Honda entered the Indian market in 2001 with two scooters – a segment which was believed to be taking its last breath at the time of their arrival. Against all the odds, both the scooters – Activa and Dio – went on churning a large number of volumes for their parent company, which went on to become the second largest two wheeler manufacturer in the Indian market.

While the Activa was meant for the daily masses, the Dio took to the young street crowd. Marketed as the Moto Scooter, Dio was the favourites amongst the young generation because of its stylish lines and trendy looks. The scooter instantly hit the sweet spots of the hearts of all those wishful riders, who wanted to have a two-wheeler but found the motorcycles a bit intimidating. Although it shared the same 110cc engine as the Activa, it felt peppier due to the lightweight fibreglass body panels. Like the Activa, the Dio too has withstood the tide of time. It received a major overhaul from its first generation in 2012 which amplified its exuberant appeal even more. Now, for 2017, the scooter receives a mild update which will see BS-IV compliancy and Automatic Headlight On along with cosmetic changes. Will the new Dio continue to pluck the strings of hearts of its targeted audience? Here’s a quick overview of the scooter.

STYLING


2017 Honda Dio2015 Honda Dio

When the Dio was overhauled in 2012, it looked much more fascinating than the previous model with large headlamp units and chiselled rear. It regained the charm of being the scooter to go for the young generation by keeping the vibe and the overall design of the scooter unchanged. It was an old wine in new bottle.

The sharp front stance, with the headlamp mounted on the front apron against its conventional positioning on handlebar on other scooters, has been the biggest USP of Dio since its advent in the Indian market. In this avatar, the headlamp gels well with the turn indicators to give it an essence of a big single unit, which makes the scooter look big from the front three-quarter angles. The 2017 model gets a whole new front, topped with the mischievous LED that announce your arrival. Of course, you get the AHO feature as well.

Moving towards the side, the body panel gets faux air intakes flanked by what seems like a carbon-fibre finished panel. The carbon-fibre finish is also seen under the pillion footpegs. This touch gives the Moto Scooter an upmarket and fancy take on having a great style quotient. The saddle also gets new fabric with thicker and wider cushion compared to the previous model.

For this latest version of Dio, Honda chose to paint the scooter in new dual tone fashion, and unlike the previous model’s white base, the new updates get dark grey and a colour on their body panels. Much like the first generation of India-spec Dio, the side profile tapers to a pointier end, with a part integrated design for the pillion grab rail, which is now finished in dark grey colour rather than the white. The Dio’s sporty new body graphics reinforce the Moto Scooter concept.

The tail lamp cluster, carried over from the outgoing model, too has grown into a bigger unit as compared to the first generation model’s rectangular unit and has pointy clear lens blinkers on either side. The most exciting place to be on the new 2017 Dio is on the rider’s seat only because he gets to look at the jazzy new instrument cluster. While there was hardly any fault in the previous version, Honda has surprised us with what I believe is the most stylish looking instrument cluster in the segment. It still, however, lacks some of the features like digital fuel gauge and clock which are gradually becoming common in the segment.

The scooter comes with an under seat storage space of 18 litres, which can easily accommodate a half-face helmet. For 2017, Honda has provided a mobile charging socket too to charge your handheld electronic devices on the go.

Overall Dimension

Make Model2017 Honda DioHero Maestro EdgeYamaha Ray Z
Length1781mm1841mm1835mm
Width710mm695mm675mm
Height1133mm1190mm1090mm
Wheelbase1238mm1261mm1270mm
Ground Clearance158mm150mm128mm
Seat Height765mm775mm760mm
Wet weight103kg109kg104kg
Fuel Tank5.3l5.5l5l

POWERTRAIN

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It’s not only the body shell that has been carried forward from the previous model to this new version. The new Dio is powered by the same single cylinder, air cooled, 109.2cc engine which has been powering the entire scooter lineup of Honda, barring the Activa 125.

The four-stroke, air-cooled, 109.2cc engine of the previous Activa has been carried over from the previous Dio without any substantial upgrade. Though there is nothing in this engine to be doubted for – this ultra-refined and reliable mill equipped with Honda Eco Technology (HET) belts out 8 bhp of power and 9 Nm of torque and comes mated to a belt-driven CVT transmission.

With a promise of delivering a fuel efficiency of 62 kmpl, the Do is quite frugal as well. However, this time, as a compulsory norm, this very engine is now BS-IV compliant, which makes it slightly more refined as well as lesser polluting than before. The engine has always been known for its simple linear power delivery and excellent refinement, and the engine, with the minuscule changes on the board, tends to maintain the segment benchmark even today.

Engine Specification

Make Model2017 Honda DioHero Maestro EdgeYamaha Ray Z
Capacity cc109.19110.9113
Bore/ Stroke mm50/55.650/56.550/56.5
Output8 bhp @ 7000 rpm9 bhp @ 8000 rpm8 bhp @ 7500 rpm
Torque9 Nm @ 5500 rpm9 Nm @ 6500 rpm8 Nm @ 5000 rpm
TypeFan Cooled, 4 Stroke, SI, BS IV EngineAir Cooled, 4 Stroke Single Cylinder OHC4 Stroke, Single cylinder, Air Cooled, OHC
Clutch typeCVTCVTCVT
TransmissionV – MaticV – MaticV – Matic

RIDE AND HANDLING

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The underpinnings of the new Dio have been virtually unchanged. Still sitting on the same high rigidity underbone frame, the Dio comes with front trailing link suspension and rear single sided hydraulic coil spring. While a majority of the scooters in the Indian market have moved forward and upped the ante with front telescopic forks set up, it is surprising to see the age-old trailing link setup even in this new generation model.

This certainly affects its ride quality, which though decent, does not match with the pliancy of the scooters with front telescopic forks. The suspension is sufficient enough to absorb all the torments of Indian roads, but somehow, the ride feels jerky at times. Nevertheless, the Dio is a very easy to handle the machine, even after being a scooter fairly large. Thanks to its lightweight fibreglass body.

The new Dio, like the earlier model, runs on 10-inch steel wheels shod with tubeless tyres at both front and rear. The drum brakes at both the ends carry out their job satisfactorily. It comes with a combi-brake mechanism, which employs both the front and rear brakes on the application of rear brake lever. Considering the competition upping the game, we would have liked to see a front disc brake at least as an option.

Chassis Specifications

Make Model2017 Honda DioHero Maestro EdgeYamaha Ray Z
Suspension / FrontSpring loaded hydraulic typeTelescopic, Hydraulic Shock AbsorberTelescopic Suspension
Suspension / RearSpring loaded hydraulic typeUnit Swing with Spring Loaded Hydraulic DamperUnit swing
Brakes / Front130mm drum brake130mm drum brake130mm drum brake
Brakes / Rear130mm drum brake130mm drum brake130mm drum brake
Tyres / Front90/100 R1090/100 R1290/100 R10
Tyres / Rear90/100 R1090/100 R1090/100 R10

PRICE

The Dio had always been the most affordable scooter from the lineup of Honda in India until the Activa-i came in and took that title from it. Honda has priced the new Dio at ₹ 49132 (ex-showroom, Delhi), only ₹ 1500 more than the previous model.

This makes it a value for money product even today. The new Dio is available in two new colours taking the total to five – Pearl Sports Yellow, Vibrant Orange, Candy Jazzy Blue, Sports Red and Matte Axis Grey Black.

COMPETITION

As mentioned earlier, the Honda Dio is the first scooter to start the trend of moto-scooters in India. The segment to which the Dio belongs hardly has seen any action in all these years, except the advent of Kinetic Blaze – a moto-scooter which was way more powerful and desirable than the Dio, but sadly existed for a short stint. The Dio again remained unchallenged for many years, but then found a challenge in the face of Yamaha Ray Z and the Hero Maestro Edge.

Hero Maestro Edge

1.

Unlike the Pleasure and Maestro, the Maestro Edge is Hero’s first scooter which has been developed without the contribution of its erstwhile partner, Honda. The scooter looks very promising and is especially aimed at the younger set of buyers.

As the name suggests, the Maestro Edge is an edgy looking version of the pre-existing Hero Maestro, with the overall design of the Maestro going under the knife for a much sharper looking avatar. The overall stance of the Maestro Edge suggests that it is designed mainly keeping the college-going youth in mind.

Unlike the Honda sourced engines on the Pleasure and Maestro, Hero has equipped the Maestro Edge with an all new four stroke, single cylinder, air cooled, the 110.9cc engine which it has jointly developed with AVL Engineering from Austria. The engine is mated to a CVT transmission and belts out 9 bhp of power and 8.3 Nm of torque.

The scooter is available in two variants – while the steel wheel version will cost you ₹ 49500, the alloy wheel version is available at ₹ 50700.

Yamaha Ray Z

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The famous Japanese two wheeler manufacturing company, Yamaha had stepped into the scooter segment in India by launching its first scooter Ray in 2012. Much like the Dio, the Ray Z too is adorned with a boyish stance and snazzy graphics, which make it an apt competitor to the Dio.

Yamaha Ray Z comes with the powerful 113cc, air-cooled, 4-stroke, SOHC, 2-valve with CVT engine that produces a maximum power of 8 bhp @ 7500rm and a maximum torque of 8.1Nm @ 5000rpm similar to the Ray. This powerful engine has proven its reliability in use in the markets of the ASEAN countries. The engine comes fitted with a BS type carburettor with a throttle position sensor (TPS) function. The combination with the settings of the CVT, it helps in the smooth start-up acceleration and lively passing acceleration, excellent fuel efficiency and good emissions.

The Yamaha Ray Z has been priced at ₹48555 (Ex-Showroom Delhi).

VERDICT

The Dio has always been the pick of choice for the young minds who look for a stylish and sporty take in any segment. With its refurbished design, the new Dio has become a more sought-after product, though it would have been better if Honda equipped the Dio with a couple of more utility features, which would have increased its value for money proposition.

Nonetheless, the scooter manages to hold on to the charm and vibe of the peppy scooter we know. And with those jazzy looking colours, it sure is going to bring a lot of hue onto our roads. The master engine of Honda does not fail to handle itself well and is considered one of the most reliable motors out in the lot.