Hero has given its flagship scooter a fuel injection system. Was this the missing element in our 125cc scooters?
Hero Motocorp has the humble Destini, but it gets drum brakes and lacks the X-factor, unlike its segment compatriots. That’s exactly where the all-new Maestro Edge 125, India’s first fuel-injected scooter, fits in. But does that give it an edge (no pun intended) over the rivals?
At first glance, you’ll mistake the Maestro Edge 125 for its 110cc sibling, courtesy the same bulbous, angry-looking halogen headlamp and wide seat, save for the dual-tone theme on the FI version. Also it gets LED DRLs below the headlamp (like the Activa 125), split taillamps and a redesigned exhaust. The chassis, though, remains unchanged.
The Maestro Edge 125 FI gets a 124.6cc, 2V engine that churns out 9.1bhp at 7,000rpm and 10.2Nm at 5,000rpm. The figures improve upon the carburetted variant which simply picks everything from the Destini 125. However, the carb variant’s i3S trickery is missing on the fuel-injected variant. We test rode only the FI variant so let’s talk about that.
Wring the throttle and you’ll be surprised. It easily sprints to 60kmph after which the progress slows down slightly. 80kmph isn’t a problem and we hit a top speed of 95kmph (speedo) putting it in the league of the class leader, the TVS NTorq 125, which benefits with its three-valve cylinder head but is six kg heavier. The Edge FI is super smooth and there are barely any vibrations felt until 90kmph.
In terms of the ride and handling too, the Maestro Edge feels a lot more dynamic than the Destini. The ride quality is good for the urban hustle. Though the suspension is biased towards sport riding, it absorbs the bumps well and only crashes over the big potholes. The Maestro gets a 190mm Bybre disc up front offering decent stopping power and has Combined Braking System integrated. A little more bite, though, would have been great.
Unlike other Hero products, the Maestro Edge is costlier than the NTorq 125 but undercuts the Grazia. At `62,700, the Edge makes a strong case for itself. The BS-VI- compliant Activa 125 is due for launch soon. Until then, your only fuel injected option is the Maestro. It has certain shortcomings in terms of fit and finish but that’s about it. FI should also improve the fuel efficiency, allowing it to beat the competition. Will it be able to topple the NTorq? Watch this space.