The Hero Destini 125 is the latest addition to the highly competitive 125cc scooter segment. Considering the competition offered from TVS, Honda and Suzuki, does the Hero scooter has it in itself to come out on top? Let’s find out by comparing it against a segment veteran, the Suzuki Access 125, on paper.
Design and Features -
Unlike its sportier sibling, the Maestro Edge 125, the Hero Destini 125 gets a more mature design with conventional looks that we are already used to seeing on our roads. However, depending on how much you pay, the cosmetics can vary significantly. This is due to the fact that Hero offers the Destini in two variants: Lx (Std) and Vx (Deluxe). The latter comes with some fancy bits like chrome strips on the apron and sides along with a dual-tone seat and cast alloys.
Meanwhile, the standard Lx comes with silver garnishes all across the body with a single-tone seat and steel wheels. In terms of features, it gets a semi-digital instrument console with a side stand indicator, service indicator and a pass switch for added practicality. Other handy features include a mobile charging port, underseat boot light, LED tail lamps and an external fuel filler cap.
Compared to its current competition, the Suzuki Access isn't exactly flashy or attention-grabbing either. However, its sleek design, chrome-finished square headlamps and apron-mounted turn indicators do give it some breathing space. It too gets a semi-digital instrument console.
But the digital display is much smaller than the one seen on the Destini 125 and only houses an oil change indicator and a dual tripmeter. Other features include a DC charging socket and chrome muffler cover. Sadly, it misses out on convenient features like an external fuel filler cap and an underseat storage boot light.
We already know that the Hero Destini makes similar power and torque figures as the Access 125. However, Hero has equipped the Destini 125 with i3S start-stop technology, which until now was limited to the company's range of motorcycles only. This system shuts down the engine after a period of idling and turns it back on with a twist of the throttle. Hero says i3S should help increase Destini's fuel efficiency by 10 per cent, which should make it one of the most frugal scooters in its segment. However, we'll be sure to put these claims to test in our in-depth road test review.
The Access 125’s tried and tested 124.3cc engine has been around for a long time now and has gained quite a reputation for its refinement. It also gets the added benefit of Suzuki’s SEP (Suzuki Eco Performance), which Suzuki says helps in reducing frictional losses. In our road test review, we found the scooter to offer an impressive throttle response which should come in handy when commuting through the city. Now coming to the heart of the matter, the Access offered 51.3kmpl in the city and 52.7kmpl on the highway.
While we're yet to spend some time with the Destini, it is evident that it packs similar suspension and braking setup as the 110cc Hero Duet. In theory, this should mean the Destini 125 should have a ride quality similar to the smaller Duet, barring the additional weight of course. Hence, dealing with speed breakers, potholes and bad roads should not be tough. However, the performance of the drum brakes under hard braking remains to be seen. And Hero doesn’t offer a disc brake even as an option on the Destini, while Suzuki offers it on the Access.
The Suzuki Access may look similar to any other scooter but what sets it apart is its tall handlebar, which makes the riding posture more comfortable for taller riders. On the road, the Access offers a plusher and comfortable ride. It manages to soak up bumps and undulations without breaking a sweat. In terms of handling, the Suzuki doesn't shy away from going fast around corners or slicing through city traffic with ease. Brakes on the Access do a good job of shedding speeds with nice bite and progression. However, the rear tyre does have the tendency to lock up under heavy braking.
As mentioned earlier, the Hero Destini is available in two variants: Lx and Vx. The former is priced at Rs 54,650 while the latter gets a price tag of Rs 57,500 (all ex-showroom Delhi). Just comparing the base variants makes the Destini 125 the most affordable scooter in its segment. Also, comparing Hero’s wide service network with Suzuki’s, the Destini does pack the potential to sway away buyers from its Japanese competitor.
Suzuki offers the Access 125 in three different variants: Drum (Rs 55,666), Disc (Rs 58,350) and Disc with CBS (Rs 59,325, all ex-showroom Delhi). This makes the base variant of the Access round Rs 1,000 heftier than the Destini’s. While it does miss out on some convenient features offered on the Hero, the Access also makes up for it with its reliable engine and peppy performance.