The 125cc motorcycle segment of the Indian two-wheeler industry is dominated by the Honda Shine 125. Hero MotoCorp, too, competes in this segment but the company currently has a single product in it, the Glamour. The motorcycle has been clocking promising sales numbers for the Indian two-wheeler brand.
The competition has become stiffer with the arrival of the Bajaj Pulsar 125 that retails in a similar range and the Honda SP 125 that is available at a slightly premium price tag. Hero MotoCorp has updated the Glamour to comply with the newest emission norms, although the changes aren’t as comprehensive as other products like the Passion Pro. We have tested the Glamour BS6 for a first ride review.
In terms of design, the latest iteration of the Glamour isn’t very different from its predecessor. However, place the two motorcycles side-by-side and the changes are evident. The front fascia, for example, gets an updated headlight with DRLs on either side. Additionally, the DRLs feature a smoked look that gives a sporty persona to the fascia. The front cowl, too, has received styling revisions and the BS6 model gets a new plastic panel with a 3D “Hero” logo and an updated design for the flyscreen.
Similarly, the fuel tank extensions and the side-panels have received mild styling changes along with revised chequered graphics. The taillight, too, gets a new design and it now features an “H” shape. Also, the updated unit looks sharper and sportier than the BS4 model.
While the styling has received a few upgrades, the hardware remains similar to the BS4 model. The instrument cluster retains the semi-digital layout that comprises of an analogue speedometer while the digital display shows the fuel level, odometer, trip meter, fuel economy and service due indicator. “Mode” and “Set” functions are performed by a single button on the extreme right of the instrument cluster, and it can either be used to toggle between the odometer and the trip meter, or to reset the latter.
The Glamour retains the 124.7cc of displacement along with a single-cylinder, air-cooled setup. The motor, which is linked to a five-speed transmission, makes 10.7bhp of power at 7,500rpm and 10.6Nm of peak torque at 6,000rpm. The motorcycle also receives an Idle Stop-Start system that is aimed to improve the fuel efficiency. The system turns off the engine when it’s idling, and restarts it as soon as the clutch is engaged.
The motorcycle is built around a diamond frame, with the suspension setup inclusive of telescopic forks at the front and five-step adjustable hydraulic shock absorbers at the back. The braking power comes from 130mm drum brakes on both wheels while a 240mm disc brake is available as an option. The safety net includes CBS tech that Hero MotoCorp calls Integrated Braking System. The 18-inch alloy wheels are wrapped in 80/100 front and 100/80-section rear tyres.
The styling looks appealing but with new products such as the Pulsar 125 and the SP 125 rolling into the segment, the Glamour will have a tough time winning any beauty pageants. The build quality is not something to write home about either. The switchgear, for example, looks dated when compared to the modern buttons on the Honda and Bajaj 125cc products. The positioning of the left-side switchgear, too, isn’t ergonomically friendly and it feels a little too far for comfort.
The Glamour packs a peppy motor that features a meaty mid-range. Due to the absence of a tachometer, we would use speed as an indicator to explain the engine characteristic. The third gear can be used to ride anywhere over 30kmph while the fourth and the fifth cog are good for speeds above 40kmph and 50kmph respectively. The acceleration from 50kmph to 80kmph in the top gear feels lively.
The sweet spot to cruise is 60kmph, where it feels the most comfortable. There is sufficient power available for quick overtakes. Also, vibrations from the footpeg and handlebar become noticeably evident from 70kmph onwards, thus making 60kmph an ideal speed to cruise. The five-speed transmission feels smooth, but we did face false neutral issues while going from fourth to fifth. The clutch action feels neat and light and that comes handy while riding in bumper-to-bumper traffic.
We tested the front disc brake version of the motorcycle, and while the 240mm rotor delivered ample amount of stopping power, the rear felt almost non-existent. It was, however, another flaw on the test vehicle. The front packs a good bite and it feels progressive as it sheds speed.
The overall ride quality, with just the rider onboard, feels slightly on the stiffer side. The front feels alright and it would glide over most of the undulations. The rear, however, feels stiff in the stock setting.
The tall handlebar and neutral position for the footpegs offer upright and comfortable ergonomics. The 793mm seat height makes terra firma easily accessible. At 5’10”, I could easily plant both my feet flat on the ground. The saddle is well padded and comfortable for both, the pillion and the rider. The 180mm ground clearance ensures that the Glamour glides over any speed breaker without scraping the bottom.
The turning radius is amongst the best features on the motorcycle. The short radius makes filtering through traffic breezy and effortless.
The headlight packs a decent spread in the low-beam, but it lacks the reach. The high-beam, on the other hand, felt too high. A bit of tuning can fix the height issue in the high-beam. While the headlight offers decent performance, the Blue backlight from the instrument cluster is disturbing when riding in the dark.
The Hero Glamour is an appealing product that is backed by Hero MotoCorp’s wide dealer and service network. The peppy motor and the short turning radius make it an ideal choice as a city-friendly motorcycle. The competition, however, is getting stiffer.
While the Glamour is an appealing choice, it has an uphill task of competing against its existing and new rivals such as the Bajaj Pulsar 125, HondaShine and Honda SP 125. The Pulsar 125, for example, brings muscular styling of the 150cc model at an affordable price tag. The 125cc SP 125, on the other hand, features a LED headlight and modern switchgear that will appeal to the young buyers.
Image Credit: Kaustubh Gandhi