Suzuki Access 125 cc scooter...
Not sure if this is the first review of Suzuki Access in this platform. Earlier I had written on Honda Activa which has been sold after driving 48000 Kms in 5 years for a decent 24K. Ofcourse it was maintained in that fashion and save for petrol and oil change, I have incurred no cost….bullet proof reliability indeed! So now Suzuki access has a tough challenge in form of Honda Activa or rather vice versa. Honda Activa because Kinetic Flyte poses no threat due to various reasons primarily lack of focus(they keep on changing models of bikes and scooters every 6 month many a times Korean and other brands at that), reliability and customer satisfaction, even though Flyte may offer some better tidbits in package that may be of interest for teenagers! This will not be a detailed road test but an evaluation of Suzuki access post few Kilometers of test driving and some personal observation on scooter.
In fact I was the first one to start the scooter on that day(Saturday – 17th 2007) early morning and it did start with one single press of a button….unlike the Honda activa which had to be given initial choke for few seconds. So for hassle free start it beats Honda Activa compared showroom to showroom while real life starting may differ but I still feel Suzuki access scores here. Next obviously was the exhaust note and acceleration. I had my apprehensiveness as to will opening the throttle stall the scooter like Honda Activa(happens in cold start) but here again it scored. After warm up I went for a test drive and the exhaust note is pretty interesting(more depth) then activa in fact its like Honda Eterno! As I opened the throttle to start moving, the delay from standstill to intial movement post opening the throttle is typical of any variometric scooter and after that it zooms past. The pickup appears slightly better then Honda Activa though I didn’t clock it.
But then this is no surprise as the engine is a 125 cc as compared to 102 of Activa prima facie, which may though be compensated by higher weight of Access 109 Kgs as compared to 104 Kgs of Activa. Riding position was much more ergonomical and comfortable then Activa but purely from my physical characteristic point of view and hence may differ from individual to individual. Braking was spot on and didn’t have any spongy feeling like Activa. Front forks are pretty smooth and may better Activa in typical Indian condition which has potholes and craters. I managed to drive it intentionally at low speeds through potholes and it was pretty impressive as it didn’t bottom out as was the case with Activa.
One advantage though is that its forks are telescopic bike like! Rear suspension and comfort is excellent while the firmness of the cushion is also very good. Nothing much to differentiate from Activa here. Access comes with rear foot pegs, side stands, floor mat, mirrors and without stepney. The body is anti-rust due to it being non-metallic but inspite of this it was heavier(see above) isn’t it? If you forget its an 125 cc engine so the engine weight comes into play! The fit and finish was damn good where both Activa as well as Access scores here…nothing to differentiate. Head lights of Access is much superior with good focus and increased power as compared to Activa though I would have loved to evaluate this in night condition instead of day. Vibration was almost nil during the short ride. Before I forget…Access has a shutter mechanism for its key hole.
This means theres a squarish separate key slot adjacent to main key slot. One needs to insert a given specifc key in this squarish key slot and turn it to operate the shutter which is a flap(metallic) that covers the main key hole. The logic here is one(children) cannot fiddle with the holes(insert sticks etc… inside) once shutter is operated. Practical thought at that. I couldn’t manage more then 60 KMPH so cant comment on top speed and I usually don’t go by companys figure. The same is true to fuel economy. I think it should be between 40 to 45 KMPL on real life condition though the company claims 60 KMPL.
Look wise masses may love access but I loved the understated look of activa. So for a layman should they go for a 125 cc scooter or should they go for a 102 cc Activa …. Interesting isn’t it. Cost wise hardly there’s any difference as on road price in my area(Thane) is 47250 for Access without a wait period and Activa retails at 46000+. One has better value for money in Access, more power, same fuel economy, same reliability and a better services(Honda has a dismal service and hence nothing can be worst then this….personally experienced this and experiencing this till date). Yes one thing that Access lacks is they have not aggressively pushed the vehicle like Bajaj Kristal, Hero Honda Pleasure etc… and hence you may not hear much. But test drive this product and you will witness the superiority and reliability for yourself…though its slightly on costlier side.