Honda Cliq Scooter: First Ride Review


Honda Cliq – the newest and least expensive scooter from Honda Motorcycle and Scooter India. The automatic scooter segment in India is dominated by Honda Motorcycle and Scooter India (HMSI). In fact, the Honda Activa is not just the largest selling scooter in India, but is now also the largest selling two-wheeler, inching out mass market 100-110 cc commuter motorcycles which have a strong customer base in rural markets. The Activa’s strength and sales volumes is largely confined to towns and cities, and now Honda wants to extend that success to the rural markets as well, so enter the Honda Cliq. The Honda Cliq has been launched at an attractive price of ₹ 42,499 (ex-showroom Delhi) and it sits between the Honda Activa and the Honda Navi.

honda cliq
The Honda Cliq’s design is unique – some may warm up to it, others may find it quirky

Design and Features

The Honda Cliq has an all-plastic body, so it’s lighter than the Activa, at 102 kg. The design certainly is different, with the side panels reminding you of the Navi, but it’s the front apron which has been completely redesigned, and it looks neat, with a headlight mounted on the middle of the apron like the Dio. Matte finish parts are incorporated across the body and some carbon fibre-like patterns are incorporated around the speedometer and the tail section. Overall, it’s a neat design, and should appeal to customers who want a slightly trendier and less expensive version of the Activa.

honda cliq
Small unique design bits like the faux carbon fibre finish on the speedometer

Honda also offers optional extras like a footboard-mounted lockable storage space as well as a small goods carrier at the rear. The footboard space is decent, but will be tight if you’re thinking of carrying a grocery bag or two. Underseat storage is 14 litres, adequate to carry a few things, and to store a small half-face helmet, but not quite enough to accommodate a full-face helmet. Like the Activa, the fuel filler cap is also under the seat, so refuelling, which will be more frequent due to the small 3.5 litre fuel tank, will require the rider to get down and flip the seat up.
honda cliq engine
109 cc engine shared with the Honda Activa 4G

Engine and Performance

The Honda Cliq is based on the same platform as the Activa, so the same 109 cc single-cylinder engine has been carried over, which makes 8 bhp at 7,000 rpm and 8.94 Nm at 5500 rpm. It’s a tried and tested mill, so performance is along expected lines, which is smooth and acceleration is brisk, if not completely exciting. The Cliq uses the same hydraulic type suspension as the Activa, so the ride quality is also similar. It’s 6 kg lighter than the Activa, and that makes the Cliq feel lighter and agile, traits which are welcome.

honda cliq offers cbs
The Honda Cliq gets block pattern tyres and combi-brake system

The wheels are also the same 10-inch steel wheels, but Honda has introduced tyres with block pattern which offer better grip, particularly if you ride it on sandy patches and go off tarmac, as we found out during our brief first ride. Out on the highway, the Cliq’s performance is also along similar lines, but the light weight makes it waver a little when we encountered strong cross winds. That isn’t much to worry about though, and overall, it’s easy to ride, convenient and should appeal to prospective scooter buyers. Brakes are conventional drum brakes, and the Cliq is built to cost, so no alloy wheels or disc brakes are offered, even as an option. But the combi-brake system is offered, which essentially activates both brakes with a single lever, and is quite effective.

honda cliq
Honda Cliq targeted primarily at rural markets

Price and Market Positioning

The Honda Cliq is priced at ₹ 42,499 (ex-showroom Delhi), with the Deluxe variant scooter priced at ₹ 42,999 (ex-showroom Delhi) for some extra graphics. Head to head, the Cliq has no real competitor in the scooter space, and as mentioned earlier, it’s targeted more towards the rural market, typically the bastion of 100-110 cc workhorse commuter motorcycles. Sure, it’s priced right, and will also offer a less expensive option to the Activa which is priced almost ₹ 8,000 more.

The strategy makes sense – extend an already very successful product with a lower price tag to get in the quintessential commuter motorcycle buyer to the convenient automatic scooter segment. The problem is that 100-110 cc motorcycles boast of far better fuel efficiency, and with limited range, the Cliq will make visits to the fuel station more frequent. Will it work though? Yes, it has all the qualities to make for a successful scooter, but if it will succeed in getting the volumes from the 100-110 cc motorcycle segment is something that remains to be seen.