Honda Activa 125 vs. Suzuki Access 125
The new Honda Activa 125 currently has almost 43 per cent share in the scooter segment. The very successful scooter feels much better than its 110cc sibling in almost every aspect. It is a pretty impressive 110cc scooter that has seen great market response. But while Honda was beaming with its success, its arch rival Suzuki was updating its Access to give a tough fight to the Activa. The Access was launched seven years back in 2007 and it has earned a good confidence among buyers. Now that the scooter king, Honda has returned with a new scooter after a long time, it would be interesting to see how the two brands compete against each other.
Honda Activa and Suzuki Access- both the premium scooters are from Japan and have maximum demand in Indian market. Both have a neck-to-neck competition and it is going to be tough for buyers to decide which scooter to buy.
Styling & Design
Since both the scooters are targeted at a more mature audience, styling is kept subtle to suit the buyers' taste. The styling of Activa 125 looks quite refreshing due to its smoked windscreen, chrome bits on the front fascia, new tail lights and larger grab rail. If you compare both the scooters, the switch gear used in the Activa is not of very good quality.
On the other hand, the Access looks the same. This scooter hasn't really got an update since 2007 when it was launched and it looks bland & dated with its featureless front end, flat u-shaped tail lights, pipe-like grab rails and chrome heat shield on the exhaust. These days, buyers look for a balance between looks and ergonomics so styling can't be overlooked by companies. Honda gains a competitive advantage over Suzuki when it comes to styling & design of the two scooters.
As I use a scooter primarily to go to market and bring household stuff, the first thing I noticed in the Activa 125 was its roomy floorboard which has enough space for your foot as well as for carrying knick-knacks. It has wide & raised handle bars for a comfortable riding posture and also, it's very light & easy to mount on the main stand. One major disappointment was the seat which is a bit too soft for my liking.
The Suzuki Access 125 has a relatively small floorboard. Also, it has narrower handle bars which make the seating cramped. This makes it an uncomfortable scooter for someone who is tall. The seating comfort is good though.
Comparing both the scooters on comfort factor, Activa 125 clearly outsmarts the Access 125.
While the Honda Activa has only a 109cc engine, the Access has a 124cc engine. Both have extremely refined 4 stroke single cylinder air cooled engines. The 109cc engine of Activa produces 8.7PS of power and 10.1Nm of torque. The Access delivers the same amount of power but at 9.8Nm, has a marginally lower torque rating.
On paper, both have pretty much same engine specifications but feel quite different. The Suzuki Access engine feels very smooth and has linear power delivery but the Honda engine is much peppier. Just start the engine, twist your wrist on the Honda Activa and you will agree with what I am saying.
Though there is just a small difference of torque (0.3Nm) between the two scooters, the Activa 125 feels much easier to climb up as opposed to its arch rival Access 125 where you need to work the throttle more. The Activa is very quick to gain speed. It feels very stable, not stressed at all, even if you keep it pinned at 80kmph. Once in motion the Honda Activa engine is absolutely butter smooth but there is one flaw with this power-plant. When riding the scooter, you get a minor judder when picking up from standstill.
When engine dynamics are concerned, choosing one is really difficult but for its reliability & eagerness, I would prefer the Activa 125.
The new Activa comes with a new suspension setup which makes the ride quality more relaxed. Unlike its predecessor, the Honda Activa 125 comes with telescopic front forks at front and spring loaded hydraulic type suspension at back. The scooter managed to absorb the big bumps on road pretty well. Braking is also impressive, thanks to its 130mm disc brakes up front but under heavy braking, the brakes tend to give away. The scooter comes instantly to halt when you command but if a little more feedback could have been provided on the levers, it would have been a welcome step for on-road safety. The brakes are not well supported by the 90/90-12 section MRF tyres on the Activa.
On the other hand, the Access comes with telescopic forks at front and swing arm type coil springs at back. This suspension setup is highly efficient and allows a plush ride quality even on broken roads. Unlike the Honda Activa, it doesn't flaunt disc brakes but the braking is equally efficient. Feedback on levers is more in this case and also the 90/100-10 Dunlop tyres support the Access better than the MRFs support the Activa.
Activa 125 has better handling dynamics than the Suzuki Access but I felt that the overall ride quality was better in latter's case.
The HET technology used in Honda scooters make them quite fuel efficient. The mileage of Activa ranges from 36kmpl to 47kmpl. The most commonly reported one is 42kmpl. On the other hand, Suzuki Access returns 33kmpl to 43 kmpl.
Price & verdict
The standard variant of Honda Activa without alloy wheels & disc brake is priced at Rs 57351 (on-road Delhi). Its top end trim with optional alloys & disc brakes costs Rs 63,645. On the other hand, the Access is priced much lower at Rs 51,611 (on-road Delhi). It might be more affordable than the Activa 125 but for that better styling, greater comfort, space and most importantly mileage, I would pick the new Activa in this comparison.
So helpful and very good comparison of Activa 125 and Access 125.