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Classy commuter: take two

Visvaksen P | Updated on January 22, 2018 Published on September 10, 2015

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Shorn of its sharp edges, Honda's Twister is reborn as the Livo



When Honda announced that it intended to launch at least 15 new two-wheelers in the Indian market in 2015, the excitement was palpable. However, that excitement has been steadily watered down over the course of the year with most of the new releases proving to be deceptively similar to the models they were replacing. Honda seems to have adopted the tried and tested strategy of refreshing bikes with cosmetic upgrades and minor tweaks– possibly even slapping a new name on– before going to market. In that vein, the all-new Honda Livo– a stylish commuter bike aimed at aspirational younger buyers– is barely different from the old Honda Twister whose place it will take.

Design

The Livo, like the Twister before it, is positioned as a practical bike with great looks. There are a shedload of very practical bikes in the market, but very few of them inspire a second glance. The Livo does manage to stand out in the commuter segment– but its design is undoubtedly a step in a more conservative direction compared to its predecessor.

From head to tail, the sharp edges of the Twister have been replaced by gentle, understated curves. The boxy headlamp and the muscular fuel tank appear to have drawn inspiration from the much more sedate design of the outgoing Dazzler. The body-coloured rear is very plain and almost indistinguishable from any other commuter. The engine, exhaust and the rest of the undercarriage is painted black which makes the shiny silver brake lever, kickstarter and gearshifter stick out like sore thumbs.

The instrument cluster and switchgear available on the Livo is simple but elegant and functional. Graphics are limited to a 3D Honda logo beside the fuel tank and Livo stickering on the black plastic mid-section. The Livo also feels like a much bigger bike than it actually is, which adds to the aspirational quality of the bike.

Performance & ride quality

The Livo uses the same 110cc Honda engine that powered the Twister. It produces 8.2bhp of power at a 7,500 rpm and maximum torque of 8.63Nm at 5,500rpm. The engine is typically Honda– supremely smooth and very forgiving. The 4-speed gearbox has an all-up pattern with a classic heel and toe style shifter. The Livo offers very short gear ratios, approximately in the 20-25kmph range. It is at its most comfortable cruising at speeds between 50-60kmph although it was surprisingly stable at 80kmph and even managed to get past 100kmph despite being very out of breath by then.

The Livo has a light and very flickable frame that makes it an excellent bike for zipping through crowded roads. The suspension set up consists of telescopic front forks and twin hydraulic shock absorbers at the rear, which manages to take the sting out of all but the nastiest potholes. Braking is handled by a 240mm disc in front and 130mm drum unit on the rear. Although an all-drum option is also available at a slightly cheaper price, the extra bite that the disc adds is well worth the price.

Honda claims the Livo can provide a mileage of 74kmpl, but getting near that figure is most likely only possible if you religiously ride in the designated economy zone between 40 and 50kmph. The Twister had similarly stratospheric claims attached to it, but delivered around 40-50kmpl, which might be a good indicator of the Livo’s real-world mileage.

Bottomline

Despite the fact that its design has regressed closer to the mean, the Livo is still easily the best-looking 110cc commuter available in India. Its ride quality remains excellent and mileage, quite adequate. Overall, the Livo is a good buy for the white-collar commuter who wants to keeps costs down and appearances up.

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Published on September 10, 2015
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