Honda Dio Review by Alan

I have been wanting to pen my review on the Honda Dio since a long time but never got the time to take good pics. Even now I don’t have any but thought of writing the review and then getting a few snaps clicked. For starters I have been thinking why I haven’t seen too many reviews of automatic scooters on BikeAdvice and realized that it could be due to 2 reasons.

One could be that they are scooters and so the reviews cant be included in a bike site. And the other could be that the scooter riders aren’t passionate enough to write reviews on their vehicles. Whatever the reason, I thought of taking the plunge and writing a review and leaving the rest to Deepak to decide if he should publish this.

In our house we have always had at least 1 gearless scooter since 1986. After the first 2 kinetic honda’s we bought an Activa when it was launched in 2000. It was a completely different experience from the KiHo’s. After a few years it was time for me to work in Bangalore and I moved the Activa here and used it for a few months before it started giving me trouble and I decided to change it.

At the time, though the Activa was still on the top of the list, I decided to go for the Dio as I was fedup with the plain jane looks. I bought my first Dio in Oct 2008 which is when Honda had made cosmetic changes to the Dio which included all black wheels and I think introduced the light pink colour. Please don’t jump to any conclusions here, mine was a deluxe blue colour “motoscooter”.

Unfortunately my scooter was stolen from my residence in March 2009. As I couldn’t do without a vehicle in a city like Bangalore, I immediately lodged a police complaint and booked myself my second Honda Dio (again blue). It was a painful 3 months of following up with the cops and Insurance company to get my amount claimed. But it happened finally.

Till now was the story of how I happened to own the Dio I presently have. It has been 2.5 years since I have this scooter and from here I will write about the pros and cons of owning a gearless scooter in a city like Bangalore.

Pros

  • In a city plagued with traffic jams, riding a gearless scooter is the easiest way to commute. You don’t have to bother about changing gears in slow moving traffic.
  • The amount of luggage you can load on the Dio (as well as other similar scooters) is quite comparable to the storage space available in the boot (or what is available of it) in the hatchbacks. This cannot be attempted on any of the bikes. My wife’s and my trips to Star Bazaar amaze us when we come back home with so many huge bags of grocery.
  • In the looks department, I find the Dio the best looking among all the other similar products being offered in the market. I differ with the “The Top 5 Best Looking Scooters in India” article published in June this year on Dio being the 5th best. The parrot green and purple colours available presently (though not to everyones liking) are unique and a great hit in Goa.
  • I have got the front glove box installed and so I can keep my raincoat handy always. The glove box is optional.

Cons

  • The Dio having a fiber body will be a drawback for the people wanting an all metal body scooter. But this helps in getting a slightly higher mileage on the Diocompated to the Activa.
  • The mileage while nothing to boast about, is decent at about 38 kmpl in city riding conditions with a pillion 90% of the time.
  • Being a Honda, the service centre is too busy and nowadays is not able to return the scooter the same day even if it is the first bike given for service that day.
  • Pillion sitting position is quite awkward. The footpegs that are not the foldable kind,make it difficult for the pillion to find the them. While the seating position is not good, it makes the width of the moto scooter less and thereby making it easier to squeeze in during traffic jams.
  • In case you decide to buy a Dio, it has a 2-3 month waiting period in Bangalore.

Maintenance

I used to give my Dio for free services regularly, after which I give it only when I face any problems. At approximately 14000 kms on the odo, the cost for a paid service was about Rs. 1200/- After that due to the rush at the service centre, I get the issues rectified at a local mechanic. But till now from 14k till 21.5k I only changed the engine oil once (Rs. 183) and changed the front bearings (Rs. 250 including labour).

The rear tyre has about 1mm of tread remaining, which I think will last for another 1-2k kms. I was checking if any other tread pattern is available for the Dio but haven’t been able to find one. May be someone can help me with suggestions. The battery on my Dio was weak after about a year (as you might have realized that I don’t do a lot of maintenance activities) but that automatically got sorted out as now my office has changed and I get longer stretches of road during which the battery gets charged.

I usually fill petrol for Rs. 200 and check air pressure at each visit to the petrol bunk. This helps in achieving a better mileage. I hope this review helps people make a decision on the automatic scooter to go for.

Unique Features

I am not sure if these or similar features are available on other scooters (am sure they are there on the Suzuki Access). I have not gone through the Owner’s manual fully to confirm if there is a mention of these in it.

Hand brake, there is a small lever in front of the rear brake that can help in keeping the brake lever pressed and in turn act as a hand brake. Additional hooks to lock additional helmets. These hooks are located below the seat (pics attached) and are useful to lock additional helmets or lock your helmet, in case you need to keep some other items in the under seat storage.

Hope you liked my review. Awaiting your valuable comments and feedback 🙂

Regards,
Alan

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