New Delhi: The Indian two-wheeler industry in the 1980s was rocked by the introduction of the Hero Honda CD100. Its fuel-efficient nature was one of the fundamental reasons for the brand’s success in a market dominated by scooters. What followed were several iconic models such as Splendor, Glamor, CBZ, and Karizma, among others.
While some of these iconic names may have been added to history books, products like Splendor are still alive to tell the tale. However, the company is now looking at a more global reach and also a greater share of the premium two-wheeler market. Here are the top five Hero bikes and scooters planned for 2020-21.
1. Hero Xtreme 160R
The Hero Xtreme 160R has a class-leading 0-60 km / h acceleration time of 4.7 seconds.
Introduced as the Xtreme 1.R concept at EICMA 2019, the Hero Xtreme 160R production was unveiled in February 2020. We expect the motorcycle to launch commercially once the coronavirus pandemic ends.
The motorcycle will mark Hero’s re-entry in the 150-160cc segment. You get LED headlights, first-segment LED indicators, digital instrumentation, and side foot motor cut-off switch. It’s suspended over a conventional 37mm Showa fork at the front and a 7-step adjustable monoshock at the rear. Braking power comes from a 276mm petal unit at the front and a 220mm petal disk at the rear. A low-cost version with rear drum brake will also be offered.
The Hero Xtreme 160R will be powered by a 160 cc air-cooled engine that produces 15.21 hp of power and 14 Nm of torque. The company also boasts that the Hero Xtreme 160R has a class-leading 0-60 km / h acceleration time of 4.7 seconds.
The Hero Xtreme 160R will compete against TVS Apache RTR 160 4V, Honda CB Hornet 160R and Bajaj Pulsar 160 NS.
2. Sub-500cc ADV
We hope that the next Sub 500 cc Hero ADV will be sold in two variants. One of the biggest hidden gems in Hero World 2020 (yes, they are imitating Ducati) was the confirmation of an adventure-oriented motorcycle under 500cc. The production version of the motorcycle may be a few months away, but looking at the semi-hidden bases of the motorcycle makes us drool.
Perched above the XPulse 200, the new motorcycle has been showcased with an inverted front fork and monoshock. The brakes are discs at both ends and the front has a radially mounted caliper. Features will include LED lighting, Bluetooth-connected digital instrumentation, and knobby wheels. We also expect the upcoming Hero sub-500 cc ADV to be offered in two variants, as will the XPulse which is marketed in a premium off-road variant and a biased variant on tour.
There is no confirmation on the displacement of the motorcycle engine, but we would not be surprised if it is around the 300 cc mark. This bike will rival the likes of Royal Enfield Himalayan and KTM 390 Adventure.
3. Hero XF3R
The Hero XF3R was showcased with a single-sided swingarm.
The Hero XF3R concept, unveiled at Auto Expo 2016, was the first Indian concept equipped with a single-sided swingarm. It may still be a year before launch.
Following the latest trends, the Hero XF3R was equipped with an inverted fork at the front and a monoshock at the rear. The brake department included discs at both ends. Other features included an uncomfortable sweep double-barrel exhaust canister and Pirelli Sport Demon tires.
Hero MotoCorp had said that the Hero XF3R mounts a “high-performance mid-segment engine.” It is actually a 300 cc engine based on the Xtreme 200R mill. Exit figures were not disclosed. The Hero XF3R had fuel injection with Dual Map technology that suggests selectable driving modes.
The Hero XF3R, if launched, will allow the manufacturer to target the premium motorcycle buyer who is otherwise targeting Japanese bikes.
4. Hero Zir
The Hero Zir was exhibited at Auto Expo 2014 in two variants, one as a step by step and the other with a flat footboard.
At Auto Expo 2014, Hero showed off some quirky concepts, like HX250R and Hastur. However, the most likely of them was the Hero Zir, a European-style maxi-scooter. With the updated 110cc and 125cc scooter portfolio, now is the time for Hero to enter the premium 150cc scooter segment that is now dominated by Aprilia and Vespa. The growing popularity of maxi-scooters makes even more sense for Hero to bring the Zir to the market.
The suspension configuration of the Hero Zir includes a standard 35mm telescopic fork at the front and a monoshock with adjustable preload at the rear. The braking configuration included a disc brake at the front and a drum unit at the rear. It tipped the scale at 139 kg and was equipped with a 130-section rear tire. Other features include dual projector headlights, LED lights, and large wheels. The Hero Zir was exhibited in two variants, one as a step-by-step and the other with a flat stirrup.
Power the Hero Zir is a 157.1 cc liquid-cooled, fuel-injected mill. The latter was claimed to have smartphone connectivity to display the engine and driving parameters. The maximum power and the maximum torque outputs were linked to 14.3 PS and 12.7 Nm respectively.
If launched, the Hero Zir will compete with the likes of the Aprilia SXR 160 and Vespa’s 150cc range.
5. Hero Duet-E
The Hero Duet-E concept that was exhibited at Auto Expo 2016 had a range of 65 km.
The long-awaited Hero Duet-E is finally expected to hit the production lines later this year. It was last showcased at the Delhi Auto Expo 2016 and is expected to be the manufacturer’s first two-wheel electrical product.
Set up to position itself as a family-oriented scooter, the Hero Duet-E will get LED lighting and possibly a fully digital display, and perhaps even a full-color TFT drive to help set it apart from the competition. The Hero Duet-E concept had a range of 65 km on a single charge. That’s less than the claimed range of Bajaj Chetak and TVS iQube which is 95km and 75km respectively.
Furthermore, the Hero Duet-E has an acceleration time of 0-60 km / h of 6.5 seconds. We hope that Hero MotoCorp will improve the performance part of the next scooter and that it will be on par with the competition. Hero’s bond with Ather Energy may also play a role in the development of the Hero Duet-E production.