World number one two-wheeler company, Hero MotoCorp revealed its bold new face and logo, along with one new bike and another scooter at a gala, superstar-studded mega event in London.
Performing on stage were Shahrukh Khan, Ranbir Kapoor, Anushka Sharma, tennis legend Boris Becker, F1 veteran David Coulthard, cricketer Irfan Pathan, star Indian music composer, A R Rehman and rap singer Akon.
Hero Honda has over the last few months consistently manufactured and sold incredible 500,000-odd two-wheelers across India every month -- a new two-wheeler every 18 seconds. And Hero MotoCorp aims at sustaining and expanding this going forward, leveraging its existing infrastructure of a mammoth dealer network spread across India.
Looking ahead, Hero MotoCorp knows it requires strengthening its R&D capability. In line with that, managing director and CEO Pawan Munjal announced his new company has set aside a budget that exceeds the sum of all investments made so far from the start of theier two-wheeler operations in India, to pump into the business within the next five years. No expense will be spared to buy and bring in new technology from around the world, with new technical collaborations being in the offing in Japan, as well as Europe. Apart from this, Hero MotoCorp plans two new plants in the near future, one in South India and another in Western India. The company aims at a gross sales target of USD $10 billion within the coming five years. It is looking at and will enter upto 30 new markets in the near future, including Africa, as early as within the next quarter.
The new 149.2cc motorcycle is called the Impulse which develops 13.2bhp at 7500rpm. A sign of things to come, the new bike shows us the fresh face of Hero as it treads a bold new path, entering the hot and relatively unexplored on-off road motorcycle segment in India, we’ve often longed to see filled.
An apt motorcycle for Indian roads that remain in terrible condition all year round, Hero MotoCorp’s Impulse sits tall on a long travel telescopic front suspension, with a monoshock rear suspension and spoke wheels, as commonly associated with these rugged, go-anywhere motorcycles. This Hero is tough, with massive body panels including a high floating front mudguard, and large overhangs extending ahead of its big, high set fuel tank. Instrumentation is trendy.
The four-stroke engine is carburreted, with a single cylinder and air-cooling, its silencer and heat shield running the entire right length of this bike under its seat. You get a five-speed gearbox, with a wide powerband tuned for strong low and mid-range performance, while an exposed chain drive system is also standard.
The new bike has a tubular steel frame that includes a single downtube running from the beefy steering column to link to twin tubes under the engine, meeting in a swingarm pivot which extends backwards as a twin-sided, steel box section member.
The new Hero MotoCorp sports a single 240mm front disc, 110mm rear drum brakes configuration and a generous ground clearance of 245mm, with the rear brake lever extending downwards into position ahead of the right footrest, and drum brake operating lever located higher than on conventional Indian motorcycles.
The scooter is called the Maestro, a 109cc model with an automatic gearbox and combined braking. Look out for Autocar India’s detailed story coming up soon.