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ashwanth 6th November 2009 19:09

2005 Black HONDA Eterno 200+ Kms,Second owner's review
14 Attachment(s)

Attachment 222991

Make : Honda Eterno

Kms on odometer : 59001 , Bought at 58800 on August 15th 2009 !

Colour : Black

Mileage per litre of petrol : 45-50 Approx.

Vehicles considered before buying : Bajaj 2-strokers , LML 2-strokers.

Serviced at : Kun Honda , Chennai.

Kerb Weight : 124 Kgs.

The initial confusion:

"Why buy a scooter , that too a geared one in this age of motorcycles ?" Well , that was my desire - to relish every moment of living with a side-engined manual transmission scooter before all of them go variomatic in future.Step one - Family people agreed and I was granted
funds for a used Vespa !

I was initially confused whether to buy a LML Vespa or the good old Bajaj 2-strokers.I came across atleast two types of Bajaj Chetak owners.

1.They wanted to 'dispose' their scooter.
2.They won't sell you their 'vespa' no matter how much you pay !

Attachment 222997

Then enters the Eterno ! After avoiding units that give out grey and black smoke through their exhaust, I zero in to a 58800 kms done 2005 unit for 9K.

I will soon be learning how-to-drive-a-manual in my Eterno !

Since , I have driven my brother's Activa for 3 years , parts of the review will point its finger to the 102cc Activa.

A.Design & Engineering :

Attachment 222996

The scooter is conservative in styling,looks rugged and bulbous.Its wider than the activa.

HONDA doesn't include any un-necessary(read as 'non-functional') parts for cost-saving.One example will be those cosmetic triangular leading link suspension covers.Floorboard doesn't have a mat(Thanks ! It makes my job of cleaning the scooter easy).

Some of the necessary things left-out:

Battery !
So out goes self-starter and fuel gauge.

No side stand(not even a provision for one).Turn-indicators work on engine power while horn is actually a autorickshaw like "kaayyikkk"(I love this sound - takes me to the 1960s :D ).

No foldable footpegs.The good thing is the integrated footpegs are not as bad as the ones on HONDA Dio.Tuff-up tubes and Glove box were optionals.

Attachment 222998

My first DIY job on a automobile - Thanks to team-bhp member's tips , I painted the rusting stock steel rims to matt black using spray paint.Also , painted the rusty exhaust pipe/Silencer using engine block paint.

B.Instrumentation , Lights & Switchgear:

Barebones instrumentation.Speedometer , odometer and two tell tale - one for high beam and another for turn-signal provided.Easy to read and speedofonts light up in orange.

Attachment 222995

Headlamp is on par with the activa while switchgear is a notch *higher* (yes , i meant higher in quality tough not on luxury).Headlamp and HI-Low beam switches for example feel better than the ones activa has(Some automags love to call Activa's switchgear 'top-class'.I can't agree!).Push-cancel tough is absent on the turn indicator switch.


Attachment 222989

Side Mounted force air-cooled 147.7cc HONDA engine is a gem ! Its ultra-refined and I find it a little quieter than the 102cc Activa Engine.It sounds more like a motorcycle than a 'vespa'(but then , even 4-stroke Bajaj legend sounds different !).Starts without any hint of trouble even in the coldest chennai mornings(Yes,Chennai does have cold times).Single kick correctly shot is all one needs to start her.Choke is required on some days.One doesn't have to open and close throttle to keep engine live while idling.I have seen people having Activa do that - are they previous Bajaj owners ?


Integrated with the engine.Four-Speed Manual Transmission operated via Hand-shifter on the handlebar LHS.Makes a autorickshaw like "tak" sound when shifted to first gear - Normal for a constant mesh gearbox.This sound is absent/negligible for other gears.One has to shift to 1st from N immediately after pulling in clutch lever else the gears won't engage.No 'vespa' owner sees this as a problem.It was just something for me to learn.

E.Ride & Handling:

Attachment 222999

Suspension & ergonomics - The front end uses the ancient leading link shock absorbers set-up while the rear end uses twin springs(not SNS) shock absorber set-up.Comparing with the activa , I find the front end a tad stiffer and rear end a little bouncy.

Ergonomics are spot-on,its a HONDA ! I stay out of potholes or take them at snail's pace.

Handling - Nothing much to write here.I never take corners at crazy speeds , do a wheelie or have the habit of slamming the brakes.In spite of the side mounted engine , Eterno just handles like a heavier activa to me.Its a city scooter.Drive it in the city within limits and it will be fine.


Attachment 222987

I can use the front brake in this 'vespa' ! Thanks to HONDA , eterno is perfectly balanced and I always use both the brakes.130 mm Drums do duty at both ends.More than sufficient for city driving.However brake fade is present in both our Activa and Eterno - The Adjusting nut has to be tightened every 1 or 2 weeks.

G.Fuel Efficiency:

Initially in the learning-phase where I used to over-rev the engine the mileage was 38-40 kmpl.Now its in the 45-50 kmpl range.No issues for me.I do most of my driving at 50 kmph (open roads) or 5kmph stop-go peak hour traffic.Also , it is difficult for one to drive the way HONDA has illustrated on the speedometer especially for the first 2 gears.This is because the unit shudders and vibrates - Common eterno problem.For 3rd and 4th gears , The economy-range gear speeds suggested by HONDA are just fine.

Attachment 222992

H.Problems encountered/Last service report:

Attachment 222994

I.Pros & Cons:

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+Refined engine
+Decent underseat storage
+good driving posture
+good stability
+thrill of a manual transmission

-No luxuries
-Not in production.Some spares might take time to arrive.


Attachment 222990

At the end of the day - Am happy driving around the city with my Eterno.HONDA's reliability is well known.

She looks like a pregnant cow , handles like one and is ever faithfull like one.

Attachment 222986

Thanks for reading,
Am open to corrections if any.


ashwanth 6th November 2009 20:39

Attached last is a image that shows the pipe connecting the silencer to the cylinder head.This pipe is so much prone to rust in activa , Dio and Eterno !

anekho 6th November 2009 21:37

Very nice review! Manual scooters are really dying in this automatic day and age!

The scooter looks very manly in it's all black avatar - cool!


ashwanth 7th November 2009 09:09

Thanks a lot ! Attached is a video showing my eterno's engine and horn sound.

ashwanth 26th December 2009 15:10


*I have now mastered the trick of correctly going to 2nd gear(from 1st) instead of landing on the 3rd !

*Mileage is now a steady 55-58 kmpl in city :)

*planning to fill nitrogen in the tyres.

*I now have the habit of using 1st gear+rear tyre traction to get the vehicle off the main stand(the only stand)

*After driving the Eterno for a couple of months , I literally struggled to drive my Brother's Activa ! Was searching for a footbrake in the Activa ! :uncontrol

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