The scooter segment in India is witnessing a noticeable transition. Manufacturers are now competing to give individuality to these utilitarian rides. Basic convenience of twist-and-go riding and storage space for daily needs is being complemented with sharper styling and more features as Honda’s recent Dio, Suzuki’s new Swish 125 and Piaggio’s Vespa LX 125 have shown. Once again the industry leader Hero MotoCorp has defined its scooter by the sex of the rider; after the Pleasure, Hero’s new Maestro is trying to tempt the males.
The Hero Maestro appears as a sober looking scooter sporting conservative creases on its front apron and vast side panels. The front mudguard is well rounded while the front apron cleanly houses the clear lens indicators. The handlebar shroud features a bold headlamp and the rear view mirrors with two-tone casing lends the front profile a bit of style. The wide instrument panel is easy on eyes as it houses three pods – one each for analogue speedometer, a backlit LCD information screen and the regular warning lights. On the handlebar section, the palm grips are impressive. Quality of switches and brake levers feel good too. However, the rear brake has a locking clamp which is inconvenient to operate. Maestro is equipped with a shuttered ignition key slot for safety. The setup includes a manual latch which can be pushed to lock the key access even in the absence of the key. This means that even if you forget to close the safety shutter after parking your scooter and you are not carrying the keys, you can still push the latch (which has a one-way movement) to shut the key access manually.
Sit on the scooter and you would instantly realize what the company means by positioning it as the scooter for males. The flat floorboard is big in size which along with the bag-hook placed below the seat can be used to transport small goods. There is enormous amount of legroom which can easily accommodate taller riders. The glove box does not come as a standard option with the scooter; the Maestro gets the voluminous scooter-typical underseat bay. The vast side panels sport a boldly written ‘Maestro’ and lead to the tail section of the scooter which includes the brake light cluster and stylish rear grabs.
The scooter is powered by a four-stroke, single-cylinder, 109cc engine which generates smooth, vibe-free power. It quickly pulls from the stationery state with refinement and it churns out 8.09bhp at 7500rpm and a peak torque of 0.92kgm at 5500rpm. The transmission is the scooter favoured CVT.
The Maestro deploys dual linked shock absorbers in front and a single shock absorber at the rear. The scooter uses a steel fabricated underbone type chassis with the engine as the stressed member. The ride quality is comfortable with the suspension effectively doing their job. Also, the seat provides soft padding to the rider and the pillion against the road undulations. Braking is via 130mm drum brakes which use Honda’s combi-brake system (CBS).
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The Hero Maestro comes at a price of Rs 44,000 (ex-showroom, Delhi) and is now available in six colour options – blue, green, red, white, black and silver.