Can you believe the trusty Honda Activa – which is not just the brand’s best-selling automatic scooter, but the country’s top-selling model – has been around in the Indian market for almost 20 long years? I, for one, have a hard time believing the Activa has reached this milestone so quickly since it feels almost like yesterday when I learned how to ride an automatic scooter – which, truth be told, my dad has bought for himself in the first time but it ended up with me – on the first-generation Activa. Years later, I now find myself riding the fourth-generation model, dubbed the Activa 4G, which has been in the family for three years.
So, I’m guessing each of the readers has a nice history with Honda’s trusty automatic scooter since now we know for a fact that it has been around in the country for 20 years. Even though now Honda bikes calls it the Activa 6G – which means the sixth-generation model of the Activa – it only seems to have gotten a generational-upgrade when it made the transition to the second-generation. Rest, I suppose, have only been minor mid-cycle updates making the Activa more in line with the times.
But that’s a good thing too. You see, in India, things work a bit different on the consumer’s side. The consumers here value familiarity and the ease of maintenance costs and spot-on reliability over anything else. This also explains why the Hero Splendor has been the best-selling bike in the Indian market for only Hero MotoCorp knows how many decades.
The first-generation of the Honda Activa showed the Indian audience how good and convenient an automatic scooter could be. Before that, of course, the Indian two-wheeler market relied on geared scooters – erm, does the name Bajaj Chetak ring a bell? – and the whole idea of equipping scooters with an automatic gearbox was new to us.
If you pay attention, you can still spot a few first-generation models running across town, that’s how popular it used to be. And since there hasn’t been a new overall design change since the second-generation model, finding one out in the open should be effortless since they all look basically the same.
The Activa 3G bought with it a bit of sharpness to the design with the same design as its predecessor, and it was also the first Activa to be named with a numeric – denoting the generation change, of course – combined with a ‘G’ suffix at the end. The Activa 4G, on the other hand, kept the same design but introduced it with new colours and made the transition to a BS-IV compliant engine. It also got an AHO (Automatic Headlamp On) feature in line with the government’s norms. The Activa 5G, then, was the first Activa model to receive a full-LED headlamp along with a semi-digital instrument cluster. And, of course, new shades.
The Activa 6G, which is the current-gen model, too, bought with it some minor changes. But most important of all, this time the scooter made the jump to comply with the BS-VI emission standards. It also received a telescopic fork suspension at the front, sharper design, and a bigger front tyre, amongst other things.
The scooter you see here is the 20th Anniversary Edition of the Honda Activa, which is based on the Activa 6G. On top of what you already get with the standard Activa, this one gets a special golden Activa logo on the side fenders, 20th-anniversary logo and stripes, black steel rims, and a crankcase cover. It is available in two shades – Matte Mature Brown and Pearl Nightstar Black – and it also gets a matching grab rail to the shade in place of the silver unit from the standard model.
Moreover, it is only Rs. 1,500 more expensive than the Activa 6G, with the prices starting at Rs. 66,816 (ex-showroom, Gurugram). Mechanically, though, the Activa 20th Anniversary Edition comes powered by the same BS-VI compliant 109.51cc fuel-injected engine, which is good for 7.68bhp and 8.79Nm and is mated to a CVT automatic gearbox. Lastly, the automatic scooter packs the same cycle parts as the standard model, which means it is the same to ride as the standard model, and, hence, mechanically unchanged. Also, grab the latest info on the upcoming bikes, only at autoX.