There are popular scooters, and then there is the Activa. According to Honda, somebody in India buys an Activa every nine seconds and the total has crossed 2 crore units now. Numbers like these prove that the company has perfected the formula. And that’s why it is a pretty big deal when Honda decides to completely redo its most popular scooter and here is what you need to know.
What does it look like?
Honda has played it safe with the cosmetic update on the 6G and it is only received a minor facelift. The scooter now looks a little sharper from the front, thanks to the sleeker-looking headlight and redesigned chrome accents on the apron. The mudguard is now less rounded, and looks similar to the one on the Activa 125. The side panels haven’t changed that much, but they now have a slightly sharper rake towards the rear. Moving on to the rear, it is completely new and also borrows inspiration from the Activa 125 for the tail-light. Activa enthusiasts will be happy to know that the scooter still retains its metal body.
How does it ride?
The increased wheelbase, telescopic fork at the front and 12-inch front wheel have brought about an evident transformation. The scooter doesn’t feel as nervous at higher speeds any more and changing lanes is a lot easier, but there’s still a slight flighty feeling above 60kph. The improved handling and stability also doesn’t come at the cost of ride quality, as the scooter soaks up potholes and undulations very well.
The engine on the Activa 6G is an all-new affair. It has a different bore and stroke (the latter’s now longer), and now uses fuel-injection instead of a carburettor. As with many BS-VI-compliant engines, both power and torque have gone down — by 0.17hp and 0.21Nm, respectively. It doesn’t come as a surprise that this Activa isn’t a very quick scooter. Acceleration is rather lethargic and the 6G struggles to accelerate above 75kph.
That said, the 6G feels extremely refined at all speeds, much more so than the 5G, and many buyers will also appreciate how unbelievably quiet the new engine is. There were times when I felt like the engine wasn’t even running. While the performance has gone down, Honda is claiming that 6G is 10 percent more fuel-efficient.
As for ergonomics, it is capable of accommodating people of most sizes, but very tall ones won’t be comfortable, as the handlebar is positioned quite close to the rider.
What features does it get?
Honda has gone a little backwards with the display, as the 5G’s digi-analogue unit has been replaced with a basic analogue cluster. However, the 6G has gained a bunch of features. It now gets a kill switch that also doubles as a starter button, and it gets a silent-start like on the Activa 125. The 6G also gets a pass-light switch, which is a small but useful touch. Another far more useful addition is the external fuel-filler cap that can be opened remotely via the key fob. Lastly, with the more expensive Deluxe variant, you’ll also get an LED headlight, similar to the 5G, which we’ve not yet had the opportunity to try out at night. However, we wish Honda had also given priority to a front disc brake, because the performance from the drum brakes is quite weak and disappointing.
Should I buy one?
The Activa 6G is definitely a better scooter than its predecessor. Not only is it greener, but it is also a lot better equipped and it has a lot more going for it as an overall product. However, these updates come at a price — ₹63,912 for the Standard and ₹65,412 for the Deluxe.
It now costs ₹7,500 more than the 5G, which is allright when you consider all the work that has gone into it. It’s also only slightly more expensive than its direct rival, the TVS Jupiter (₹61,449-67,911). However, what remains the same as before is that Honda charges you quite a premium for its products and that you can get better performing 125cc scooters in base trim from Hero, TVS and Suzuki for about the same price.