2019 Hero Maestro Edge 125: First Ride Review
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Has the engine update made the Maestro Edge worth considering in the 125cc segment?
Hero MotoCorp has been a little late to the 125cc scooter game. Their first offering in this segment, the Destini, was launched late last year, and is squarely targeted at the family scooter buyer. In a bid to make a more youthful 125cc scooter, Hero used their Maestro Edge 110 as a base and plonked in the Destini’s 125cc motor. And to distinguish itself better in its segment, Hero is also offering this new Maestro Edge 125 with fuel injection - the first for any scooter in India. So, has all this taken the Maestro Edge from a likeable, yet slightly unremarkable, scooter in the 110cc category to a solid contender in the 125cc scooter segment?
- FI provides snappy throttle response
- Packs a good amount of features for the price
- Riding position is quite comfortable
- Feels nimble and confident at city speeds
- Some vibrations at about 50kmph
- Rear feels a bit bouncy over large bumps
- Design still looks like Maestro Edge 110
- First fuel-injected scooter in the country
- Black-red two-tone paint scheme looks smashing
- Makes a great value for money proposition
There are very few design changes from the Maestro Edge 110 to the 125. If you’re someone who liked how the 110cc scooter looked, then this is obviously a good thing. But others might be a bit disappointed that if they were to pick any of the common colours between the two scooters, it’s a bit difficult to tell them apart. In fact, most of the panels are identical.
Give it a closer glance and some changes come to light. Firstly, the triangular LED DRL on the front apron is unique to the 125. There are also some less noticeable changes to the detailing of the tail light. But the biggest design change can be seen on the fuel-injected variant of the Maestro Edge 125 in the form of a dual-tone paint scheme. While the white and brown one seen in these pictures looks great, the black and red one really stands out.
We really wish that Hero had revised at least some of the design details of the Maestro Edge 125. The bulbous headlight looks very old-school now and the semi-digital instrument cluster feels like it’s from at least half a decade ago. The overall shape of the scooter is one that might not excite you, but it certainly won’t raise any eyebrows either.
Again, the overall riding position is straight from the Maestro Edge 110, but in this case, it’s definitely not a bad thing. The tall handlebars and low floorboard height means that even taller riders won’t have the handlebars digging into their knees on sharp U-turns. The 775mm seat height is also low enough that even shorter riders won’t have any issues placing their feet firmly on the ground. The seat itself is decently comfortable too, not just for the rider but pillion as well. And there’s enough space for two large adults to ride two-up with ease.
Technology & Features:
Features-wise, the Maestro Edge 110 carries over everything that we got on the 110. This includes a remote fuel filler cap at the back of the scooter and a remote seat opener, both of which are operated from the combination lock switch. Under the seat, the storage space is just about adequate, but you do get a boot light to help you find your stuff in the dark, as well as a USB charger for your electronic devices under the seat. Alloy wheels are standard, which is a really good touch. But some features such as an all-digital instrument cluster and an LED headlight are distinctly missing, but that has been done in a bid to keep costs down.
One big feature that Hero did add to the Maestro is the Idle Start Stop System, or i3S, which we first saw (on scooters at least) on the Destini. This system automatically shuts off the engine when you’re idling for a few seconds and automatically restarts it when you pull in either brake levers and roll on the accelerator at the same time. While this fuel-saving measure might work great in theory, we’ve found the system to be a bit finicky on the Destini. And on top of that, it’s only available on the carburetted variant of the Maestro Edge 125, not the FI variant.
The other feature that’s new to the Maestro, and the first for any Hero scooter till date, is the option of a front disc brake. Armed with a 190mm front disc, the Maestro Edge 125 offers decent braking performance, but requires you to pull the levers quite a bit if you want to stop quickly. To increase braking safety, an Integrated Braking System (IBS) is also standard.
Armed with the larger and more powerful engine from the Destini and the exact same 110kg kerb weight as before, the Maestro’s performance has certainly increased. The 124.6cc single-cylinder engine puts out 8.83PS of power at 6750rpm and 10.2Nm of torque at 5000rpm in the carburetted variant, which are the same figures you get on the Destini. There is a slight bump in power for the fuel-injected variant, which puts out 9.24PS at 7000rpm.
We got to experience just the FI variant, and we must say that the throttle felt quite responsive. Every time you twist your right wrist, the Maestro Edge 125 picks up speed quickly, and pulls well even if you’re riding with the extra load of a pillion on board. In fact, acceleration till 80kmph (on the speedometer) feels very strong, but it tapers off after that. The most we saw on the speedo on our test ride was 90kmph. So it doesn’t have the same sporty performance as something like the TVS NTorq. However, we really believe that it will give scooters such as the Honda Grazia a tough fight. We will have to wait to get the scooter for a full road test to get the numbers to support our belief though.
The one slight downside to this scooter’s engine was a bit of vibration we encountered in the floorboard at speeds of about 50kmph. Honestly, the vibes aren’t that much of a bother when you’re riding, but it shows up when the scooter is idling and that does feel a little odd.
Ride and handling:
The Maestro Edge 125 runs the same suspension components as the Destini - a telescopic fork at the front and a monoshock at the rear. And even the wheel sizes are maintained with a 12-inch front wheel and a 10-inch rear one. Overall ride quality is acceptable, and the front suspension handles bumps rather well. While the rear also handles small sharp bumps without issues, it can feel a bit bouncy over larger bumps. While we didn’t get a chance to fully test the scooter’s outright handling abilities, it managed to maneuver through traffic with the utmost of ease. And it also felt confidence-inspiring when making quick direction changes at slightly higher speeds. While it might not have the handling abilities of the Aprilia SR125 or even the TVS NTorq, the Maestro Edge 125 does really well riding through urban environments.
The Maestro Edge 125 is available in three variants. The base model with carburettor and a front drum brake costs Rs 58,500, the mid-variant which offers a carburettor setup and a front disc brake comes in at Rs 60,000, and the top-spec one with fuel injection and a disc brake is priced at Rs 62,700. All three variants get alloy wheels and IBS as standard. i3S is available only on the two carburetted variants though.
If we had to peg the new Hero Maestro Edge 125 somewhere, we’d put it between the Honda Activa 125 and the TVS NTorq - it’s much more youthful compared to the Honda, but not as sporty as the NTorq. But while it is good to ride, it’s not what you might call an exciting scooter. The Maestro’s trump card, though, is its value-for-money proposition, offering quite a few features and tech such as the i3S and FI systems at a reasonable price. And that certainly make it worth your consideration.