I brought home my Dio on an auspicious day during Diwali of 2008. It was 10 Nov 2008 to be precise, More than ‘THE’ day I remember the night before. Sleep was playing cats and dogs with me as I Tried to figure out I was buying a bike in dreams or reality!
Back then the choices for motoscooters were still scarce. I narrowed down on the HONDA DIO only because I liked it better than its elder brother Activa.
Goa Rajee, Nuvem Played a crucial role in my entire buying process and the wait was reduced to only a few weeks after the deal was struck. The accessories were chosen well in advance. The delivery was butter smooth as the only thing I did there was to collect the keys! The bike was a gleaming beauty and the joy of owning it made me speechless.
The colour decision took more time then the selection of the bike. The hot selling colour was Red where as I had my eyes nailed at the newly launched silver-black. The colour did bring exclusivity to me for a short while & I loved every bit of it. The buying experience gets a complete 5 star rating and I would highly recommend Goa Rajee on a personal note.
The bike has clocked 13xxx km till date. If we excuse slight glitches which resulted cause my negligence, the bike never failed on me. Talk about reliability and I am all thumbs up for Honda (touch wood!). At more than 10k kms on the odometer, the bike holds itself well.
The suspension is still doing its duty well and the vibrations are well in control & to top it all the speed needle still climbs the speedometer the same way as before! The only replacement I did over the years is the battery and left side rear view mirror.
The bike has never faced an accident situation (pray to God it never will!) and the mirror was damaged because it had a nasty fall when parking.
The DIO primarily is not meant for the enthusiasts. It needs skill to be manoeuvred on curvy roads and the auto shift does its duty to make best out of the 102 cc engine. The engine churns out modest max 7 BHP at 7000 rpm which seems good enough for city use.
The throttle response is good when starting from standstill but far from bringing the adrenaline rush. Mid range can be from 30-70 where the needle dances well on the speedo, and this is the range where Dio performs the best (exactly as it is designed to work in city scene).
A slight pull at the throttle in mid range makes the needle climb a bit aggressively to higher speeds. Pulling 70 km/hr on a highway is easy for the engine, at 75km/hr its starts losing vigour and as you cross 80 Km/hr the bike starts losing breath and struggles to keep up the with the throttle. Above 70 is a risk zone for the Dio, as the light fibre body wishes to fly with the wind.
The aerodynamic design looks brilliant, but when working with the cross winds the weight gives up and it starts behaving nervous. On the performance front I haven’t pulled out extra ordinary feats with this bike but I can definitely say that in its comfort zone it performs splendid!
I have ridden on most types of roads to no roads at all, only except the expressways. It takes most roads by its stride but finds itself most comfortable on normal 2 lane highways where speed comes second to consistency.
The curvy ghat sections helped me understand why the Full beam is provided. The bike was ridden in low beam most of the times for a sole reason the full beam was found to be focussed very high. The night riding can become tough as the beam is not powerful at all. In well lit areas I have even checked if my lamps were in ON mode sometimes.
The rear view mirrors perform well. I have noticed many who ride without mirrors. I believe in safety more than showbiz. The mirrors are a must on any vehicle. And they don’t create problems even in the narrowest gaps in dense traffic.
Also the storage box is regularly used along with the hook below the seat. When riding a geared bike for small errands this feature is sorely missed by most, including me.
To keep it easy I wish to pen down the best positives and of course the negatives.</strong>
Easy on pocket (affordable to buy and maintain and use)
Brilliant design. The only facelifts they tried from the time it was first introduced were new colours, stickers and lamps!
Light weight (improves manoeuvrability in congested traffic leaps and bounds and keeps the female riders happy.)
Durable spare parts , even the tyres have an above average performance .
Comfortable seating posture with permanent footrest for the rear rider. Also the legroom is comfortable for a medium built person. The legroom area is sloping a bit for more comfort in riding posture. +
The Analog speedometer. This may be a negative for many but I really enjoy the needle work its way over the dial.
Less weight makes it willing to fly at speeds above mid-range
All fibre body. The panel gaps are wide and have plastic locks which get damaged faster. Also the insurance benefit is decreased. The metal body can be mended when bent. Fibre parts need to be replaced.
The poor paint quality. As the bike stays under direct sun light for long, over the years the paint on rear panels has faded way more than expected. Also the black fibre panels used near the Handle and leg rooms have lost their charm.
Fuel economy is not a virtue of this motoscooter. Expect around 30-35 km/litre which can decrease if ridden hard.
The tyres need a special mention here. The DIO comes with no spare tyre. The tuff up tube system ensures that you don’t get flat as soon as the tyre is damaged. A huge plus for long rides.</p>
All said, I believe I am a satisfied owner of my beloved DIO. I have shared my most memorable life experiences with it and still counting. To be fair till date I never had to spend much on the expense (touch wood!) and hope it continues to serve me the same way for years together.