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.
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.
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.
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 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.