Review: Honda Dream Yuga
Dont say the H-word. I mean other than Honda. What you should focus on is this new motorcycles name - the Dream Yuga. It combines a legendary name from Hondas chequered history with an Indian word. It probably means that this motorcycle represents Hondas dream for its new era in India. If their track record is anything to go by, everyone should essentially run for cover.There are moments where I have to get out of my redlining mind and fit into the psyche of a commuter. And I dont particularly like such times. Fortunately, this is not one of them. What you see here is possibly the most important motorcycle India has seen in recent times, never mind the adrenaline/ego-boosters you always see us riding. With 110cc, 8.5bhp and 8.9Nm, the Dream Yuga hardly seems like the sort of motorcycle thatd set this magazines pages on fire. Its no supermodel, thats for sure. If youre wondering where youve seen it before, its probably next to the entry titled commuter in your average pictionary. The fairing, tank and panels are as convenient as an arranged marriage. Whether either is safe is anyones guess.If you want a bit more spice, theres always the Twister, though. The Dream Yuga looks anonymous enough to blend right in with the multitudes you see outside any given Mumbai railway station. But then, thats exactly the crowd Honda intends to put onto two wheels. And give them a chance to avoid arranged marriages - motorcycles surely are a better way to woo the fairer sex, eh? Anyway, lets move on.Ride quality is surely better than the bump and grind of local trains, minus the sweat of dirty armpits gushing down on you. The tiny proportions make sure you can slip between the most annoying of autorickshaws careening up and down your commute. And as long as you dont venture too far beyond city limits, the seat will take care of your overworked backside, so you always arrive for the next appointment without feeling fatigued. What takes the cake, though, is the Dream Yugas willingness to handle.With a turning circle that is almost unbelievable after the recent raft of motorcycles Ive been riding, I had a blast riding the Dream Yuga in traffic. No angle is too weird, no gap too small - just point, squirt and youre through. This Honda is very stable and thanks to the tubeless MRF rubber, grip is very good too. While I normally have reservations about drum brakes - and I still maintain that the Dream Yuga should get a disc as an option - the front one on this bike is pretty good. It even pulls stoppies. Really. And its really nice to see that Hondas retained the fun-to-ride quotient in the Dream Yuga.This little Hondas motor is no fire breather, sure, but its an eager little number. For heavens sake, its even happy to pop enthusiastic wheelies. Gearshifts are smooth and precise, though Im not a fan of the all-up shift pattern. Its a telling sign of whom the Dream Yugas aimed at, though. Acceleration is sprightly and keeps up the enthusiasm until around 70kph. But the only number that matters with this motorcycle is kpl, 0-60 and top speed be damned. The numbers a claimed 72kpl, by the way. Id say Fill it, shut it, forget it, if I could. But for once, a commuter is more than just a number.This is a motorcycle named after a motorcycle that mobilised countless people around the world. And it's a potent statement from Honda; they're out to get the lions share of the market. And Id be stupid to put this past them - they're aiming to better themselves, all said and done. After all, its their Hero-ic motor that that put generations of Indians on two wheels, right? The numbers110cc, single cylinder, 8.5bhp, 8.9Nm, 4M, 105kg, Rs 58,167 (on-road, Mumbai)The verdictThe standard for basic commuters just got reset.