Friday, November 9, 2007

Smooth & Refined - Hero Honda Hunk

Am in Ahmedabad for Diwali celebration (let me coin a new word 'chillaxation'). Bad isn't it? :)

Nonetheless, was out on the streets yesterday with my friend on a Thunderbird. As we neared Nehru Bridge going towards Ashram Road, I happened to see a guy riding a red Hero Honda Hunk. Whoever has seen the pictures of this bike online or in any magazine knows that it's terrific looking bike notwithstanding the dislike for the name. However, I saw it from a distance and wasn't satiated with just a glimpse. As is my habit to test-ride any new performance bike, we starightaway headed to the city's biggest Hero Honda showroom.

Hunk is a stunner. It's styling is brilliant. Matches international standards and Honda's offerings in the international markets. Beats other 150s on that front definitely (taking nothing away from the Pulsars, I think it's just a case of preferring something fresh and new to something that's been around for many years). The tank is huge. The meaty looking fairing nicely hugs the tank even as it fans out to grab the rider's and others' attention.

Instantly, I looked at my friend and said, "This frame can definitely hide a much bigger engine". We decided to explore further. We asked for a test-ride. But the sales exec said that he didn't have any bike at that moment. What a turn-off! We walked out; he came running behind and said he had a test-bike. Litesh rode it first. When done, he said he had a couple of observations.

As soon as I took the bike in my hand, I noticed it felt lighter (though it's a good 145kgs and I ride a Machismo which is 175kgs). The gear-shift is typical 1-down, 4-up. And it's only a toe-shift, which is very typical of sports bikes. The stance is forward-inclining making you balance your weight on the handle. The pick-up's fantastic and the engine is super-refined. Butter-like.

Having driven Machismo day in and day out, it was a very different and exhilarating experience. The effects were more pronounced than otherwise they would be on a person who's already been riding these 150cc bikes for some time.

So if you are thinking of going for a good mid-level sports bike, you must check the Hunk out (forget Achiever, CBZ and the likes). And I like the name too; I am not a gay :). Don't mind saying, "I ride a Hunk." I can sell my Machismo for that kind of performance. Any takers?