Hero Glamour i3s drum First Ride Review

19 August 2017, 10:48 AM Charles Pennefather

What is it?

Why I would buy the Hero Glamour carb

Hero service network, and it is the latest entrant in its segment – meaning the most modern.

Why I would avoid the Hero Glamour carb

Most modern it may be, but it doesn’t seem to offer anything that stands head and shoulders above the competition

The Hero Glamour is Hero Motocorp’s premium 125cc commuter offering. This one you see here is a brand new one, and it means a lot to the company – it is one of the models it has developed after the split with Honda, so there is a lot of pride at stake in addition to the usual things. We rode it last year in Argentina and came away impressed. Now for a go on Indian soil...

How does it ride?

Much improved over the older model, obviously, but on par with competition. Being the newest, it boasts the highest power and torque figures at 11.4bhp and 11Nm. It is a surprisingly fun motorcycle to ride – the products in this segment have been progressing in this area of late, but the Glamour still manages to put a smile on your face should you encounter a good stretch of tarmac. The only spoilsport is the gearbox’s ratios, which are shorter than a baby midget. By the time you get to 30kph, you can slot into top gear, which is fourth. This then will take you to an indicated 90kph, but it won’t be happy doing this. The Glamour is happiest between 30 and 50kph in top gear. Unlike the competition, there is no option of a five-speed gearbox in the range. Our test bike has a drum brake, you’ll notice. You can spec it with a disc brake, but the drum is a surprisingly good example of old-school technology. Of course, it will never be able to match up to the effectiveness of a disc brake, but you don’t need to make a five-year plan to bring the Glamour to a halt from 60kph. Refinement is par for the course, and falls in the middle of the spectrum in the segment. The carburetted version is the one we’d have over the FI, surprisingly, even though it consumes more fuel. The response and pace it offers over the Glamour FI is well worth it.

Anything else I should know?

This is the most appealing design in the segment – the Bajaj V12 takes a different route, and the CB Shine plays it safe. The tank extensions, the spoke design for the wheel rims, the combination LED tail-lamp and the plastic quality all are things that impress on the Glamour. The carburetted version has a part-digital instrument cluster that shows you a single digital trip meter, a digital odometer and fuel gauge all at the same time.

The only analog bit is the speedo – and a tachometer isn’t present. The i3S technology is present as well, which the FI doesn’t sport. 

 

Should I buy one?

If you live in a tier two town or a village, the Glamour will make a lot of sense – it is great over bad roads and Hero’s incredible service network will take care of all your maintenance needs. In the city you’ll have options from other brands but there’s still a lot of value to be had from the Glamour. The variant to go for is the carburetted one with the disc brake. 

Where does it fit in?

At Rs 61500,the Glamour is the most expensive if you compare apples to apples – that is, 125cc premium motorcycles with a drum brake. It can afford to ask for that high price, though, because it is certainly the most modern of the bunch with the most tech in the i3S system. The Honda CB Shine is a full Rs 3000 less, and the Bajaj V12 sits in the middle at Rs 2000 less.

Gear Check

1. Arai Astro-IQ Pro Shade Second in the Arai street models hierarchy, the Astro-IQ is a comfortable, stable helmet at any speed. The Pro Shade visor gives you the flexibility of riding in the day or at night with a single visor. Price: ₹ 58,000 

2. Alpinestars T-GP R Air A textile jacket that is a good middle ground between the protection of a textile jacket with the cooling of a mesh jacket thanks to the well-designed airflow, the T-GP Plus is one of the better jackets for an Indian summer. Price:  16,500 (T-GP Plus Air)

3. Royal Enfield Spiti riding gloves Made for comfortable touring, these short-cuff gloves offer a lot of comfort right from the first ride. Price: ₹ 3200

4. Joe Rocket Phoenix 2.0 pants Mesh is a wonderful thing in our heat, and the Joe Rocket Phoenix mesh pants manage an ideal combination of protection via the removable armour and airflow. Price: ₹ 9600 (Phoenix Ion)

5. Royal Enfield long riding boots With a little inspiration from both off-road boots and touring boots, the RE long riding boots are comfortable and yet protective. Price: ₹ 11,000

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