Honda Grazia - First ride review
Praveen M, Engineer-turned-motorcycle journalist. I'm a sucker for cruising down the highways, and twisties in the hills.
The Honda Grazia has been recently launched in the country for INR 57,897, ex-showroom, Delhi. Is it just another scooter from Honda or is it something more than that? Let’s find out, shall we?
Founded in 1999, Honda Motorcycle and Scooter India, Private Limited (HMSI) has been in the two-wheeler market for a long time now. And the Japanese maker is doing exceptionally well in the scooter segment, particularly with its cash cow- the Activa. For the common man, a reliable scooter is enough to satisfy his personal transportation needs. But, a discerning enthusiast looks for something more than just a two-wheeled mule. Then Honda came up with the Dio, which breathed a fresh lease of life into the scooter segment.
Also Read: 5 things we know about the Honda Grazia
Honda then launched the Activa 125 in April 2014, which retained the conservative look. Though the Activa 125 contributes only 5% in the scooter sales, the segment growth (29%) is marginally more than the 110cc scooter segment (28%) when comparing the numbers from 2015 and 2017. The Activa 125, and the Suzuki Access 125 have a more subtle design that would attract mature buyers. The only trendy ones in the current 125cc segment are the Vespa range, which is priced on the higher side. Hence, there is a vacuum in the segment for affordable but cool-looking scooter. With the new Grazia, Honda aims to capture this segment, particularly the youth who are looking for a trendy scooter.
The Honda Grazia gets a very sharp design, which is reminiscent of its products in the international markets. There are plenty of angular elements throughout the three-tone ABS plastic bodywork. The zig-zag angular cuts on the apron sides add sportiness to the scooter. The front end is dominated by large twin headlamp cluster that houses LED lights. The Grazia is the first in the scooter segment to be equipped with LED lights. The low beam uses two LEDs of 4.35W and the high beam gets two LEDs of 8.7W. There are four LEDs below, acting as position lights. The indicators are on top of the headlamp cluster and are of bulb type. The tail light is bulb type as well.
The split grab rails are body coloured, and the black trims on the side body panels get carbonfibre-like finish for a sporty feel. There’s even a tiny little faux air scoop on the side, just above the flush-fit aluminium pillion footpeg. It accentuates the youthful look of the scooter, but I feel Honda could’ve done away with it. The silencer heat guard gets carbon-fibre finish too.
In addition to the LED headlamp, Honda has blessed this scooter with an all-digital instrumentation. Apart from the speedometer, tripmeter, odometer and time, the cluster also houses a tachometer. There is an apron mounted mobile phone holder with a spring-lock lid as well. A mobile charging port is optional. The space is adequate for a 5.5 inch mobile phone with room for the charging cable.
Another interesting feature is the Eco Speed Indicator. There are three lights above the speedometer, all of which light up when one rides steadily between 30-50 kmph for more than 2.16 seconds. This indicates that the rider is riding efficiently. The lights stay off if the rider stays at full throttle at speeds below 30 kmph or rides above 50 kmph, thereby indicating that the resulting mileage will be poor.
The Eco Speed indicator can be turned off if necessary. One will have to switch the scooter off, then turn it on again; use the mode button to toggle the odo/trip display, and then long press the button. In a nutshell, this fancy function essentially serves the same purpose as the highlighted marking of the economical speed on an analogue speedometer. There is a hook below the seat, which is handy to secure the luggage on the floorboard. The underseat storage is 18 litres, and can accommodate a full-face helmet. However, there isn’t enough headroom to completely close the seat if one keeps a full face helmet inside.
Powering the Grazia is Honda’s tried and tested 124.9 cc single cylinder fan-cooled HET mill. It is capable of giving out 8.7 PS of power at 7,000 rpm. The engine refinement is a typical Honda affair, and lets you cruise comfortably at 60 kmph, with the odo hovering at 5,800 rpm. The most efficient speed is 50 kmph, with the odo showing 5,000 rpm. That’s where the engine generates a peak torque of 10.54 Nm. One can even cruise at 70 kmph, albeit with minimal vibrations. The claimed top speed is 85 kmph, and I was able to reach a speedo-indicated speed of 90 kmph.
The Honda Grazia’s performance in the city is quite satisfying for the price you pay. Wring the throttle and you can overtake vehicles with swift grace. The best part is, the engine doesn’t get visibly strained when pushed to its limits. Honda has done a good job with the scooter’s refinement. The claimed efficiency is 50 km/l and the fuel tank can hold 5.3 litres of juice. This results in a theoretical range of about 265 km. I got an approximate 37.7 km/l with an aggressive throttle, oscillating between 60 and 70 kmph.
Riding over bumps, potholes, and even a long stretch of slushy road, it was evident that the Grazia tackles surface undulations like a boss. The front fork is firm but forgiving enough even when you go over bumps at high speeds. People upgrading from the 110 cc Activa would definitely appreciate the telescopic front fork in this one. The chassis is derived from the Activa 125, but a few changes have been made for the Grazia. The large 12-inch wheel at the front and the 10-inch wheel at the rear complement the balanced underbone frame; the combo of which help make the scooter flickable. The MRF tyres offer a good amount of grip both on and off the road. The cushioning in the slightly stepped seat is soft enough to keep your bum nice and cozy in your city runabouts.
The 190 mm front disc and the 130 mm rear drum come with CBS. The brakes are powerful, yet progressive enough to not unnerve the balance even when coming to a halt from high speeds. The disc brake variant (Dlx) is definitely recommended as it provides ample braking. The other two versions- Alloy and STD come with 130 mm drum on both ends. All the versions come with CBS. For the uninitiated, CBS distributes the brake force optimally to both front and rear wheels when the rear brake is applied. The STD variant comes with Ceat tyres.
The entry-level variant (STD) of the Honda Grazia costs INR 57,897; the Alloy variant at INR 59,827, and the top-end Dlx variant will set you back by 62,269- all ex-showroom Delhi. For all the variants, the Grazia is only INR 400 more expensive than the Activa 125, which makes it a great value-for-money proposition.
Sure, the Honda Grazia misses out on certain practical features like pass beam switch, external fuel filler, boot light that are present in other less expensive scooters. But the Grazia is one of a kind, when it comes to the youthful design that is tempered with segment-first LED headlights. It neatly fills the gap between run-of-the mill 125cc scooters and the sporty-but-expensive 150cc scooter segment.