Please wait

You’re being redirected to suzukimotorcycle.co.in

Hero Duet First Ride Review

23 December 2015, 01:41 PM Ranjan R. Bhat

What is it?

The Hero Duet is India’s largest two-wheeler maker’s attempt at taking its scooter sales to the next level. And like the Maestro Edge, the Duet too has shrugged off Honda's technology and is a completely home grown Hero MotoCorp offering. So, it was back to the drawing board and out came a completely new platform and powertrain. Positioned between the masculine Maestro and the effeminate Pleasure, the Hero Duet is a brand new unisex family scooter, charged with the responsibility of boosting Hero' sales in the burgeoning scooter segment.

How does it ride?

The top-end Hero Duet VX offers a stable and composed ride at city speeds thanks to the telescopic front suspension. The well-padded seat and the suspension insulate you from all the bumps and undulations without breaking a sweat. The 10-inch tubeless TVS tyres offer good grip, though their small size means the ride tends to get bumpy once the needle crosses the 50kmph mark. Also, the vibrations on the floorboard set in at 50kmph, and keep getting annoying as the speed increases. It is worth noting that the base Duet LX gets a conventional bottom-linked spring-loaded hydraulic damper, which might not be as up to the mark.

The sturdy metal body of the Hero Duet, which adds six kilograms to its weight over the Maestro Edge, ensures stability even on crosswind-ridden highways. The Duet comes kitted with Hero's proprietary Integrated Braking System which automatically activates the front brakes whenever the rear brakes are pulled, thereby improving the braking performance. It eliminates your reliance on the front brakes and is especially useful for novices.

discontinued
Hero Duet

Hero Duet

  • Displacement110.9 cc
  • Mileage - Owner Reported46.5 kmpl
  • Max Power(bhp)8.31 bhp
  • Kerb Weight115 kg
  • ;

Last known Avg. Ex-showroom price

₹ 49,972

At the heart of the Hero Duet is a newly developed 110.9cc air-cooled single-cylinder engine, which produces 8bhp and 8.3Nm of torque through a CVT gearbox. Despite its heavy kerb weight of 116 kilograms, the Duet feels pretty quick off the mark. Even the 50kmph to 60kmph roll on acceleration is impressive, which comes handy while overtaking. However, the engine is tuned keeping fuel efficiency in mind, and this becomes evident as soon you cross 60kmph. The rubberband effect of the CVT transmission raises its ugly head once you head past 60kmph, making the Duet feel slow. Keep pushing and the engine will keep on going till an indicated 85kmph before it starts to stutter. But to be honest, all of this seems like a reasonable trade-off when you consider that the Duet returns a staggering 63.8kmpl in city conditions as tested by us on our designated fuel run route.?

 

Anything else I should know?

The Hero Duet is a very smartly engineered scooter. It comes with abundant storage space, especially on this top of the line VX version. It gets two storage hooks, one glovebox and a decently sized underseat storage. While the underseat storage cannot fit in a full face helmet, it should be able to swallow a half-face helmet quite comfortably. It also gets a USB 3.0 charging point and a boot light to illuminate the bay. The floorboard is slightly inclined and offers a very good grip.

The key slot gets a couple of other functionalities apart from the ignition and the handle lock. It gives you remote access to open the external fuel filler (located above the tail lamp assembly) as well as the under seat storage. It might be inconvenient initially but you will get used to in some time.  

 

The contemporary-looking instrument cluster in the Duet VX contains an analogue speedometer and fuel level indicator along with a digital readout for the odometer, twin trip meters and the service due indicator. The base Duet VX, however, misses out on the electronic display.

Buyers will have to make do with steel wheels, as alloy wheels aren't offered even as optional extras. The switchgear and plastic quality is pretty basic, nothing to write home about. The high beam/low beam switch doubles up as a pass switch, while the accelerator is perfectly weighed for city usage. The brake lock clamp on the rear brake is a useful feature, but quite frustratingly requires you to use both your hands to engage it.

 

The Duet's curvy and proportionate design is neither captivating, nor offensive. It gets few chrome strips on the sides and the front apron and a massive tail lamp assembly. The 3D logo on the sides give it a premium feel, while dual-tone mirrors complement the scooter's paint scheme. Going with the overall look of the scooter, the Duet's palette comes with seven trendy paint schemes. I, however, have an affinity towards its matte vernier grey.

 

Why should I buy one?

Easy to use and fuel-efficient. Its compact dimensions, easy-going power delivery and the integrated braking system make it ideal for beginners as well as women, while the smart features should appeal to college students and the youth. The Duet satisfactorily fulfills its role as a city scooter and comes with the assurance of Hero's widespread service network and the unbeatable five year/70,000km warranty.

Where does it fit in?

After dabbling in specifically targeted scooter segments (with the Maestro and the Pleasure) for some time, the Duet represents Hero's first shot at the unisex family scooter segment. As such, the Hero Duet bears comparison with the likes of the Suzuki Let's, Mahindra Gusto and the Honda Activa-i. However, at Rs 62,058 (on-road, Mumbai), the Duet is the most expensive of the lot. For this money, you get a relatively modern and feature-loaded scooter which will meet all your mundane requirements without breaking a sweat.

 
Photography by Kapil Angane

Gallery