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2013 TVS Jupiter vs Honda Activa in India

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12 Nov 2013  / 
Executive Editor

My dad has one. My neighbour has one. And now I think half of the Indian two wheeler buying public has one. The Honda Activa is after all one of the top selling two wheelers in India along with the likes of the Hero Splendor.

But is this reason enough to buy one? Of course. Not only do you get a machine that has proven itself time and again, and in important areas like reliability, quality and fuel economy, but you also get a spacious, practical and easy to ride everyday commuter. Not to mention, a scooter with an unparalleled residual value.

But, is it the best scooter on the market today? To find out, we have the new TVS Jupiter to give the Activa company.

Feel good factor

The Jupiter looks more fleshed out

The Jupiter looks more fleshed out

The Jupiter gets a few additional practical add-ons like the Econometer and a pass light

The Jupiter gets a few additional practical add-ons like the Econometer and a pass light

Now, the Jupiter has some strong attributes as well. To begin with, it is a bit more modern looking than the Activa, even though both scooters have an unisex appeal to them. We also prefer the seating ergonomics of the TVS over the Honda – the handlebar-seat distance and height is better judged, and the seat-floorboard height is more comfort oriented on the TVS as well. The Jupiter gets a few additional practical add-ons too. Then there’s a mobile charging point, a front hook to hang light stuff and a fuel filler cap that’s located on the tail which negates the need to get off the scooter and open the seat to fill up.

The Jupiter has a fuel filler cap that's located on the tail which negates the need to get off the scooter and open the seat to fill up

The Jupiter has a fuel filler cap that’s located on the tail which negates the need to get off the scooter and open the seat to fill up

The Jupiter also gets some rider aids missing on the Activa. It has a throttle based Econometer which can help guide the rider to attain good fuel economy. In addition, there’s a reserve fuel light indication and a pass-by switch. The latter is a first for any Indian scooter. There’s more – the TVS sports parking lamps and an LED tail lamp absent on the Activa.

The Activa has stayed true to its design language for more than a decade

The Activa has stayed true to its design language for more than a decade

The Activa has very simple meters

The Activa has very simple meters

The underseat storage offers a litre more than the Jupiter's but can still hold only a half face helmet

The underseat storage offers a litre more than the Jupiter’s but can still hold only a half face helmet

The Activa meanwhile gets an additional litre of storage space under the seat, but both scooters can hold only a half face helmet. The Activa’s CLIC mechanism also makes accessing the engine easier, but then again, this isn’t something many scooter owners actually use. Key shutter lock meanwhile is standard on both scooters and is the parking brake clamp.

Same-same

The Activa and the Jupiter also use similar engines. Both are powered by air cooled 110cc singles. Both develop 8PS of max power and at exactly the same rpm. Both the engines are then coupled to CVTs. Electric start is standard on both and once fired up both scooters feel refined. There isn’t much to choose between the two in terms of throttle response either and both scooters feel reasonably peppy to 60kmph. And these weigh almost the same as well.

The Jupiter has an 8PS 110cc engine

The Jupiter has an 8PS 110cc engine

The similarities don’t end here. Under full bore acceleration the Honda takes 10.2s to hit 60kmph from a standstill while the Jupiter comes three tenths more at 10.5s. The difference in quarter mile times is less than a second as well. And the difference in top speed of the two scooters isn’t significant either. The Activa tops out at 86.2kmph to the Jupiter’s 85.2kmph.

The Activa also has an 8PS 110cc engine

The Activa also has an 8PS 110cc engine

The only difference is in the way the two engines sound and feel when ridden flat out. The Jupiter’s engine remains reasonably refined throughout its operating range; it doesn’t get too noisy or vibey. The Activa, however, begins to sound crude and stressed especially towards the top of the rpm range. One can also feel more vibes on the Activa as compared to the Jupiter.

However, in the area rated as one of the most important by scooter buyers, the Activa comes up trumps. In the city the Honda returned 55.5kmpl while the best the Jupiter could muster was 51.2kmpl. This gives the Activa a range of around 295km against 256km for the Jupiter. So, for the economy conscious buyer, the Activa still makes more sense, but the Jupiter isn’t far behind.

Modern vs old school

The TVS meanwhile does beat the Honda when it comes to the riding experience. The Jupiter runs superior cycle parts. It runs bigger 12inch wheels compared to 10 inchers on the Activa. It also uses motorcycle-like telescopic forks at the front while the Honda still uses a trailing link setup. At the rear, both scooters use unit swingarm with dampers. But, while the Activa’s dampers are plain hydraulic, the Jupiter’s unit is gas charged as well.

2013 TVS Jupiter in India

2013 TVS Jupiter in India

The Jupiter has 12-inch alloys

The Jupiter has 12-inch alloys

On the road, this gives the TVS significantly better ride and handling characteristics. At slow speeds, say upto 30kmph, the difference isn’t as telling. But, as you go faster, the Activa feels less settled, harsher and over really poor surfaces, downright uncomfortable. The Jupiter rides the bumps and potholes with more finesse. We won’t term the ride as great, but compared to the Activa, it clearly stands out as the more comfortable scooter.

2013 Honda Activa with HET

2013 Honda Activa with HET

The Honda Activa's 10-inch steel wheels are smaller than the Jupiter's

The Honda Activa’s 10-inch steel wheels are smaller than the Jupiter’s

Even on the handling and braking front, the Jupiter feels surer even though both scooters only come with drum brakes at both ends. The Activa, nonetheless, does get Combined Braking which brakes both the front and the rear wheels even if only the rear brake is applied for better and safer braking. But on the road, the Jupiter stops sooner and feels more stable while at it.

As far as flick-ability at slower city speeds is concerned,the two scooters are comparable. Both feel light and eager to slice through traffic and given there’s hardly any difference in the width of the two scooters, picking gaps is equally easy. But, ride faster and the Jupiter’s better dynamic abilities begin to shine. It bounces around less, turns in better and feels less nervous under quick direction changes.

 

Verdict

The Activa is a great buy, no doubt. It isn’t the highest selling two wheeler for nothing. But, given the pricing of the two scooters – Activa is priced at ₹ 51,665 while the Jupiter costs ₹ 46,534, both ex-showroom in Mumbai – and the additional equipment and feel good factor the Jupiter comes with; not to mention better ride and handling characteristic, it’s almost impossible not to settle for the Jupiter. That’s unless of course, you are risk averse and want to take the tried and tested route. For us though, the Jupiter is the clear winner.

[2013 TVS Jupiter in India first ride] [Honda Activa HET road test]

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  • P

    As you said, Ex-showroom Price is Rs. 46,534 for Jupiter however Authorized dealers are quoting 60K on road in Mumbai and 2 months waiting. Anybody purchased this scooter from Thane? Pls share detail break up of OTR price.

    • Chennai

      even i have booked one @ bangalore and the price is 57.5k and some change.20 days is the waiting period. heard every dealer has exceeded their booking limits. The worst part is that the RTO has not updated their Database with the Jupiter and the dealer is telling me that i wud get Jupieter in the name of Wego.

      • krishna

        Where did you book. Could you please tell me the dealer address.

    • My New Scooter

      I booked one where on road price 54720 in Vadodara ,Gujarat which includes 5 years on warranty + Insurance + accessories etc . waiting time 2 months

  • Nagarjuna

    Any idea when we would get Jupiter with disk brakes in the front (read some where that TVS has plans to launch that version…..)

    • bhanu

      they have launched disk brakes for wego, which costs Rs.3,000/- more than before and for jupiter it takes still more time.

  • ravi

    I am using activa from last 5 years . Last week I had a test drive of jupiter and I felt as if I am cheated by Honda . Activa is for sure very inferior in front of new aged Jupiter becuase of smoother enginer , comfortable sitting , better braking and dozen of significant features which are hard to ignore . Very soon vil upgrade to jupiter . But very long waiting period. TVS pls help.

    • ravi

      thank you

  • shivam

    very good pickup and very smooth engine .
    looks are also very good.
    My wife is really impressed .
    good to see indian company competing head on with japanese and yes we indians are now ahead.

    • letsplay

      lets say a big thanks to TV Sundaram.. I have bokked one and might get delivered by May 10th.. Fingers Crossed!

  • Supreeth

    i have been using activa since 2007 and im not happy wit the way i need to handle it these days the front suspension is not good and the people at the service stations are least bothered about the customer experience :( A vehicle with telescopic front suspension and a gas shocks at the rear + pass light & mobile charging point :D kudos to TVS :D

  • Karthikeyan

    Better than Honda Activa

  • Debajit

    When the disk brakes option in tvs jupiter will come plz reply

  • chandru

    wt difrence in honda activa

  • Nitinv

    I own Activa and Wego. Wego’s ride is far more comfortable due to seat position and probably the telescopic shockabs, the breaking is better than activa.
    The cons of Wego: less leg space.

    Where Activa scores better: The engine at high speeds – doesn’t vibrate as compared to Wego. Also, the power is marginally more than Wego. The average seems same to me – no difference between the two vehicles.

    Maintenance: No difference between these two vehicles.

    Verdict for me: Wego (and hence Jupiter). The ride quality and confidence in breaking system.

  • Sandeep Kulkarni

    Activa now only has its name wth it. No quality & innovation. Honda is fooling Indians. Jupiter is better. But one can also try Hero Maestro. Good that Indian companies like Hero, TVS, Bajaj r offering better products than the Japs. Now we hve to support them by buying their products.

    • param

      ur right .. i bought mahindra quanto, tata nano and now tvs jupiter… not fooled by any of these vehicles completely satisfied with indian INC…

  • R.Rajkumar

    TVS Jupiter is the best

  • Nikki

    Activa is old fashoined……..:D

  • Vijay

    Please note, Jupiter does not come with Foot Rest as a standard fitment.

  • Vinayak

    I am a proud owner of Honda Activa DLX for past 10+ years & totally happy with its features. The problem with companies like TVS or Kinetic is, the vehicles look good when you buy it but over the period of time the maintenance goes up. Activa is quite good but you have to be bit cautious when applying brakes.

    • sahim ahmed

      me have same feeling and experience…….

  • Aakarshan Satheesh Kumar

    see it look
    like honda activa . for tvs In the first place it is stealing other designs and
    technology

  • Jaydeep Chanda

    Dealers At kolkata Quoting Price around 58000…??? Please Specify the actual Price and when will be the disc brake version of jupiter would be available ??

  • sameer

    one aspect that bothers me about jupiter/wego is the placement of the fuel filler cap. i have not as yet come across any post or reviews that address a few issues:
    1) of tampering with the external fuel caps to steal petrol
    2) leakages (eg of rainwater leaking into the tank) in the external fuel filler caps.
    3) build quality issues from people who have been using the jupiter

    can anyone please cite their experiences in regard to the two issues? it would be a great help in deciding whether to purchase the jupiter or not.

    • ish

      WELL… We all know by default, TVS scooters break apart soon. I was deciding between Jupiter and Activa.. i went to a TVS dealer because i was in love with Jupiter… every one knows it has superior performance. I would buy it anyday… only if it’s maker was japanese. Even the dealer said that it would break apart in 5-6 months if not taken care properly.. meaning it has really high maintenance cost. The nuts and bolts actually loosen over usage as well and they rust… overall, it will maintain it’s performance for a 2-3 year period, after which the bike won’t have a good value.. just like alll TVS bikes. This is what the TVS dealer said to me.. as i know him personally. The staff their recently started using Jupiter and Wego.. they say the performance is unbeatable and has always made them happy.. the pick up is amazing as well. On a test drive, the Jupiter was more superior than Activa as well. I missed the deal.. but i need a bike that will last long :)

      • itzvarma

        TVS is Indian Company and makes brilliant bikes, My Friend is still using his perfectly fine Victor which dates back to 2004. I myself using an Apache for last 2.5 years no complaints. My dad wego. 2 years no complaints. who says Activa doesn’t generate problems every bike has it pros and cons. Honda is no longer the only name for quality. they had their share. Indian companies steped up big. grow up !!

    • itzvarma

      i suppose you already made your choice, just for info.
      There is no issue with external fuel filler. no tempering or leakages
      Reg Bulid quality, it is of supreme quality. any one thinking to buy one go for it

  • karthik

    I have a Jupiter and it could hold a full size helmet. In fact my helmet is little oversize but fits well.

    • itzvarma

      cheers mate .. my full sized which i use on my Apache fits perfectly in my dads wego :)

  • pran

    long waiting time , complusory purchase of accessory, not availability of phusical colour at dealrs outlet

    • Bhavanishankar.K

      dear friends

      here its 2 months waiting period. its not worth for it.
      MR.RAKESH TVS ( ZUPITER )AREA SALES OFFICER IN SAGAR SHIMOGA KARNATAKA BADLY COMMITTED ME TO DELIVERY IN 20TO 25 DAYS. BUT NOW HE CHANGED HIS DECISION FOR 2 MONTHS. IT IS HIS WORST THING. HE IS UNFIT FOR THAT POST. SO I AM DECIDED TO BY HONDA ACTIVA.
      THANK YOU.

  • Gurmel Singh

    Gurmel Singh Herdhan. I have been using Honda Activa for the last 7 years. It is almost good except its front shockers. It has been changed in the last year, but still there is some jerk on the from side. I have tried this jerk to be removed from dealer at Vadodara on Jetalpur road and again from three to four good Mechanic, but all in vain. The problem of jerk with front wheel shoker still exist. The average is not so good.

  • Rsg

    Very good review. Kudos

  • Moreshwar

    Hi,
    I bought Jupiter 1 month back. before i had Vespa(old model) bajaj chetak, kinetic. but i can tell for sure that TVS Jupiter is THE BEST of them all. Each additional feature is practically useful. Dont hesitate go for it,,,I recomend!!

  • rahul

    I have already a activa but its not nice than the jupitor. I suggest u all to buy the jupitor

  • sajju padoda

    Are bhaiya ji Lou mat lo varna lulla hojaoge pat hojayegi aur saaat bhi hojayegi are path mark Pascal chalo

  • jay kanungo

    Hello good day,

    I have recently purchased new TVS jupiter on 3rd may 2014 HARAN MOTORS GRANT ROAD MUMBAI. i have filled total fuel Rs 615 from that date till now but its has runned till 195 kms so you can calculate the average of it 7.7ltr for 200 kms its maximum upto 25 to 26 kms per ltr and they are claiming best in mileage i expected till 40 to 45 but this disappointed . rest vehicle is too good for drive too. an bit noise is coming near meter i don’t know what it is exactly .Please jupiter people solve my problem & don’t fool Indian People by false claiming statements

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