Hero Destini 125 review

S. Muralidhar | Updated on: Oct 23, 2018

Hero’s new, entry premium scooter ticks all the boxes, even gets the idle-start-stop system. But...

Hero MotoCorp’s growth in the scooter market has been rather tepid over the last few months. In the meanwhile, TVS Motor and Suzuki have both clocked pretty impressive growth in numbers. Of course, Honda Motorcycle & Scooter India continues to be the market leader by a huge margin, and has a stranglehold of the scooter segment with a near 60 per cent market share.

To shore up the choice offered by its portfolio of scooters and plug the gap in the entry-premium segment, Hero has just launched the new Destini 125. The new, metal-bodied scooter will attempt to woo the evolving traditional scooter buyers who are mileage conscious, but want the higher performance offered by a larger capacity 125cc engine. Buyers in the twist-and-go CVT scooter market can be broadly divided into three - the 20-somethings wanting style and power, the early 30s commuter who expects a bit of style, power and efficiency and the older generation buyer who is largely unadventurous, expects reliability and efficiency, and won’t hesitate to buy the same scooter again.

Hero’s Destini 125 is meant to straddle a middle path and attract both young buyers and the slightly older buyers who are value-conscious but also want a bit of style and performance in their scooter. The Destini does deliver to a certain extent in these departments, but the scooter’s design is still more conformist than radical. Very few models in the scooter segment feature stand-out design, the rest seem like variations over the same basic blueprint. Unfortunately, except for the front with what Hero calls the Chrome Chest, the rest of the scooter follows a predictable design metric.

The Destini 125’s design is not jaded though; there is more chrome trim on the side panels, the cast wheels are interesting and there are examples of attention to detail like the matching hexagonal pattern in the dual-tone seat cover and the tail-lamps that elevate the design a bit. It is a conventional scooter position for the large headlamps - on the handle bar, but the small dark-tinted fairing and the analog-digital instrument cluster boost the Destini 125’s premiumness. Dials include the speedometer and a digital display for fuel level, Odo, tripmeter and service due reminder.

The new Hero scooter also gets a list of features that are already being offered by various other scooters in the market. Features like an external fuel filling cap, remote key opening, mobile charging port in the under-seat storage and a boot light are all certainly welcome, but they are not segment firsts. The under-seat storage itself is not big enough to accommodate a large full-face helmet; but fitting a open-face helmet shouldn’t be a problem.

Hero says that the Destini 125’s engine is a new 125cc unit producing a peak output of 8.7bhp @ 6,750rpm and a maximum torque of 10.2Nm @ 5,000rpm. The single-cylinder mill called ‘Energy Boost Engine’ by Hero officials is said to offer 17 per cent more torque and 9 per cent more power than the current 110cc engine. The engine feels crisp and is easy-revving in nature, but there is quite a bit of vibration transfer to the frame during idling. On the road, the Destini 125 feels adequately quick and the engine’s power delivery is quite linear. The ride quality is very good with the telescopic suspension doing a good job of evening out the ride on rough patches of road. The 10-inch, 90/100 ratio MRF Nylogrip Zapper tyres offered decent grip and the braking was good too, with the integrated braking system compensating for the lack of disc brakes.

The one truly novel, and segment-first addition in the Destini 125 is the Hero i3S idle-start-stop system, which cuts out the engine during extended idling or every time the scooter is stopped (at a signal, for example) for short durations. Holding the brake level and twisting the throttle re-starts the engine instantaneously. The operation is quite seamless, though the engine again goes through the regular ignition cycle and so it does take a second to get going again. According to Hero officials, the WMTC (World Motorcycle Testing Cycle) fuel efficiency rating for the Destini 125 is 51kmpl. However, it would not be possible to identify how much fuel savings may accrue directly from the i3S tech.

Bottom Line

The Hero Destini 125 is a good scooter for young buyers who are looking for great value. With a good seating height and a comfy, near flat seat, the scooter will also be ideal for buyers who may have multiple users in the family. But, if you are looking for a stylish scooter with a lot individual character, you should look at other options, including the upcoming refreshed Hero Maestro Edge.

The Destini 125 is offered in two trim variants - Lx and Vx, and they are priced at Rs 54,650 and Rs 57,500 respectively.

Published on October 23, 2018
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