Hero Achiever 150: A decent substitute for the Unicorn? Find out here
What is it?
Hero MotoCorp are marketing the Achiever 150 as a ‘premium commuter’ motorcycle and are looking at a target audience of conservative buyers who need a smart looking, efficient and comfortable bike to ride in the city. The Achiever is a subtle commuter in terms of design and intent and not a sporty 150cc motorcycle.
It is not, but it does sport cosmetic changes in terms of styling along with minor mechanical tweaks to the engine. The new Achiever is not a bike that will turn heads. On the contrary it has a very subtle design as compared to its predecessor, which will appeal to the mature buyer – just the audience Hero are looking to target by marketing the Achiever 150 as a ‘premium’ motorcycle. The Achiever gets a revamped headlight, a sportier looking tank and a new tail lamp. Hero has gotten rid of the blingy decals making way for a new 3D Hero emblem on the tank with the i3S badges adorning the bodywork.
The most notable change to the bike comes in the form of Hero’s i3S technology, which stands for Idle-Stop-Start System. First introduced on the Splendor iSmart, i3S is a technological add-on to help enhance the fuel efficiency. If you stop at a signal, slot it in neutral and release the clutch, the bike will shut off after five seconds, only to start once the clutch is pressed. This system works well and in the real world, I think it does make sense. Not many want to take the effort to switch the bike on and off at signals and prefer to leave it on. With i3S that problem is solved and in turn you can save fuel and also help reduce emissions.
Another interesting feature is what Hero calls AHO, which means Automatic Headlamp On. It keeps the headlamp on whenever the bike is running and cannot be turned off. The idea being, it makes the motorcycle and the rider more visible to on-coming traffic.
Fun to ride?
For a tall and hefty guy like me, my apprehension with a commuter motorcycle is the riding position and the compact dynamics. But the Achiever dispenses this feeling with its tall handlebar and the mid-control foot-pegs that make for an upright and comfortable riding position. The seat is well-cushioned and the tank is easy to hold on to. In terms of a pillion, there is enough space to sit comfortably despite my generous dimensions.
Hero has carried forward the same chassis from the old Achiever and has tuned the suspension to make for better ride quality. With me (I’m on the heftier side) riding, the bike did not wallow, but was surprisingly stable and held its line above 60kmph which made for a relaxed ride. Even with a pillion, the suspension remained pliant. The Achiever is not built to corner hard and the 100-section tyres (thinnest in the segment) do not give the rider a lot of confidence to push the bike either. The bike is well-balanced and it is also quite flickable – a bonus when you are riding in the city and manoeuvring your way through traffic.
The Achiever gets the option of a 240 mm disc brake (drum is standard) up front and a 130 mm drum at the rear. The disc brake had good bite along with decent feedback from the lever as well. And it is just a `1,800 upgrade over the drum.
At heart, the new Achiever sports the same 149.2cc, single-cylinder motor which is good for 13.4bhp @8000rpm and 12.8Nm of torque @5000rpm. Power figures remain the same. What Hero has done here is focussed on making the engine more refined with better low-end torque. The single cylinder mill is almost vibe-free, a step up from its predecessor. The Achiever 150’s engine is BS IV compliant and the company claims a 0-60kmph time of five seconds, which is not the fastest in the segment. But since it is targeted at a conservative buyer, who is not looking for performance, it is good enough. The long gear ratios remain unchanged and come with a one-down four-up configuration and the gearbox is very smooth to use with crisp shifts.
With i3S technology I am sure the city runs will get a little cheaper and being BS IV compliant the emissions will also be a lot lesser. Hero claims the Achiever 150 will return 50kmpl in real world conditions. Since it is the same old engine with i3S technology, the Achiever could not manage to top the segment in terms of efficiency.
The Hero Achiever 150 is priced at `61,800 with disc brake and `60,800 (ex-showroom, Delhi) for the drum brake variant. Its closest rival the Honda Unicorn comes with a price tag of around `62,132. So if someone is looking for a city commuter that is not sporty, looks plain, but is refined, reliable, and comfortable, the Achiever 150 seems like a decent option.