If you could have the ability to travel in time, where would you travel to? Time travel has always been one of the most common fantasies of children and adults alike; but why are we talking about it? Because we are going to roll back the clock to year 2002.
It was the year when Honda launched the Dio. It surely turned lot of heads, as it was a very odd concept for the Indian crowd. First thing everyone noticed was the headlight, with an amusement of why was it placed below and not at the top. But as time passed it was getting accepted well. The fact was that TVS was ruling the moped/gear-less category with its Scooty models. But, who knew that at the end of FY 2005, things were about to take a massive turn. HMSI (Honda Motorcycle and Scooter India) brought in their prodigy, the updated Dio. The one which made us fall in love with it, adore it. And even for the people who did not love it, it was inordinately tough to dislike it too. It was that well made for its time.
The Dio came in dual colour livery, with a slew of hip and funky stickers and immediately it was a furor amongst the youngsters. Its furor was such that Honda Dio became a boasting paraphernalia for teenagers, and it only grew. But there was more to it than just the appeal. To describe it better we will classify the details in 4 major sections :
- After Market Modification
The design of Dio was very appealing. It was aggressive, stylish and sleek at the same time. Be it the headlamp shape, bold stickers or the sharp tail, it did not look one darn bit like a regular scooter. Honda’s new weaponry needed to overcome the conservative scooter based mentality in India and the Dio proved to be the perfect howitzer; and Honda were very proudly calling it “Moto-Scooter”. A unisex, sporty looking “Moto-Scooter” was just enough to skyrocket the temptation.
With the under bone frame, 765 mm seat height and the integrated pillion foot rests, it was a very comfortable ride for the rider and his/her pillion. The wide and bolster-like seat was a boon for the bums, specially when you decide to ride for a long distance. Its spring-loaded suspension did a decent job to absorb the irregularities on the road. Comfort was one of its many facets along-with it being quite a looker. The chassis was engineered so well, that it provided nimble maneuvering along-with superb road holding, making it a blithesome companion for all.
We cannot expect a 102 cc, CVT equipped production engine to do a lightning quick sprint, but still it felt pleasantly powerful. For a 100+ kilogram vehicle and producing just 7 BHP, we were surprised to see it doing a 0-60 km/h under 10 seconds which is pretty decent. We also tried to do a 0-100 km/h run, alas, it never could hit the 100 km/h mark. But still it was amazingly good for a teenager’s first ride. Also the torque was enough to comfortably pull off with a pillion. Overall it was a very zippy engine with the Continuously Variable Transmission complementing it, creating a sacchariferous balance amid the two.
After Market Modification :
The body was such of the Dio that it was a paradise for after market paint job enthusiasts. Wide side panels and a wonderfully drooping front was inviting creative heads to make it their art board, which they did with all their heart. Other than paint jobs, it was also used for Stunt-Riding by many. The fiber body and its fitting was done in a way that it could be easily altered, making it perfect for fiddling around and making it a proper Stunt Ride. If you combine a proper Stunt Ride with an artistic paint job, it was one drool-worthy machine.
Overall, we would like to say that Honda changed the scenario of Indian scooters since the early 2000s and with the Dio, they really did start a trend for sporty scooters. Or should we say, “Moto-Scooter”.