BSVI Honda Activa 6G first ride review
I've tasted the scooter life, and I like it. Every day I commute to work on some motorcycle or other, and every day I'm overtaken with abandon by some imbecile on a gearless scooter - often an Activa - while he cuts through traffic recklessly. But through my gritted teeth and expletives, I must admire the ease and comfort with which said imbecile seems to be navigating the traffic we both face. Getting aboard the new 6th generation Activa, it was not long before I (finally) understood.
Scooters aren't new to me, but let's face it: motorcycles are more fun. Or so I thought. The instant feeling one gets astride the Activa 6G is just how small it feels. Visually, it is certainly so, especially in this nice navy colour we tested. The front profile definitely looks slimmer and the package has lost some 2kg on its way to BSVI compliance. There are now some trickle-down features from the larger Activa 125 that elevate this model just that little bit.
New for 2020, the Activa 6G gets a telescopic front suspension with a 12-inch wheel that adds to riding confidence. The engine, of course, had to get a once-over in order to meet updated norms, and it has lost weight and noise. The silence comes from the clever use of the AC generator, that eliminates the use of a traditional starter motor and attendant machinery. You no longer hear that metallic clang when you thumb the starter; it just sort of whirs into life and off you go. You could start this thing in a library and ride away without anyone complaining. It's as if someone simply breathed the thing to life like one of those Esse slim cigarettes everybody thinks will help them quit smoking.
Also new is the new external fuel filler cap that's hidden below a neat little hatch that pops open via the same button that allows access to the under-seat storage. A colleague called it an active aero aid. Evidently, humour and employment as an motoring journalist are compatible. Who knew? The under-seat storage is voluminous, but does not take a full-face helmet. A half-face will probably fit. If I had to nit-pick, I'd point to the seat hinge that feels uncomfortably flimsy when you lift it up.
Like the Activa 125, the new 6G also has a preload-adjustable rear shock, which should make it more comfortable for a broad range of passengers - pun definitely intended - as well as the obligatory gas cylinder. Speaking of which, I'm told by Activa fanboys that there's a little more room on the footboard for that cylinder or, well, your feet.
Image courtesy: Mohit Soni
Riding the 6G was a pleasurable experience. There's none of that uncomfortable twitchiness one feels when going from a motorcycle to a scooter. It is very well balanced, light and linear to ride. The motor seems to have a nominal throb no matter what speed you're going, all the way beyond 80km/h, around which is its top speed. The suspension is plush and inspires great confidence when cutting through traffic like an imbecile. Brakes are drums on both ends, and feel like wood, but seem to work okay. The Combined Braking System (CBS) adds a bit to safety. Our brief ride was almost entirely dispatched with the throttle wrung to the stop, and the Activa 6G took it like a champ. It's poise, balance and no-nonsense way is immediately endearing, and with the promise of the storied Honda name backing it up, I can understand why this is the go-to scooter for most.
Image courtesy: Mohit Soni
The Honda Activa 6G is available in two variants, differentiated only by the LED headlamp on the more expensive one. My last scooter review was an electric, but riding the 6G, I still see a future for ICE two-wheelers. Especially since one doesn't need a flowchart to figure out how to buy one. The Activa 6G starts at Rs 65,535 and goes up to Rs 67,035 for the Deluxe model.
[ This review was originally published on Tech2 ]