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Hero revs up for Impulse comeback

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By KARAN CHOUDHURY
  • Published 21.10.13
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READY FOR CHANGE

Meet the Impulse

  • Engine: 150cc, 4-stroke single cylinder OHC, electric start
  • First introduced: 2011
  • Production halted: 2012
  • Changes expected: Bigger engine configuration
  • Target market: Latin America and India

New Delhi, Oct. 20: Hero MotoCorp is refitting its off-roader motorcycle — the Impulse — with a more powerful engine for a domestic and global launch early next year.

“The Impulse is a great product and I am working on bringing it back. It is an ongoing process and soon we will re-launch it. It will be available at a bigger as well as with the same engine configuration,” Hero’s managing director and CEO Pawan Munjal has said.

He said the company would also introduce a segment of niche bikes in the coming months, some of which might be showcased at the auto expo in February.

The Impulse was the first motorcycle to be rolled after Hero MotoCorp’s global brand identity was unveiled at London’s O2 Arena on August 9, 2011.

The 150cc engine bike had received rave reviews, and Munjal was expecting strong sales. However, the off-roader failed to make a dent, and the company had to discontinue its production last year.

Hero hopes that its tie-up with US-based high-end motorcycle maker Erik Buell Racing (EBR) will help to rejuvenate the Impulse by providing it with a better design and larger engine.

The company is hoping to find takers for off-roaders and semi-premium motorcycles in its new market — Latin America.

Hero has recently unveiled 15 two-wheelers that will hit the market in the next six months. The new products showcased include the reworked top-end bike Karizma R, ZMR, Splendor I-Smart and a new variant of scooter Pleasure.

The company said it would enter markets such as Turkey and Egypt in the next few months. It is also working on a bike in the entry-level segment.

“It has just been over two years since we commenced our solo journey, and in such a short span of time, we have made significant upgradation of our existing line-up, incorporating next generation technology and features. This is also a reiteration of our capability to develop indigenous technologies,” Munjal said.

The refreshed version of the Karizma is Hero’s first commercial production after tying up with EBR. Most of the new products will hit the market in the October-December quarter as the company looks to cash in on the festive season.

On the low-cost bike, Munjal said, “In our R&D we are always working to bring the cost down. We are working on a bike that will be less expensive than our current entry-level bike HF Dawn, but not drastically cheaper.”