First ride: Hero Maestro
Abhinav Mishra feels that the Maestro is quite a symphonic scooter
One thing is clear even before riding the Maestro; this is going to be a good scooter. The reason is simple, it is based on the Honda Activa. So we already expect it to be good. The real question here is – is Hero Maestro better than the Honda Activa?
On the surface it does manage to impress. The proportions are bigger than an Activa but somehow Hero has managed to disguise them well. The fit and finish is top-notch. The instrument cluster is a mix of an analog speedometer and a digital fuel gauge and trip meter. This by itself makes other scooters in the competition look dated. Add to that the switchgear, and the soft palm-grips, and you have a scooter that sets a new benchmark.
The height of the seats is low so shorter riders can place their foot on the ground. While the handlebars are placed upright to add to the already comfortable riding position. Seats are wide to accommodate you or your pillion’s XL posterior without any overhangs. On longer rides the Maestro feel comfortable thanks to the riding positions and the seat cushioning just feels right.
The 109cc motor is borrowed from Honda as well and Hero has shied away from making any drastic alterations to it. The engine in Hero Maestro pumps the same 8bhp and 9Nm of torque, which is sufficient to putter to the grocery store and back. Speaking of which, it also comes with a larger boot to stow-in some of those shopping bags.
All those large proportions do make the Hero Maestro a tad bit heavier that the Honda Activa, but on the other hand it also improves rides as well. The suspensions are good, and swallow most of the bumps well without unsettling the scooter or the rider.
Overall the Maestro does manage to surprise us with Hero’s capabilities. As mentioned earlier, we already knew that this would be a good scooter to being with, but now if someone asked us our suggestions on buying a Honda scooter, we would definitely recommend him to take a look at the Hero Maestro first.
Read our full review in the upcoming August issue of BBC TopGear India magazine.