Increasingly, motor scooters are becoming more sophisticated and offering car-like features. All you don’t get really are a full-size windscreen and a roof. And, of course, another pair of wheels. But then, who wants these encumbrances…windscreen? …roof? …more wheels? You’ve gone for a motorized machine that will not only transport you physically but will gladden your heart and feed your soul. You’ve gone for a two-wheeler.
So how does this maiden 125cc Hero two-wheeler add up? Car-like features we were talking about: multi-function main switch, auto-stop-start to save fuel (and our environment), external easy-to-reach fuel filler cap, storage chamber lighting, mobile phone battery charger, dual texture seat. The Hero Destini 125 has them all. Add a part-digital instrument cluster (digital trip meter, fuel gauge, etc… and analog speedo), alloy wheels, Integrated Braking System (IBS), Auto Headlight On (AHO), tubeless tyres, maintenance-free battery, metal body panels and 3D badging, and we are looking at a top-drawer, fully loaded scooter.
The Destini livery is restrained, the body lines doing the talking. I found the Destini a good looker (not a stunner by any means) and indeed appreciated the fact that the Hero stylists obviously looked more at the overall shape and style of the bike, than at cosmetics like stickering. The result is appearance of the bike in keeping with the premium category target of the maker. The new 125cc Hero remains air-cooled and in common Indian scooter style is mated to a CVT, making the Destini 125 what is oft called ‘automatic scooter’. Noteworthy is that the Hero engineers have added the i3S feature on the Destini, making this bike the first ever Indian scooter to carry this kind-to- the-wallet-and-to-the-environment feature.
This i3S feature has been brought over from the Destini’s motorcycle sibling the Hero Splendor i3S. Incorporating this unique-to-scooters feature could not have been easy to work out. i3S means idle-Stop-Start-System - the Start element on the Splendor was activated by the manual clutch. But the Destini has no manual clutch! The smart people at Hero have instead connected this Start function to the throttle and rear brake. Thus, when the Destini i3S runs idle, say at a traffic light intersection, the Stop function cuts in five seconds into idle, and the bike is standing there with ignition switched on but with engine off, thus not burning up fuel and not emitting burnt hydrocarbons into the air. Traffic light turns green, the Destini rider pulls in the rear brake lever on the left handlebar and opens throttle a bit, the Start function fires up the 125cc motor, and the Hero Destini 125 i3S is on its way once again. Neat. The i3S feature is patented by Hero and I can only imagine the system is likely to see action on more models of the popular Indian in the future.
IBS or Integrated Brake System is also on the Destini 125. This braking system was introduced to motorcycling a decade or so ago; so effective and simple is this linked front-rear braking mechanism that it is standard on Hero scooters. Essentially, application of the rear brake activates the front brake, too. Improved deceleration and safety are the positives. This combined, or linked, or integrated braking system helps even out braking forces at both ends of the bike, and is especially useful on low-traction surfaces and in emergency braking when the rider grabs the rear brake only.
The Destini is a family scooter in that more than a single member of the family takes the scooter out. The scooter has come to be a common transport mode in families - no longer is the scooter the mode of getting about by the university student only - scooters have been known to be ridden daily by housewives in their middle years, their husbands in their senior years and of course the sons and daughter in their young years. It is not just that the entire family travels on a bike together, it is that each individual fulfils her/his transport requirement separately with the family scooter the common ‘person mover’. And this is what we hear from Sri Lankan importers of scooters, too, not only from the country of origin.
Is the scooter engine capacity moving up? There was a time when Indian made scooters were sub-100cc; soon they began to grow in size to 100, 110 and so on and now it seems like the battlefield for top scooter honours has moved on to the 125cc region. Where will the scooter engine size go from here? Personally, I’m looking forward to larger-engined scooters too, say 200cc, and gradually moving up to 400cc in the coming few years. The 125cc heart of the Destini offers that extra power and attendant torque that the smaller engined bikes could not offer, the Destini being amply endowed in the power and torque departments, and getting about quite calmly in delivering everyday performance requirements.
Even though the Destini does not come with disc brake up front - now a common feature on many other scooters of the 110/125 range - I did not notice a lack of braking. The drum in front performed well on its own, and the brakes both front and rear providing sufficient deceleration for day to day traffic requirements quite comfortably. This twin-drum equipment would naturally be less costly than a front disc which would be activated hydraulically, and this could have been a point of discussion inside the Hero MotoCorp boardroom. The fuel filler cap is in the tail bodywork and is lockable via the 4-in-1 main switch which works the steering lock, seat, and of course the ignition. This main switch operates wonderfully clean and refined - other switch makers take note: please step up your switch quality and give us this level of design and assembly and refinement.
I don’t see the Destini 125 as a pathfinder; instead I see it as a maturing of Hero’s scooter story - a solid no frills family commuter and the next logical step in the Company’s scooter development program. From here, with design and commercial success that the Destini 125 could bring to the Hero name and expertise, we could surely expect Hero MotoCorp Limited will offer us more such interesting and worthy offerings. Hero’s 125cc scooter gives a good account of itself in its dress, and features-wise, and on the road. Maybe future Hero scooters would have some item parking space in the inner apron, would incorporate LED lighting, and possibly offer disc braking up front as an option. For now, the Hero Destini 125 is a commendable addition to the company’s two-wheeler range, a bike that could come to occupy many a family space and many a family’s heart.
HERO DESTINI 125 i3S
The Destini brings Hero into a new league of scooters - the 125cc class - and comes with the Hero patented i3S idle-Stop-Start-System. Hero MotoCorp, India, has much expertise in the field of two-wheeler manufacturing, being in the business almost three decades now. The Sri Lankan Distributor for Hero is Abans Auto (Pvt) Limited. Sales points and service and spares availability are islandwide. The Hero Destini 125 i3S was launched in Sri Lanka as recently as April.
Asanga Lakmal has been with Hero - Abans a while now, and is Brand Manager for Hero motorcycles and scooters. He tells us that “Hero’s Destini 125 i3S is for both men and women and is targeted at the age group 20 to 40 years. The Destini is one of the fastest growing scooter markets in India. This is the only scooter with i3S technology”.
The Abans-Hero two-wheeler line up comprises the Pleasure, Maestro Edge, HF deluxe, iSmart 110, Passion Pro, Glamour and Hunk
HERO DESTINI 125 i3S
Air-cooled 4-stroke single-cylinder
Electric / Kick start
CHASSIS AND RUNNING GEAR
Tyres Front & Rear 90/100 x 10 tubeless
Brakes Front and Rear Drum
(Integrated Braking System)
Suspension Front Telescopic
Rear Coil and damper
DIMENSIONS AND CAPACITIES
Length 1809 mm
Width 729 mm
Height 1154 mm
Wheelbase 1245 mm
Weight 111.5 kg
Ground clearance 155 mm
THE GO FACTOR
Max Power 6.5 kW (8.7 BHP) @ 6750 rpm
Max Torque 10.2 Nm @ 5000 rpm
Warranty 5 yrs / 50,000 kms
Colors Bronze Panther Black Red
HOW MUCH ?