Hero MotoCorp launched their first off-beat motorcycle, the Impulse in 2011. It was the first unique motorcycle from Hero after the formation of Hero MotoCorp in August 2011. Impulse was described as the first Indian off-road motorcycle to be developed and made in India. This particular model was introduced in the Indian market after the much created hype by the Indian media due to its off-road styling.
How It Looks?
From the very first looks, it resembles a miniature version of moto-cross bike. It looks amazing and different from all other Hero bikes till the date. The off-road design elements consists of the beefier off-road capability tyres, skinnier body kit, motocross inspired exhaust kit which peeks out at the right end of single-piece seat and sharp-edgy graphics on the front mounted fender adds the off-road cosmetic outlooks.
High mount front mud-guard and rear seat are the trademark features of an off-road bike. The Impulse is highly inspired from the Honda's NXR 150 BROS, and we could easily relate the Impulse to it.
The Impulse is powered by high torque ATFT, 149.2cc, 4-stroke, air-cooled engine with OHC system. This same engine is used in CBZ-Xtreme, Hunk, Unicorn and Dazzler, but little bit of refinement is done by the engineers to enhance its off-road abilities. The mill churns out a maximum power of 13.2 Ps @ 7500 rpm and a peak torque of 13.4 Nm @ 5000 rpm. It uses a new camshaft and new balancer shaft, which helps in smooth and efficient performance on both tarmac and off-roads. Engine is mated with a 5-speed constant mesh gearbox and power is being transmitted to the rear wheels using a chain drive.
Chassis, Suspension and Braking
The bike is built with a semi-double cradle frame, which is the primary chassis of the Impulse. Being an off-road motorcycle suspension system should perform well above usual commuter. It uses telescopic hydraulic shock absorbers at the front and Nitrox-gas filled monoshock suspension with swingarm is used at the rear. Braking force is well safe in the hands of 240mm disc brake at the front and 110mm internal expanding shoe-type brake at the rear.
Impulse is steaming with its off-road capabilities and outfits.
The salient off-road features includes; a high mount sporty muffler with unique exhaust note, motocross type single rider saddle, high ground clearance and raised fender and large diameter front wheel with “stud pattern” to enhance the off-road feel of the bike. The digital analogue combo instrument console is pretty neatly done in the impulse. It displays all essential information and even service due indicator. Not only that, Impulse features specially designed CEAT Grip XL series tyres for superior handling and grip.
Impulse wasn't a success story in the Indian market. The expectation level of this motorcycle was very high and the makers couldn't reach upto that level. In order to increase the market space Hero designed this motorcycle with attributes of both off-road and on road commuter. It cannot be called as a pure off-road vehicle as it lacks the power and dynamics of a perfect dirt bike. Another issue was with the heights. As it stands, there is room for lot of improvements in the Impulse. Hero might bring back the off-roader in near future by patching up all the minor defects of the current model.