Offering a curvaceous styling, the new Hero Duet offers several segment-leading features and will come with an extremely competitive pricing undercutting its rivals.
Hero MotoCorp’s second launch in the scooter space this year will be the Duet scooter that will go on sale in a few weeks. Unlike the Maestro Edge that is sporty and targeted predominantly at male buyers, the Duet looks more sedate and is targeted at a wider audience base. While Hero has been very clever in offering two versatile products to address a wider demographic, can the Duet stand out in a heavily crowded segment with several ‘me too’ scooters? We do a quick specification comparison to see how Hero’s latest offering fares against its rivals.
Design – Unlike the Maestro Edge, the Hero Duet get softer lines and the front fascia looks much like its main competitor the Honda Activa. In fact, all scooters in this comparison share a neutral design language keeping things safe in order to appeal to riders of all ages and gender. That said, while the Duet feels bulky in appearance, the Activa-i, TVS Wego and Suzuki Let’s get neatly styled side panels that partially expose the engine and add a tad bit of a sporty touch. Nonetheless, the new Duet does bring some freshness to the segment with the dual finished rear view mirrors, gloss black finished grab rail and chrome garnish that lend a young appearance.
Dimensions – The TVS Wego is the longest scooter in this comparison with a length of 1834 mm, while the new Duet is only marginally shorter at 1830 mm. The smallest scooter is the Activa-i measuring 1795 mm while the Let’s comes in third measuring 1805 mm. In terms of wheelbase too, the Wego is significantly ahead of its rivals measuring 1275 mm, while the Hero Duet is a distant third at 1245 mm. That said, all scooters get an upright seating position but tall riders will be particularly happy with the Duet given its 770 mm seat height, which is 5 mm more than the Activa-i as well as Let’s and on par with the TVS Wego.
Features – The Hero Duet comes with mobile charging, remote seat and fuel lid opening, pass switch, service due indicator, external fuel filler, side stand indicator and twin parking lamps. In comparison, only the TVS Wego comes close to the Duet in terms of offering some of the mentioned goodies. Both the Hero and TVS scooters also get an all-metal body shell which is a boon for our dent prone roads. In addition, the Wego offers all-digital instrument cluster and 12-inch alloy wheels (only scooter to get them here) and also gets an optional disc brake.
The Honda Activa-i and Suzuki Let’s have little to boast, but the former does get Combi-Braking System (CBS) for improved braking power, which Hero too has introduced on the Duet and Maestro Edge calling it Integrated Braking System (IBS). The Duet also benefits from telescopic front forks and shock absorbers at the rear that offer a pliant ride, better than the Activa’s hydraulic shocks (front and rear) and softer than the Let’s stiff suspension setup.
Powertrain – The underdog in this comparison, the Suzuki Let’s shines brightly with the best power figures producing 8.7 HP at 7500 RPM and 9 Nm of torque at 6500 RPM from an 112.8cc engine. With a kerb weight of just 98 kgs, the smallest Suzuki scooter is quick off the line. The new Duet gets a newly developed 110.9cc engine producing 8.31 HP and 8.3 Nm of torque, but output comes in late at 8000 RPM and 6500 RPM respectively. The scooter also carries a higher kerb weight of 116 kgs over rivals, which isn’t exactly performance friendly.
The Honda Activa-i and TVS Wego are closely matched in performance with the Japanese scooter producing slightly better torque, but loses out due to the age old suspension setup when it comes to riding dynamics. The Wego is more fun on tarmac with decent power-to-weight ratio weighing 108 kgs. In terms of fuel efficiency, the Duet leads the way returning 63.8 km/l followed by the Let’s, Wego and Activa-i returning 63 km/l, 62 km/l and 60 km/l respectively. Real world figures vary though with each scooter returns between 45-50 km/l.
Verdict – While the Honda badge may be the leader in the 110cc scooter space, it definitely does not have anything new to offer, making it to the bottom of this comparison. The Suzuki Let’s limits its attributes to a peppy engine and large luggage space, but given the lack of features it does not match up to its rivals. Hence, the fight rests between the TVS Wego and new Hero Duet. While the Wego is more fun to ride, the Duet is definitely loaded on features and will also get a pricing advantage over the Wego, given the fact that it will be positioned below the Maestro Edge. This makes for a sizeable price difference between both the models thereby tilting our verdict towards the new Hero offering.