Hero MotoCorp has launched its first offering in the burgeoning 125cc scooter segment, the Destini 125. The brand had showcased this scooter at this year’s Auto Expo as the Duet 125. Priced at Rs 54,650 for the base LX variant and Rs 57,500 for the top-end version (both ex-Delhi), the scooter’s design looks ideal for mature customers and is more of a family scooter than a performance-oriented product. The VX model comes with fancy bits like chrome strip on the apron and on the sides, dual-tone seat, cast alloy wheels whereas the LX variant comes with silver garnishes on the bodywork, single tone seat and steel wheels. The Destini 125 is also the only scooter in the segment to sport i3S technology, which cuts off the engine while idling in traffic with the throttle shut off for 5 seconds. The system turns the engine back on once either of the brake levers is pulled and the throttle is opened. Hero MotoCorp claims the i3S technology offers a 10 per cent increase in fuel efficiency.
Indian customers often like generous doses of chrome, and so there are chrome accents on the sides of the bodywork apart from the big fat chrome strip on the apron (only for the VX variant). The instrument console is a combination of an analogue speedometer and a digital display. The display houses the fuel gauge, tripmeter, service indicator and odometer. For added convenience, the Destini features an external fuel filler cap which can be opened via the ignition slot.
The scooter employs the same powertrain as the Maestro 125, which Hero plans to launch soon. Generating 8.8PS at 6750rpm and 10.2Nm at 5000rpm, the new 124.6cc, single-cylinder engine is mated to a CVT unit.
Suspension responsibilities are handled by telescopic front forks and a rear monoshock. The blacked-out alloy wheels (top-end only) are shod with Ceat tubeless tyres. Complying with the latest safety norms, the Destini 125 comes with an integrated braking system acting on drum brakes on both ends.
The Destini 125 is available in Noble Red, Chestnut Bronze, Panther Black and Pearl Silver White. Considering its design and pricing, the Destini rivals the Honda Activa 125 (around Rs 5,200 dearer) and the Suzuki Access 125 (around Rs 1000 more expensive), as both are conservatively designed as well. The price comparison is done with respect to the base variant of the scooters. Coming to other rivals, the Suzuki Burgman Street sits at the premium end of the segment whereas the TVS NTorq is the sportiest of the lot. Aprilia too offers a 125cc rival, the SR 125. The Destini 125 is available only in the NCR market at present, and will be introduced in the rest of the country over the next three-four weeks.