Suzuki Hayate – Review
Suzuki does a dabangg with its newly launched 112 cc motorcycle Hayate. With this mass commuter bike Suzuki Motorcycle India Pvt. Ltd would be hoping to carve its pie out of the 100-110 cc segment which contributes the major sales numbers in the Indian bike segment. It also fills the gap for Suzuki where it does not have a presence in under 125cc segment so far which is dominated by Hero MotorCorp, followed by Bajaj and TVS and also has a new challenger in Honda’s offering ‘Dream Yuga’.
Can Suzuki’s Hayate take on the biggies and deliver a Dabangg super hit with the common man? Let’s find out.
Ask any true-blooded Indian automobile companies (read: Hero Motorcorp, Bajaj and TVS) and they would vouch that mass commuter segment is where money and volume is, though the high-end bikes gives the premium brand image and the much-needed brand image and buzz. The vast Indian middle class population cannot be discounted and also the need for a good commuter bikes for young executives and marketing people. With aspirations increasing , it becomes increasingly more difficult to please the segment. You need a right mix of good looks, good mileage, good life as well as value for money to see the sales figures surge ahead.
Look wise, Suzuki Hayate definitely looks pleasing. Just because it’s a 12.8 cc motorcycle and aimed at the entry-level segment does not mean it should be de-glamorized, definitely Suzuki does not seem to believe so. Hayate is decent in looks and this workhorse from Suzuki sports simple but aesthetic designing and style inspired by Suzuki’s own Zeus and Sling Shot bikes.
Hayate which in Japanese translates to ‘fresh breeze’ is characterized by a good build quality, robust yet basic design, a dash of sportiness in an urbanized elements. Living up to its name’s Japanese meaning, it spreads in a fresh breeze of styling in the mass commuter segment. Understated yet elegant.
Sports a splendid clear head light now a benchmark of Suzuki series of bikes. The design element follows the lines of its other models in India.
Being a mass commuter bike catering to entry-level segment, you get a basic instrument cluster with all analogue meter that gives you the basic readings. Notice the wavy design around the instrument panel, that is one small thoughtful addition that breaks the monotony of bland design.
The rear is minimalistic yet well-rounded and looks nice.
The wavy pattern on the plastic continues to the side where the battery nests.
The exhaust looks sleek and well-defined in an all-black powder coat.
Hayate is equipped with a telescopic, coil Spring, oil damped front suspension and 5 step adjustable swing arm rear shock suspension.
The good looks flows into the wheels too with this 5 spoke aluminium cast wheels.
Well rounded, sturdy – it did catch my attention!
The under-seat storage for your bike papers and tool kit. It could be unlocked through a key in the rear end of the bike below the seat.
Powering the Suzuki Hayate is an air-cooled, 4-stroke, 1-cylinder, SOHC engine that delivers a modest 8.4 BHP. The engine too is coated in black like most body parts and the all-black gives a premium feel to the bike.
Pleasantly, Hayate does come with both kick-start only and a kickstart plus electric start option. Press the starter button and the Hayate comes to life with a mild note. Gear it up and thrust the throttle, it surges ahead smoothly. A good road grip and an easy handling makes the bike a truly commuter friendly. Add to it good cornering ability, good seating and stance. For a 112 cc bike, it behaves well in all counts and performs well.
Suzuki Hayate Colors:
Hayate is available in choice of 5 colors: Metallic lush green, Sparkle black, metallic flint grey, Pearl mirage white, Pearl Mira Red.
Suzuki Hayate mileage, pricing, and the verdict:
With Hayate, you can expect a decent mileage of 65-70 Kmpl. Suzuki Hayate is available at Delhi at ex-showroom price of Rs 38,212 for kick-start model and Rs.40,212 for self start model (Bangalore ex-showroom price of Rs. 40,590 for kick-start only model and Rs.42,590 for self start model) and at this price it certainly is the cheapest Japanese bike round the corner. But Suzuki has to ward off tough competition from Hero’s Splendor and Bajaj’s Discover series and Honda’s newly launched Dream Yuga. It’s a heated up market and eventually like in Bollywood no one can predict if a model would make a box office hit like Dabangg. Let’s wait and watch for the common man’s verdict. All we can say is Suzuki has a good addition to its portfolio.
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.
Yamaha YZF R15 Version 2.0 – review
Yamilicious! Here come’s the track blazer and city slicker, which got graduated, got revamped and relaunched in the new avatar and it is the hot Yamaha YZF R15 version 2.0
Now let’s do a quick rewind of the earlier version of R15, version 1.0 of R15 marked the new beginning for the skilled riders who wanted to upgrade to an urban sport bike and it helped push the amateur bikers fall in love with the sporty looks and track worthy riding with comforts of a ever day use sports bike. There were few glitches and scope for improvement and thankfully Yamaha was quick to respond and unleashed version 2.0 with a perfection mantra.
There were quiet a few letdown’s the earlier version faced and aesthetically speaking the rear of the bike lacked a proportion when compared to the overall good styling of this city sleek racer bike. Now with the version 2.0, Yamaha has almost solved all the nagging issues and has gone ahead and packed few more goodies too.
So what is the thumps up in the version 2.o on visual note? Yamaha truly has created an urban super sport bike in version 2.0, a class apart its competitors in speed, style and design. On a quick glance, the first few visually noticeable changes in the new R15 are a much sharper tail with impressive LED tail lamp which compliments the bike’s sporty look, a single piece seat of the earlier version is now replaced by a more sportier, trendier split seating and the rear number plate hanger which borrows styling cues from the bigger brother YZF R1. Slight changes have been made in the front fairings also which gives the bike a degree of cosmetic freshness.
The slight design tweaks in the middle cowl means improved aerodynamic performance at higher speeds.
R15 sports a fatter rear tyre which is 130 mm wide and also gives an extra shot of masculinity and sportiness to the bike.
And the upward angled silencer adds to the high performance bike image plus the fresh design element of the silencer protector adds value to the sleekness of the bike.
And visual sore note? The rear tyre hugger is a put off as well as the awefull looking saree guard. And the lack of grab rails at the rear end counts too.
But overall R15 design is youthful, sleek, trendy and sporty.
The heart of the bike: Firing the bike is a liquid cooled engine, a first of its kind in Indian made models. So we got a 149.8 cc liquid cooled, 4 stroke, SOHC, 4 valve engine type delivering 17 PS @ 8,500 rpm and max torque of 15 Nm @ 7,500 rpm. What it serves is a stable performance, reduce vibrations, and offer a high quality ride.
Ride & feel of the 2.0:
As I saddle up all is forgotten, the seating position is impressive like mounting on a fine bred race horse. The R15 now looks and feels more of a sure-shot sports bike, the handle bar and foot peg positions remains the same and this gives a better hold on the bike with improved straight line stability.
Brakes too have got noticeable upgradation for better performance along with an aluminum swing arm that gives good stability and feel on high speeds thanks to its long swing arm design.
Plus now R15 sports a 130 mm wide radial rear tyre and a large 220 mm diameter rear disc to match the tyre brake which immensely helps in the grip, stability and holds much better road support than before. YZF-R15 version 2.0 is equipped with a linked type monocross suspension that delivers a comfortable ride and a cushioning performance.
R15 comes in 3 colors – racing blue, sunset red and midnight black.
Click here to check out the new 2013 color variants
The R15 now sports a lethal combination of comfort,maneuverability and stability on virtually all types of situations, it provides a sporty ride on city roads and is fun to race on long isolated stretches and tracks with its obedient handling, decent acceleration, good top speed, great handling around bends and sharp turns. Infact R15 easily smokes every other bike out of track in 150 cc segment and stamps itself as the sport bike’s enthusiasts choice in this category. Yes, you cannot compare it with the likes of CBR or a Ninja for that matter but R15 surely never lets you down and a total value for money bike in that category and for the price tag of Rs.1,11,500/ (On road price, Bangalore)
Honda CB Twister – review
If you want to be a real heavy weight player in Indian motor bike market, you cannot ignore the mass segment. It is where the real number games are played. Hero Honda with it’s flagship model Splendor has been the the market leader in the mass segment for a long time. Now, Honda Motorcycle & Scooter India Pvt. Ltd. (HMSI), the 100% owned 2-wheeler subsidiary of the Honda Motor Company, Japan has decided to take on its Indian partner in this popular segment with its latest offering CB Twister.
When someone says sub 110 cc category, what comes in mind is a boring, plain looking, high mileage bike. Time to unwind such image because Twister is a real head turner in its category. Living up to the style aspirations of Indian customers, Honda has taken a cue from its international stunner Honda CB1000R and has adapted it to the Indian price and performance sensibilities.
First the colors. The bike comes in 5 different colors – Black, blue, green, yellow and red (Pearl night star black, Pearl fiji blue, candy palm green, electric yellow metallic, pearl siena red)
Personally, I liked Yellow and Red. Black was kind of normal.
Now let’s come to the body. Honda CB Twister has set a new benchmark in styling in its category. The look is an outright stunner. Very aerodynamic, a muscular tank, a sporty look, screenless front cowl, trendy sharp rear with a compact muffler, unique grab rail design and a sporty silencer gives a peppy, eye candy look to the bike.
The tech features:
- CB Twister is packed with a 4 stroke, air cooled 109 cc engine delivering 9 bhp @ 8000 rpm.
- The bike weighs 108 kg and has a good ground clearance.
- The fuel tank capacity is 8 litres.
- Tubeless tyres (both front and bike)
- Trendy alloy wheels
- The top end comes even with a disc brake (but I am not sure if a 110 cc bike really needs a disc brake)
- It has both kick start as well as self start.
- The instrumental panel is conventional and basic.
The bike is very aerodynamic and has a very good seating posture that aids in a comfortable ride. The mounting of the engines and the design, Mass forward proportion as Honda mentions, adds stability to the bike and instills confidence in you while riding. Honda CB Twister will be the best in class in terms of acceleration & pick up. In fact, I was surprised with the great pick up and acceleration the 109 cc engine gave. Even while cornering, the bike is smooth and gives a confident stability and command over it.
The mileage: This is the more important factor of the bikes in this class, company claims a 70 Km per litre in city riding conditions which is good enough.
Price: The crucial factor when it comes to this segment. The base model starts at Rs. 41,850 and the top end model is priced at Rs.44,850 (Ex-showroom price, Delhi). With the looks and the performance the machine offers it is quiet a good deal.
- No provision for helmet lock in the rear.
- No parking lights.
- The top end comes with a disc brake but I feel they could have included a digital instrument panel instead.
GingerChai Verdict: Honda has given a new definition to the base segment of Indian motor bikes. The bike is definitely the most stylish bike of its class. The performance of the bike is also very good and with the brand name of Honda, it is definitely a bike to be taken very serious.