Upmarket looks, a more powerful engine and a long list of features — the new Honda Aviator has a lot to offer
The original Aviator was armed with modern features such as telescopic forks, a front disc brake and alloy wheels, perfect for style-conscious scooter riders. Eighteen months later Honda has rolled out the new Aviator gearless scooter. On the looks front, the Aviator remains unchanged and carries forward the original's dapper appeal. While a large front wheel, smooth lines and a chic tail are details that make this among the better styled scooters in the country today, Honda could have improved practicality by equipping the new Aviator with a front storage bay and front fuel-filler. As before, the Aviator will sell in two variants. In addition to five-spoke alloy wheels and a front disc brake, a jazzy chrome-finish front apron, body-coloured handlebar with silver embellished instrument cluster and body-coloured grab-rail will distinguish the higher-spec model from the base variant. Like any other Honda scooter, high levels of fit-and-finish and overall quality are a given.
The main talking point of the new Aviator is the adoption of the 109cc engine that made a debut on the Activa earlier this year. Producing maximum power of 8bhp at 8000rpm and 0.9kgm of peak torque at 5500rpm, this four-stroke, single-cylinder, air-cooled and variator-driven engine is marginally more powerful than the 102cc unit it replaces. This refined and efficient new powerplant promises to benefit the Aviator with peppier performance, without a fuel efficiency loss — just as it did on the Activa. A viscous air filter and new maintenance-free battery are other notable additions.
Using a conventional tubular chassis, the Aviator retains a good score for keeping its telescopic forks up front, in tandem with an engine-mounted rear shock absorber. Meanwhile a Tuff Up technology-enabled rear tyre helps minimise the likelihood of punctures.
The new Aviator follows in the 2009 Activa's footsteps by offering CBS (Combined Braking System). Activating both front and rear brakes when the rider depresses the left brake lever, CBS helps even amateur riders modulate and balance both brakes correctly, reducing stopping distances and aiding stability when braking. It's interesting to note that while the all-drum STD variant makes do with an Activa-like mechanical CBS system, the front disc-equipped Aviator DLX uses a relatively more complex hydraulic-mechanical CBS set-up.
Honda has priced the base Aviator at Rs. 43,720 (ex-showroom, Pune), approximately Rs. 3000 more than the outgoing model, while the DLX now commands Rs. 48,810 (ex-showroom, Pune), a Rs. 4k premium over its predecessor. The new Aviator will be available in five colours including an all-new shade of blue and orange.
Upmarket looks, a more powerful engine and a long list of features including CBS mean the new Aviator clearly has much to offer.NIKHIL BHATIA