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Scooting away, in your own way

Sabyasachi Biswas | Updated on March 12, 2018 Published on May 22, 2014

Suzuki Swish

Honda Activa 125

Vespa S

We do a quick comparison of the three best scooters in the 125cc segment

As if the buyer was not spoilt for choice in the individual scooter segment (the 100-110cc category), the 125cc scooter segment is also seeing a few exciting options. The latest to enter this segment is the new Honda Activa 125, which we reviewed a week ago. However, the Activa 125 might not be for everyone, so we here are a bunch of alternates for those who might be looking for something different.

Suzuki Swish

We’ve ridden the Suzuki Swish on many occasions. Compared to the other scooters in the market, it has a design that is very simple and practical. It is also a very comfortable scooter. The seat is wide and long, and the construction is extremely comfortable for long hours of riding. The footboards are wide and the handlebar reach is compatible with both tall and short riders. In terms of under-seat storage, the Swish offers 20 litres of stowage. The comfort also comes from a very efficient suspension setup. It works very well in bumpy city roads and while not being too spongy.

The engine is decently powerful too. The 124cc motor gives a peak power output of 8.7 PS @ 7,500rpm, and the maximum torque achieved is 9.8Nm @ 5,000rpm. It’s a breeze to ride this scooter in heavy traffic as well as on open roads. However, the biggest disappointment with the Suzuki Swish is its braking – we were not satisfied with the stopping power that the 120mm drum brakes offer. The Suzuki Swish 125 is the least expensive of the lot, priced at ₹52,671 (on-road, Delhi).

Honda Activa 125

The Honda Activa 125 comes with a backing of reliability and refinement; a benchmark in scooter performance set by its smaller but older cousin, the Activa 110. Because of that, Honda has played it safe with the familiarity factor, and the Activa 125 looks very similar, barring a few elements, to the Activa 110. The instrument cluster is very up-to-date, with a mix of analogue and digital consoles. The seats are comfortable, but the suspension setup is a bit on the stiffer side.

The new 124.9cc mill is probably the best in class, with a peak power figure of 8.6 PS at 6,500 rpm, and a peak torque of 10.12Nm that kicks in at 5,500rpm. The refined engine is very peppy, and pulls ahead effortlessly. Even with two adults astride, the Activa 125 is very happy to build clean revs and weave in and out of traffic easily. In all, it is a very balanced scooter with safety features such as combined braking system and a claimed mileage of 59 kmpl. The drum-brake Standard variant is priced at ₹56,607 and the Deluxe variant (with disc-brake) costs ₹62,588. Prices are ex-showroom, Mumbai.

Vespa S

If the previous Vespa models weren’t attractive enough, there’s a hotter new Italian on Indian roads in the form of the Vespa S. The Vespa S is even more sporty and looks super retro with its straight lines and the vintage rectangular headlamp with a good chrome coating. The dials and the rear-view mirrors are also designed to look as authentic as ever. The scooter is practical too, with nifty cubby-holes in the front and very roomy under-seat storage. There’s limited foot-board space but the comfy seats make up for it.

The 125cc makes a maximum of 10.06ps at 7500rpm, and churns out a maximum torque of 10.6Nm at 6000rpm. The engine is extremely smooth and the throttle response makes the rider very happy. And that is complemented by a 200mm ventilated disc at the front and a 140mm drum at the rear. They offer good stopping power, and together with the suspension setup, the ride quality is absolutely brilliant.

It comes at a premium pricing of ₹76,495 (ex-showroom, Mumbai), but then you do get gorgeous styling, monocoque steel body and a licence to flaunt your ride.

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Published on May 22, 2014
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