Honda Motorcycles and Scooters India (HMSI), the Indian subsidiary of the Japanese auto giant, revealed the 2018 Activa 5G at the recently concluded Auto Expo 2018. This new model of the Honda Activa is expected to launch in near future. It will be a full model replacement of the Activa 4G and will likely cost marginally more.
Prices of the new Honda Activa 5G will likely start around Rs 52,000. Basically, the 5G is a minor facelift of the 4G, which means you get exactly the same engine and the same base design. However, HMSI has tried injecting some freshness into its highly popular scooter by giving it some new features and colours. Akin to its predecessors, the Activa 5G will offer a good mix of mileage and refinement. Here’s our new Honda Activa 5G vs Activa 4G comparison to highlight the 5 important things you should know about the new scooter.
Honda Activa 5G
Like we said, the Activa 5G is merely a minor facelift of the earlier version. Hence, the base design of the scooter remains exactly the same. That said, there are a few styling updates that make the new scooter look slightly fresher and more stylish. These updates include a new LED headlamp with integrated daytime LED running lights and chrome garnishes to spice up the things a fair bit. In the side profile, the only change is in the form of the new 5G badges. Other than this, there’s absolutely nothing to tell the new and the old scooters apart.
Honda Activa 5G
The Activa 4G has been available in as many as 7 colours – Black, Imperial Red Metallic, Trance Blue Metallic, Matte Axis Grey Metallic, Pearl Amazing White, Majestic Brown Metallic, and Matte Selene Silver Metallic. The Activa 5G will get two new colour options – Dazzle Yellow Metallic and Pearl Spartan Red. It’s not known if the two new colours will be an addition or a replacement for two of the earlier colour schemes. Still, it’s pretty much for sure that the new colours will enhance the visual appeal of the scooter by at least a slight margin.
Another highlight of the new Activa 5G is its digital-analog speedo cluster. In comparison, the Activa 4G offers a fully analog speedo. For the 5G, HMSI has provided an analog speedometre with a multi-information display for the fuel indicator and the odometer. There’s also an ECO mode and a service due indicator. While not a big change, we are pretty sure that the new instrument console will enhance the appeal of the popular scooter.
While the new Activa 5G isn’t radically different from its predecessors, it’s actually the set of new features that make it more likable. These features not only contribute towards uplifting the styling but also make this automatic scooter more practical. One such new feature is the new seat lock mechanism, which is a part of the ignition lock system. Thanks to this new feature, It will be easy to open the seat as it can be done at the main lock system itself. This is a featre that was introduced by Honda in the new Grazia 125cc scooter. There’s also a new dual hooks arrangement to help you carry more stuff around. Other than this, the 5G comes with a LED headlamp with Daytime Running Lights. Being a LED unit, the new headlamp will put less stress on the battery than the halogen setup of the Activa 4G.
It’s said if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Following the same philosophy, HMSI has left the engine untouched. This isn’t suprising if you consider that the Activa’s engine has won a lot of brownie points for its refinement, frugality, and decent performance figures. Hence, the Activa 5G will launch with the same 110 cc, four stroke, fan-cooled petrol engine that powers the 4G. This motor benefits from HET (Honda Engine Technology), which helps optimize the mileage. The engine outputs a maximum power of 8 bhp along with a peak torque of 9 Nm. It comes mated to a CVT.
Our first ride with the Suzuki GSX-S750 at the Buddh International Circuit (BIC) was with the last lot of riders for the day, so when we rolled into the paddock, other riders were already wringing out the 749 cc, in-line four motor on the back straight. I like the sound - it's sweet, in a sort of high pitch wail which is immediately endearing. After all, a performance motorcycle should sound the part. So, the new Suzuki GSX-S750 got my vote for the music it makes, even before I got to straddle the bike.
(The Suzuki GSX-S750 is a very nice sounding performance naked)
But then, there are other so-called entry-level and even middleweight performance bikes in the market which are all sound, but no go, so I reserved my enthusiasm (or disappointment, whichever the case may be) for later, till after I get to spend a few laps at the BIC astride the GSX-S750. Will it be as endearing a performer as it sounds? Will it have the zing, that extra something, which makes a good bike truly special? Or will it leave me wanting for more?
The Suzuki GSX-S750 looks uncannily similar to its bigger sibling, the GSX-S1000
How does it ride?
Getting out of the pit lane, I took my time babying the GSX-S750 for the first few corners. But then the intake whine of the in-line four with the wailing exhaust note became just too tempting to get into a steady groove. Performance is silky smooth, just the way a Japanese in-line four is expected to be, gearshifts are slick and precise, and the rev limiter kicks in as I accelerate through the gears on the back straight, before it's time to brake hard and take the right hander into the fourth corner of the circuit. There's no slipper clutch, but the clutch isn't so heavy to give your hand a workout, particularly in everyday riding situations. How it handles the urban grind will be a different story altogether.
The 749 cc, in-line four cylinder motor is free revving and kicks up a nice wailing sound
The Suzuki GSX-S750 is no lightweight naked. Weighing 215 kg in the wet, you can feel its mass at slow speeds; after all, it's more or less the same dimensions as its bigger sibling, the GSX-S1000. In fact, you could be fooled into thinking it's the S1000, before you notice the S750 badge on the muscular tank. It has the same design overall, muscular and sculpted tank, nice looking headlight, with fat upside down forks and a lean tail section. But on the move, all that weight seems to disappear magically. Turn after turn, the GSX-S750 gives you more confidence to turn in faster and smoother, and it begins to make you trust the bike's capability after each and every turn.
The 749 cc, in-line four cylinder motor makes 113 bhp @ 10,500 rpm
The 749 cc motor has been derived from the K5 GSX-R750, but has been re-tuned for better mid-range grunt. The numbers are 112.6 bhp at 10,500 rpm, and 81 Nm of peak torque at 9,000 rpm. And it's got enough performance to make it a very likeable motorcycle. It's not intimidating like the S1000, and it has more than enough punch to make it a very lively and entertaining track tool. Lap after lap, the GSX-S750 made the late afternoon at the BIC a very enjoyable and entertaining outing.
The Suzuki GSX-S750's performance and handling suitably complement each other
Does it have enough electronic rider aids?
The GSX-S750 gets a similar LCD instrument panel as its bigger sibling, and then there's the three-level traction control system which ensures there's a decent safety net to hold you back if things begin to go a little out of hand. In fact, so forgiving is the bike's handling, you tend to overdo your limits (and talent), but there's no 'Oh my God!' moment, and it dips from left and right with impressive ease of handling. In the initial lap, I did feel the rear bucking a bit, probably with the traction control dialled out to newbie level, but level 1 helped dissipate any more doubts with the rear twitching or bucking, even with ample throttle input. For newer riders, or for those upgrading to their first performance naked, this is a valuable safety net which will work wonders, on the street, on wet roads and for that occasional track outing.
Brakes are superb and offer very good bite and progression to shave off high speed
Brakes are fantastic, and despite the bikes being thrashed around the circuit all day, there's ample bite and progression to keep things well in control and shave high triple digit speeds in a jiffy, thanks to the eight-level ABS, and the 310 mm twin discs up front, gripped by Nissin four-pot radial calipers. Gunning down the back straight, and slowing down to take the fourth corner is without drama, as the brakes effortlessly shaves off speeds in excess of 200 kmph. And yes, I saw the speedo touch more than 200 kmph, and it could probably go a few more kmph in the right hands and a lighter rider.
The GSX-S750's performance is not intimidating, yet thoroughly enjoyable
Is it the perfect middleweight naked then?
The Suzuki GSX-S750 is a lovely motorcycle - period. It looks good, without being over-the-top, sounds absolutely amazing, and has the perfect combination of performance and handling to make every ride an enjoyable one. Yes, it doesn't have the performance of a 200 bhp, litre-class superbike, but how much power do you really need to make you feel special? What it makes up for is in its practicality; after all most riders will be riding it on the street, but it has enough performance and more for the occasional outing on a racetrack. It's got more than enough usable power, and its performance is not at all intimidating to scare you silly, while giving you a thoroughly enjoyable time. At ₹ 7.45 lakh (ex-showroom), the Suzuki GSX-S750 competes squarely against the Kawasaki Z900 ( ₹ 7.68 lakh) and even to some extent, the Triumph Street Triple S ( ₹ 8.71 lakh).
The Suzuki GSX-S750 offers a brilliant package and a very attractive proposition at ₹ 7.45 lakh
The Kawasaki has its own qualities and makes for a super silky performance naked, but it lacks any electronic rider aids to speak of, except ABS. And for riders who are looking to upgrade to their first 100-plus bhp motorcycle, which costs under ₹ 10 lakh, the Suzuki makes a very compelling case for itself, and makes for more than just a second glance. It may not be the magical performer which wows you immediately, but spend some time with it, and it begins to grow on you and has all the qualities to make it a very attractive middleweight performance naked.
The Suzuki GSX-S750 is one of the best middleweight nakeds in the market
It could be the perfect bike to graduate to from a smaller 40-50 bhp motorcycle, and could also make for a very capable first performance bike for someone getting back to motorcycling after a long hiatus, and looking for some serious fun on two wheels. Only thing left then, is to see how it behaves out in the real world. For now, I'd say, well done, Suzuki! All I want now is some more seat time with the new Suzuki GSX-S750!
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