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Hero Impulse – Review
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Hero Impulse – Review

Single again after the mutually agreed divorce with its long time partner Honda and with the new name as “Hero Moto Corp”, Hero has taken a bold step in launching its first model as a singleton, the Hero Impulse. Known for its commuter bike and establishing itself as the market leader of masses, Hero has rather chartered into a brave new waters with this on/off roader.

Impulse looks very different and unique from what ever you have seen before on Indian roads apart from a bike called Enduro from the staples of Bajaj which was launched ages back but faded out without any impact.  For Indian bikers, the choice so far is between commuter bike or sports bikes but never an adventurous dirt bike with real on road/off road capabilities. Impulse is aimed to satisfy the best of both worlds on tarmac or on dirt.

On look front, Impulse is an unique design proposition amidst the crowds of Indian models that fight for space on Indian roads. It sports an attitude of can-go-anywhere-bike.

Impulse opens up a new category and a chance for raring adventurer in you to mount on  a dual-sport bike. It exudes strong street presence with a  big black front mudguard sticking out like a street fighter.

So you got a typical big and raised protruding out black fender like a bird’s beak, typical of dirt bikes.

A long motorcross seat that wraps up all the way the fuel tank. The seat is thoughtfully bolted so that it is firm in place. Also the extra length of the seat all the way up also adds to your safety on bumpy, adventure rides.

Impulse holds a sporty fuel tank which is lean and with minimalistic fenders and a 11 liter capacity.

The head is lean and mean. It has a small head and a minimalistic fairings.

The handle bars are wide and also you get a knuckle guard. (not shown in the pics here )

The instrument cluster is not a flamboyant one. It is a digital-analog combo meter console with ‘service due’ indicator but not entirely a put off too.

A sporty high mount muffler catches the eye. Also the high rise means you have one worry less while navigating through water at unfortunate times.

The mean chiseled look is largely due to the tyres and the suspension. Impulse comes with a  19-inch front/17-inch rear on-off road tyres.

Also what set aside the Impulse from the rest of the Indian bikes you see on roads is the long travel front suspension with a large telescopic hydraulic front disc brake. The rear sports a nitrox gas-filled  swing arm mono shock suspension.

With 245 mm ground clearance, the bike is set to sail through easily any rough stretch. And also gives the bike an unique stance. Yes, the bike is tall but not that tall to scare you or off-balance you.

On a closer look, you will notice that the sporty exhaust pipe does not go down like your regular bikes but loops around the engine before exiting besides the pillion seat and the advantage of this is  it aids in the higher ground clearance which is a must for an on/off roader and also to effortlessly  wade through low rivers or our water clogged city  roads during monsoon.

Also note the curious looking brake lever!

Did you notice the white solid plate in the rear sprocket ? Ok I agree it is unsightly but then it helps in securing the chain while you rough the bike on a rough road-less territories.

Powering the Impulse is an 149.2 cc air cooled, 4- stroke single cylinder that delivers 13.2 Ps @ 7500 rpm and a commendable torque of 13.4 N-m @ 5000 rpm mid range. Though the 13.2 bhp may not be an impressive figures for a bike of this category, it still manages to deliver the best of the engine capabilities thanks to the mean, lean design. It makes a quiet a difference when you drive it.

 

As I get on the bike and saddle up, riding posture is upright and spot on, the bike height feels decent and comfortable. It is taller than your average bike but then not discomfort while you are mounted thanks to bike’s posture. As you throttle, the bike packs in a lot of punch, response is crisp. With a soft clutch and precise gear change the biking is trouble free even in peak city traffic, though you might initially take a little time to adjust to the bike posture, suspension and handling.

Thanks to the wide handle bar which allows you to flick the bike from corner to corner with minimal effort. Keep the throttle open and glide over the pot holes with comfort, courtesy great front suspension and lovely monoshock at the rear. It is also a great bike for adventurous off-road trails, it gives you the confidence to ride it hard even on hilly or rocky  terrains.

Impulse comes in 5 colors:

Impulse comes with a sticker price of  69,963 (ex-showroom, Mumbai)  With Impulse, Hero has opened up a new bike segment in India and with no competition in near sight, Impulse is for the adventurer within you. It is a refreshing new bike segment and it would impress the targeted enthusiast.

 

0 14 December, 2011 Cars & Bikes December 14, 2011

About the author

A passionate car and bike enthusiast from Bangalore, Sanjiv drives the fast and fair lane and fills our cup with his car and bike reviews.

View all articles by Sanjiv Vakharia

10 comments

  1. JA

    I’m seriously contemplating over getting this one.
    The sense of freedom and adventurous-fun is so appealing.
    I got a R15 recently. The sophistication and sharp dynamics of it requires purpose and respect. It doesn’t feel good (compared to how I think the Impulse would feel) to have a normal 15-20km ride on it.

    If someone has both the R15 and Impulse, Impulse would be like hanging out with friends in casual clothes.

    This is nothing against R15, it’s perfected engineering and razor-sharp.
    But the peppy-ness, ready-ness and light-ness of the Impulse nicely complements the strictness and sharpness of something like R15, a thoroughbred sports bike,

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