The oddball angular design of the Dio has always made an individualistic statement when parked amongst a sea of mundane looking, safely styled scooters. The Dio with the extra dose of attitude that evoked emotions more of riding something sportier than just an automatic scooter, coupled with deft handling rightly made it the stunters’ choice. It has been one of the most loved scooters at Motoroids and we had great fun on the scoot when we had reviewed it last time around. Though it never made it high on the sales charts, the snazzy looks made the Dio a hit with youngsters.
With the Activa under the same roof selling faster than apples in a market, to some extent cannibalized the sales of this trendy looking scoot. Considering the brand equity that the Activa enjoys in the market, it is unlikely that the Dio would ever dream of surpassing the Activa’s sales figures. But off-late the automatic scooter market has seen the influx of trendy looking machines trying to woo buyers away from the Dio. Honda has retaliated by plonking in their latest improved offering- the HET claiming an impressive 60 kpl mark. We put the new Honda Dio HET to a comprehensive road test and tried to figure if it could get anywhere close to the astounding efficiency figures we achieved during our Activa HET review.
STYLING, FEATURES & PERFORMANCE
When it comes to styling, the Dio as a scooter has always been ahead of its time and well… its competitors too. The slashy styled wide headlamp and big blinkers merged into the front apron gives the Dio a rebellious look. The sharp upswept rear strike an eye-catching contrast to the black panels, particularly in the Pearl Trance Yellow shade that adorns the new Honda Dio HET. A larger tail lamp with equally large blinkers ensures that the design philosophy in the Dio didn’t die down mid-way and conclude the design package with the same intensity it started. Though the new Honda Dio HET isn’t styled any different from the earlier generation- except for the new yellow colour and the HET badge atop the 3D emblem on the side panels, we couldn’t help but admire simply because the Dio is such a treat to look at. Apart from yellow, you may take your pick from a choice of other shades viz. Pearl Sunbeam White, Sports Red and Matt Axis Grey Metallic.
The instrumentation and switchgear are ergonomically placed and reeks typical Honda quality and durability. The dimpled dashboard feels rich and upmarket. 18 litres of underseat space easily accommodates a full sized helmet and doubles up as storage for your routine grocery purchases. An inner luggage box as an accessory comes at a premium in case you wish to expand the storage capacity. The pillion footboard is flat and broad, offering more planted feel than foldable pegs. Unfortunately the side stand still comes optional at extra cost. Come on Honda!
The top dimensions of the seat look similar to the Activa and offers comfortable seating for both rider and pillion. A dimpled texture seat cover looks to eliminate sliding of the rider and pillion during change of momentum, but not by much. The suspension at both ends work well and tackle most undulations without upsetting the scooter’s balance. The combi-brake feature is an asset to new as well as experienced riders alike and works well to shed speed without any drama. The anti-dive feature at the front suspension is a boon and renders an assuring feel during hard braking.
The best part about the Dio apart from its funky design is its handling. Don’t be surprised to find yourself sticking your knee out and sliding off your butt trying to hang out during a twisty tackle- this scooter is serious fun! The tubeless tyres offer good grip showing no signs of weaving off the line during cornering and hold composure even during hard braking. So just in case your parents feel that you’re too young to ride a motorcycle or just out of apprehension want to stick an automatic up your face- no guesses as to which one you’d be picking- and yes, yellow is the one we’d suggest.
This is where the new Honda Dio HET distinguishes itself from its predecessor. The new HET (Honda Eco Technology) engine has been optimized for greater efficiency incorporating changes such as an offset crank for lesser piston sliding resistance, a low tension piston ring, lighter reciprocating parts and improved bearing oil seals. A highly ignitable nickel spark plug replaces the conventional plug with the induction port optimized for improved air-fuel mixture intake. The pulley converter has been optimized for operation, all resulting in efficient power delivery. Reduced drag and resistance of cycle parts has resulted into lower claimed fuel consumption. Although the same engine does the duty on the Activa too, in comparison the max power of 8bhp on the Dio is produced at 7000 rpm (500 rpm less) and torque is rated at 8.77 nm @ 5500 rpm (0.03 nm higher).
These changes are internal and can only be felt and measured after a decent ride. The new HET engine takes an already smooth engine up one level when it comes to refinement. This might be a good thing and we shouldn’t be complaining, but we would have loved if the throaty note of the earlier Dio was retained as it added thrill to the overall riding experience. The low-end grunt has been improved in the new engine and the refinement retains uniformity- be it riding at 40 or 90 kph. The Dio maxed out at 96 kph on the speedometer and similar to our Activa HET review, we put the Dio to a stress test of keeping the throttle pinned at its end position constantly running the scooter over 90 kph in the afternoon heat for extended durations– but the engine didn’t seem to overheat or complain of power loss whatsoever.
So does the Dio with the new HET motor get anywhere close to the dream mileage of 60 kpl as advertised by Honda? To give an account- the Dio was put to a test of 375 kms with 200 kms of non-stop running. In fact we even ran out of fuel at one point, but fortunately didn’t have to push the scoot. Just for the sheer fun it offered, the Dio took more hammering compared to the Activa and with a pillion on board most of the time, delivered a mileage figure of 52 kpl. Being more kind to the Dio would easily ensure that you consistently retrieve 60 kms to every litre of fuel. Point to consider is that Honda always advertises fuel efficiency numbers in real world riding than standard test conditions.
if you want an exciting and stylish ride which delivers on the reliability and fuel efficiency fronts too, you just can’t go wrong with this little Honda.
Type- Air cooled, 4 stroke OHC
Max Power- 8 bhp @ 7000 rpm
Max Torque- 8.77 nm @ 5500 rpm
Ignition- Self & Kick
Viscous Air Filter
Front- Spring loaded hydraulic type
Rear- Spring loaded hydraulic type
Frame- Rigid underbone type
Dimension- 1781mm x 710mm x 1133mm
Seat height- 765mm
Ground clearance- 158mm
Battery- 12V 3Ah, Maintenance Free
Headlamp- 35/35 W
Front- Drum, 130mm dia (With Combi-braking)
Rear- Drum, 130mm dia
FUEL TANK CAPACITY
Front & Rear- Tubeless, 90/100-10 53J
Mumbai- INR 53,628/-
Delhi- INR 49,206/-
Bangalore- INR 53,785/-
Chennai- INR 53,314/-
Kolkata- INR 54,656/-