Hero Maestro Review
Hero's First Unisex ScooterTuesday, November 12, 2013
Design and Style
India’s largest two wheeler manufacturer, Hero has launched their new gear-less scooter known as Maestro which is more or less is a restyled Honda Activa. Remember the way, Hero has always marketed their Pleasure as a female oriented scooter; similarly they are conveying the message that it’s specially designed for males so that they can have a large number of buyers who stay away from Pleasure and opts for other scooters.
Design and Style
Hero Maestro does look like a boy thing. It’s big in size and looks much more mature and well-built than Pleasure. Sharp lines start from the shoulders of its front apron and goes all the way to the tip of mudguard with inbuilt clear lens indicators. Its headlight along with black coloured cowl and dual coloured side mirrors enhance the charisma of this scooter. It looks premium and sporty when seen from the front. It has expanded side panels with Maestro written on them. Rear profile is very attractive thanks to its angular tail light with clear lens indicators which are big in size and short mudguard with reflective light. It also features a massive body coloured grab rail which makes it look macho.
Something new and creative can be seen in its instrument panel with three pods surrounded with metal finish which certainly looks premium. These pods have analogue speedometer and digital odometer and fuel gauge with other indicators.
Engine and Gearbox
Hero Maestro is powered by a 109cc air-cooled, 4-stroke engine. This one cylinder OHC engine has a power output of 8.2 bhp at 7500 rpm with a maximum torque output of 9.1 Nm available at 5500 rpm. It uses an automatic transmission with Variomatic drive system.
Acceleration and Top Speed
Hero Maestro uses the same engine used by its biggest rival Honda Activa. Specification wise both scooters are identical on papers but take Maestro on road and you will notice the difference. Maestro feels much slower than Activa. That’s why Maestro takes almost 10 seconds to reach 60km/hour from standstill. If we compare it with other competitors like Suzuki Swish, Vespa LX125 or other scooters from Honda, it’s the slowest amongst all. It reaches a top speed of 88km/hour and undoubtedly, this engine is one of the most refined engines available in gear-less scooters and it never feels stressed. Except for the low range, there is nothing much to complain about it. Maestro performs best in its mid-range.
Being a Hero product, Maestro tends to be fuel efficient. Due to its slow performance, it manages to return you good fuel efficiency even after weighing around 110kgs. Expect it to give you a mileage of around 42-44km/ltr in city conditions while it may increase on highways.
Comfort While Driving
This is one of the most comfortable scooters till now. It has a big floorboard which offers you incredible legroom even after having a glove box. Seat is wide enough to keep you sitting for hours without giving you much stress. Handle bar fits in well in the palms and gives you optimum comfort while driving. Instrument panel is very pleasing to see as it’s quite illuminating and easily readable. The quality of buttons used on its handle feels up market.
Safety Features and Storage Space
Ignition key slot comes with a shutter as seen in other scooters which can also be locked manually, even without the key. Storage space is not an issue as it comes with an 18 litre under seat storage compartment with an optional glove box for which you will have to pay more. Apart from the wide floorboard you also get a bag hook near it to carry essentials. The Scooter is equipped with a combi-brake system, magnetic head ignition key with shutter and tuff-up tubes that gives you unmatched safety and convenience. The anti-slip texture of the floor area and fold able pillion foot peg adds to the safety of the rider.
Suspension and Brakes
Hero Maestro shares its suspension and braking system with Honda Activa. It has bottom link with spring loaded hydraulic shockers at its front with mono shock absorber at its back. It takes most of the bumps easily and feels very stable at high speeds. There is no optional disk brake on Maestro but Hero has equipped it with combined braking system which includes 130mm drum brakes on its both wheels. The braking is very accurate and gives you immense confidence while driving it. With these brakes it’s not hard for you to stop it any time at any speed without much effort.
Ride and Handling
Riding stance offered by Maestro is incredible. This characteristic differentiates it from other scooters. When you sit on it, you will find yourself in a sporty stance rather than a commuter stance which means more confidence and fun while driving. It will surely appeal to the college goers as it prompts you to drive it fast without losing confidence. It’s perfect for tall drivers as they will find themselves relaxed on it even after having a pillion rider. Hero has slightly improved its wheelbase (1240mm) in comparison to Activa which is hardly noticeable but its ground clearance is quite noticeable as it has increased by 10mm which is a welcome feature as you often find it hard for Activa to pass many obstructions on our Indian roads.
Hero Maestro is available in six shades: Panther Black Met, Pearl Fadeless White, Force Silver Met, Pearl Harvest Green, Candy Blazing Red and Maestro Blue Metallic.
Hero is offering Maestro in one variant with kick and self-start option.
Hero has played really smart as they have placed it below Honda Activa which will its biggest advantage. Most of the things seem to be in the favour of this scooter. For example its design, comfort, features and refined engine makes it a good choice. We agree it may feel slower than others but to compensate it gives you higher fuel efficiency. Moreover it’s a Hero product which means good service network, easy maintenance and high resale value. Undoubtedly, it is worth to spend money on this scooter and it’s a very nice alternative of Activa. Till now it has been received really well in our market and we expect things to get better in future. Watch out Activa!!