The Hyosung GV650 Aquila Pro has been one of the more successful products to come out of the DSK-Hyosung alliance since the DSK Group acquired the exclusive distributorship of Hyosung motorcycles in India. To its credit, the Aquila GV650 managed to sell 145 units within 2 months of its launch last year. We recently took the motorcycle for an exhaustive spin in Pune putting the cruiser to high speed tests on the wide NH4 and tested its cornering prowess on the twisties of Tamhini Ghats. And then, just to be sure, we also took the Aquila to the broken interior trails for gauging the cruiser’s comfort level. So how did the Korean colt fare? Here’s our report in this detailed Hyosung GV650 Aquila Pro review.
STYLING, FEATURES AND BUILD QUALITY
Our first glance at the Aquila Pro was from the rear three quarters and it immediately reminded us of the Yamaha Warrior and as we moved towards the sides, we could see very faint glimpses of the wicked Harley V-Rod too. But despite having distant hints of the aforementioned motorcycles, the curvaceous Aquila Pro still manages to have a clear identity of its own.
For those who love chrome, Hyosung has thrown up a brightwork feast on the Hyosung GV650 Aquila Pro. The front fender bracket, headlight rings, the swooping dashboard, brake fluid reservoir, faux air scoops, engine covers, drive-belt guard, rear fender accents and that big barrel exhaust – everything is drenched in chrome. The Aquila Pro is a chrome supermarket on two wheels. It might initially seem as an overdose of gleam treatment, but managed to look nice in the flesh and turns a lot of heads too.
Even with the liberal splattering Hyosung has extended to the Aquila Pro, we still wish the engine was treated to a bit of chrome treatment – not in entirety, but on the cylinder ribs. The major flaunting part on big cruiser motorcycles has always been the engine; the v-twin motor on the Aquila Pro does seem lost amid the sea of chrome. But overall, the Hyosung GV650 Aquila Pro with its black and chrome hues does manage to turn heads.
On the quality front, this Korean machinery seems to have come of age. We still remember those early days of Hyosung where rough finished surfaces and crude welding joints used to be part of the package- but Hyosung seems to have ironed out all the creases on the Aquila Pro. The paint quality, chromed embellishments and the blacked out treatment while still not in the supreme league, is quite good. The finish and quality won’t let you frown especially knowing the cost of the machine.
There are a few areas which could be improved, though. Starting with the engine coating, the paint on the cylinders had already peeled off (though mildly) at the ribs plus the glossy finish if swapped with a matt texture would enhance the visual appeal of the v-twin. The switchgear is next. One would definitely expect better quality switchgear when shelling out more than half a million rupees for a premium motorcycle. Though operating the switches wasn’t an issue, but the plastics quality could definitely have been better. And finally the last on the list of our grudges were the handlebar grips. The rubber could have been suppler with grooves with more comfortable and nicer looking material. The chromed bits on either side of the grips are made of plastic (easy to conclude at first sight). Metal bar end weights would have been more apt.
Features wise, the Hyosung GV650 Aquila Pro does manage to put up an impressive show. The silver and brushed-aluminium combo-finished inverted front forks in addition to aiding performance lend appeal to the motorcycle. The three spoke alloy wheel design might look old school, but the blacked out treatment and the triple disc rotor setup manages to distract your view of the wheels. The dashboard provides the necessary numbers and is information rich, though it’s not the most visually appealing unit.
The round shaped mirrors offer adequate view of the trailing traffic but only when at distance. Vehicles driving up close to the motorcycle are difficult to spot in the RVMs and hence wider rectangular mirrors would have been a better choice. The wide leather seat with a red stitched trim not only looks premium but offers the right amount of cushion.
The Hyosung GV650 Aquila Pro comes with adjustable footrests though the placement of the pegs is a bit forward to one’s liking. Suspension duties at the rear are taken care of by twin hydraulic shock absorbers. The final drive is a maintenance free semi-permanent belt setup that scores over conventional chain drives when it comes to noise and vibrations.
The bazooka-clone exhaust though overly sized for the motorcycle makes for an imposing feature. A set of sticky Bridgestone Battlax rubber at both ends add merit on the impressive features list and finally an arched LED tail light cluster gives the Aquila Pro a Yamaha V-Max’ish look.
To sum it up, the Hyosung GV650 Aquila Pro boasts of improved build quality when compared to past motorcycles have rolled out from the Hyosung’s stable with enticing set of features for making a purchase decision.
ENGINE AND GEARBOX
The Hyosung GV650 Aquila Pro is powered by a fuel injected 647cc water cooled 90 degree v-twin cranking out max power of 74 bhp @ 9000 rpm with max torque of 62.1 nm @ 7500 rpm. The engine speed seems high for a cruiser motorcycle and there’s some history behind it. Hyosung started its operations way back in the 70’s as a sub-contracting engine manufacturer for Suzuki motorcycles. And thanks to the old Hyosung-Suzuki technical collaboration, the present v-twin motor on the Hyosung GV650 Aquila Pro shares similar architecture to the famed Suzuki SV650 engine which essentially was a sports touring motorcycle. The same engine propels other Hyosung motorcycles like the GT650R and the GT650N. But where the GT series comes equipped with a six speed transmission, the Aquila Pro manages with a 5 speed gearbox. Also the Aquila Pro has been tuned to produce marginally higher horsepower and torque than the GT models.
Despite the absence of a tacho on the Aquila Pro, it’s easy to comprehend the quick-revving nature of the motorcycle. However, even with its rev happy engine, the Aquila pulls with relative ease from way down the rev-range. The Aquila Pro shifts through its 5 speed gearbox smoothly no pronounced clunks. Riding in peak hours through traffic infested Pune roads was never an issue though the engine heat was a bit discomforting. Then again, clogged city streets aren’t exactly the Aquila’s habitat.
Once we hit the wide Pune-Bangalore highway, the Hyosung GV650 Aquila Pro showed its true colours. From trundling in top gear at a meager 60 kph, the Aquila Pro was eager to pounce on the higher revs with surprising urgency. We didn’t carry our VBOX for the numbers test, but it didn’t take the Aquila Pro much time to click (much) upwards of triple digit speeds. Slight vibrations can be felt on the pegs at lower speeds, it all disappears when taken to the higher revs.
The manufacturer claimed top speed of 195 kph couldn’t be put to the test, but 170kmph shouldn’t take too long. Given a vacant straight, there’s no doubt that the Aquila Pro is more than capable of achieving those speeds. But this performance comes with its own set of irritations. As mentioned earlier, the placement of the footpegs are far forwards and with the kind of brutal acceleration the Aquila Pro packs in- one tends to be pushed back into the seat with chances of the feet slipping off the pegs. The windblast is another factor that gets unbearable when riding upwards of 130 kph. Hence the Aquila Pro feels best as an all day 120 kph cruiser and can be put to short doses of high speed when in a mood for adrenalin rush.
HANDLING, BRAKING AND RIDE QUALITY
The Hyosung GV650 Aquila Pro tipping the scale at 240 kgs isn’t a light motorcycle and takes you to task in slow moving traffic- but a raked out front with 1670mm wheelbase gives the bike a rock-steady hold of the road during high speed straight runs. But in a part of the world where good blacktops comes in patches, we diverted our attention towards the Tamhini Ghats which is not only laden with twisties, but also offered a few rough sections to check how well the Aquila Pro’s suspension was tuned to soak the harshness mated out by Indian roads.
Not entirely comfortable zipping through the first corner, we started to realize how well the Aquila Pro handled around the twisties. Never have we felt as good riding a cruiser into the corners as the Aquila. The motorcycle not only delighted us through good sections in the twisties, but also held its line amidst bumpy sections where the front of major cruisers would have been wallowing all over the place.
The only deterrent in corner carving was the forward and low placement of the foot-pegs, which mean the heel is at a more perpendicular angle to the ground and we were left scrubbing it into the tarmac during tight cornering. But show the Aquila Pro a wider corner and it would just blast through without dropping speed- in fact you could just whack the throttle and go around the bend faster than expected. It’s all thanks to a perfectly calibrated front suspension which is neither too soft to dive nor too harsh to rattle your wrists.
The rear suspension though on the stiffer side adds its bit to the handling prowess of the Aquila Pro. But the biggest contributing factor on road holding has to be the tyres. The 120/70-18 front and a fat 180/55-17 rear set of Bridgestone Battlax tyres lend phenomenal levels of grip to the motorcycle. Not even once did we feel the motorcycle erring out of its desired line of travel.- We’d happily give 5 stars to the Aquila Pro in the handling department.
With stupendous levels of performance on offer, the Hyosung GV650 Aquila Pro needs equally good stopping power. Unfortunately the braking department fails to match up with the sprinting and handling traits of the motorcycle. Despite running a twin 300mm disc rotor setup at the front, braking on the Aquila Pro feels spongy and needs a hard squeeze on the levers to shed speed or breezing to a decided point of halt. Bringing the Aquila to a stop from moderate riding speeds is not an issue really, but hard braking during high speed runs ends up with the motorcycle overshooting the desired point. The 270mm single disc rear brake surprisingly is sharp enough but with the front brake falling short of the required bite doesn’t help matters. We tried all the different settings on the 5 position brake lever, but to no avail. On one hand where the Aquila enthralled us with performance, it left us a wee bit disappointed on the braking front.
Ride quality on the Hyosung GV650 Aquila Pro comes as a mixed bag. Where on one hand the broad leather seats holds up your bottom well, the forward placed footrests render a rather weird riding position. With the feet and hands reaching out to the pegs and the handlebars, this riding position puts that added body weight on your bum. There’s no discomfort on well paved roads, but going over bumpy surfaces with a stiff rear suspension- the jerks travel up your spine. The minimal sized rear seat is stiff and would only serve to ferry someone over short distances. Also with an absence of a backrest, pillions are best avoided! All in all, the Aquila Pro feels best ridden solo on well laid straights and twisties.
The Hyosung GV650 Aquila Pro overall is an extremely capable machine, packing sports-bike performance in cruiser form. The only chink in the Aquila’s armour is the lack of brake bite, but overall it’s a delightful motorcycle. It will put a wide smile on your face every time you take it to the highways and outrun the more expensive cruiser offerings in the market.
It won’t let you down on twisties either provided you keep an eye on the ground clearance. It has the power to get your heart pumping all the way up to its redline, but can also soothe your senses cruising into the horizon on a lazy Sunday morning. No wonder it has been the best seller from the DSK-Hyosung alliance since its launch. Priced at INR 4.99 lacs (ex-showroom, Delhi)- the Hyosung GV650 Aquila Pro offers decent bang for the buck.
Decent Build Quality
HYOSUNG GV650 AQUILA PRO TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS
|Type||4 Stroke, DOHC 8 Valve 90° V-Twin Water Cooled|
|Fuel System||Fuel Injection|
|Max Power||74 BHP @ 9000 rpm|
|Max Torque||62.1 Nm @ 7500 rpm|
|Bore x Stroke||81.5mm x 62mm|
|Compression Ratio||11.5 : 1|
|Gear||Constant mesh 5-Speed|
|L x W x H :||2330 x 840 x 1150 mm|
|Wheel Base||1700 mm|
|Seat Height||690 mm|
|Brakes front||300mm Semi floating double discs with 2 pistons calipers|
|Brakes rear||270mm Single disc with 2 pistons caliper|
|Suspension front||41mm Upside down Telescopic
(Compression, Rebound damping adjustable)
|Suspension rear||Swing arm with Hydraulic Double shock absorber
|Tyres- front||Bridgestone Battlax 120/70 ZR-18|
|Tyres- rear||Bridgestone Battlax 180/55 ZR-17|
|Fuel Tank Capacity||16 litres|
|Top speed (as tested)||168 kph|
|Mileage (as tested)||18 kpl|