Hero Motorcorp’s first scooter has come a long way. Can the updates to the Hero Pleasure improve the footfall to the dealerships?
Why should boys have all the fun?’, said Priyanka Chopra more than a decade ago posing next to the Hero Pleasure, marking the company’s foray into the scooter market. Hero’s forte has always been commuter motorcycles but the largest two-wheeler maker wants to grab a chunk of the pie from Honda. Of course, there’s the Maestro to take care of the Activa, with the Pleasure squarely aimed at the much popular Scooty Zest. So does it have what it takes to fight the TVS?
The retro theme is much in demand after the Vespas. We have already seen the Yamaha Fascino and TVS Jupiter Classic taking the same route and now Hero has followed suit. The Pleasure+ gets a square headlamp, a revised front apron with silver finish and redesigned side panels giving out retro-ish vibes. The scooter is now 19mm longer, obviously equating to more legroom and a larger seat. The wheelbase has been reduced by 2mm though. Surprisingly, despite the larger engine, the kerb weight remains the same at 10kg, making it heavier than the Scooty by 4kg. Remember, all these scooters are squarely aimed at the fairer sex, so ease of usage is paramount. It also gets a USB charger in the front storage box, which is better than having it under the seat. However, it misses out on the combination lock, external fuelling and i3S tech that other scooters from Hero are equipped with.
In terms of the legroom, my feet took up the entire length of the floorboard, leaving no space for the shopping bags and purse. Before you judge me, that’s for my girlfriend! But what matters to me is how it rides, so let’s talk about that now.
The Pleasure+ gets a 110.9cc engine, making 8bhp at 7,500rpm and 8.7Nm at 5,500rpm. It’s the same mill from the Duet and the Maestro. But being the lightest amongst the siblings, the Pleasure+ definitely feels more, erm, pleasurable. The engine is smooth and doesn’t feel stressed with the throttle opened to the max. However, beyond 70kmph I could feel the engine getting stressed. The sweet spot is between 50 to 60kmph and that’s where the Pleasure+ will mostly be ridden. It even felt easy and happy in corners, though not as agile as the Scooty Zest for sure. The tiny proportions, coupled with the eager engine made it fun to putter around the city traffic.
The chink in the armour is the suspension. The bottom-link suspension is a bit too harsh and limits the scooter’s potential. Same was the case with the brakes. The rear brake offered adequate bite and provided great stopping power but the front felt wooden.
At Rs 47,300, the Pleasure+ follows Hero Motocorp’s formula for success, undercutting its rivals by a fair margin, with the Honda Activa-I priced at Rs 50,974, the TVS Scooty Zest at Rs 50,320 and the Yamaha Fascino a lot more expensive at Rs 55,623. What works in the Pleasure+’s favour is its nimble handling, peppy engine and the retro looks (subjective), making it stand apart from the competition. What’s not to like?