Honda Activa 5G vs TVS Jupiter Classic: Comparison Review

27 July 2018, 12:45 PM Abhishek Nigam

Introduction

The Honda Activa is pretty much the definition of a scooter and is one of the highest selling two wheeler in India, but does that make it perfect? Not by a long shot. The TVS Jupiter has been around for while too and though its numbers aren’t close to the Activa, it comes across as a brilliant scooter that does everything well. The Activa in its latest 5G trim has a got a host of user friendly updates while, TVS has tried to give the Jupiter a retro avatar with the Classic variant. Let the battle begin…

Looks

Design-wise, scooters in India are basically classified into three categories. You have the family oriented design, the sporty design and with the recently launched Suzuki Burgman Street, the maxi-scooter design. Now these two unmistakably boast the family design which is meant to be liked by all and hated by none. Practicality takes precedence over design and that’s the name of the game. 

Let’s start with the Activa first. Now the Activa has pretty much become the definition of a scooter in India and is without doubt one of the highest selling two wheelers here. So understandable Honda does not want to mess with the design. So over the years the Activa has been getting mild touch-ups but by and large the design has stayed true to the original design. For the 5G model, you get a LED headlamp and a position lamp which gives it a robotic look and chrome garnish o the front panels along with 5G decals. Other than that the standard Activa design has been retained.

The Jupiter here is in the ‘Classic’ trim. There is no doubting the fact that people love retro looks and drool behind the Vespa. Unfortunately the Vespa’s high sticker price keeps buyers at bay, but that does not stop other manufacturers from giving their scooters a retro touch.

The Jupiter is the latest scooter to get it. So the classic gets a windshield, round chrome mirrors, a cushioned backrest and a dual tone seat. Now the Jupiter is already a handsome looking scooter and while the new additions look good when you look at the details, overall we think the retro theme does not gel too well with the angular lines of the Jupiter.

But standing together we still think the Jupiter is the better looking scooter of the two. Not only does it look bigger but also has better proportions and is more modern looking between the two.

Instrumentation and seating

The Activa 5G gets all-new instrumentation and looks the part too. So you now a have a digital analogue combo and it also gets an ECO speed indictor. You get a digital fuel gauge, a tripmeter and a clock. The speedometer is left analogue. The whole arrangement is easy to read and looks the part too. Also for added convenience you now get a 4-in-1 lock along with a seat opening switch provided in the front. The Activa also gets an 18-litre storage area as compared to the Jupiter’s 17 litres.

The Jupiter Classic gets a white background for its instrument console to go with the retro theme. However unlike the Activa 5G, the Jupiter Classic gets an all-analogue console. The Jupiter also misses out on a 4-in-1 lock and instead gets separate locks for the seat and the ignition/handle. But the Jupiter gets an external fuel fill which means no getting off the seat at petrol pumps. For convenience both the scooters get under seat USB charging as well. 

Both the scooters get a saddle height of 765mm, however the Jupiter’s floorboard is a tad bit lower giving it a more comfortable riding stance, while the Activa gets a slightly larger floorboard area. We also felt the cushioning on the Jupiter’s seat was on the firmer side making it more comfortable for longer commutes.

Performance and Handling

Engines in both the scooters haven’t been tinkered with at all and remain exactly the same. The Activa’s 109.19cc engine puts out 8bhp and 9Nm of torque. The Jupiter gets a 109.7cc engine and puts out a 8bhp and 8.4Nm of torque. The Activa weighs 109kg while the Jupiter tips the scale at 108kg. So if we talk numbers both are pretty much on par however, on the road the difference in performance is immediately noticeable. 

Gunning the throttle, the Activa literally runs away from the Jupiter. Even with a heavier rider, the Jupiter could not match the Activa’s peppiness. Refinement too is a shade better on the Honda but only marginally so. Fuel efficiency too the Activa nosed ahead with 60 kmpl in our city cycle as compared to 55 kmpl dished out by the Jupiter. Honda’s HET (Honda Eco Technology) engine does fare better than the Jupiter’s CVT-I unit.

 

Coming to the handling and braking, the TVS has all the advantages here. It gets a telescopic front suspension as compared to dated trailing link suspension on the Activa. The Jupiter gets a 220mm disc in the front and drums at the rear whereas the Activa uses a drum set-up all around with combined braking. And finally the Jupiter gets larger 12-inch wheels as compared to the 10-inch wheels on the Activa.

As a result, the Jupiter not only boasts better ride quality but is also more composed at higher speeds. Riding on bad sections really takes a toll on the back on the Activa. The Jupiter’s suspension is definitely more absorbing. While both are easy to maneuver around city traffic, it’s the Jupiter that inspires more confidence when one gets a little over enthusiastic around the corners. The Activa’s CBS works well but is prone to fade under extensive use. Also the Jupiter’s front disc provides a way better feel at the levers as compared to the Activa’s which feel spongy.

Our take

The Activa in its 5G avatar finally gets up to speed with the competition and gets a bunch of features that make it a way better family scooter than its predecessors. But is that enough to make it the best in its class? Sadly not. While the features do up the convenience factor, there is no denying the fact that the Activa’s underpinnings are now dated. The scooter is begging for a telescopic suspension set up and better brakes. The Jupiter loses out when it comes to engine refinement, performance and fuel efficiency, but only just. And finally, the TVS is just Rs. 4552 dearer than the Honda and ends up offering a way better riding experience thereby making it the winner of this comparo.   

Photography by Kaustubh Gandhi


Final scores

Parameters Max Points TVS Jupiter Classic Honda Activa 5G
Rank   1 2
Looks & styling 10 5.5 4
Ergonomics & Quality 10 6 5
Features & Tech 10 5 5
Engine & Gearbox 10 5 6
Performance 10 5 6
Ride Quality 10 5 4
Handling & Braking 10 6 4
Fuel Efficiency 10 5 6
Price & Warranty 10 6 7
Desirablility 10 4 3.5
Total 100 52.5 50.5

Specifications

Make Honda TVS
Model Activa 5G Jupiter Classic
POWER TRAIN    
Engine Type

Fan Cooled

Air Cooled
Capacity 109.19 cc 109 cc
Max Power 8 bhp @ 7,500 rpm 7.8 bhp @ 7,500 rpm
Max Torque 9 Nm @ 5,500 rpm 8 Nm @ 5,500 rpm
Gearbox Automatic Automatic
Fuel Efficiency 60kmpl 56 kmpl
CYCLE PARTS    
Supension F Trailing link Telescopic
Suspension R Swingarm-linked monoshock Swingarm-linked monoshock
Brakes F  130mm drum  220mm disc
Brakes R  130mm drum   130mm drum 
Tyre F 90/100-10 53 (Tubeless) 90/90-12 (Tubeless)
Tyre R 90/100-10 53 (Tubeless) 90/90-12 (Tubeless)
MEASURES    
Fuel Tank 5.3 litres 5 litres
Wheelbase 1,238 mm 1,275 mm
L x W x H 1,761mm x 710 mm x 1,158 mm 1,834 mm x 650 mm x 1,115 mm
Kerb Weight 109 kg 108 kg
COST    
Price (on-road, Mumbai) Rs 64,779 Rs 69,331

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