Proving many wise brains completely wrong, Hero has been marching very strongly in the two-wheeler space. The Indian bike maker also made it to the headlines for its acquisition of EBR and the efforts of bringing it normalcy as to develop world-class products at its Indian facility.
Hero already enjoys dominance in the two-wheeler segment with a market share of 52% and now the company is eyeing a strong lead in the scooter segment as well. Built on a completely new platform, Hero has developed two brand new scooters ground up. An extension of the existing Maestro brand, the Maestro Edge targets those who wish to own a sporty premium scooter while the Duet aims at getting audiences from multiple genre of life.
In addition, the Duet also seems to be an extremely convenient package with the host of features that it comes equipped with such as mobile charging point, side stand indicator, remote seat opening and many more. We take the Duet for a small spin to understand more of it.
Hero Duet: Design and Styling
Yes, they did say in the presentation that the Hero Duet is a unisex scooter but it definitely does not look boring as some of its peers out there. It is fresh and has a unique appeal. Understandably, this one will be your shopping mall commute solution and will also be the one to take you for short knick-knack trips because for leisure, the Maestro Edge is the one to look out for. Nevertheless, the Duet sports an all metal body which also makes it heavier than the Edge by 6 kgs.
The large headlight assembly also accommodates the turn indicators saving the space on the front apron which gets a subtle chrome garnish. There are multiple crease lines running on the front apron to make the otherwise bland design look interesting. The front fender gets a rounded profile with a vinyl of Integrated Braking pasted over it.
The mirrors make use of the body shade and look appealing compared to the plastic black of other scooters. The Hero Duet measures an impressive 1830 mm in length and 726 mm in width. It has a ground clearance of 155 mm. The side does tend to remind of its rival but there are distinguishing bits and pieces that Hero has worked on to make the Duet look different.
The large grab bar on the rear is of great utility value and so is the storage bracket that can stow a max weight of 10 kgs. The rear half panel of the Duet gets an interesting concave profile as to not make the side look dull and boring. And for the necessary appeal, this area too makes use of a chrome strip. Interestingly, even the silencer gets detailing in the form of a semi clad aluminium finished cover. To the rear, it gets a large taillight assembly with integrated turn indicators on the top while the bottom has a large fender with the registration plate on top.
Hero Duet: Features
The instrumental cluster of Hero Duet is extremely simple with dual display of analog and digital layout. Speedometer and Fuel gauge make use of analog while information on trip and odometer are shown in digital. It also displays turn indicator, side stand indicator and high beam on the cluster. The multi function key offers functions such as steering lock, boot lock and fuel lid opener.
Right under the seat, there is enough space to store all the mundane articles. We did manage to squeeze in a large size riding helmet too. The feature list in Hero Duet also includes a 3.0 USB charging slot along with a small light to illuminate in dark conditions. Adding more convenience is the pass light function that comes handy while overtaking.
Hero Duet: Performance, Ride and Handling
Hero has designed a new platform and created a new engine, all at its in-house R&D facility in India, for both the scooters. This is really good news as we expect the same to be shared by a lot of new age Hero products in the future but for now, we focus on Hero Duet.
How does the motor perform? The power and torque numbers of this brand new 110 cc motor makes are 8.31 bhp at 8000 rpm and 8.3 Nm at 6500 rpm. This motor makes use of a CVT transmission unit. Official Claimed, Hero Duet delivers a mileage of 63.8 kmpl.
Push the ignition button and the motor cranks up with a smooth revving nature. The engine idles at extremely low engine speeds. The higher refinement levels of this motor don’t make it feel like a newly developed motor as it exhibits similar levels as seen on other Hero products. Twist the throttle a little and there is enough power delivery to ride on.
Hero Duet makes use of Integrated Braking system which pairs the rear brakes with the front telescopic suspensions. It surely sounds impressive but is highly effective in real world conditions as we did manage to get it to a sudden stop even on a gravel layered surface. The system works just fine at low speeds but needs further tweaking on higher speeds where it misses on the bite of the wheel.
The peak power and torque numbers are produced at a relatively higher engine speed, this might make you form an early judgement against the Duet but it is only when you understand the real space for Duet’s use that the same feels justified. The Hero Duet, essentially, is a city scooter and for the same the engine is mapped accordingly. For smaller city dash, this motor offers quite a lot but the moment it enters on empty sections, the power lag is felt.
But where the Hero Duet scores greatly is the ride quality. The suspension setup is just perfect for daily commute as the taller ground clearance and soft sprung front and rear settings make it an easy rider. The addition of weight over the Edge makes it feel more stable on higher speeds. In addition to the great suspensions, it the newly developed chassis too which gets much appreciation from us. The light platform makes it easy to steer around the corners and handle very conveniently. Though, we had the Hero Duet for a short duration still it impressed us with its overall dynamics.
Hero Duet: Verdict
…And then the final verdict on Hero Duet. It is highly impressive to see Hero MotoCorp. taking the right strides in the correct direction. These new age products are just a hint of the promising future this Indian company has. The Hero Duet feels as strong as the competition which is high praise for a scooter designed and made from ground up.
It does match up to the benchmark in terms of built and finish and also has it all in terms of a fresh design, comfortable ride, convenient features and an efficient engine. Hero will officially roll out the Duet soon after the Maestro Edge arrives in the market that is on 13th October 2015. All we can predict is that the Duet will be priced very competitively as Hero has always had an edge over its rivals in terms of pricing. It can be rightly said that this marks the new beginning of a promising future.