Hero Duet Review
Bike Tested: 2015 Hero Duet; Road Test No. 611
Price OTR Mumbai: Rs. 55,000/- (est.)
The Hero Duet is aimed at the commuter segment & does a fine job by offering good city performance
In order to increase their foothold in the scooter segment after leading in the commuter motorcycle segment, Hero MotoCorp has launched the Duet to target the lower priced 110cc scooters like the Honda Activa-i and the others. It will be positioned below the Maestro Edge which it been launched alongside. What the Indian bikemaker is trying to do with this vehicle is grab volumes. How well will they be able to do that? A quick ride helps us know more.
One look at the Duet and the uncanny resemblance to the Honda Activa can’t be ignored. From the front, it looks very much like the highest selling scooter in India and gets a metal body like it too. But to keep things different, Hero has added a dash of chrome to the front apron. Move on to the side and the design looks fresh thanks to the upward kink in the side panel. The scooter makes do with steel wheels in order to cut costs but gets telescopic front forks for added comfort. Things are nice at the rear too as the scooter gets a smart looking tail-light along with a black grab rail which gets space for carrying loads up to 10 kgs. The external fuel filler makes fuel fill ups more convenient. The new exhaust design looks different and the silver skid plate it gets adds to the flair.
The instrument cluster is a redesigned unit based on the one found in the Maestro Edge. It gets a service reminder, two trip metres along with side stand warning light as well which makes it pretty feature loaded. The silver cladding it gets might not be to everyone’s taste. The switch gear is the standard fare and one can’t expect much at this price although Hero has tried to go one up on rivals by adding a pass light switch which is particularly useful while overtaking at night. The font is a bit funky but is easy to read. Covering the instrument binnacle is a transparent plastic which makes it easy to clean.
The Hero Duet is powered by a new 110.9cc engine which produces 8.43 PS of power at 8000 RPM and 8.3 Nm of torque at 6500 RPM. When compared to other scooters in the segment, the power is a bit more but comes in at higher RPM. This makes the power delivery a bit different. The weight of the scooter is 116 kgs which bogs down the performance a bit, making it slower than the Maestro Edge which has the same engine. The higher weight however has an advantage and it adds to the stability of the scooter at higher speeds. Zipping in and out of traffic wouldn’t be a problem due to the zippy nature of this two-wheeler.
The Hero Duet’s higher weight hampers performance by a fair bit
The progress from 0-40 km/hr is good but things become a bit too dull post that and the scooter takes quite sometime to reach higher speeds. This makes overtaking on open roads a tedious task which requires planning. But seldom do people touch higher speeds inside the city due to traffic and road conditions. The tyres provide optimum grip which makes cornering a breeze and instills confidence in the rider. Since the power comes in at higher revs, higher accelerator input is needed to get things going fast.
The Hero Duet gets good riding dynamics and fares well in this department. The telescopic front suspension absorbs bumps very well and the ride quality is very good. The wide seat is comfortable for both the rider as well as the pillion. The brakes (get IBS) shudder a bit while braking from higher speeds and this might unsettle some riders. Ergonomically, the scooter is spot on with all the things at the right place. Throw the scooter around a corner and it takes it in its stride thanks to the grippy rubber and well-tuned suspension.
The Hero Duet is a good alternative in the segment it falls in since it comes with various nifty features such as storage area lamp, USB 3.0 charging socket and a rear luggage hook as well. Since the price is towards the lower side, it makes for a great option. It is smart on Hero’s part to introduce two variants of the scooter so as to satisfy the price conscious customers by removing certain features which everyone might not value. Having a metal body is a big plus in the crowded Indian cities wherein small dings and dents are unavoidable and metal panels can be re-tinkered. The Duet does make for a great choice in the segment it competes in.
The Hero Duet is very much similar to the Honda Activa but comes with telescopic suspension and some other additional features too which make it a very good alternative to the highest selling scooter of India.
* Telescopic suspension absorbs bumps well
* Hero’s widespread service network
* Nifty features like mobile charging port
What’s Not So Cool
* Weight is on the higher side
* Brakes feel shuddery at higher speeds