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Review: Hyosung Aquila Pro 650
Driven March 2013
It’s long, it’s low, and it’s got enough chrome to blind onlookers on a sunny afternoon. We like the sweeping design, which starts from the fuel tank and flows seamlessly into the tail-lamp. Not to forget the chrome air inlets on both sides of the fuel tank – they ratchet up the muscle quotient by a couple of notches.
Fit and finish is good in most places, but there is scope for improvement. The switchgear looks strictly okay. The digital speed display pod is dipped in chrome. It shows speed, fuel level and engine temperature, but is surrounded by lots of cheap plastic. Given the amount of real estate wasted here, an rpm meter could easily have been accommodated.
The chrome polish looks different in different places. What disappoints most is the lack of chrome on the engine, which is sacrilege for a cruiser sold in India. Also, on the chassis, we would have preferred a brushed metal coat instead of the current black powder coating, which stands out like an eyesore.
The fuel-injected, 647cc, 90-degree V-twin churns 74bhp and 62.1Nm, transmitted via a five-speed ’box tuned for low-end torque. This is the same engine that does duty in the GT650 series but has been worked on for better refinement. It feels a lot more responsive and free-revving than it did before.
Pity we can’t say the same about the gearbox. Stopping at a traffic light or in stop-and-go traffic, it’s cumbersome getting into neutral. On open roads, it shifts much more easily, but the clunky feel remains.
The Aquila’s seat is a nice place to be on. The swept back handlebar leads to a fairly upright seating position. In contrast, the foot pegs are placed way too far ahead and give the rider a recliner-on-wheels feel. Shorter riders will appreciate the low saddle height too.
Riding it, the Aquila feels a lot less intimidating than it looks. In peak city traffic, it feels agile as we dodge cows, pedestrians, bicycles, potholes – the usual.
The upright seating position helps as well, but as travel time in traffic increases, so does engine temperature. At this point, we miss those smaller-capacity single-cylinder engines that don’t slow roast your legs in traffic. As you move out of the city, traffic eases and so does the heat from the engine.
On the highway is where the Aquila feels most at home. The engine purrs as the bike cruises lazily at 70kph. The cushiony seat means you can ride this bike all day long. But try riding it at higher speeds and you’ll run into high wind resistance that pushes your torso back with rising speed.
Worry not. Hyosung offers a whole range of accessories for its cruiser bikes, and a windshield seems to be a good investment. Show it a corner and the Aquila flows in with ease. It’s almost surprising, especially when you consider the size of this machine. Learning how the bike responds doesn’t take much time. And it feels all the more enjoyable on the highway, and on twisty mountain roads.
The rear suspension is basic twin shocks, while the inverted forks upfront are adjustable. In their default settings, we think they do a good job. Bad roads are not an issue and the bike glides over most of them without much fuss. The well-padded seat filters the bumps before they reach your spine. The Bridgestone Battlax BT - 54 tyres do a decent job gripping the road in normal conditions, but they’re prone to skidding under panic braking. Apart from better tyres, there’s also a need for ABS as standard.
Prices for the Hyosung Aquila Pro 650 start from Rs 4.99 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi). At that price, we think the Aquila Pro 650 is a fairly decent product. Expensive for a Korean bike, but still a steal for a Harley V-Rod lookalike.
2-cyl, 647cc, 74bhp, 62.1Nm, 197kph, 22.3kpl (est), Rs 4.99 lakh, ex-showroom, Delhi
A V-twin 650cc cruiser that offers bling, power and value for money.