To be perfectly honest, I do not like commuters. Their appeal, from where I stand, is limited to fuel efficiency, and that's hardly any appeal at all. Visually too, I wouldn't quite call them handsome or sleek. Yes, there was some beauty in the original Hero Honda Splendor and CD100SS, but those days of simple design are long gone. Commuters today are oft overstyled and have little individuality; in fact, I'd be hard-pressed to tell one from another.
So, naturally, when the Hero Achiever entered our long-term fleet, I was not clambering for the keys. One fine Friday, however, our key box had been ransacked, save for one key. I mumbled some profanities, picked it up, and walked to our parking spaces.
At first sight, the Achiever 150 did not assuage my concerns. It looks like every other commuter – headlamp fairing, a muscular but nondescript tank and a long single seat, all set-up on skinny tyres. Sex appeal – uh, no.
Was it exciting to ride? No. Was it comfortable? Oh god, yes! What the Achiever lacks in sex appeal, it makes up for in comfort – it's the ballet flats to high heels, the sweatpants to trousers. The engine is relaxed, riding position comfortable, steering light and easy, and ride pliant; it's all laid-back and easy. There is nothing manic or frantic about the Achiever – it's all la-di-da.
What I also liked was the i3S feature. One of those engine start/stop systems, the i3S kills the engine after five seconds of idling, bringing it back to life the moment the clutch lever is pulled in. I need to ride the bike more extensively to figure out how much of a difference this makes to fuel economy, but off the line, it gives me some mental satisfaction to think that I'm being a little kinder to Mother Earth.
After a few days with the Achiever, I totally see the appeal of commuters beyond just fuel economy. Will I take the Achiever when out on a date? Hell no! Will I ride it to and fro from work every day? You bet I will.