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Hero HF Dawn Expert Review
The 2018 Hero HF Dawn is an entry-level commuter wrapped in new colour schemes and powered by the now legendary 97.2cc Honda-derived powerplant. In its newest avatar, the bike continues to build on its traditional strengths of excellent refinement, brilliant fuel economy and top-notch reliability.
The 2018 HF Dawn gets the same 97.2cc motor that now meets BS-IV emission norms. Hero has included several features like a powerful AHO-enabled halogen headlamp, a comfortable and wide seat, under-seat storage space and a side stand indicator to further attract buyers.
Currently, the company only offers a kickstarter on the HF Dawn in order to keep costs low. A low sticker price is also why the bike gets drum brakes at both ends and spoked wheels. In this aspect, the HF Dawn falls short of its two main competitors, the Bajaj CT 100 and TVS Sport, as both those bikes get alloys and an electric starter.
The HF Dawn’s suspension uses the tried-and-tested formula of telescopic forks at the front and twin hydraulic shock absorbers at the rear. Although we are yet to test the setup, it should provide the bike with a comfortable ride.
The 2018 Hero HF Dawn is priced at Rs 37,625 (ex-showroom, Odisha) and primarily competes with the Bajaj CT 100 and TVS Sport
Design and Features
Appearance-wise, the 2018 Hero HF Dawn stays true to its entry-level commuter origins. However, that hasn’t stopped Hero from employing a few tricks to make the HF Dawn more stylish than its previous avatar.
For example, the bike gets blacked-out parts like the engine, crash guard, exhaust, wheels, drums and the fork. On the previous motorcycle, these elements were either finished in chrome or silver. The blacked-out scheme is certainly eye-pleasing and complements the red and black colours the bikes is offered in. When combined with the smartly done tail lamp and long seat, this gives the HF Dawn a rather pleasant demeanour.
The seat is also wider than before and should offer a comfortable experience even on long highway commutes. Hero has also included a handy under-seat storage compartment in the HF Dawn for carrying small items.
As for dimensions, the HF Dawn measures 1965mm long, 720mm wide and 1045mm high. The bike’s ground clearance is 165mm while the wheelbase is 1235mm. The HF Dawn has a kerb weight of 105kg.
Braking and Handling
The 2018 Hero HF Dawn features a tubular double-cradle chassis which is suspended on telescopic front forks and a two-step adjustable rear hydraulic shock absorbers. The suspension setup should be good enough to overcome the undulations of urban as well as rural roads. A low kerb weight of 105kg also makes the HF Dawn easily manoeuvrable within city. Although drum brakes at both ends might sound outdated in today’s times, it is because the HF Dawn is built to a price. The 130mm front and 110mm rear drum brakes should offer satisfactory, if unspectacular, braking performance.
Safety and Features
The 2018 Hero HF Dawn comes with AHO (Automatic Headlamp On), which ensures the bike remains visible even in adverse weather conditions. Hero has also included a strong black-coloured grab rail to ensure pillion safety.
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