Hero MotoCorp Duet review : Charming Melody

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Added in: Hero MotoCorp

Hero Duet Front (2)

The recently launched Hero Duet happens to be Hero MotoCorp’s indigenous creation. The largest two-wheeler maker in India recently gave a twist to the Maestro and presented it as the Maestro Edge without getting the original Maestro off the shelves. Talking about the shelves, the all new Hero Duet is positioned between the Maestro and the Hero Pleasure. The Hero Duet has always been hiding behind the Maestro Edge, since the company was busy marketing the Edge with TVCs and promotions. And customers were only introduced to the Duet when they went to the showrooms asking for the Edge. It’s a capable, no-nonsense scoot, though, as we found out after spending a few days with it. The Duet here in these images is in Candy Blazing Red, with an all metal body and packed with features. We try to explore all that this new workhorse from Hero Motocorp has to offer in this detailed Hero Duet review

Design and looks

Hero Duet Front head unit with rear view mirrors

Folks at Hero MotoCorp have done a decent job with the styling of the Duet. The Duet flaunts an all-metal body and is slightly taller than a few other scooters in the segment. Even with the metal body the Duet’s kerb weight stands at 116kgs, 6 kilos more than the Maestro Edge. The headlamp and turn indicators are housed in the top head unit leaving the front apron with no illuminations and making it a clean, uncluttered design. The rear view mirrors get premium with dual tone treatment just like those on the Maestro Edge.

Hero Duet Front Apron (1)

Under the neck are two small nostrils and the number plate is positioned right below it. A straight vertical crease in the centre divides the apron into two parts. The design lines are pretty geometrical on the front which are complimented with a wide chrome v-shaped moustache. Under the moustache the design looks like a puffy cheeked bird with a short beak. To finish the job is a fender protruding out of the cavity and covering some part of the suspension tusks. The fairly huge fender moulds itself to take the shape of the tyre and the front forks.

Hero Duet Front

The front fender is fairly huge and covers some part of the suspension forks that look like tusks

Moving to the sides, the profile is not decorated much but remains smart with minimal lines. A small chrome line runs upwards from the bottom of the footboard’s rear end and neatly leaves a small air vent un-noticed. Below the chrome line are the well positioned foot pegs. A black cladding running from the footboard towards the rear section culminates in the rear foot pad. The rear section is slapped with a chrome finished ‘Duet’ branding on either sides.

Hero Duet side profile left

The single piece grab rail on the rear is comfortable to hold onto. Below the grabrail, positioned horizontally is the external cap of the fuel tank which can hold 6 liters of petrol. The rear profile  also features a large light cluster; a tail lamp sitting snug between two ear shaped rear turn indicators and a reflector strip placed right below it.

Hero Duet rear grabrail

The rear mudguard not only acts as a barrier for the muck slinging away from those tyres, but also carries the rear number plate on it. The exhaust canister does not stick too much out of the body and retains the smooth outline of the profile and features a satin finished garnish. The Hero Duet rides on a pair of tubeless tyres from TVS.

Overall fit and finish, paint quality and assembly is pretty good and the Duet comes across as a product which is built with an extended service life as an engineering goal.

Hero Duet rear

Tech and Utilities

Hero Duet instrument cluster

Once astride the Hero Duet you see a digital-analogue instrument cluster featuring an analogue speedo and fuel gauge along with a small LCD displaying an ODO, trip meter and service reminder is positioned at the right bottom. The speedo sits off-centre with an inverted ‘c’ shaped fuel gauge stuck to it like an ear to the right. The turn indicators are positioned on each side, a ‘side stand’ indicator sits at the left and a high beam indicator below it.

Hero Duet switch gears on the left
Hero Duet switch gear on right

The switch gear is basic and sits a thumb’s distance away from the hand grips. The console also features a pass-light option on the headlight switch.

Hero Duet choke

The choke lever is placed right between the neck and the big storage box (optional accessory), it also comes with a utility hook that can carry upto 3 kg. An additional retractable hook is provided under the seat.

Hero Duet

The foot board has a boomerang pattern to prevent your feet from slipping off.

Hero Duet key

The ignition key of the Duet is feature rich, it can make way for ignition, lock the handle, pop up the seat for accessing storage space below and can also flip open the fuel cap. The storage space below the seat is not huge and will not house your full face helmets, but there are fancy bits to keep you impressed. The storage box is equipped with a light bulb to do the obvious job, also present to help you in needy times is a USB port to fuel up your mobile’s battery.

Hero Duet under seat storage
Hero Duet under seat storage light
Hero Duet storage

Engine and performance

The Hero Duet is powered by a 110.9 cc Air cooled, 4-stroke single cylinder OHC engine that makes 8.31 bhp at 8,000 rpm and 8.30 Nm of torque at 6,500 rpm. This is the same engine that powers the more premium Maestro Edge as well, and is the handiwork of the R&D team at Hero Motocorp which is now  dishing out powertrains all by itself without any assistance from any external agencies. We had our apprehensions about what would power the new generation Hero products, knowing the big shoes of Honda they had to fill, but we are glad to announce that the boffins at Hero have pulled off a fantastic job. The engine is smooth and stress free for almost the entire rev range, barring the very peak at around 7500 rpm where mild vibes start filtering in through the footboard and handlebar.

Throttle response could have been a bit more crisp, through it’s nothing we should really be complaining about. The Duet feels quick off the block and builds speed with confidence all the way up to 80 km/h, and a few units thereafter, which is its peak velocity.  Torque is spread across the engine’s operating range and the Duet bears load without a struggle. Climbing inclines, or riding two-up, the Duet has sufficient turning force to gather speed at a fair clip. Outright performance for these everyday scoots isn’t the key parameter, as that’s not the characteristic the end user is looking at. What matters is acceleration in early to mid revs, refinement and efficiency. The power plant on the Duet comes across as a well honed unit for those requirements, and can handle whatever the life of an urban Indian dweller can throw at it with ease.

The variomatic gearbox complements the engine well, and responds swiftly to throttle inputs. Even as you crack the throttle open from lethargic speeds, it doesn’t hamper the engine from building revs, letting the power down in a smooth, seamless manner. Efficiency for a city-highway cycle stands at about 50kmpl, which is pretty good.  The powertrain of the Duet hardly leaves anything to complain about and is something that the engineers at Hero Motocorp can pat their own backs for.

Hero Duet left brake lever lock
Hero Duet Front wheel with integrated braking
Hero Duet Front fender with integrated braking label

Ride and handling

The absolute standout feature of the Duet’s dynamic characteristics is its fantastic chassis-suspension setup. If the engine was something the Hero guys should be congratulated for, that chassis and suspension calls for them taking a bow. The Duet feels pleasingly friendly, manageable and comfortable, without losing out on dynamic ability as a compromise. It feels solid and planted at 80 kmph + speeds without being overly harsh or stiff. The telescopic front suspension works wonders in dealing with rough patches, undulations and potholes, while also endowing this unpretentious machine with praiseworthy dynamic ability around the bends and at high velocities.

Hero Duet in action (1)

The Duet is shod with 90/100-10-53 J front and 90/100-10-53 J rear TVS tyres which do a decent job of keeping this 116 kg scoot glued to the ground. Braking is adequate too, and Hero has implemented its Integrated Braking system here (engaging both brakes upon applying one) to drop the anchors faster. It really works, though someone switching over from a conventional scooter might be taken by surprise, especially while trying to lock and slide the rear wheel.

Easy to manoeuvre,  stable at high speeds and comfortable dealing with road surface torture, the Duel comes across as a polished dynamic package for our conditions.

Verdict

A well-finished, sensible, capable unisex machine, the Hero Duet is the win-all kind of scooter that really works for the Indian market. Think metal body, a balanced appearance, reliable mechanicals, good efficiency and a well-known brand stickered on the panels – the Duet does all of that very well. We could have asked for a bit more space under that seat, just to nitpick, but the Duet does really excel in most departments that matter. At 49,087 it’s priced reasonably well too. The Duet is an able, ambidextrous kind of a machine for its class, and managed to impress us. Much like its name, the Duet is like a sweet melody with voices from both sexes. It’ll please all, offend none and those qualities more often than not can make you immensely popular.

If a scooter in this price segment is something you are looking at, taking this one out for a test spin is highly recommended.

Colour options and price:

The Hero Duet rolls out in 6 colour options – Candy Blazing Red, Grace Grey, Pearl Silver White, Matte Vernier Grey, Nature Green and Panther Black. The Duet carries a price tag INR 49,087 (ex-showroom Mumbai).

 

Specifications:

EngineType – Air coooled, 4-stroke single cylinder OHC
Displacement – 110.9 CC
Max. Power – 8.31 BHP (6.20 KW) @ 8000 RPM
Max. Torque – 8.30 Nm @ 6500 RPM
Starting – Self- Start Ignition
Clutch – Automatic Clutch
Gear box – Variomatic Drive ( 2.51- 0.85)

Suspension
Front – Telescopic, Hydraulic Shock Absorber
Rear – Unit Swing with Spring Loaded Hydraulic Damper
Brakes – Integrated braking
Tyres
Front – 90/100-10-53 J
Rear – 90/100-10-53 J

Electricals
Battery – 12V – 4Ah (MF Battery)
Head Lamp – 35W/35W – Halogen Bulb (Multi-Reflector Type)
Tail/Stop Lamp – 12V – 5/21W Multi Reflector Type
Turn Signal Lamp – 21W x 4 nos (MFR- Clear Lens- Amber Bulb)

Dimensions
Length – 1830 mm
Width – 726 mm
Height – 1139 mm
Wheelbase – 1245 mm
Ground Clearance – 155 mm
Fuel Tank Capacity – 6ltrs
Kerb Weight – 116 Kg
Max Payload – 130 Kg

Hero Duet in action (4)

Hero Duet left brake lever lock
Hero Duet Front wheel with integrated braking
Hero Duet Front fender with integrated braking label

Retractable utility hook under the seat

Hero Duet under seat storage

Boot space under the seat 

Hero Duet under seat storage light

Light in the boot

Hero Duet rear view mirror with dual colour

Premium treatment on the rear view mirror

Hero Duet side stand

Side stand

Hero Duet pillion foot rest
Hero Duet pillion foot rest (2)

Foot rest

Hero Duet key

Versatile ignition key

Hero Duet instrument cluster

Analogue instrumental cluster with LCD

Hero Duet Front storage box

Storage box (optional accessory)

Hero Duet exhaust cannister with garnish

Exhaust canister with garnish

Hero Duet in action (8)
Hero Duet in action (7)
Hero Duet in action (6)
Hero Duet in action (5)
Hero Duet in action (4)
Hero Duet in action (3)
Hero Duet in action (2)
Hero Duet in action (1)