When Hero and Honda went their separate ways, it was decided that the new company, Hero MotoCorp, would continue to share technology and products with the Japanese manufacturer till 2014.
The Ignitor is the product of that decision. Basically a rebadged Stunner, the Ignitor benefits from the merits of the Honda, and that is good news for the bike was always a sprightly machine.
And good looking too. Mixing a healthy amount of sportiness with practicality, the Ignitor is a machine that is intended to be the trusted mount of the urban traffic warrior. A quarter fairing holds the headlight and instrumentation while plastic panels continue right up to the tail end of the bike. This is a aesthetically pleasing motorcycle and there is no doubt about it.
The 125cc, 11 bhp motor - borrowed from the Shine, but with a minute bump up in power - along with its 5-speed transmission, have been tuned for the city. Keeping that in mind, the powertrain is in its element at low and mid-range revs to combat stop and go traffic conditions. Top end grunt is limited, but then again, that aspect is hardly explored in the city.
Ride and handling are apt, with a wonderful suspension soaking up the bumps efficiently. Around corners, the Ignitor is fun, but push hard, and the suspension shows it's softish bias. Quick changes of direction on the Hero are effortless, just what is needed to sift through spaces in traffic snarls. A rather upright riding position and a well padded seat are a perfect combination for extended periods of time spent on the bike.
Build quality is adequate with the plastics displaying the ability to age gracefully. However, the switchgear could be a tad better and the bike really needs a tachometer in keeping with its sporty aspirations.
Available in drum and disc brake options, something the Stunner makes do without, I really recommend that you go in for the one with the better front brake. And yes, that means the one with the disc brake at the fore. The cheapest Ignitor, the drum braked variant, is priced at Rs. 58,638 ex-showroom, Mumbai, while the top end disc brake version will set you back by Rs. 60,740, also ex-showroom, Mumbai.
For a more in-depth road test of the Ignitor, check out the September 2012 issue of Motoring that will hit the stands shortly.