One of the most successful JVs in Indian automotive history was Hero Honda. The two complemented each other like bread and butter and were credited for opening up the Indian motorcycle market to a wide audience. Hero Honda essayed the role of first mover in many segments, while the competition just followed and played to the market’s demands.
Post the split, Hero was left in the lurch. Since they lacked the technical expertise of Honda, they had to resort to developing their new models based heavily on some popular Honda products, to maintain their foothold in the market. Ignitor was one of the results of those efforts. Frequent references to CBF Stunner in this review are not by chance, for the bike was based entirely on it.
Let's find out if Hero have managed to carve out an identity for the Ignitor (and indirectly for themselves too) or if they have completely lost the plot.
Design, Styling and Build Quality
You'd be forgiven if you mistook the Ignitor as a Stunner upgrade. The Stunner was easily the best-looking 125cc bike in the market, with a design that's capable of giving some bigger displacement bikes a complex. The Ignitor carries that styling forward. There is very little to split them in terms of looks - the lower windscreen and a minor redesign of the headlamps and tail lamps are all that are immediately noticeable, while rest of the motorcycle is ditto. The aggressive looks of Stunner seem somewhat toned down in the Ignitor. Stickering has been redone to give it some identity, but doesn’t look like it worked too well. Fit, finish and build are all very good.
Features and Ergonomics
A digital-analog combo instrument console provides all the info required. Switchgear quality is quite good. While the Ignitor does not have any stand out feature, it is fully-loaded in standard trim.
Riding posture is almost upright, yet comfortable, which makes the Ignitor perfect for commutes and occasional long runs.
Powertrain and Performance
The engine and its specs are all familiar, being the same 124cc air-cooled single cylinder unit as employed by the Honda Stunner and CB Shine. While the engine delivers acceptable performance for a commuter, it seems to run out of steam rather soon in the rev range. What has changed, and not necessarily for the better, is the power delivery. The revised gear ratios that Hero chose to incorporate into the Ignitor takes away some of the free-revving, less-stressed character, which was one of the Stunner’s best points.
On the brighter side though, the torque peaks at just around 5000 rpm, ensuring sufficient pulling power at low revs, even in higher gears. Vibe levels are minimal unless you are screaming out the engine.
Dynamics and Brakes
The suspension setup of the Ignitor is very similar to the Stunner, which is one of the best dynamically. The bike is light yet very stable, and there’s good confidence when turning into a corner. The front end feels slightly lacking in feedback though. Riding over bumps can feel a bit spiky, but overall it’s a well-balanced setup.
A 240 mm disc upfront and a 130mm drum in the rear take care of the braking duties, and they work as designed, stopping the bike without much fuss or drama.
The revised power delivery enables it to run at lower RPMs, thereby ensuring better mileage than the Honda Stunner in similar riding conditions. A real world fuel economy of 50 kmpl under mixed conditions is very much possible.
Most of the negative aspects of the Ignitor are not things that would affect the average consumer’s purchase decision, but you can’t forgive Hero for not creating a more distinctive product. Being one of their first products after the split with Honda, this was a great opportunity for the company to showcase its commitment and ability.
The Ignitor is not a bad bike - it just isn’t as good as the bike it is based on. But forget about the Stunner for a moment, and you are left with a no-nonsense value for money commuter that looks good and performs admirably well.
Special thanks to Adyar Motors, Chennai, who provided us the Hero Ignitor for the review
Disclaimer: This review is purely based on the test conducted by "ChooseMyBike.in". All views expressed in this review are that of ChooseMyBike.in's, and not of the manufacturer's.
(c) ChooseMyBike.in. All Rights Reserved.
|Engine||Air-cooled , 4-stroke single cylinder|
|Power||11 bhp @ 8000 rpm|
|Torque||11 Nm @ 5000 rpm|
|Chassis Type||Tubular , Diamond Type|
|Brakes||Front:Drum, dia 130 mm
Rear:Drum, dia 130 mm, Internal expanding shoe type
|Suspension||Front:Telescopic Hydraulic Shock Absorbers
Rear:Swing Arm with adjustable hydraulic shock absorbers
|Fuel Tank Capacity||9|