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2012 Auto Expo - Three new bikes from HeroMoto

Motorcycle festivities at the 2012 Auto Expo have been duly flagged off by Hero MotoCorp! Three new motorcycles have been showcased, prices of which will, however, be announced only at the time of the market launch (which won't be too far away). First off the grid is the Maestro variomatic scooter which was showcased alongside the Impulse at the time of Hero MotoCorp's re-branding unveiling in the UK.

The Maestro is an Activa-based scooter and employs the same engine as on the latter. It isn't as conservtive looking as the Activa, and that's a good thing! Hero MotoCorp has so far had just the Pleasure in its scooter portfolio and since that was heavily marketed as a product for the fairer sex, it made sense for the Activa platform to be used for a scooter for a wider audience. On the mechanical front, the Maestro doesn't seem to boast of any breakthrough bits - the forks aren't telescopic and there's surely no sign of a disc brake either. However, we do expect reworked underseat storage (already quite good on the Activa) and a redesigned meter cluster.

Next up is the Ignitor, which, by the looks of it, is a rebadged Honda Stunner. What the Stunner is to the Shine, the Ignitor will be to the Splendor and Glamour 125s. What's new on the Ignitor is a digital-analog meter console, tubeless tyres and an optional front disc brake apart from new decals. What's most interesting, however, is that since the Impulse 150 retails at Rs 66,800 (ex-showroom, Delhi), the Ignitor will have to be priced considerably lower. Which means the Ignitor could well undercut the Honda Stunner's pricing - an excellent proposition for what is (or has originally been) a fantastic 125cc motorcycle. We can't wait for the official launch!

Last but not the least is the Passion X Pro - yes, another in the range of Passion variants. This is one of the more substantial updates, however, since the X Pro is essentially a Passion with the Honda CB Twister's 110cc motor. In addition to that, the X Pro gets tank shrouds, new decals (yes, again!) and importantly, tubeless tyres and an optional front disc. Trust Hero MotoCorp to price the Passion X Pro much lower than the CB Twister, since the latter is priced at a premium owing to its outlandish bodywork - something the X Pro doesn't boast of.