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HERO MOTOCORP

HERO MOTOCORP PLEASURE

What's it about?

The Pleasure is Hero MotoCorp's gearless scooter targeted mainly at the fairer sex, if it's fair to say so in these times of strict gender indiscrimination policing. It's light, looks surprisingly fresh for what is essentially a six year old scooter, and its tried and tested Honda-sourced motor (from the older Activa/Dio) is peppy and a delight to motor through the urban cut and thrust. While we were always unsure about how well a yellow Pleasure would go down with college dudes, Hero MotoCorp (Hero Honda, at that time) saved us some effort by coming up with 'Why should boys have all the fun?'. Fair enough, we think. And no more 'fair' puns.

FOR: Performance, compact dimensions

AGAINST: Why should girls have all the (gearless) fun?

POWERTRAIN

Displacement: 102cc
Power: 6.7 bhp@7000 rpm
Torque: 0.8 kgm@5000 rpm
Brakes: 130mm drum (f/r)
Tyres: 3.50 x 10 (f/r)
Saddle height: 795mm
Fuel tank capacity: 5 litres
Kerb weight: 104 kg
Price: Rs 44, 440 (ex-showroom, Mumbai)

HERO MOTOCORP MAESTRO

What's it about?

To put it loosely, the Maestro is Hero MotoCorp's Activa. While the Pleasure still employs the older Honda 102cc engine, the Maestro gets the new 109cc unit with 0.4 bhp more than the Honda siblings. That, and completely new bodywork which is very appealing, without being outstanding in any way whatsoever. Build quality is really good and it's comfy, with lots of storage space available. Given its stats, we're certain the Maestro will build up an Activa-esque waiting period.

FOR: Looks, build quality, space, performance

AGAINST: No disc option, and why can't we have telescopic front forks?

Displacement: 109cc
Power: 8 bhp@7500 rpm
Torque: 0.9 kgm@5500 rpm
Brakes: 130mm drum with Combined Braking System (f/r)
Tyres: 90/100 R10 (f/r)
Seat height: NA
Fuel tank capacity: 5.3 litres
Kerb weight: NA
Price: Rs 50,183 (ex-showroom, Mumbai)

Read about the Honda Activa on page 3>>

 

HONDA MOTORCYCLE AND SCOOTER INDIA

HONDA ACTIVA

What's it about?

The Honda Activa looks like it has no airs about it, but is the grand-daddy of the Indian gearless scooter market. It subtly redefined the scooter market in the country and is definitely the most successful two-wheeler in HMSI's portfolio yet. Conservative yet appealing looks, a robust, frugal motor, good ride quality and a reputation for being bullet-proof (well, quite!) - if you ask more from a scooter, you're just greedy! We wish HMSI would do something about that excruciatingly long waiting period, though. 

FOR: All-round performance, comfort

AGAINST: No telescopic forks, no disc option

Displacement: 109cc
Power: 7.6 bhp@7500 rpm
Torque: 0.9 kgm@5500 rpm
Brakes: 130mm drum with Combined Braking System (f/r)
Tyres: 90/100 R10 (f/r)
Saddle height: 765mm
Fuel tank capacity: 5.3 litres
Kerb weight: NA
Price: Rs 49,520 (ex-showroom, Mumbai)

Read about the Honda Dio on page 4>>

 

HONDA DIO

What's it about?

Honda's 'Motoscooter' is all grown-up and it's mostly for the better. The new Dio looks less sporty than the one it has replaced, yet is clearly the best looking scoot in, this side of the Vespa, in the country today. The new 109cc engine is peppy yet fuel-efficient, there is a good amount of space on offer, and the build quality has only improved – which is saying a lot. It's a perfect balance of style and substance, the new Dio, and we think you can't go wrong with one. Can we have one in loud, Repsol colours, please?

FOR: Looks, performance, comfort

AGAINST: No telescopic forks, no disc option, doesn't look as sharp as the older one

Displacement: 109cc
Power: 7.6 bhp@7500 rpm
Torque: 0.9 kgm@5500 rpm
Brakes: Drum (f/r)
Tyres: 90/100 R10 (f/r)
Saddle height: 765mm
Fuel tank capacity: 5.3 litres
Kerb weight: NA
Price: Rs 46,852 (ex-showroom, Mumbai)

Read about the Honda Aviator on page 5>>

 

HONDA AVIATOR

What's it about?

The Aviator is the Activa is the Dio, right? Wrong. Yes, the motor is the same, but the Aviator offers a lot more than the other two Hondas. It's designed to feel slightly more 'premium', and that explains the front disc on the DLX variant, making it the only Honda scoot to offer one. It is also the only Honda to offer telescopic front forks and at 6 litres, has the larger fuel tank too. It doesn't look as exciting as the new Dio, however, and that's a given since it's around half a decade old now. Get one if you like it – it's hard to fault.

FOR: Space, front-disc on DLX

AGAINST: Looks less appealing than the Vespa or even the Dio!

Displacement: 109cc
Power: 8 bhp@8000 rpm
Torque: 0.9 kgm@5500 rpm
Brakes: 190mm disc(DLX), 130mm drum(STD)/130 mm drum (f/r)
Tyres: 90/90 R12 (f), 90/100 R10 (f/r)
Saddle height: 790mm
Fuel tank capacity: 6 litres
Kerb weight: NA
Price: Rs 50,619 (STD)/Rs 56,109 (DLX) (ex-showroom, Mumbai)

Read about the Mahindra Flyte on page 6>>

 

MAHINDRA 2WHEELERS

MAHINDRA FLYTE

What's it about?

The Flyte is our favourite from all of Mahindra's scooters. Originally a Sym product, the Flyte has around for a while now. At the heart of the matter is a 124.6cc, 8 bhp single-cylinder (what else?!) motor that is very tractable in the city and quite fuel-efficient, too. It's loaded with features – a front-filling fuel cap, telescopic front forks, a versatile key (opens the fuel cap while still in the ignition slot)

and other value additions. It's either that good, or all the marketing flair on the website is rubbing off on us. Coming to which, 'Lavender Groove', 'Jade Charisma' and 'Black Mystique'? Really, Mahindra?

FOR: Performance, features, fairer-sex friendly

AGAINST: Can you take someone with a Lavender Groove scooter seriously?

Displacement: 124.6cc
Power: 8 bhp@7000 rpm
Torque: 0.9 kgm@5500 rpm
Brakes: 130mm drum (f/r)
Tyres: 3.50 x 10 (f/r)
Saddle height: 760mm
Fuel tank capacity: 4.5 litres
Kerb weight: 106 kg
Price: Rs 42,493 (ex-showroom, Maharashtra)

Read about the Mahindra Duro DZ on page 7>>

 

MAHINDRA DURO DZ

What's it about?

The Duro is the quintessential commuter. It's a no-frills, no-nonsense, no-motorcycle-ambitions scooter and if that appeals to you, you can't do better than get your hands on a Duro. Mahindra 2Wheelers has recently launched the Duro DZ, a refreshed version of the Duro. For those who joined the party late, the Duro is essentially a Kinetic Nova – which means it's nearly a decade old now (that explains the styling) – with a 124.6cc engine that is common to all other Mahindra scooters. If you're a two-wheeler enthusiast, stay away. This one's for commuters, strictly.

FOR: Fuel-efficiency, range, price

AGAINST: Boring, dated

Displacement: 124.6cc
Power: 8 bhp@7000 rpm
Torque: 0.9 kgm@5500 rpm
Brakes: 130mm drum (f/r)
Tyres: 3.50 x 10 (f/r)
Saddle height: 790mm
Fuel tank capacity: 6.5 litres
Kerb weight: 114 kg
Price: Rs 45, 945 (ex-showroom, Maharashtra)

Read about the Mahindra Rodeo RZ on page 8>>

 

MAHINDRA RODEO RZ

A slightly more grown-up Flyte is what the Rodeo RZ is. Yes, the 'RZ' suffix is a recent addition to the Rodeo and it's for the better. The Rodeo looks smart, with well-finished bodywork and unlike the Rodeo, has an independent front mudguard as opposed to just an apron. Mahindra 2Wheelers has designed the Rodeo keeping in mind 'young, urban couples' and it sure has the looks to justify the classification. It's pretty feature-packed too – a tachometer, trip-meter, clock, front fuel-filler, and a 22-litre illuminated storage bay, to name a few – and we think it'll put up a fair fight against Suzuki's Swish and also the new Vespa.

FOR: Performance, features

AGAINST: Not as striking as the Dio/Swish

Displacement: 124.6cc
Power: 8.04 bhp@7000 rpm
Torque: 0.91 kgm@5500 rpm
Brakes: Drum (f/r)
Tyres: 90/100 R10 (f/r)
Saddle height: 780mm
Fuel tank capacity: NA
Kerb weight: NA
Price: Mumbai prices to be announced. (Rs 50,710, ex-showroom, Tamil Nadu)

Read about the Suzuki Access on page 9>>

 

SUZUKI

SUZUKI ACCESS 125

What's it about?

The quickest, fastest scooter in the country is also the one that looks the most conservative. Nevertheless, the Access 125 feels solid, and its performance is really worth bragging about. It has been Suzuki's most successful product in the country and rightly so. All-metal bodywork means it's on the heavy side, but this is a bonus for urban load-lugging enthusiasts since rattles and squeaks don't come to the Access very easily. And while we longed for Suzuki to make a lighter, non-metal bodied Access, they went out and made one!

FOR: Performance, durability, build quality

AGAINST: Looks, slim dealer presence

Displacement: 124cc
Power: 8.58 bhp@7000 rpm
Torque: 1 kgm@5500 rpm
Brakes: 120mm drum (f/r)
Tyres: 90/100 R10  (f/r)
Saddle height: 780mm
Fuel tank capacity: 6 litres
Kerb weight: 115 kg
Price: Rs 49,687 (ex-showroom, Mumbai)

Read about Suzuki Swish on page 10>>

 

SUZUKI SWISH 125

What's it about?

Our prayers have been answered! A plastic (or whichever scientific name they have for the material) bodied Access 125 is what the Swish is, and it's gone one up on the Access' many virtues. The youthful, refreshing (What is this? Talcum powder?) bodywork should appeal to a wider segment of the market and it's got the cycle parts and performance to make you grin every time you're on-board. It recently beat the Honda Dio and the Mahindra Duro in our 3-scooter shoot-out and the only downside to its super performance is its (slightly) low fuel-efficiency. If somewhere inside you is a boy racer, the Swish is the one to buy.

FOR: Performance, looks, handling

AGAINST: No disc option

Displacement: 124cc
Power: 8.58 bhp@7000 rpm
Torque: 1 kgm@5500 rpm
Brakes: 120mm drum (f/r)
Tyres: 90/100 R10  (f/r)
Saddle height: 780mm
Fuel tank capacity: 6 litres
Kerb weight: 110 kg
Price: Rs 50,549 (ex-showroom, Mumbai)

 

TVS

TVS SCOOTY PEP+/STREAK

What's it about?

Aimed purely at girls, the TVS Scooty Pep+ has been around for a long time. You thought the polka dotted one was outrageous? The new one comes with flowers... Anyway, the Scooty Pep+ is available in an incredible 99 shades, starting from 'Tendence Green' (yuck!) to 'Rosso Shiraz' (err) going up to 'Rouge Babylone' (just stop it already!). That said, the Pep+ is the only scooter in the country (or maybe even in the world) to offer cleverly mounted trainer wheels – indispensable to the thousands of lasses fresh out of high school. The Streak is based on the same platform and has specs identical to the Pep+ but is targeted at the less girly, er, girls. It's priced slightly above the Pep+ and boasts an external fuel-filler cap and a mobile charger (of course...) as standard.

FOR: Girls will like it a lot

AGAINST: Girls will like the Vespa a lot more...

Displacement: 87.8cc

Power: 4.9 bhp@6500 rpm
Torque: 0.5 kgm@4000 rpm
Brakes: 110mm drum (f/r)
Tyres: 3.00 x 10 (f/r)/90/90 R10 (Streak)
Saddle height: NA
Fuel tank capacity: 5/4.7 litres (Streak)
Kerb weight: 95/96 kg (Streak)
Price: 48,600/50,200 (Streak)

Read about the TVS Wego on page 12>>

 

TVS WEGO

What's it about?

The Wego won our Scooter of the Year award in 2011 and it was absolutely deserving of the title, regardless of the fact that it was the only new scooter launched in that year. It's TVS' first big-ish scooter in a long time, breaking away from the Scooty platform, and its handling, stability and performance are some of the highlights of its many virtues. With Honda, Suzuki and Piaggio having introduced exciting new scooters to their stables recently, we're hoping TVS takes the Wego a step ahead. 

FOR: Stability, performance

AGAINST: Not as exciting as the Swish, not as contemporary looking as the Dio

Displacement: 109.7cc
Power: 8 bhp@7500 rpm
Torque: 0.8 kgm@5500 rpm
Brakes: 130mm drum (f/r)
Tyres: 90/90 R12 (f/r)
Saddle height: NA
Fuel tank capacity: 5 litres
Dry weight: 104 kg
Price: Rs 46,661 (ex-showroom, Mumbai)

Read about the Piaggio Vespa on page 13>>

 

PIAGGIO

VESPA

What's it about?

Piaggio is marketing the Vespa as a lifestyle product, and we think they're on the right track. You see, while the Vespa is nothing extra-ordinary in terms of riding characteristics, it commands a bit of badge value that pushes its sticker price up into the region of a few interesting 150cc motorcycles. Still, we're sold on the incredibly gorgeous looks – it'll add some comic relief parked next to the ageing ZX 12R, and the new Multistrada you just bought. Alright, before we get carried away, let us tell you the Vespa is dynamically sound, has the go to match the show (at 9.9 bhp, it's the most powerful scoot in the country), has an impressive spec sheet, and has many cosmetic details that quite justify the 'premium' money Piaggio is asking for it. If it fits your budget, get one. And remember, the brighter the shade, the better it'll look.

FOR: It's a Vespa!

AGAINST: It's expensive!

Displacement: 125cc
Power: 9.9 bhp@7500 rpm
Torque: 1.08 kgm@6000 rpm
Brakes: Drum (f/r)
Tyres: 90/100 R10 (f/r)
Saddle height: 770mm
Fuel tank capacity: 8 litres
Kerb weight: NA
Price: Rs 68,666 (ex-showroom, Mumbai)