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Honda Livo: First Ride Review

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Ranjan R. Bhat

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What is it?

The Honda Livo was recently launched as a spiritual successor to the CB Twister. Sold alongside the Dream series of 110cc commuter bikes, the Livo is the most expensive small-capacity commuter in the Japanese manufacturer’s line-up. While the Twister was one of the most stylish 110cc commuter motorcycles in the Indian market, it failed to capture the buyers’ imagination. Honda has attempted to overcome this defeat by taking a toned down approach towards styling, which despite being less flamboyant than the CB Twister, makes the Livo look like a true blue-blooded steed.

How does it ride?

The Honda Livo gets a pleasant exhaust note and a muted idle, which is almost undetectable thanks to the engine’s refinement. Powering the Honda Livo is the same 109cc single-cylinder air-cooled engine. The output of this engine has been brought down to 8bhp and 8Nm of torque; a step taken to bump up the bike’s fuel efficiency. Aided by the tried and tested Honda Eco Technology (HET), Honda claims that the Livo will return 74kmpl over a combined cycle, which should make it one of the most economical bikes in its segment.

The Honda Livo feels lively in the traffic thanks to the good low-end torque and the smartly spaced out gear ratios. The slick heel and toe gear shifter gets an all-down pattern, which assisted by the light clutch, feels very easy to use. The Livo pulls off the mark quite energetically, and the good mid-range helps keep the momentum going. However, noise and vibrations start to creep in once you cross 65kmph, significantly hampering the bike’s usability on highways and long rides. We can expect these characteristics to mellow down, once the bike gets through its run-in period.

The suspension setup of the Honda Livo is on the softer side, which makes it perfect for the urban environment. It left us impressed with its competence at tackling the pothole-ridden roads of Mumbai. Braking is also one of the strong points of the Livo. The optional 240mm disc brake at the front offers a good initial bite while the rear 130mm drum feels perfect for bumper to bumper traffic.

Anything else I should know?

Though the Honda Livo does get a faint whiff of the CB Twister’s styling, the edgy design has been significantly softened to give it a completely new identity. The Livo’s clean design is devoid of any fancy decals or stickers, which complements its image of a dignified urban commuter. The sculpted fuel tank improves the bike’s muscular profile, while offering enough room for the rider to latch on to it. The engine, alloy wheels, exhaust system, handlebar, grab handles and the diamond frame have been blacked out, contrasting elegantly with this bike’s metallic blue paint scheme (which also happens to be my personal favourite). Besides this, the Livo is also available in white, brown metallic and black paint schemes.

The handlebar is positioned close to the seat while the footpegs are set forward. The long seat helps in making the ride comfortable for the rider as well as the pillion. The twin-pod instrument cluster, despite looking quite contemporary, is quite basic when it comes to functionalities. It just gets a speedometer, an odometer and a fuel gauge apart from other key indicators.

Why should I buy one?

With a price tag of Rs 52,989 for the standard and Rs 55,489 for the disc brake variant (both ex-showroom, Delhi), the Livo is the most expensive 110cc commuter motorcycle in the Indian market. However, all things considered, the Livo seems worth this kind of money. The Livo is one of the most comfortable, refined, economical and good-looking commuters in the Indian market. Add Honda’s renowned reliability to the equation and the choice makes even more sense.

Where does it fit in?

The Honda Livo is positioned in a crowded marketplace, in which Honda itself has three other offerings. It competes with other premium commuter motorcycles like the Hero Passion X Pro, TVS Star City Plus, Yamaha YBR 110 and the Mahindra Centuro. Despite being the most expensive of the lot, the Honda Livo offers a lot of bang for the buck, making it a very attractive proposition. As long as you stick to commuting and don’t venture on the highways too often, you need not look any further.

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