Test riding the Honda Livo, a winged workhorse

Honda's aggressive launch plan for 2015 includes the 110-cc commuter Livo. A ride in an urban jungle tells us it’s an investment worth making

Competition in the commuter segment is fierce with manufacturers vying for the largest market share. It is a never-ending quest to provide optimum value for money while retaining practicality and fuel efficiency. Honda's latest, the Livo, is a new addition to the commuter market.

The Livo is a stylish commuter that looks like it is from a higher market segment than the 110 cc. Pic/Aditya Dhiwar
The Livo is a stylish commuter that looks like it is from a higher market segment than the 110 cc. Pic/Aditya Dhiwar 

The Livo uses the same trusted 110 cc motor and frame from the Dream Yuga. In addition, it uses components from the Unicorn such as the switchgear and disc brake.

The optional disc brake, which is not very common in this segment, makes the Livo a formidable competitor. The Livo is a looker for sure and gives an impression of a higher capacity bike than it actually is. Adding to the 150 cc look is the substantial wheelbase of 1,285 mm. The beefy tank features shrouds with the chrome enamelled Honda logo and lends the look of a larger capacity bike. Chunky side panels carry the muscular look towards the rakish end of the bike.

Another appreciable aesthetic aspect is its clean paintwork, thankfully free from garish decals, characteristic attribute of the segment. The instrumentation cluster is a basic twin hexagonal dial setup and offers analogue readouts of the speedometer and fuel gauge. Of course, a tachometer and trip meter would have been appreciated.

The Livo is powered by a 110-cc engine
The Livo is powered by a 110-cc engine 

The fit-and-finish is impeccable, a signature Honda trait, and body panels are smoothly contoured. The bike rides on matte black alloy wheels which are now de rigueur across the segment. Overall, the Livo comes across as an appealing bike with sufficient road presence.

Astride the bike, the broad seat is comfortable and the handlebar is reminiscent of the Unicorn. The engine responds enthusiastically to the self-starter and beckons us to take on the urban jungle. Gear-shifts are slick and power delivery is linear. Gaining 60 km/h is an easy task but the bike struggles to pull a kite beyond 80 km/h all the way up to the top speed of 86 km/h. Its frugal 110-cc mill clocks a respectable 71 km for every litre it sips.

The switches feel good but lack an engine kill switch
The switches feel good but lack an engine kill switch 

The Livo's suspension is appropriately stiffened to take on most road undulations in and out of the city even with a pillion on-board. The bike holds its line through corners with nary a shimmy and sifting through dense traffic is easy. The chassis is nimble and flickable, thanks to the wide handlebar.

The 240-mm disc brake, borrowed from the Unicorn, offers a similarly progressive bite. The base variant is priced at R57,090 (ex-showroom, Delhi) while the optional disc brake variant is available for an additional R2,500, which is an investment worth making.

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