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Hero Impulse Long Term Report 1

04 December 2014, 05:45 PM Omkar Thakur

City use

This is the age of machines and gadgets and smart devices. What if you could find one that could iron out all the ups and downs on the road into a smooth running freeway that leads to your never-so-far destination? Well, Hero Motorcorp has given us a tool – something that can make a mockery of the pothole-free roads in and around Mumbai (no pun intended) – the Impulse. This tall lanky motorcycle has made me smile every time, commuting from the remote suburb of Dombivli to our head office in Navi Mumbai.

As you walk towards the motorcycle, the sight fills you up with energy, thanks to its enduro looks. Every time I hauled myself onto that tall saddle, my helmet visor turned into a sci-fi gadget with random locations on the maps calling me out. The seat that extends almost up to the fuel tank cap tells you it is not just another poser. The wide raised handlebar and the front set foot-pegs complete the wooden chair posture that makes you feel comfortable as well as agile.

My daily commute is a good 25 kilometres with a mix of narrow lanes with speed breakers every 10 metres; it also includes a four-lane state highway, a pile of stones demarcated as road and a well-laid Palm Beach road but it on the Impulse, I did not really feel the difference between the surfaces. There were a lot of jokes being thrown around on how those straw-like front forks could crumble the first time you run into a pothole or decide to take the motorcycle to a dirt track and have some air-time. Though the forks look a bit malnourished, they do their job perfectly and are more than sturdy (something that I learnt when I went a bit too enthusiastically through the pile of stones that I have to call road!).

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Hero Impulse

Hero Impulse

  • Displacement149 cc
  • Max Power(bhp)13 bhp
  • Kerb Weight134 kg
  • ;

Last known Avg. Ex-showroom price

₹ 72,651

The motocross style beak-like front mud guard looks cool but it is not that effective when it comes to keeping you away from the grime. The mirrors are small and stubby and give the motorcycle an aggressive character along with the knuckle guards but when it comes to functionality, they do not fare well enough. The mirrors sticking out of the already wide handlebar means you have to be very careful in traffic or when manoeuvering through it. The turning radius of the motorcycle is surprisingly large for a light multipurpose motorcycle, making sharp manoeuvres even more difficult.

City Use 1

The tyres are my biggest concern. The MRFs are supposed to be run on a recommended tyre pressure of 19 psi. At this pressure, these button tyres give loads of grip in dirt, but on tarmac they failed to instill confidence, at least for me. It is only when you pump the pressure up to a 28-30 psi that the tyres start giving you assurance on the road. Also, there is a loud truck-like tyre hum on smooth road surfaces – something that may bother you on long runs.  The rear brakes on our motorcycle are weak, which makes me think that a rear disc brake would have been a better option than the drum brakes that tend to fade sooner. 

The engine is the same 150cc single cylinder mill that does its duty in the Xtreme and the Hunk, but has been tuned differently to suit the enduro style of riding. Though the maximum power is one less at 13bhp, it comes at 7500rpm as against the 8500rpm characteristic of the Xtreme and Hunk. The torque figure at 13.4Nm is higher than the other two and it is evident the way this motorcycle pulls up from mid-range i.e. around 5000rpm to its red-line at 9000rpm. The motorcycle cruised comfortably around 70-80kmph and maxes out near the three figure mark which is more than enough for my daily commute. But the vibrations that creep in post 6000rpm do keep your palms tingling if you have been riding for more than an hour.

I know I have praised the motorcycle a lot here and to be very frank the motorcycle deserves it. It does have its share of negatives like the tall saddle that will make most Indians uncomfortable or the large turning radius or the lack of low end torque to match its endure appeal. But then, there is a lot that this motorcycle gives you to be happy every time you thumb the starter. You do not have to worry about the road condition or even the road sometimes as it keeps on taking all bumps and potholes in its stride most of the times not even letting you know if you weren’t paying attention. The chassis is excellent and sometimes makes me want to plonk a more powerful engine to make it a real cross country tourer. The riding position, the soft extended seat and the easy to flick, light motorcycle create a combination that is very hard to resist. And when you add the build quality this motorcycle has, I do not think you will have to look anywhere for the next five years no matter how you ride this one.

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