Honda Aviator HET review

Honda Aviator 2013 with HET

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For long, Honda has dominated the scooter market with its three models, Activa, Aviator and the Dio. With the new Honda Eco Technology, these scooters promise better mileage – we take one for a spin.

March 27, 2013

Automatic scooters, as we have come to know, are one of the most convenient ride options for urban traffic. No gear switching, peppy throttle response, comfortable, less expensive to maintain, and well, convenient in so many more ways over a motorcycle. And in India, the biggest slice from this industry’s pie chart has always belonged to Honda. And I don’t see why it shouldn’t be – the scooters are comfortable, handle good and as always, the engines are very refined.

And now, Honda has just dropped in what is probably the biggest word in the industry, but somewhat lacking from this segment – mileage. Yes, we cannot escape the fact that petrol prices are quite high for the common man, and more often than not the scooter is a common man’s ride. And all that in a country where the rider’s first question is ‘kitna deti hai?’

Since all three scooters offered by HMSI share the same powerplant, we decided to take something that we haven’t tried out in a long time, and also probably the most premium offering from Honda in this segment – the Aviator. First, to check what the new tech is like, and also to see what this high flier actually offers.

Design

Just by looking at it, one can easily figure out that the Aviator is the tallest of the lot, at least from Honda. And that can be attributed to a big, 12-inch alloy wheel at the front that adds both style and good handling (which we subsequently found out). In my opinion, of all the scooters from HMSI, the Aviator offers the most bird-like design. And a very elegant bird at that.

The front panel puffs out proudly, and the front fender is very beaky. In the deluxe model, customers can get a blingy chrome panel added to the fascia. We got new Royal Gold Metallic (which is a premium colour), and along with the chrome, we managed to make heads turn – sometimes towards us, and sometimes because they had to shield themselves from all that bling .

The rear panels, which for some reason Honda calls a ‘Legendary Rear’ on the brochure, look really good. The body panels have muscular lines sweeping upwards as you go back, ending in a nicely sculpted rear lamp cluster. The turn-indicators are flared, giving the entire cluster a very severe but elegant look. The console too, is quite a looker, with big and clear dials, and nicely backlit.

Engine and performance

The Aviator runs the same 109cc motor that was introduced with the Activa facelift last year, and is now the uniform engine across all three scooters. This single cylinder mill delivers maximum power of 6 KW (8 bhp) at 7000 rpm and a peak torque of 8.77 Nm at 5500 rpm. This is almost the same engine that we were impressed with, while putting the Dio through its paces. As of now, the engine also incorporates the new Honda Eco Technology, which essentially uses reduced-weight and optimised parts to reduce friction and boost mileage.

Of course, the first thing that we noticed when we took the scooter out was that it was extremely smooth. The noise levels were absolutely low, and the scooter was extremely vibration free. Not sure if this is a part of the HET package, but it is definitely a welcome thing.

The throttle is very eager to respond, and takes charge as and when commanded. The interesting bit is that while idling, the revs go down quite low, but the engine never sputters to a stop. Some automatic scooters we’ve tried out in the past have shown the tendency to die out at very low idling revs.

Ride and handling

The Aviator is not just taller, but also has a longer wheelbase than the Activa and Dio. These extra millimetres make a lot of difference in the scooter’s character. The Aviator handles better, with more stability around the corners, and that larger front wheel adds quick manoeuvrability to the already responsive engine.

Suspensions are also good at absorbing what Indian roads offer best, but rear coils could’ve been a little less stiff. The seats are amply long and wide too, and we can hazard a guess that the pillion should be just as comfortable as the rider. The handlebar on the Aviator is also quite high up, which gives the rider a very comfortable straight-back riding position. The most impressive bit, however, was the braking. On the deluxe variant, we got a 190mm front disc, and this, along with Honda’s Combi-Brake system, builds up some serious braking power.

Bottomline

Honda’s scooters and bikes, in our opinion, have always offered good value for money, as they offer durable builds and also refined engine. The Aviator too, is no exception. With the addition of HET, and a claimed mileage of 60 kilometres to the litre, the deal just got a little more irresistible. Although the base variant, priced at Rs. 48,212 does not offer the front chrome finish and the front disc brake, it still carries over the same refined mill and good handling as the deluxe variant, which is priced at Rs. 53,531. Prices are ex-showroom, Delhi.

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Published on March 25, 2013
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