Bike tested: 2011 Hyosung ST7
Price OTR Mumbai: Rs. 6,47,034/-
Garware Motors has got Hyosung back to India, and in its second innings, the company has launched two middle weight motorcycles. Both the machines are locally assembled through CKD kits at Garware Motors’s facility in Wai, near Pune. The Hyosung GT650R will attract those who are looking for a 600cc sports bike, while the Hyosung ST7 will attract those who want a stunning looking cruiser. But looks are not the only parameter a buyer will look for when he puts down six big ones, so its time to find out if you should put down the money for the Hyosung ST7. We rode the Hyosung ST7 over a mix of highway and city and have the answer right here for you.
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Styling – The first thing you notice about the Hyosung ST7 is how big and low it is! The long length and enormous handlebars make the Hyosung ST7 a looker from every angle it is viewed. The headlights are round and the front forks are huge. The Hyosung ST7 has plenty of chrome on it which screams premium to most of us in India. The paint quality is nothing short of exceptional. Our test bike was black in colour but we prefer the maroon colour (the third colour available on the ST7 is white), which looks absolutely stunning. Not that the ST7 does not look good in black, it does in any colour and we wonder how will a Chrome edition look! The engine is again coated with chrome including the radiator shroud, cam covers and crankcase. Furthermore the dual silencers are also covered with chrome, which look absolutely stunning, however they tend to heat alot.
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The rear view mirrors are very well placed and offer good rear vision. The seats are very comfortable and generous for both the rider and pillion. However the pillion doesn’t get grab rails and has to pray for dear life when the Hyosung ST7 gets going. The seats have red stitching which shows the attention to detail which S&T Motors has put into the design of the ST7. The belt guard is finished in chrome as well and the long dual exhaust cover more than 50% of the bike’s length. The rear section of the Hyosung continues the impressive styling with a huge 170 section rear tyre and LED tail lights.
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The mud guard sharply tapers off, just like the front mud guard and the indicators are mounted on a bar, again just like the front. The alloy wheels looks wicked. The 13-spokes have beautiful detailing with black and silver colours.
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When we took the Hyosung ST7 we immediately realised the excessive use of magnets on the body. Because where ever we went, people would get attracted to the machine. Some would ask which bike, while others would ask ‘Is that a HD?’ People took U-turns and stopped mid way to check out the ST7. On the highway, one Chevrolet Tavera was driving fast, trying to overtake us, we let him go by only to see him slow down and wait for us to come next to him. He waved his hand and asked which bike. Even girls couldn’t miss the massive ST7 and wanted to click their pictures with the bike. There is no denying then, when it comes to looks, design and styling the Hyosung ST7 gets full marks.
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Instrument Cluster and Switch Gear – The 17-liter tank features the chrome framed instrument cluster. The speedometer is calibrated all the way to 220 kmph and once you switch on the ignition, the speedometer goes all the way to 220 kmph and comes back (video above). A small digital display is present right below the speedometer which has readings for the odometer, fuel level and twin trip meters. Below the speedometer and digital display, there are lights which include the engine and FI malfunction, neutral and indicator lights.
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The Hyosung ST7 features the normal engine start button, engine kill switch and hazard lights on the right. While on the left, there is the horn, indicator switches, high-low beam and pass button. There is no button to switch on the headlights as they are always on by default. This is Hyosung’s implementation of day time running lights but don’t go well with us Indians. Where ever we took the bike, people would tell us that we have our headlights switched on!
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Performance and Gearbox – Reach out to the awkwardly positioned key and start the Hyosung ST7 and it immediately wakes you up with its growl. The 678.2 cc, V-twin monster is all of a sudden ready to unleash its 57.66 BHP of power and 57 Nm of torque on the tarmac. The 8-valve motor is separated by 90 degrees and features dual over head camshafts. Garware Motors has not touched the bike and the figures they quote as as per ARAI. These figures are 5 BHP and 5 Nm less than what Hyosung quotes internationally. The torque is produced lower too at 6000 RPM against 7500 RPM for the international version. This ensures the Hyosung ST7 does not have to be kept at very high revs to keep moving quickly. However power and torque are being produced at relatively higher RPMs than what is seen on cruiser motorcycles. The short stroke motor is responsible for this characteristic.
Power is transferred to the rear wheel by a belt drive and the fuel injection makes the start up of the Hyosung ST7 a breeze. The clutch is slightly heavy to operate but the gearbox is smooth with good feel. Our test bike would make a slight noise when first gear was engaged but we feel the newness of the machine (odometer read 500 kms) was responsible for it and the noise should disappear after first service. Overall gearshift action is relatively easy and smooth and you get used to the ST7 in just 20 kms of riding it.
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The V-twin is smooth and revvs cleanly throughout the power band. Twist the throttle in first gear and you will see 80 kmph on the speedo. Once past 5500 RPM, the kick from the ST7 is prominent. Power comes in quick and strong when you revv hard and you find your self grabbing the handle bars firmly to ensure you and the ST7 move in the same direction and not in the opposite! The torque rush from the ST7 is simply mind blowing, the response is slightly jerky (fuel quality to blame?). However all the fun comes relatively late in the power band and is unlike what you would expect from a cruiser. We are certainly not complaining and you can easily cruise at 140 kmph without a hick up.
The Hyosung ST7 reaches 100 kmph in a quick 6.5 seconds and will easily nudge past 180 kmph. However the throttle play is too long that you have to continuously correct the input to maintain a particular speed. For instance, if you want to engage full throttle, you will have to lift your hand as one twist will only engage 80% of the throttle. To move it to the maximum position you twist twice! The engine refinement is decent but not class leading. But we have really nothing to complain about the performance of the Hyosung ST7, which definitely has the capability to excite the rider to a large extent.
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Ride, Handling and Braking – The Hyosung ST7 weighs 244 kgs, which isn’t light by any standard but doesn’t feel heavy. The double-cradle steel frame coupled to the fantastic weight distribution makes the ST7 a joy to ride. However don’t expect racing bike type cornering on this machine as its not made to do that. The wide handlebars and 33-degree rake of the forks ensure a very light steering. Riding the ST7 is almost effortless and you never realize your riding a 700cc machine (unless ofcourse you look around to notice people ogle at you). The saddle is extremely comfortable and very wide too and you won’t feel any types of aches on your derriere post a long ride.
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Ride quality is good but slightly harsh on our kind of roads. The 41 mm front forks easily absorb all the bumps but when you encounter rough roads wile cornering, there is a little tendency of deflection. The Korean Shinko tyres do end up playing spoilsport and lack grip at high speeds, specially in wet conditions. The ST7 feels well planted till 120 kmph but as speed builds up so does wind velocity and the rider’s confidence starts decreasing. The four-piston caliper have decent bite but the tyres tend to lock up under very heavy braking. The front brake play can be adjusted according to the preference of the rider. Overall, the handling and ride are very positive and the experience of riding the Hyosung ST7 is very enjoyable.
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Conclusion – The Hyosung ST7 makes alot of sense when we factor in its incredible looks and good performance. The bike looks stunning and attracts attention where ever you take it. Most importantly though, the ST7 gives you the performance of a sports bike (to a certain extent) and the comfort of a cruiser. The power is more than enough for our roads and you will hardly see yourself utilizing even 80% of what this V-twin has to offer. If you are the kind who loves touring than the Hyosung ST7 fits the bill perfectly. However, on the other hand if you plan to use your motorcycle on the weekends, the ST7 will still manage to please you. Couple this with the efforts Garware Motors is putting into service of their bikes and all of a sudden you realize that this mini-Intruder starts making alot of sense.
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* Stunning looks
* Seating position
* Light steering
What’s Not So Cool
* Shinko tyres
* Brand awareness
* Engine noise not loud enough
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Hyosung ST7 Specifications
* Engine: 678 cc, 4-stroke, DOHC, 8 valve, 90-degree V-twin, Liquid Cooled
* Fuel Delivery: Fuel Injected
* Power: 57.66 BHP @ 8000 RPM
* Torque: 57 Nm @ 6000 RPM
* Transmission: 5-speed manual
* Top Speed: 180 KMPH
* 0-100kmph: 6.5 seconds
* Fuel Consumption: 17-18 kmpl (City), 20-22 kmpl (highway)
* Fuel Type: Petrol
* Suspension: 41mm telescopic forks (front), hydraulic double shock absorber (rear)
* Tires: 120/80/16 (Front), 170/80/15 (Rear)
* Brakes: 300 mm Ventilated Disc (Front), 270 mm Drums (Rear)
Hyosung ST7 Dimensions
* Overall length x width x height: 2470 mm X 960 mm X 1135 mm
* Wheelbase: 1690 mm
* Ground clearance: 155 mm
* Fuel Tank Capacity: 17 liters
* Kerb Weight: 244 kgs