Honda Activa Ownership Experience by Siddharth

Yes I did ride my friend’s bikes before I had a license. But, who doesn’t? Yes I agree there are a few angels out there who wait to obtain a Learners Permit and then start learning, but I wasn’t one! My sincere apologies to Bangalore Traffic Police, I will not commit the crime again! I still remember, when I was in class 9, I eagerly waited for my parents to go out so I could take my Activa for a spin. And once they left, I’d grin from ear to ear. I cant reason out how, but the first time I rode that scooter, I didn’t even lose balance in a sharp turn!

My Love for her grew actually, The Activa. And after a LOT of arguments and fights with my dad, I got a learners permit and began using it “LEGALLY”. The excitement was too much for about a month, but then, I craved for greater speed and acceleration. My activa was quickest among the others in my friends circle though. It was a 2003 model. Everything stock, came with a standard bore which is slightly bigger than the later versions and a short stroke. I remember I’d clocked speeds of 90 on my speedo on NICE road. But it still was a little meager I felt.

I wanted it to be stock and most importantly, I didn’t want my parents to know what I was upto! So, I clicked open the hood and with trial and error got a very lean mixture from the carburetor. Starting the scooter proved troublesome though.(Mom used to yell at me for this!) Once again, I tested its TOP end whack, and after a lot of pushing, she touched the 95 mark for about 0.0034 seconds. Phew!

Sadly, I had no clue what would be the aftermath of it all. My Inlet valves had tightened and it was returning a horrible mileage of about 29 kmpl. And my dad took it to the local mech.!! Tough time I had for a week or so. Apparently, the mechie looked at my dad and said “ Saar, phull changing happened, petrol it will give 20”. In short, I tasted my dads anger. But yet again, the craving cropped up. I had to do something to make it go faster, keeping it stock. I saved up about 3000 Rs. And this is how I utilized it.

Carburetor: The Stock Activa Carburetor is a Keihin CV 9mm. Now I did not want to screw up the original carb, so I went to Shivajinagar Gujri in Bangalore. This place is paradise for people like me. I found a perfectly working, brand new 10 mm Keihin CV plucked from a badly mangled Honda Pleasure. Pleasure J. After heavy nego’s, I picked it up for 300 Rs. The stock Main Jet on the carb was about 58 mm, which I replaced with a bigger 90 mm. Total cost : 325 INR

Tires: The stock Activa tyre is crap. The Dio tyre is way better!. But I wanted something slightly thinner for improved efficiency and acceleration. I also told my parents that I had to change the tyre as it was ripped after I passed through a construction site and a metal rod pierced it! I picked up an IRC for my rear wheel. This radically improved the fuel economy, though it did not affect the performance, not as much as I expected. Cost : 1100 INR

Air Filter: I had to make sure the bike sounded stock. And personally, I do not like loud bikes! I do not appreciate people who change exhaust systems JUST for sound. So what I did was, modified the stock filter. The Stock Filter is a cylindrical object with pores on it. Around it is wrapped about a cm thick layer of sponge. What I did was, I took off the sponge and used one layer of toilet paper around it, some waste cotton and another layer of toilet paper. This was in NO WAY durable and the setup lasted for about a week. But it ensured greater flow of air without sacrificing the sound or filtering. It was a tad bit tedious to tune the Carb accordingly, but it was done. Cost : 18 INR.

Engine: This is what matters most and I had to take extreme care to ensure nothing was overdone. The interior of the cylinder head was polished. I also de-carbonised the piston. This made the engine smooth, which increased mileage as well as power delivery. I also loosened up the valves. The loosest they could get to just hang on to the cam gears. Loosening the valves help a lot actually. It basically makes the valves loose so that the inlet mixture and exhaust enter and leave the engine with ease. Cost : 600 INR

Clutch: I got the clutch weights changed too. Slightly lighter weights replaced the existing weights. This led to increase in pick up but I found that it shrunk the top whack a wee bit. Cost : 200 INR

Lubrication: Instead of the stock oil, I used MOTUL. Don’t remember which one though. The stock oil becomes more thick and viscous at higher RPM but MOTUL stays a liquid even at high temperature and engine speed. This also increased the top whack of my scooter as well as made it smooth. Really smooth in fact, even a baby could make out. Cost: 700 INR

I totally spent about 3200 Rupees for an increase of about 7 kmph. On my speed test, the needle pointed out to 102 kmph which actually got me all sentimental. Without my parents coming to know a thing, my scooter was faster, quicker and delivered a usual 40 kmpl 🙂

But damn my guilt, I began to feel I was being an unfaithful son to my dad, I got it back to stock in about a weeks time. But now I know what my Activa is actually capable of, that too on a shoe string budget!

Siddharth Vishwanath