The Impulse is the first motorcycle to wear a Hero MotoCorp badge and Hero Moto has boldly gone ahead to kick-start a new on-off road segment with this motorcycle.
The Impulse looks the piece. Its long, black mudguard juts out like a beak, above which sits a high headlamp. Wide handlebars come with knuckle-guards to keep mud off your hands when riding in the rough, while just behind, the fuel tank comes clad with large scoops. As every go-anywhere motorcycle must be, the Impulse is tall with a high seat that purposefully pulls over the tank. The Impulse comes with a big LED tail light.
Powering the Impulse is a 149.2cc, four-stroke, air-cooled and single-cylinder engine, generating 13.2bhp of power and 1.36kgm of torque. The Impulse uses a five-speed gearbox that shifts smoothly in the universal, one-down, four-up pattern. The engine offers good low- and mid-range punch.
The Impulse is no poser. You get a massive 245mm ground clearance and it comes armed with long-stroke front suspension and a special high-pressure gas-charged rear damper. To improve ground clearance, its exhaust loops around the engine before exiting besides the pillion seat. The all-metal brake operating pedal has a serrated finish, offering maximum grip in the muck. The rear sprocket gets a solid plate that prevents the chain from slipping when riding through rough terrain. The Impulse uses high tensile steel that ensures this chassis and swingarm are stronger than conventional bikes.
A highlight to the Impulse is the sense of confidence that you can take on any terrain astride this bike. A nice upright riding position and wide handlebars give the motorcycle a comfortable seating position, and make it easy to steer. The double-cradle frame is robust and aids handling. Capable suspension and meaty tyres tackle our roads well. On a smooth test track the Impulse feels sure-footed, quickly changing direction with a forgiving feel that soon gives you enough confidence to start sliding the bike.
Off the road, a big 19-inch front rim easily clambers over obstacles. The Impulse is effortlessly able to soak in a beating and its 17-inch rear rim with a 110/90 Ceat rear tyre offers sufficient purchase.
The Impulse is undoubtedly well-suited to Indian roads. It can tackle college trips or office commutes over pathetic roads without batting an eyelid, just as easily doubling up as a leisure motorcycle to chase dirt trails with. The Impulse is sure to hold much appeal for urban as well as rural bikers with its fun, hardy and confident nature.
Hero MotoCorp has priced the Impulse well at Rs 66,800 (ex-showroom, Delhi) and the new motorcycle enters Indian showrooms from the last week of October onwards. Read the full story in Autocar India’s Nov 2011 issue.