While Hero Motorcorp is the undisputed leader of the Indian motorcycle market, they lag behind Honda, and sometimes TVS, in terms of scooter sales. The Maestro and Pleasure had boosted them to second place, but with competition upping the ante, Hero needed an all-new product to keep its momentum going. Well, here it is, the 110cc Duet. It is Hero’s first shot at building a scooter from scratch, and it looks quite promising. Let’s delve in a bit more to find out what it holds in store.
At first glance, the Duet’s front end seems similar to that of the Honda Activa. Nevertheless, it looks quite smart and modern. To boost its aesthetic appeal, it comes in a variety of interesting colours, such as this really cool ‘Matt Vernier Grey’ on our test scooter. Overall, we say that it is a safe design; one that neither endears nor offends.
Hero continues the good build quality found on the Maestro and Pleasure on to the Duet as well. The quality of plastics used on the apron and switchgear feel nice on the touch, and the scooter feels quite solid.
The Duet seats the rider in an upright posture, which bodes well for comfort during city rides. It is a fairly large scooter, and hence it can seat two with ease. Pillion comfort is very good, thanks to the presence of well-placed foot pegs and a large grab rail.
The engine employed on the Duet, is an all-new 110cc unit that was developed in-house by Hero. It produces 8.31 bhp, which is slightly higher than its rivals. It is a very refined motor, and feels very smooth on the run. As far as performance goes, the power advantage is robbed due to its heavy 116 kg kerb weight. Still, it manages to reach 40 kmph from standstill at a brisk pace, and is capable of reaching 55 kmph without much effort. Progress slows down from thereon, and if you are patient enough, you could see it go up to 80 kmph. In terms of mileage, the Duet is capable of delivering over 45 kmpl, which is around the same as most other scooters in this category.
Due to its heavy kerb weight, the Duet isn’t exactly a very nimble scooter. Then again, it isn’t unwieldy either, and can be hustled thorough traffic. Although it takes a bit more effort to turn into a corner, it does feel reassuringly stable.
Ride comfort is one of the Duet’s biggest pluses. The telescopic front forks, along with a hydraulic mono-shock at the rear, dampen road imperfections really well, making it a very comfortable scooter to ride on our not-so-great roads.
A set of drum brakes with Intergrated Braking System feature as standard fitment on the Duet. This setup works really well, bringing the scooter to a halt from 40 kmph in 8.5m.
Hero has done well to equip the Duet with a long list of practical features. There is a digital-analog speedometer console, pass light switch, external fuel filler, side-stand on indicator, a USB charging port, and an underseat storage light. Amongst its close rivals, only the Jupiter has most of these amenities, while the Activa has none.
The Duet is available in two variants, the entry-level LX, which is priced at Rs 49,087 (ex-showroom, Mumbai), and the top-end VX at Rs 50,587 (ex-showroom, Mumbai). The LX gets trailing link suspension and an analogue speedometer, whereas the VX gets telescopic front suspension, a digital-analogue speedometer console, and the pass light switch. Amongst the two, the VX version comes across as the better deal, despite its slightly higher price tag.
With the Duet, Hero Motocorp has a quality scooter that is capable of slugging it out with the segment leaders. It has been designed with practicality and ease of use in mind, for it is comfortable, and comes loaded with a ton of features.
The Duet may lack on the performance front, but it more than makes up for that by acing all other aspects. If you want a smart-looking and efficient scooter for your daily commuter and chores, then we suggest you take a close, hard look at this excellent product from Hero Motocorp.
|Engine||4-Stroke Single Cylinder OHC|
|Power||8.31 bhp @ 8000 rpm|
|Torque||8.3 Nm @ 6500 rpm|
|Chassis Type||High Rigidity Underbone Type|
|Brakes||Front:Drum, dia. 130 mm, Internal expanding shoe type
Rear:Drum, dia. 130 mm, Internal expanding shoe type
|Suspension||Front:Telescopic Hydraulic Shock Absorbers
Rear:Unit Swing with spring loaded hydraulic dampers
|Fuel Tank Capacity||6|