Scooters is one segment where World’s largest two wheeler manufacturer Hero Motocorp hasn’t seen the kind of success it would like too. Erstwhile partner Honda is clearly the leader here largely owing to the stupendous success of the Activa. But Hero has been at it presenting new offerings time and again in a bid to expand its reach. They already have scooters ranging from 100 cc to 125 cc and now the company has launched two new scooters in two very lucrative segments. While the ever popular Pleasure now gets into the 110cc segment as the Pleasure+ the Maestro Edge too gets an upgrade and gets into the 125cc segment. We rode both the scooters to analyse how they stack up against some tough competition.
The Pleasure has been preferred choice for women riders across the country for a very long time. “Why should boys have all the fun” indeed became an iconic tagline. Now in a bid to make it more appealing the company has made its design more likeable and added more features. It has got a design that is retro, sporty and appealing all at the same time.
The successful Pleasure brand is now entering the 110cc segment as the powerful and stylish Pleasure+ 110. A new retro front, sleek tail lamp and a dual texture seat are some attributes that were earlier not seen on the Pleasure. Convenience is a key in a scooter especially when it is targeted at the female buyer and the Pleasure plus gets many features that subscribe to that. These include an open glove box below the handlebar and just below that a USB charger. The scooter also gets a new backlit speedometer with fuel and side stand indicator along with LED boot lamp.
As it gets a bigger more powerful engine the new Pleasure+ is definitely more fun to ride than before. The 110cc air cooled produces a power output of 8 bhp rpm and a good torque of 8.7 Nm. What also helps in a better performance is the light weight of the scooter. At 101 kgs the power to weight ratio works well for the new Pleasure+. A ground clearance of 155 mm and a fuel tank capacity of 4.8 liters ensure the scooter can run for longer without getting bogged down by obstacles. The only downer is the 10 inch wheels which mean the kind of stability you’re looking for may be missing in a few situations. But it does reach the speed of 75 kmph quite comfortably. And an integrated braking system too helps in a more confident ride.
The Pleasure+ comes in sheet metal wheel & cast wheel variants. Prices start at Rs 47,300 (ex-showroom) which makes it good value for money.
Hero Maestro Edge 125
There’s no dearth of 125cc scooters in the market now and Hero too wants a share of the pie in this growing segment. The company already had the Destini 125 out there and now they’ve given it an upgrade to the Maestro Edge to make it a part of the segment as well. Muscular design is a hallmark of the scooter as it gets LED signature on the front, LED tail lamp, front wrinklers & textured seats. Some practical features include external fuel filling, USB charger remote key opening. And an 18 liter under seat storage capacity is an impressive figure. A digital analogue meter with side stand indicator also adds to the nice ergonomics on the scooter.
The biggest claim to fame of the Maestro Edge 125 is that it is the first and only scooter in the country to have the fuel injection technology. Its engine produces a power output of 9.1 bhp and maximum torque of 10.2 Nm. Hero says at 110 kgs the scooter delivers the best-in-class power to weight ratio. This new Maestro also gets Hero’s famed i3S technology but that’s with the Carbureted variant. Here the power figure is slightly inferior with the engine delivering an output of 8.7 bhp while the torque figure stays the same at 10.2 Nm. But the advantage of course is the Idle-stop-start system that ensures higher fuel efficiency. In this technology the engine is automatically turned off when the scooter comes to a standstill thereby saving fuel. A fuel tank capacity of 5.5 liters just means the Maestro Edge will run longer than most of its rivals.
12 inch wheels on the front and 10 inch ones are the rear provides the much needed stability on a machine that likes to go fast. The suspension with a monoshock at the rear is tuned well to take on the demands thrown by the Indian road conditions. Prices start at Rs 58,500 (ex-showroom) for carbureted variants while the Fi variant is priced at Rs 62,700 (ex-showroom). These attributes make this one a sensible alternative to the Suzuki Access and the Honda Activa 125.
Shams Naqvi is an anchor/producer for the News X motor show Living Cars