Hero Impulse – Long Term Review

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Impulse Offroad Wheelie

Impulse Side Look

“Hero Impulse is a re-badged Honda NXR Bros. and the first in its class of Off- Roaders in India and also the cheapest off-roader in the country.”

The first product from Hero MotoCorp, the Impulse ushers in a new class of motorcycles that ideally should have been introduced long ago. But, better late than never they say and the Impulse surely is here to stay with its charming adventure bike poise matched by an equally competent off-road friendly dynamics. This Hero has a lot more to it than what meets the eye.
The Hero Impulse is priced at Rs. 68,095. (Ex-showroom, Pune – Disk Brake, Spoke wheels as standard variant).

This indeed is a very special bike as it also creates a whole new segment in Indian two-wheeler industry, that of dual purpose motorcycles, the on-road and off-road motorcycle.

As said before Hero Impulse is re-badged Honda NXR Bros. so it has almost got the same design. But its styling is quite different from its twin. Its styling alone will make you fall for this bike. It stands proudly and wears an aggressive look as it has got the highest ground clearance of 245mm. It’s raised front fender and huge tank scoops it to an edge over other similarly priced motorcycles. The exhaust is fitted beneath the seat but comes out from the side of the seat. The dual purpose tyres also look well and are good add-ons on the bike by the Hero MotoCorp. Purposeful and off-road bits like hand guards and a Moto-Cross seat finish the package. The LED tail lamp (15 LEDs) with clear lens indicators on its sides along with split grab rails and luggage mounting surface gives it a very different as well as usable stance. The instrument pod is a combination of an LCD screen which displays speedometer, fuel gauge, odometer, 2 trip meters and even service due indicator, along with an analog tachometer.

Impulse Front Look   Impulse Rear Look

As much as it looks the part, the Impulse also boasts impressive detailing like the spiked grippy rear brake pedal as well as bungee loops on the pillion footpeg hangers for tying down luggage safely. Knowing and understanding the psyche of the off-road enthusiast willing to explore places, behind the saddle there is also an arrangement for a rubber-surfaced rack to hold the luggage in place with a maximum payload of 7kg. Another interesting feature is the small storage compartment with a lock on the left had side below the seat to keep the essentials like papers, tools, first aid kit etc,  behind which there is also a small locking mechanism for a helmet. There is certainly no dearth of features on this Hero and it packs in enough equipment to outrun any of the current 150cc contenders.

Impulse Offroad

Its high ground clearance with increased centre of gravity makes the rider’s sitting position higher giving her/him a commanding view of the road ahead. This bike is built for all kinds of roads and once off the road, the Impulse simply surprises you with its huge abilities. The long and strong front suspension and the mono-shock set-up at the rear, which is again one of the best add-ons to the bike by the Hero MotoCorp for the very first time amongst its other products, are mainly meant for bad roads! Without any doubt, the Hero Impulse can be easily titled as one of the best bikes available in the country, India. As far as handling and ride quality are concerned, the Impulse is powered by the same engine as other 150cc bikes from the company but is slightly tuned different. Maximum power is slightly down at 13.2PS but the torque is higher at 13.4Nm and that too at a lower engine speed of 5000rpm.

The shorter gear ratios and lighter weight of the Impulse makes it respond well in the city-traffics and off-road when you need that extra momentum while tackling obstacles. Though the engine is smaller in capacity and less powerful, as said, nevertheless, outright acceleration is still a quite impression and so the engine is smaller for the overall fuel economy as well.

The Showa mono suspension are fitted at the rear which is directly linked to a box section swing arm and has been tuned to off-road friendly settings allowing newbie’s to try basic jumps or ride over off-road terrain with an ease. The combination of 19-inch and 17-inch spoke wheels on front and rear, respectively with its huge 245mm ground clearance, gives the Impulse a great ability to easily climb or move in an awkward and laborious way over rocks and boulders without any difficulties. Riding the Hero Impulse over the all kinds of terrains proves the bike as the go-anywhere bike with its suspensions dealing amazingly with every bump in its way. Hero Impulse with a 150cc engine is just a beginner’s bike to master the art of dirt riding, the Impulse is right out there, the only one as of now!

Impulse Offroad Jump

Back onto the tarmac roads, the Impulse’s super motor genes are quick enough. The light weighted and easy steering Impulse is quick to change direction and the well damped suspensions absorb the bumps smoothly without disturbing the rider and making him feel in control at all times. Its balanced chassis and rider-friendly ergonomics go a long way in making the Impulse a hoot to ride. The straight up wide handlebars and the long flowing seat merging into the small fuel tank together hand the Impulse a solid off-road friendly riding stance. The seat-bar-pegs geometry is devised in a manner that offers a phenomenally comfortable and confident riding posture making the rider feel at ease astride the Impulse instantly.

As much as it feels at home on dirt, the Impulse is just as comfortable and easy to maneuver in city traffic. The saddle height of 835mm may intimidate the stubby rider, but get on to the bike and as the soft suspension settles down, the ride height is no more an issue. Scything through tight gaps in traffic is a breeze with the short gears ratios and the light steering of the Impulse and minimal effort is needed to get the motorcycle pointing in the right direction. And the well damped suspension set-up means slowing down for bad patches on the roads is the least of your worries. Keep the throttle open and just fly over potholes with confidence.

The only hesitating component on the Hero Impulse is the 110mm rear drum brake that feels a bit weaker and has a tendency to lock up instantly during hard braking. However, the 240mm front disc unit has a strong bite and does a decent job of bringing the Impulse to standstill from 60km/h to 0km/h in just 2 to 3seconds, while the Ceat rubber provides excellent grip.

Hero Impulse, a truly versatile machine. The Hero Impulse is a genuine motorcycle that does many things and anything well, while rewarding the rider with excitement and thrills without burning a hole in the pocket. Hero Impulse is a go-anywhere bike and a fun riding package especially in the monsoon in India. This bike is a complete package for those enthusiasts who love off-roads more than the tarmacs.

Though the production of this bike has been stopped, limited bikes are being sold with some discounts. So you can go and buy yours today.

Impulse Offroad Wheelie