The Indian two wheeler industry may have witnessed the launch of numerous new performance motorcycles of late, but the business is still defined by the fuel efficient commuter motorcycles for the economy conscious junta. The extremely fierce 100-110cc segment is crowded with many offerings from various manufacturers. Similar engines are being used across various models that differ based on the tastes of an evolved target consumer who demands a more stylish approach towards commuting while enjoying the benefits of a frugal workhorse.
The Honda Livo is one such offering that targets this very category of buyers that wants to straddle the value and image proposition. We find out if the new Honda makes a case case for itself in the crowded segment it represents. So here its, our detailed India review of the Honda Livo 110.
Styling, features and build quality
The biggest USP of the new Honda Livo 110 is its styling. One look and it’s easy to confuse the new Honda with a 125 or even a 150cc motorcycle. The perception changes, though as you shift your focus to the skinny rear tyre. The styling looks fresh for the segment with a more angular design lending a sporty image to the Honda Livo. Let’s cover the styling and features in detail with some support from images:
• The two tone bikini fairing sets the tone for the overall aggressive styling of the Livo. The Livo shows off its angry face with faux air scoops on either sides of the multi reflector headlamp while the wind screen integrates itself between sharp slashes of the bikini fairing.
• Body coloured mirrors for that added dash of style
• The 8.5 litre tank looks much bigger than the capacity – thanks to a muscular design
• Fuel tank extensions with a 3D emblem impart the Livo with an aggressive front look
• The side panels finished in black plastic continue the angular design theme with sharp cuts and creases and neatly integrate into the rear panel. Detaching and fixing the panel needs some learning though.
• The rear panel reminds us of the Hero Honda Ambition 135, nonetheless, retains the overall beefy styling of the Livo 110 at the far end.
• The dashboard with analogue readouts looks relatively modern comprising of the speedometer, odometer, fuel gauge and tell tale indicators.
• Conventional front telescopic suspension has been tuned towards softness and swallows minor to medium undulations with ease.
• Twin shock absorbers at the rear have been set to moderate stiffness for added weight of the co-rider.
• Single 240mm disc at the front offers adequate stopping ability for the performance on offer
• 130mm drum brake at the rear offers enough hold to complement the front brake
• Six spoke alloy wheels come shod with tubeless Ceat Zoom Plus tyres that offer decent grip in dry and wet conditions
• The storage compartment can squeeze in vehicles documents, a first aid and tool kit.
• The blacked out exhausts looks similar to the one on the Twister but with lengthier dimensions
• The multi-reflector headlight offers good low beam spread but average high beam illumination
• A large multi-reflector tail light offers adequate brightness to let the trailing traffic know when you brake.
• The seat is broad and well cushioned for a comfortable ride for both rider and pillion
• A plastic chain cover guards the drive chain
• Switchgear is constructed of good quality plastics and (thankfully) comes with a pass switch. It takes time getting used to as it’s placed higher than ideal.
• Handlebar grips are soft and offer a comfortable grab
Build quality on the Honda Livo is similar to other offerings in Honda’s lineup and buyers shouldn’t be complaining of any rough edges on the motorcycle. The plastics merge into each other with clean lines and there are no signs of squeaks and rattles while riding over undulations or at high speeds.
Engine and performance
The Honda Livo uses the same motor as utilized by the Twister albeit with Honda’s Eco Technology (HET) in a marginally detuned state for better rideability. This is evident from the numbers – it produces the maximum power and torque at 500 revs less in comparison to the Twister. Power and torque figures read 8.2 bhp @ 7500 rpm and 8.63 nm @ 5500 rpm respectively.
The engine feels grunty and surprisingly noisy if we have to recollect our past experiences of riding the commuter offerings from Honda. But never does the noise translate into harshness at the pegs or handlebars even while pushed to the limit. The four speed all-up gearbox is smooth with gear ratios packed in close proximity for dealing with the everyday traffic chores.
First gear is extremely short with the second placed slightly wider with third and fourth gear again placed closer to each other. This is evident while riding up inclines with a pillion on board where the second gear needs higher revs to pull confidently. Though we managed to achieve a top speed of 102 kph, the Honda Livo 110 feels best when ridden at everyday speeds between 40-60 kph. Getting close or over the 60 kph mark and the engine starts getting audible, which is very uncharacteristic of Honda. Overall the engine traits of the Honda Livo suit the everyday riding pattern best and works very well in a stop-go scenario.
Handling, ride quality and braking
Handling is a USP of the Honda Livo. It’s certainly a far cry from a tearaway performance machine, but maintains amazing poise when pushed to the limit. It goes around corners even at top grunt with great confidence showing no signs of wobble or nervousness. The Ceat Zoom plus tyres at both ends offer surprisingly good grip. Peg scraping is easy and enormous fun on this one. It was fun diving into bends maintaining the straightline speeds where the everyday riders on bigger commuter motorcycles would slow down and we’d go around them with a wide grin on our faces, only to be overtaken later.
The Livo feels extremely agile and effortless when flicking and squeezing it through the slow moving traffic. The balance on the motorcycle is so good that we wished it had more power for spirited riding.
Ride quality on the Honda Livo feels plush with the well cushioned seat offering great comfort to the rider and pillion. the suspension soaks up moderately bad surfaces without much hint to the rider and even speed breakers of a vicious variety are easily dealt with. Its only when the undulations get sizeable where the front end, due to its soft setting emanates an audible thud. But overall, the suspension setup is near perfect for dealing with Indian road conditions.
Talking of brakes- the Honda Livo offers a 240mm single disc (optional) at the front complemented by a 130mm drum at the rear. The front setup is progressive, predictable and with a grippy set of tyres – offers ample feedback to the rider, making him aware of all the interactions between the rubber and the tarmac. The Livo sheds speed seamlessly and throws no surprises at the rider even under hard braking and we cannot praise the grip and brakes on this one highly enough.
Summing it up
The Honda Livo 110 as highlighted earlier is targeted towards the modern commuter who wants a true blend of style and value. The Livo is a frugal, no nonsense motorcycle with an added dash of modern styling and it succeeds in its objective of creating the right brew. We clocked over 300 km of riding (solo and two up) in all possible conditions and the fuel efficiency varied between 65 – 72 kpl, which falls short of Honda’s claim of 78 kpl, but it still is a fabulous figure.
The Honda Livo is comfortable, handles and brakes well- and overall ticks all the boxes that one looks for in a motorcycle in the given segment. We weren’t exactly thrilled by the refinement level on this one though. Another point the Livo lacks at is the price. At INR 65,253/- (Self-Disc-Alloy model) OTR Mumbai- not only is it more expensive than the competition, but not too far away from Honda’s very own best selling Shine, which is available at a premium of just INR 3000/- over the Livo. With that small a difference in price, the only big advantage it has over the 125cc machine is the fuel efficiency.
The Livo is meant very specifically for those who want the style and image of a bigger bike, with the economy and efficiency of an everyday commuter. For that audience, the Livo does make a lot of sense, as it is arguably the best looking motorcycle in its space.
HONDA LIVO TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS
|Type||Air cooled, 4 stroke, SI engine|
|Max net power||6.10 kW (8.2bhp)@7500 rpm|
|Max net torque||8.63Nm @5500 rpm|
|Air filter type||Viscous paper filter^|
|No of gears||4|
|Max speed (as tested- speedo indicated)||102 Kmph|
|TYRES & BRAKES|
|Tyre size (front)||80/100-18|
|Tyre size (Rear)||80/100-18|
|Tyre type (front)||Tubeless|
|Tyre type (rear)||Tubeless|
|Brake type & size (front)||Drum 130/Disc 240mm|
|Brake type & size (rear)||Drum 130mm|
|FRAME & SUSPENSION|
|Rear||Spring loaded hydraulic|
|Head lamp||12V 35/35W|
|Kerb weight||111 kg(Disc)|
|Fuel tank capacity||8.5L|
HONDA LIVO IMAGE GALLERY