anjan_c2007

Honda activa - a very long term test

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This Valentine, my Honda Activa was bought  on Feb 14th 2003. I've covered about 9600 kms on it. All the free services were done at the dealership. Being a DIY I've been tinkering on this scooter ever since. But other than changing the engine and gear oils and cleaning the air filter/ carburettor/ spark plug no other problem has fortunately cropped up.

 

Though the whole body of this scooter lifts up to open and facilitate repairs accessing the spark plug is problematic. Also accessing the carburettor for getting it opened is a problem. These take unwanted, extra time and could have been better located. The air filter, oil change (both gear and engine) ports are well located.


The tuff -up tube is much hyped about. This scooter two major punctures on the rear wheel about six months after it was bought. Roadside puncture wallahs treat these tubes, the same way as any other. But luckily apart from the solution draining the tube is perfect till this date.

 

Touchwood! no more punctures after that.And the inner wheel rim- the rear wheel rim when opened during July-Sept 2003( after one monsoon and 5-7 mths of use) showed rust on the metallic silver paint. I have a garage and do not live in a coastal area. Thats deplorable. Luckily, I did'nt have to get it opened later. By now, it may be more rusted all over the inside.even the silencer gets rusted within a month of use.


The new battery (Exide)conked off in 2005. For a few days, I was kick-starting and using the scooter. But at traffic junctions  if the idling engine switches off, try the impossible. Kick-starting it with the centre stand taken off. That's impossible. Even kick-starting the scooter otherwise is a turn off.
The scooter is otherwise very,very  dependable, sturdy and easy to use handle in any kind of city traffic.

 

Sometimes I prefer it over any four wheeler in crowded places where parking is a nightmare. But again another woe- HMSIL can't do anything about it! when parked very close to bikes (in cities this can't be avoided) and other two wheelers, the  sides of the Activa which have a gleaming paintwork get badly mauled and scratched. the silencers and foot pegs of bikes  get close to the Activa's rear left and right sides.
FuelRunGod2007-12-26 06:38:04

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The tuff -up tube is much hyped about. This scooter two major punctures on the rear wheel about six months after it was bought. Roadside puncture wallahs treat these tubes' date=' the same way as any other. But luckily apart from the solution draining the tube is perfect till this date.

 
[/quote']

 

Good review. I think punctures purely depend on luck. For example, our M 800 has suffered only 2 punctures in 6 years with simple cross ply tyres & tubes.

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The one of the best seller - Honda Activa has won a lot of hearts , but with the Launch of Pleasure and access its being a  close competition

 

That was a good review Anjan, and for the Puncture thing the Honda has introduced the TUFFUP tube .

 

Cheerssmiley20.gif

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Its a pretty reliable machine' date=' although the rust problem is peculiar because you mentioned you don't live in a coastal area. Do have it treated.

 

FRG
[/quote']

 Yes Manish I'll get the wheel rim interiors scraped and treated with a  primer and then get 'em painted. the outer surfaces are still in excellent shape . But the interiors are probably more rusted by now.

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activa14.jpg

A few pictures of this Valentine

Above

The

tuff up tube of this wheel had two punctures within the fisrt few

months of the purchase. never in the five years has another puncture

occurred.

Below

The kick starter seems to foul up with the centre-stand (when this stand is disengaged)

activa16.jpg

The

choke (camafluoged for the rider under the handle bar) whether engaged

or disengaged was tough to know in the beginnning - but now i am used

to it.

activa19.jpg

A Very Happy Sixth Birthday to My Trusted Valentine- Bought 14th Feb 2003!

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gr8 review, and nce pics, yes there are few things activa niggle, but a nice gearless scooter which changed the market scenario and almost killed kinetic honda which was leading market. Well maintained valentine anjan, smiley32.gif.Congratulations.

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Hey Activa Lovers.. I plan to buy a
Activa too, but since i heard of the New face lifted Activa being
launched soon I decided to wait..


I am otherwise deciding between the Activa or the Aviator..

Heard that the current Activa front rises up when brakes are applied..


Any idea if it will be too long before the new Activa launches?? Or should i just go ahead and buy the current version???

__________________

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ACID ATTACK

The front mudguard of my Activa was under acid attack since the past

many months.I took some suggestions from friends (even on teambhp) who

had said that the plastic outlet pipe of the battery is the culprit in

such cases. One friend suggested that I fit a longer pipe so that all

the extra battery electrolyte drains off beyond the bodyline and not on

the bodyline.

Today I found time and checked the battery electrolyte level, topped it

up, cleaned the surrounding (thats prone to dust) and found that the

electrolyte outlet pipe is slightly disconnected right at the battery

outlet level.The pipe's length was OK. How could the disconnection have

been done? The answer was simple. Last time when I topped the battery,

I pulled it a bit for convenience, while topping. And this pull

disconnected the outlet pipe a bit. This was creating some messing up

below the battery and upon the mudguard. Thats now stopped. The picture

shows the reconnected battery outlet and the acid attack marks.

242525d1260370644-my-valentine-honda-act

242526d1260370644-my-valentine-honda-act

242527d1260370644-my-valentine-honda-act

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I would like to write more about my Activa now that it has done

something like 11000 kms. May wonder as to how it has done only 11000

kms in six and a half years, then must say that I very sparingly use it.

Why was it bought in the first place? Must say that in 2003, when I

used to drop my daughter at her nursery school regularly, the cars with

me would not be able to wriggle through the dense city traffic faster

and were not convenient for parking near the school premises.That

nursery school has hundreds of cars ferrying kid/s. Most of the latest

models are first ever  seen in my city ferrying someone's child/ren to

that school. So for convenience I bought the Activa. My Yamaha was not

safe for seating the little child- atop the petrol tank was the only

option.

Also the Activa fulfils all my marketing needs. Its tiny and its a

breeze to and park it at the most crowded places .It can carry enough

grocery and vegetables that any small car can almost carry.

The Activa is a middle of the road scooter.It is'nt as peppy as any 100

cc bike (my RX 100 is still unbeatable). Even any Hero Honda can

outperform it perhaps. But its body and chassis are best designed for

stability on the road while driving and manouvering. Its metal body is

a deterrent under the "Bharatiya conditions" and I must say that

breakages like in plastic bodied two wheelers is minimal.

The Activa does speeds upto 70 kmph with much ease but runs out of

breath above that and SAFETY is to be the watchword to anybody

commuting above 70kmph on this machine.

Its fuel meter is erroneous and shows half filled mark at full tank! It

delivers a flawless 42 to 45 kmph to me till now. And engine oil

consumption is at the bare minimum.I am still to come to terms with the

switch placement on the handlebar.Am very much at ease only with the

turn signal.The headlight on/off and the high/low beam switches are

still a bit alien to me.

The black plastics have faded and its my good luck that these CHEAP and

CRAP plastics have not turned white, but still are very light grey as

compared to the blackish grey colour they sported when new.I now apply

3M polish to blacken them with excellent results. Monthly appplication

is advisable.

The suspensions are too inferior. The front suspension and axle bottom

out and emit a "surrender" like "back breaking" thud when the two

wheeler jumps a pothole or some uneven surface.The rear shox are'nt

better either. Though the rear ones don't bottom out they aren't

comfortable either.And this fact has been observed by me since the

Activa was brand new. Honda needs to brace up its research for Indian

conditions or else some other make may capture the almost monopolistic

position this make has.

The engine cover opening and access to the spark plug, oil changing

points and other accesses to day to day maintenance spots aren't DIY

friendly at all.

The battery becomes low in charge even if the two wheeler is not used

for 4-5 days. The next option is to kick start it. Kick starting it

either with the centre stand disengaged (reasons with picture in my

earlier report) or with  Hawaii slippers on, or any soft sole footwear

(many ladies wear such footwear) is nerve-wracking. The kick start

pedal is too thin and there is no rubber cushion or cover like on

bikes. The metal hurts the foot badly sometimes.I have faced tough

times at traffic signals with such a low battery and the centre stand

disengaged. The kick starter cannot be struck while the rider is

seated.So badly it is placed. With the centre-stand disengaged, the

kick does not move fully till the base as there is obstruction. Oh for the bajaj scooters that can be started whlie the rider is seated with ease.

The Activa has a side stand, but that stand has a very "strict and

no-nonsense" spring which hits the body with a metallic thud when

disengaged.A rubber bush at the base of the side stand would make both

our feet and the scooter body safe.

Hope Honda understands all this and does R&D for rectifying these

gremlins.The plus points are its brand image,reliability,minimal care

and maintenance needs only.

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Hi Anjan,

 

You been a long term user of Activa. What advice would you like to give to a new owner like me for its regular maintenance & upkeep. Any things in particular which I need to take care to keep this machine working fine in pristine condition.

 

Its a lovely machine especially during bumper to bumper traffic. However, following are the few shorthcomigs I have noticed during my last month of association with new Activa Dx;

 

a) I am not happy about my Activa's headlight. Its not confidence aspiring while crusing on unchartered roads at night.

 

B) During Delhi's winter, it needs lots of kicks to start the engine for the first time during the day.

 

Regards

 

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Hi Anjan' date='

 

You been a long term user of Activa. What advice would you like to give to a new owner like me for its regular maintenance & upkeep. Any things in particular which I need to take care to keep this machine working fine in pristine condition.

 

Its a lovely machine especially during bumper to bumper traffic. However, following are the few shorthcomigs I have noticed during my last month of association with new Activa Dx;

 

a) I am not happy about my Activa's headlight. Its not confidence aspiring while crusing on unchartered roads at night.

 

B) During Delhi's winter, it needs lots of kicks to start the engine for the first time during the day.

 

Regards

 
[/quote']

The headlamp OE bulb is a dud. You can change over to a halogen 12V/35W which may cost some Rs 100 to 125. Halonix/ Mico are good brand. Also you can try for Bosch (made in Germany) or Philips (Made in Netherlands which may cost upto some Rs 300.Some are using 55W/60W bulbs on such 2  wheelers but I feel its like taxing the electricals and it also ends up heating the seal beam assembly.

What is the state of the reflector? If it is old / yellowed / lost the

shine, it could also be cause for poor light. That needs to be changed. If its dusty then take out the bulb and the reflector + glass can be accessed. A water wash can get it cleaned. Dry it completely before refitting.

For cold starts get the fuel and ignition system checked.I hope you use the choke for cold starts.The battery needs to be in good condition.

Another design flaw of this great scooter is the fact that with the centre stand disengaged kick-starting it can be a nightmare.So caught up in a traffic mess with the engine stalling, the battery and self should get activated or else kick-starting can give one the goose pimples.Like older Bajajs, one can't just start this one seated, using the kick.

I have recorded this fact in my long term ownership experience.

anjan_c20072010-02-01 14:56:29

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Had read and had posted in another thread here about the recent strike and work slowdown in early May 2010

at Exide's Haryana plant. The output of HH was severely affected then

and later for sometime they sold scooters and bikes without batteries.

HMSL (Honda) had said that it will import batteries from China to make

up for the shortfall.

The fallout of this strike is still being felt. Honda Activa batteries

of reputed makes like Amaron and Exide are in short supply in the

market.Neither the Exide nor the Amaron dealers (one of the largest

dealer's) in my city had stock of any battery for the Honda Activa.They

attribute this shortage to all the replacement market batteries being

demanded by HMSL who had a harrowing time recently selling scooters

without batteries when there was a strike in the Exide plant in

Haryana. A particular dealer told me he had two Amco batteries left

with him. I would not go for Amco or something like that and got

prepared to wait till I at least  a good brand becomes available.

Ultimately got a new Amaron battery fitted to my Honda Activa

day before yesterday. The dealer was also crying hoarse over the delays and

shortage of batteries in the replacement market.The Exide plant

(Haryana) is again closed down now for maintenance.

All batteries are going to the OE pool as thats more important for suppliers.

Despite all these shortages of Amaron and Exide makes , however Amco and one

brand Addo (earlier thought it was Addon the horn maker's brand but no

its Addo) are available in the replacement market.However I

was not tempted to go for these but wait and wait. This patience has been  rewarded now.smiley1.gif

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Anyways Honda motorcycles is a slow producer and in Nagpur the waiting time for activa is 4 months unless to pay 5k extra for 2 months delivery like my friend did . IMHO Exide is a reliable brands like Amaron but some batches of exide are really bad my neighbhour needed replacement battery in the 2nd year of the new car and they daily drive for 30kms .

They again went for exide and it malfunctions like hell , I asked them to go for Amaron this time. I am scared my i20 also has OE exide battery.

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LOL..smiley36.gif rssh.

Even my 1st bike Honda Unicorn's Exide battery has lasted 11 months only & after that I've given is the Exide SS, don't know what they've done with it, It only worked perfectly for some 40 days & became non-functional after that(means 12 months Warranty over).

So, replaced it at 13th month after its delivery.

Exactly same case was happened with our Alto's Exide battery too. I've also replaced it with Amaron 'Maintenance Free' battery..

But 'Touch Wood' only My Pulsar 180's OE Exide 'Freedom' maintenance battery is working fine, since Nov2007. 

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Nice write up Anjan' date=' it shows your love for Activa

 

Any Suzu Access owners, now a days i see a lot of new Access, how well it is when compared to Activa
[/quote']

It has already beaten the Activa in every department. Currently it is ruling the scooter world in India. Just one issue is there  "The waiting period is more than 6 months"

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Any Suzu Access owners' date=' now a days i see a lot of new Access, how well it is when compared to Activa
[/quote']


No doubt Suzuki have made very Activa-like Machine but where it lags behing is in its Looks, Responsive Engine, Linear Power delivery & Last but not the Least in FE stakes.

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Last week, I changed the two front fork bushes of the Activa.There was a metallic thud being emitted whenever the Acty ran into uneven surfaces.All was not well and peeping there I found the lower bushes of the two shock ups gone. These are plastic ribbed bushes covering a metal cylindrical washer.There is no rubber anywhere.

I also got the spark plug changed as the old (OE Mico) one had done about 14000 kms plus (total mileage on the odo now).The new one a Champion cost me Rs 70=00.

Found the ride improved and she's now in very good health. Again on Valentine's day (14th Feb) she celebrates her 7th year with me.

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Nice write up Anjan. You have maintained your bike very well. I have a Dio 2007. Really i would say that Honda has entirely changed the way the gearless scooter segment earlier was.Such goods products are really welcomed in India. My Dio has done 11500 kms. Its as good as a new one in the showroom. fantastic pulling power and i get a constant mileage of 42-45kmpl.

 

Off topic- Please excuse me - I recently sold off my CBZ which i still cannot forget. I had clocked 37000kms.It was with me from 2003 to 2010 Dec. Seriously i still love her even after she is not with me. smiley19.gif

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