs. It has 6 cylinders, 6 exhausts and 6 carbs, not only do I have to adjust the idle mixture and idle speed of all 6 carbs but I also have to "balance" all 6 carbs so they work in perfect synchrony.
I have attached a photos of the "bank" of 6 carbs. The engine is a "flat" 6 cylinder "boxer" of 1500cc.
Good luck, you will soon get the hang of adjusting the ideal tick over, it just takes practice.
Tips of the day : 1. Fit an extra inline fuel filter just before the carb. 2 Periodically open the drain valve on the carb float chamber to drain any bits or water from the float bowl.

Attachment 2068523
Attachment 2068524
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Old 16th October 2020, 08:16   #12
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Default Re: Blu: The blue eyed boy - My Honda Activa 125 STD

Thank you Redex sir. This is very helpful. I'll try and update the outcome here as soon as I can.
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Old 17th October 2020, 15:24   #13
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Default Re: Blu: The blue eyed boy - My Honda Activa 125 STD

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Blu: The blue eyed boy - My Honda Activa 125 STD-6-pack.jpg

Photos did not work ? Tried again.

Honda Valkyrie F6C 6 cylinder boxer, 1500cc, 6 carbs, 6 exhausts.
Regards Redex

If these do not work can someone please explain what I am doing wrong ?
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Old 17th October 2020, 17:09   #14
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Default Re: Blu: The blue eyed boy - My Honda Activa 125 STD

Just to add, the Activa has a cable slide Carburetor(Not a CV Carburettor) and hence an Air Screw, factory setting for such carbs is generally 1.5 Turns +/- 1 Turn. If setting conventionally then make sure to block the SAI pipe(it's the pipe hooked to the intake manifold) with a ball bearing before starting to tune from 0.5 Turns upwards.

Thumb rule is to use a new Air Filter and Spark Plug while tuning a Carburettor.
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Old 17th October 2020, 22:35   #15
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Default Re: Blu: The blue eyed boy - My Honda Activa 125 STD

Nice write up!

I have the same Activa 125 with same color and bought at almost the same period.

Almost agreed with every one of your point. Mine has done only 24k KM but I have been rough on the scooter with only 2 actual services done including the first one. I change oil every 4-5k KM and that pretty much it is.

But I have had my fair share of issues and repairs done.

1) I'm on my third rear tyre now due to 2 bad punctures. Second one was only 4k run and could have been salvaged by patching and running a tube on it but I'm fickle when it comes to tyres and replaced it again. Front is on stock TVS and rear is on MRF Zappier.

2) CVT drive belt snapped/obliterated while riding at around 11k KM and had to replace.

3) While doing the drive belt replacement, the mechanic disassembled the clutch and when putting it back, must have had messed up the roller weights as the ride was pretty bad after this. So replaced with new roller weights (aftermarket) on consultation with another mechanic which worked fine for 1k KM and the issue again happened. Now replaced again with Honda OEM roller weights and the ride was back to as it was originally.

4) Replaced air filter and the spark plug and did a carb clean around this time. Was done along with above OEM clutch roller weights replacement.

5) Throttle started becoming slightly sticky just around Feb this year and before I could replace the cable, the lockdown happened when the scooter was basically not in much use and was using only 1-2KM every week. Back in July, the issue became priority as it was almost getting dangerous even for shorter rides and I was using the brakes to hold scooter from running out from under me. So replaced the cable.

6) Around the same period, battery died after surviving for 3.5 years and replaced with a new Exide one myself just couple of weeks back.

7) Engine head gasket apparently has a small leak as noticed when the scooter was opened up last time. Need to address it taking to ASC as recommended by the mechanic.

8) Idling has been always coarse for me but I have put it must be because of my neglect of proper scooter maintenance and care for the scooter. Had to adjust it once as it became too coarse. Also the scooter inevitably dies when idling with headlights after about 20 seconds since year 1. Have never bothered to diagnose what's the issue with it.

Last edited by Yieldway17 : 17th October 2020 at 22:39.
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