Spec shootout: Honda Activa i vs Hero Pleasure
Honda has launched a new scooter in the Activa family, labelled the Activa i. Honda believes that there are three types of scooter buyers in the market now. People who prefer buying a stylish scooter look at the Dio; ones who like a mature scooter go in for the Activa or Aviator. However, there is a place for a compact scooter and this is where the Activa i fits. There is only one more 'compact scooter' in the segment: Honda's erstwhile partner Hero MotoCorp's Pleasure. So we put the two of them through the spec shootout to see which one should be your steed of choice.
2013 Honda Activa-i
Honda seems to have aped Hero in this one. The Activa i and Pleasure look exactly the same save for the paint schemes and minor changes. Both boast of a clear lens headlamp on the handle bar and sleek body panels. The turn indicators for both are on the front apron, however there is a bit of difference here. Honda has used bigger lens partly inspired by its own Aviator scooter. Hero has provided the Pleasure with body-coloured rear view mirrors whereas Honda has the standard black plastic ones.
While the basic silhouette from the side looks the same, the Pleasure has its air intake slats right below the seat while the Activa i has them near the side panels. The seats on both look exactly the same but the ones on the Honda seem more contoured on the pillion side. The i also looks a bit more curvy than the Hero. Cycle parts on the Pleasure are done in black while those on the i are in brushed aluminium. Towards the rear, things look a tad different, with the Pleasure's seat release mechanism being placed right next to the grab rail while the i's is more conventionally on the side flanks. The tail lamps on both are different with Honda preferring the elongated glass theme as seen on the front of the i while the Pleasure retains its stubby look.
On the looks front, the Pleasure, with its new colour and graphics scheme, doesn't look nearly as old as a 3-4 year scooter would. The i doesn't look as new a scooter as it is either. In fact, we liked the Hero's colour schemes better and would prefer it over the i.
Both the scooters here come with analog meters which include a speedo, odo and fuel gauge. On the convenience front, the Hero is better equipped with a front storage bin (not lockable)and a luggage hook (also available on the i). While we don't know the exact under-seat storage capacity of the Pleasure, the one on the i boasts 18 litres. Both the i and Pleasure don't have an external fuel filler cap. Switchgear on both seem to be of high quality though. The ladies will likely prefer the soft-to-touch ones on the i. Pressed steel wheels are available on both, with no option of alloys. As far as tyres are concerned, the Pleasure uses Honda's tuff-up technology while Honda itself has moved onto tubeless ones on the i. Speaking of the tyres, the Activa i has a rear tyre hugger which will help keep all that muck and dirt off the engine. Hero provides the Pleasure with a brake lock clamp which doesnt allow the scooter to roll if its parked on an incline. No such feature on the i though.
A scooter would do well to offer more of storage space, and the Pleasure slightly inches forward on this count. The Honda evens it out with tubeless tyres providing for better safety.
Engine, ride and handling
The biggest difference is in the engines of both the scooters. While Honda has its 110cc 8.5PS HET engine in the Activa i, the Pleasure still continues with the old Activa's 102cc 7PS/7.85Nm engine. Our test figures reveal a 0-60kmph time of 10 seconds for the i and 10.1 for the Pleasure. While the Activa i tops out at 75kmph, the Pleasure has a nearly 2kmph advantage. On the fuel efficiency front, the Pleasure delivered nearly 47kmpl while the Activa i goes almost 10km further.
2013 Honda review
As far as the chassis is concerned, both the scooters ride on a high-rigidity under-bone type frame. While both the scooters are city-biased, we found the Pleasure to be the better ride in the city or the the odd highway jaunt. Both the scooters handle in a neutral way in the city and the tyres provide ample grip even in the wet. However, for some reason, the Activa i feels much stiffer than the Pleasure. This is odd, since the chassis components and suspension setup are substantially the same.
On the braking front, the Activa i gets Honda's Combi Brake System while the Pleasure makes do with traditional brakes. We will vote for Honda's CBS over the Pleasure's brakes.
The i has fuel efficiency on its side as also better brakes, but the ride quality can be a bit of trouble if you plan to ride alone most of the time. But if its just slow-speed, short jaunts, then the i makes sense.
Hero and Honda both have aimed their products squarely at ladies who want an easy to ride, park (haul it up on the main stand) and reasonably fuel efficient scooter. Its a good thing that both the scooters here are supported by widespread sales support networks. The i shows the promise of delivering more fuel efficiency than the Pleasure, however the latter has better ride quality of the two. The i isn't a design revolution and we feel that the Pleasure has aged well and belies its three year age disadvantage. We'd happily take the Pleasure, which as an added bonus doesn't have a waiting period, while the i - a dealer informed us - will be available within 15 days of full payment. The Activa i is priced at Rs 48,107 while the Pleasure can be yours for Rs 45,905 ex-Mumbai. Not to forget that for the Activa i, you will end up paying for the side stand and number plates almost Rs 700 more than the ex-showroom price.
That seals it for us: it is the Pleasure. What will be your choice? Let us know in the comments section below.
Starts Rs 44,900
Starts Rs 50,273
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