The Impulse is, once you acquaint yourself with the softly sprung (a bit too soft, perhaps) front-end, and the braking (which isn’t) a very useful tool in urban conditions. Potholes are dismissed gracefully and you needn’t really brake for small speed breakers at all. Its 14 kg weight advantage over the CBZ X-treme translates into very perky performance in flowing traffic. The Ceat on/off-road spec tyres lean more towards ‘off’ than ‘on’ and if you fail to acknowledge that, you will, sooner than later, end up with bruised knees. It is also important that you favour the rear brake more, since a disc/knobbly/concrete-road combination is, generally, rather hostile. Once you have the motocross dynamics covered, you’re in charge of a motorcycle that strongly reads out to you, line by line, all that you’ve missed out on in all of your motorcycling years.
I enjoyed riding the bike in traffic, think it’s quite zippy, didn’t like the Unicorn-esque exhaust note one bit and thought a little more horsepower (two, even) would have added much more to the Impulse’s character. It’s quite at ease on the highway, the mildly authoritative riding position (upright, with wide handlebars) always reminding you of the motorcycle’s adventurous genre, as it holds a 100+ kph without pronounced signs of stress. Yes, it is an easy target for crosswinds and because the front-end is light, a determined yank at the ’bars even at triple-digit speeds (not that we endorse such behaviour) can see the front wheel lift off a few centimetres! And if the chaps at Hero Moto are reading this, Malcolm suggests you offer the motorcycle with a proper motocross handlebar (with a cross-beam) which prevents the handlebar from bending in the case of a spill – which is a regular entity of riding off-road, irrespective of experience.
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