Simply said, Hero Honda is the number one motor cycle company in India. So in Hero Honda Pleasure, half of the name is trusted by millions in the country. So the next half does give a complete idea of Hero Honda to us. I got the Pleasure scooter as my first “bike” in June 2006. How I used to observe all the Pulsars and CBZs and Unicorns and Apaches and etc….. Zooming by, stricken with envy while I cruised at 40-45kmphr. Now when I race on my FZ 16, I get a feeling of adrenalin pump as I race (and mostly overtake) these bikes. My parents had this idea that scooters were more safe than bikes, as chances for speeding are less and hence less accidents. And truly, my Pleasure has not got so much as a scratch for these 3.25 years although I have come closer to those ‘chances’ of accidents many a times. So there is an advantage in the slow, gearless scooters as well.
Earlier the only automatic scooters or scooterettes available for use by both gents and ladies were the classic Kinetic Honda. Then came TVS scooty along with forgettable models like City, Sunny etc… The Hero Honda pleasure was introduced in 2006, to compete with the Activa and Scooty Pep. The pleasure offered the trust and excellent service of Hero Honda. I chose the pleasure over the other 2 as the Activa was common even then and had this bulky feeling, and the scooty was brightly colored, small and more suited towards ladies. The Pleasure has since then quickly risen to top in its segment and still does decent sales. It cannot be blindly considered the best, but there is more to it than its contenders, excepting the Mahindra Rodeo and Access. The scooter is still in its mint condition, with a smooth and refined ride that still resembles that of a new scooter.
Engine and Performance
The pleasure has a 102cc 4 stroke, air cooled OHC engine that gives a decent 7 bhp at 7000rpm. The torque is around 7 NM. This is enough for most conditions on our roads. The scooter has clocked 22000km till now. Out of these around 20000km has been ridden smoothly, constantly at 40-45km/hr on highway-like conditions. That is one of the reasons why the scooter is still smooth. The scooter sports both self and kick start. In mornings, I used to and still use the kick start along with the choke. The self start is excellent and starts even on the first touch. The battery onboard is 12V-5Ah of capacity 110kW and more than enough to operate the head beam and switches. The transmission is v-matic, with dry and Automatic centrifugal clutch. I only know that its automatic but it is loads better than the kinetic Honda and comparatively better to the Scooty Pep.
The engine is smooth and almost noiseless thought the revving sound starts after 60 speed. The power is adequate for normal, smooth riding and the ladies can drive it with minimal effort. A speed of 45-50km/hr can be achieved easily without any strain. Even as the speed indicator shows 100, the maximum speed I have ever gone is 85, that too on a slope. A speed of 60 plus strains the engine, and you can feel the roughness, like vibrations in bikes. The major disadvantage lies in overtaking. While overtaking trucks and big, slow vehicles is easy, trying to overtake cars and other bikes is very risky. At those times you would feel a bit more power was necessary. Anyway this is also an added advantage as it discourages speeding and rash driving. The torque and power distribution is adequate and smooth till 60 km. It takes around 5-7 seconds for going from 0-40km/hr. Overall, the engine performs best in its economy range.
The front and rear are both 130mm drum type. The braking is good for city conditions, but won’t give you the confidence during highway use. Scooters like the Rodeo and Activa also comes with a front disc variant and a front disc brake in the pleasure would be nice. While braking, I use both the front and back brake and is recommended normally. The horn is good and mirrors are suitably placed.
Design and Styling
The design of the scooter, the first batch is simple. The colors available then were the Grey,Black, Red,Yellow and Violet. The styling comes in between the Scooty Pep and the activa. Now the coloring is dual toned. It has a nominal size with a weight of 105kg. This is easy to handle and is of minimal effort to both male and female. The paint quality is average and not upto mark. The paint start to fade after 1-1.5 years. The seat is large and leg space is more than adequate. The analog display is simple with the speedometer and fuel indicator. The switches and dashboard are also of average quality and the screws inside have started to rust. The headlights and rear lamps are good and give it an ultra look. Overall, the scooter is light and compact and more suited toward the ladies.
Comfort, Stability and Utility
The scooter is at its best at utility as the front leg space is large enough to hold a 15kg gas cylinder. The glove box is large and you can fill it with around 3kg of provision even after you put your helmet. The space near the starter can hold minor things and also books or other quickies. I feel this is better than other Scooters in the segment.
For a scooter, the stability is good. The small MRF tyres offer adequate road grip. The tyres come with a tuff-up tube with prevent minor punctures (but I had a tyre blast after 2 years. The tyre simply went off, all teared up and I was stranded in the middle of the road.). Tubeless tyres would bean an advantage.
The suspension is spring loaded hydraulic damper and is good for roads with no potholes or minor roughness. But on rough roads, ride is terrible and you can feel every bounce and is very irritating. The Honda Activa and Suzuki Access sports front forks, which is another necessity for the Hero Honda Pleasure. Overall the big seat offers enough comfort for the rider and pillion. The seat is big such that 2 adults with 2 children can be seated comfortable, and is also permissible for carrying triples for a short distance (a necessity when it comes to college!!).
This might be the area where the pleasure scores over its competitors and also is one of the mottos of Hero Honda. The company claims to get 45-50kmpl. The maximum in city conditions, I have obtained is 52kmpl. The worst I obtained, when I drove continuously in 60-70km/hr with the most rough handling even returned 44kmpl. So a mileage of 40 plus is guaranteed, whatever be the conditions. I have rode continuously at economy at 40 km/hr and the maximum ever I have obtained is 63kmpl. The mileage I have obtained most of the time is 56-58kmpl. This is more than enough for the 102cc engine. The fuel tank capacity is 5 litre. It makes a ride to the fuel station necessary at least once in a week.
The Hero Honda Pleasure has nothing eye catching about it, it is just a quiet scooter, but after buying it you feel it has all the features you wanted for its price. It can also be considered maintainence free as the only major problem I had in all these years was a faulty screw fairing on the engine and a burst tyre. For an onroad price of Rs.40,000, it is really worthy it.
- Slightly underpowered. You need to get a bit more power, for city riding and to a little more boost while overtaking.
- The paint quality and plastic quality is not good.
- The internal fittings are disorderly, for instance, when the screw holder of the front compartment broke, I had to replace the whole compartment for Rs.400.
- The kick start requires more effort than the other models and won’ t start on sudden effort.
- No front fueling. It is a bit of an inconvenience to get down everytime and open the seat cover and wait for fueling while others on their bikes, quickly get on the front.
I recommend Pleasure to all those who won’t feel comfortable with with the weight of Activa. Though the tag ’just for her’, practically it has nothing gender specific.
The Hero Honda Pleasure is best suited for:
- Ladies who want a light and compact scooter.
- Gents who don’t have any inhibitions about riding a gearless scooter and those who prefer a light controllable vehicle.
- Those who “like” Hero Honda over TVS, Honda and Kinetic.