Hero Impulse : First Ride
A whole new dawn beckons Indian motorcycling with the launch of India's first properly designed and developed on-/of- road motorcycle. Not since Bajaj Auto introduced the Kawasaki Eliminator to herald cruisers into motorcycling mainstream in the country has there been a move to embrace different genres of bikes, until Hero MotoCorp came up with its bid to upgrade its huge Splendor / Passion customer base on to more Impulse-ive things, says Adil Jal Darukhanawala after his first ride on this dual-purpose pussycat
At first I didn’t know what to say, especially as news began filtering through from London, where Hero MotoCorp had a high profile debut. Among many things, the firm, now shed of its Honda partnership tag, was actually getting ready to usher in a brand new Honda-designed and developed motorcycle on its own! Adding to the myriad confusion was also the fact that the new named entity was pitching itself into an altogether new segment of the Indian bike market which not many had wanted to get into. Especially not after the ill-fated Kawasaki-Bajaj SX100 Enduro of the early 1990s! However, that was then and much has happened to motorcycling in India over the last two decades to warrant a motorcycle which ideally should have been popping out of every decent bike maker’s product portfolio!
Say hello to the Hero Impulse which is based totally on the Brazilian market Honda Bros. However, here in India, it is the Impulse for all wannabe biking Heroes who want to feel that a bike with go-anywhere capability is what will make them rise in esteem. I say this with nary a snide thought or such because this is a very canny move from Hero MotoCorp and one which it had debated and debated, going by the need to upgrade its existing customer base more at home on 100cc Splendors and 125cc Passion Plus. The ability to give them a mellow upgrade while taking them higher in their self esteem was always something which spoke volumes whenever the firm did consumer research and that is how the Impulse has turned out. Before I give you my rationale on this, let’s go straight in and dive to the bare bones of this spanking new motorcycle.
I have always maintained that dual purpose on-/off-road motorcycles are the SUVs of the two-wheeled world. And while some may accuse me of stretching this line of thought a tad too much, let me also quantify that over 99 per cent of Scorpios sold in the country feature rear-wheel drive only! As such the visual aspect dominates the senses and this is the bedrock on which Hero MotoCorp rests its case for the Impulse. It has the looks, the stance and the structure and this is most welcome. Starting out with a single downtube frame which is splayed into two bottom tubes running underneath the engine, this unit is made of carefully selected high tensile steel tubing to allow rigidity and strength where it matters the most – at the steering head stock and also at the swingarm mount pivot plus at the top mount for the monoshock.
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