Scooters have been at the helm of Honda’s two-wheeler success in India. So, when Honda decided to improve the Activa, equipping it with a spanking new engine, the Aviator flagship started to look dated. But in a swift move, the manufacturer has introduced a new 109cc engine in the Aviator along with some cosmetic changes. How much of a difference does the new engine make?
On the outside
As far as looks are concerned, the new Aviator is not very different from its predecessor. The beak-like, sporty front mudguard caps a smart wheel well, showing off telescopic forks, five-spoke alloys and a drilled disc brake rotor to good effect. The scooter’s front apron is contemporary, with a new chrome highlight shining boldly between its flush, twin-turn signal indicators. The headlight comes with a halogen bulb that throws a piercing beam that’s pretty effective for night riding.
The original layout of the instruments is carried forward with the speedometer stacked above a large, legible fuel counter, while illuminated needles display their necessary information. While the functional mirrors could be easier to adjust, nice grips, levers and switchgear are all Honda-scooter typical features that make this bike feel premium.
What’s disappointing though is that the top-of-the-line Aviator lacks a brake lock clamp — a convenient safety feature when stationary at a traffic light or parking on an uneven surface. The absence of a front storage cubbyhole is another sore point.
But apart from this, the Aviator’s got a wide, comfortable and flat-front floorboard. You can’t help but admire the scooter’s high level of attention-to-detail in its well-crafted rear footrests, plus the manner in which the floorboard blends smoothly up and into thoroughly attractive tail panels. The riding saddle is wide, spacious and lightly stepped between the rider and pillion. There’s a lockable bay capable of housing a medium-size helmet, aside from a small bag. Access to the fuel filler remains via the seat. This new Honda scooter is top-notch and fit-finish is excellent.
Honda’s brand new 109cc engine, as seen on the new Activa, is four-stroke and air-cooled. Maximum power is one bhp up, with 8bhp on tap at 8000rpm, while peak torque is 0.9kgm developed at 5500rpm. The scooter retains Honda’s typical, smooth and totally vibe-free nature - it’s difficult to hear this new engine above the wind when riding at speeds higher than 50kp. Acceleration from 0-60kph took 10.98 seconds and top speed rose marginally higher to 88kph.
From behind the saddle
The riding position is spacious by Indian scooter standards and will provide a decent level of comfort for even tall, well-built males. The Aviator rider sits in an upright, commanding and commuter-friendly stance on a well-padded riding saddle. Ride quality is good for a scooter, the front end offering a reassuring and safe feel that many of its rivals, including the Activa, struggle to match. The Aviator 110 goes around corners smartly, its tyres offering decent traction. The new Aviator is CBS (Combined Braking System)- enabled, which means a squeeze of the left brake lever activates and properly modulates the brakes for both wheels. Our test Aviator braked to a halt from 60kph in 17.73 metres, and provided good feedback and feel at the levers.
Yes, it’s disappointing to learn that this scooter isn’t significantly faster but that’s because it is more fuel efficient. The Aviator 110 returned 43.7kpl in the city, which is credit-worthy. This figure improves to 44.1kpl on a highway run.
Is it worth the money?
Fresh styling, a more efficient engine, good suspension and clever CBS brakes are some of the many favourable assets of the new Honda Aviator. To this add Honda-typical levels of refinement and reliability. Overall, it’s impossible to go wrong with this new Honda – it’s a well-rounded package that outdoes a lot of its competition.