A bit of Bentley, I thought, out on the road aboard our test Honda Grazia. Whoa! What do I, a two-wheeler boy, know about Bentley (a 4-wheeler)? Except for the world famous Bentley tradition of luxury-sport. The tradition of outstanding engineering. The tradition of smooth, sophisticated, pilot-centric, performance capability, and of positive road presence.
I felt these feelings during my all-too-short experience with ‘our’ Honda Grazia. You’d recall, I’ve said on these pages that some bikes we’ve ride tested I don’t like seeing being taken back by their owners at the end of day. Yes, the Honda Grazia was one such. If I were a CVT scooter collector this is one set of wheels I’d surely have in my ‘harem’.
Honda’s Grazia 125cc scooter was shown to the local public at the May 2018 motor show at the BMICH in Colombo. The bike comes complete with the Honda Motorcycle and Scooter India Certification of Conformity with Emission Norms. It states, “Conforming to Law on Emission Under CMVR”, adding, “Non Polluting Vehicle”. This environment care certificate is aptly printed green on white. On it is a dedicated space for the inclusion of the particular scooter’s chassis and engine number.
This Conformation to Law on Emissions relates to the BSIV (Bharat Stage IV) exhaust regulation and to the advanced Honda technology that designed the engine to be so. Honda was the first of the Indian manufacturers to offer a BSIV two-wheeler in our market, local Distributor Stafford Motor Company proactively introducing the BSIV compliant Honda CBR Hornet two years and a bit ago.
The Grazia also comes with a number of unique features, some of them first-in-segment: all-digital meter, Honda patented Combi Brake System (this time with a mix of hydraulic front brake and mechanical rear); 4-in-1 main switch (steering lock, ignition, seat unlock, keyhole security shutter), and three-light eco-indicator.
The all-digi meter includes - surprise - a rev counter. In addition to the usual stuff like speedo, fuel guage, neutral and turn signal indicators, and more, the rev-counter takes the Grazia meter console to a new zone in meter design of 125cc CVT scooters.
Included in the meter is a three-light eco-indicator. While another bike may have a green light come on to show you are riding in eco-mode, the Grazia system is more detailed, the first time I’ve seen this.
30 to 50 kmph is generally considered by the industry as the eco-speed range (optimum fuel economy range). The Grazia’s light indicators show: 1 light: you are in the lower economy zone; 2 lights: you are in mid-economy zone; all 3 lights: congratulations you are riding your Grazia in the optimum fuel economy zone.
In order to research on some technical points I contacted Stafford Motor Company, and Namal Sameera (Assistant Manager Corporate Sales) told us that the eco-indicator activates when throttle opening is steady for 2.16 seconds. On the fascinating subject of how the two functions - hydraulic and mechanical - of the Honda Combi Brake System blend into a single seamless operation on the Grazia, he said “an equalizer unit is installed near the handlebar rear brake lever.” He described that the rear brake lever mechanism is connected to this equalizer, from which another cable runs inside the cowling and on to the hydraulic oil cylinder mounted alongside the front brake lever, thereby transferring part of the braking activation to the hydraulic line and down to the disc assembly. This equalizer is a Honda patented device.
Of course, the Grazia also comes with the now usual HET (Honda Eco Technology) engine, and AHO (Auto Headlight On), and the additional 3D Grazia badging that adds a sense of up-market to any two-wheeler.
Car-type comforts, and security features have been migrating to bikes and scooters, too. The Grazia main switch has a keyhole shutter lock and this is operable using the key supplied for the bike, only. A creature comfort feature is the rocker type switch in the main switch which activates the saddle lock. So your Grazia key is your security control instrument, including for the under-seat stowage and the under-seat fuel filler cap.
The apron or leg shield is wide and sculpted. Its chiseled features while creating a distinctive street identity - The Name’s Grazia - and offering weather protection, also provide for structural integrity and energy absorb-able safety buffer for the rider.
Another safety feature is the large tail light assembly. The tail light is clearly visible during the daylight hours (Auto Headlight On feature) to ensure that the bike is seen as a vehicle and a road occupant, even in the bustling traffic scenario. To be seen is important for a rider.
The need to be able to read the information on the meter is without question. But, on the road I was seeing the sun’s reflection off part of the meter face. This became more pronounced around mid-day, the sun being almost overhead.
The Grazia rides so smooth, so refined, and so soft. The so soft part of it I found unusual and a teeny weenie disconcerting at first. Not firm enough, I felt, to be flickable. This softness takes away from the taut characteristic of a true rider’s bike to a carriage where you’d have a chauffeur up front.
The Grazia’s soft suspension soaks up road irregularities in up-market motorcar league, but a two-wheeler rider would want to throw his machine around the corners- left, right, left - and for this a bit, a teeny weenie bit of suspension feel could well be dialed in. Having said this, I guess a rider could become accustomed to the soft feel and, over kilometers and ownership; one could enjoy the positives from it.
I must talk of our Grazia’s superbly adjusted throttle setting allowing for spot-on-precise throttle response and control in any sort of maneuver you want to perform - tight, medium, loose wide open stuff, and your right wrist will guide your Grazia with the finest of finesse. I could rate the Grazia’s throttle response and smoothness as possibly the very top of the class.
This is not your average CVT scooter. With Honda’s Grazia, scooters have moved up a whole new level. Now let us see if, and how, the industry responds. Grazia is defined as abundant grace. Apt!
THE HONDA GRAZIA
Stafford Motor Company (Pvt) Limited,the local Distributor for Honda Motors Japan and for Honda Motorcycle and Scooter India Pvt Limited and for all Honda products, introduces the Grazia scooter.
Ruveendra Fernando, the Senior Executive-Marketing, Stafford Motors Two Wheeler Division, educates us on the Grazia :-
“The Grazia is a 125cc and the only one of its size in our line-up and is loaded with features and Honda patents. In addition to the HET (Honda Eco Technology) engine, the Grazia conforms to the Bharat Stage IV emission standards, and AHO (Auto Headlight On) clean emissions and safety regulations. The suspension is by telescopic fork at the front and this provides a high level of ride comfort. The meter is one of a kind. It is fully digital and includes a tachometer and unique eco-ride indicator system. These are not available in any other scooter of this specification in the country. The rider of the Grazia will enjoy the Honda Combi Brake System (CBS), a hydraulic front disc brake, tubeless tyres, maintenance free battery and comprehensive LED lighting which is long lasting and reliable and producing superior lighting in every application. The rider can make good use of the large 18 lit under-seat storage.”
The current Honda model range in Sri Lanka caters to all types of two-wheeler users : - 110cc Navi, CD Dream 110, Activa 3G, Activa i, Dio, CBF Twister, 125cc Shine, On-Off Roader XR125L, 160cc CB Unicorn 160, CB Hornet 160R, 250cc CBR 250R, and the Dual Purpose CRF250L.
Air-cooled 4-stroke single-cylinder
52.4 x 57.9 mm Bore x Stroke
9.8:1 Compression Ratio
Electric / Kick
CHASSIS AND RUNNING GEAR
Wheelbase 1260 mm
Tyres Front 90/90 x 12 Tubeless
Rear 90/90 x 10 Tubeless
Brakes Front Disc, hydraulic
Suspension Front Telescopic
Rear Coil over
DIMENSIONS AND CAPACITIES
Length 1812 mm
Width 697 mm
Height 1146 mm
Weight 103 kg
Fuel tank 5.3 lit
COLOURS Black Blue Matte Grey Matte Orange Red White
Warranty 2 years/24,000 kms
HOW MUCH Rs 279,900/-