Hero MotoCorp has been on a roll in recent times. From launching the Xtreme 200 and Destini 125 last year to getting out the Xpulse 200 and two new scooters earlier this week, India’s largest two-wheeler player seems to be in overdrive mode to make sure their solid foothold in the market continues. And I am impressed with the fact that in this rat race for a dominant market share, they haven’t left compromised on the technology factor.
This also gets me to the scooter you see here on this page. The Maestro Edge was launched in 2015 and has seen multiple revisions over the years. From engine upgrades to design tweaks, this 125cc scooter finally packs in enough ammo to battle it out with other offerings in the market. We rode the fuel injected version yesterday and here is our detailed review of the same.
The Maestro Edge 125 Fi (that’s a long name) comes in only two shades. At launch, we got to see the red-black combination while for the test rides, Hero offered us the white-brown version. To begin with, the colour match does seem to be on the louder side but might just work well with a metrosexual buyer. Scooters aren’t supposed to turn heads and this is where Hero has cleverly played with the colours.
Further, the Maestro finally gets alloy wheels and a disc brake up front and both these additions add to the aesthetic appeal and beef up the front design. Tyre size remains unchanged and it continues to come with 12-inch wheels up front and 10 at the rear. Up front, you also get a new DRL (daytime running light) element and side skirts have been tweaked too. So while the Fi model doesn’t look too different than the older 2018 variant, subtle changes seem to work well.
In terms of practical touches, the Maestro Edge continues to fare well. Topping the list is an external fuel filler cap, mobile charging port under the seat, a boot lamp, remote key opening, side stand indicator, service due reminder and digital-analog meter. However, unlike its younger sibling the Pleasure, it does not get open storage spaces under the handlebar. Likewise, the scooter also misses out on a rear brake lock. Also, if I may point out, the rear foot pegs just don’t have the right fit and finish and look out of place. This has been a concern with the Maestro for years now.
But the biggest talking point here is the motor. This is the same 124.6cc engine that we see in the Destini but now gets fuel injection from Keihin and a slight bump in power figures. While the carb version puts out 8.7 bhp of power, the Fi model generates 5% higher power at 9.1 bhp. Torque, at 10.2 Nm, remains unchanged. Before I get to the ride impressions, let’s have a quick understanding of the benefits of fuel injection. First and foremost, to meet the upcoming emission norms, fuel injection will be necessary. This set-up ensures proper and accurate burning of fuel and in turn, better efficiency and lesser emissions. Secondly, fuel injection also leads to a crispier throttle response which is essential during city rides. And third, Fi ensures consistent performance across weather patterns and elevation changes. So if you live in the hills, a fuel injection vehicle will always perform better than a carburetted one. Also, do note that the Maestro Edge is the only scooter in India to offer fuel injection – way to go Hero!
Next, the numbers. The Aprilia SR125 puts out the highest power in the 125cc segment but the Honda Grazia has the highest torque. The Maestro Edge 125 Fi doesn’t lag behind much and is about 6 kgs lighter than the NTorq and over 10kg less than the SR125. But again, as mentioned above, what really works in its favour is the new-found peppiness thanks to injection. Even riding two up in traffic, a little twist of the throttle is what gets you going faster than you anticipate. Ofcourse we only rode it for about half an hour but the initial experience was more than positive. Given the road, it will do an easy 90+ and hold 70-80 all day long. Hero also claims the Fi Maestro Edge is less efficient than the carb version which might come as a surprise to some. But why is this? The Fi model is clearly tuned towards delivering better performance and this will be appreciated by most riders.
The Maestro Edge also continues to retain its ease of riding nature. The handlebars are set slightly upwards which works well for tall adults and the disc brake (first time on a Hero scooter!) helps infuse confidence when you want to shed speeds faster. The telescopic forks up front work well and inspite of a smaller 10 inch wheel at the back, dynamically, this scooter doesn’t stop impressing you. We found a deserted road behind our hotel and inspite of having brand new tyres (and hence not the best grip levels), it was easy to lean the Maestro Edge and grind some metal on the road multiple times. Never did the scooter feel nervous and went about doing the same lean angle back to back for the camera.
One thing that the Fi version of the Maestro Edge misses out on is the i3s or Hero’s Start-Stop tech. This feature comes with the carb verison but not this one. However, at a price difference of just Rs 2,700 over the carb verison, we aren’t complaining. Hero has known to play the value card nicely and the fuel injected Maestro Edge 125 is infact more affordable than the Honda Grazia (carb) and way cheaper than say the Aprilia SR125.
To summarize, the Maestro Edge 125 Fi definitely ticks all the right boxes for a premium 125cc scooter. It looks good enough, comes with features that will keep consumers happy and the peppy motor stands out in terms of performance and throttle response. This scooter then seems all set to create its own consumer network in metro cities very soon. Well done Hero!