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.
Honda CBR 250R – To know the unknown
When Honda CBR 250R was launched during march, 2011, we could not review it for some reasons. Later with the new car launches grabbing our attention our focus shifted to the four wheelers and the CBR faded from our timeline. But then some bikes are not to be brushed off. We got couple of mails from our readers asking us to review the machine for them. When readers demand, we cannot say no. So we called the Honda guys and they gladly arranged our test vehicle.
Honda comes with its famed engineering reputation and Honda CBR 250R too promises that.
So here is the quarter liter mini-monster machine before us.
Yes, It has got an impressive standing. Let’s first visually gauge upon the bike.
Be it car or bike, the first thing I notice is the head especially the headlamps. So we have a Y-headlamp holding the main beam lights and flanked by the pilot lights and distinctly marked by black outlines. Neat.
The instrument panel is sportier with silver finish and blue LCD back-lit. It displays all the desired readings that you would look for.
The piece de resistance of the machine however is the twin sporty cowling giving the look and feel of the famed VFR 1200F (the comparison ends here as this is a baby when compared to the VFR monster) Still, the faring does not look odd on CBR unlike the many bikes that we see oflate in Indian roads with a mismatched fairing design.
Another notable sight is the bulky exhaust made in stainless steel and black coated.
Honestly, I was not too impressed by the honeycomb tail light. Surely, it could have been better designed for the overall design balance of the bike.
CBR250R sports a wide tubeless tyre in the front and rear. Can you see the ABS fitting in the bike? Much about it later.
The rear wheel.. 5 spoke mag wheels.
It has got a twin seating arrangement that not only adds to the style quotient but also adds an utility value. Did I hear you ask what utility? Check the next to next picture.
So you can store your bike documents in this small utility space down here..
CBR comes in three colors:
Ultimately the CBR250R impresses us with its bold yet strikingly good looks.
Now lets come to the heart of the matter – the engine, that beats the machine. The liquid cooled, 4 stroke DOHC single cylinder quarter liter engine (249.6 cc for the number lovers) delivers 25 bhp @ 8500 rpm and 22.9 Nm @ 7000 rpm. It has a 6 speed gear transmission and 1 down, 5 up gear shift pattern.
CBR250R is a wonderful sports tourer currently on Indian roads. For the uninitiated, to quote Wiki:
A Sport touring motorcycle is a type of motorcycle that blends the performance of a sport bike with the long-distance capabilities of a touring motorcycle, while providing comfort and relative safety to the rider.
When you soak into the saddle and clock a long distance on highways, you will agree to it. The bike is ergonomically well designed that you get a fatigue free long-ride and a refreshing cruise. The handle bar is relaxed and easy on your shoulders while seated on the comfortable seating. The engine responds effortlessly, it revs pretty easily through the low and mid ranges, that makes it good for city traffic as well. If you expect a loud knocking racer noise, you are on for a surprisingly silent and smooth engine. The CBR250 R can glide your way at top speed of 150 km/h. CBR 250R also gives you a headstart with 0-100km/h time at 8.6seconds.
The die hard daredevil racers might roll their eyes to the needs of combined Anti-lock Brake System but for an occasional racer in you and more importantly for regular riders with all the adrenalin minus the daredevilry, it works wonderfully well to stabilize the vehicle on sudden braking at rough conditions.
And thanks to PRGM-FI technology and intelligent design that ensured light weight as well as a mean form factor ensures a good mileage in its segment and you can expect 27-29 kmpl.
CBR 250R retails at Rs.168758 for the Standard model and at Rs. 197751 for the ABS version (both on-road prices, bangalore)
So our verdict? So who are the nearest competitors? Well, Bajaj has Pulsar 220, Hero motor corp has Karizma but strictly speaking on terms of class and performance the real challenger in this segment on Indian roads for CBR250R is Ninja 250R. We are not indulging on a shoot-off between both the vehicles now in this article but with Ninja 250R’s sticker price commanding up-north at 3L , for those looking for a sporty bike as well as a city bike, not to forget majority Indians look for a value for money package, Honda got everything right in CBR250R and no wonder, it has got good sales too so far.
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.