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Introduction: Hero MotoCorp has been a leader in the Indian motorcycling industry for years, setting records more often than we remember. However, their innings in the scooter segment started late and went on slowly till last year when they decided to revamp the portfolio. The Destini 125 took charge a few months back followed by the Pleasure+ and this, the Maestro Edge 125 earlier this week. The last model is the one that interests us a lot due to the technology is brings along to the table.
Fuel injection is a term we haven’t heard before in the scooter segment. But thanks to the upcoming emission norms, this will soon be a common feature, especially in the higher segment of offerings but at a cost. Hero MotoCorp understands the upcoming trend and without waiting for the regulation dates to arrive, decided to up the ante in the 125cc segment. The 2019 edition of Maestro Edge 125 comes in two versions of carburettor and fuel injection and we rode the latter to find out how different it feels on the road.
Design: But before that, let's look at the scooter from a distance. The Maestro was originally launched 2015 with a smaller engine but overtime, has received various tweaks and additions. It still looks good and the Fi version is offered in just two-color combinations and may we add, these are bold ones. You can either have the Fi model in red-black set-up or the white and brown you see here. Takes a while getting used to but this surely does wonders in terms of turning eyes on the road. The design has also matured up over the years and in terms of size, the Maestro Edge 125 has good road presence.
We like the new LED DRL or daytime running light below the number plate and minor revisions that have been done to body panels. Likewise, the LED taillights look premium and you can finally opt for alloy wheels as well as a front disc brake on this scooter. The Maestro continues to ride on a 12-inch wheel up front and 10 at the back. While fit and finish is good for the price, the pillion foot pegs leave a lot to desired.
Features: In terms of features, you also get an analogue speedometer with a little display for the odometer and fuel level. No rear brake lock, external storage spaces or fancy gizmos like navigation set-up that the NTorq offers. That said, you do get an external fuel filler cap and the under-seat space has a USB charger too.
But the talking point here is the motor. This is the same 125cc engine that powers the Destini but thanks to fuel injection, performance is tab better. In terms of numbers too, this motor puts out 9.1 bhp, about 0.4 more than the carb version though torque output remains unchanged. More than the numbers though, it is the way the scooter feels on the move, with immediate response the moment you wring the throttle.
Performance: Even riding two up, the Maestro Edge 125 Fi doesn't run out of steam too quickly, registering 90+ easily on a straight road. But in real world usage, it's the way it builds up speeds from 40 to 60 or 70 is what will matter to most riders. Contrary to usual trends, the Fi Maestro is slightly less efficient than its carb sibling which also hints on the fact that Hero has tuned this scooter keeping performance in mind. Impressive!
Dynamically, the Maestro continues to excel, providing a good compromise between ride and handling. The 12-10-wheel size works well and filtering through traffic comes naturally to this vehicle. The ride is slightly on the firmer side but helps a lot when riding with a pillion. Talking of which, the seat is generous in terms of size and this will be appreciate by well build individuals.
A front disc brake, a first for a Hero, also aids braking and you can enjoy the little scooter more than what you sign up for. It is forgiving and doesn’t make you feel nervous easily. For example, even while riding flat out, vibrations are at bay and ditto for the engine sound - does not sound harsh or stressed out.
Verdict: At Rs 62,700 ex-showroom Delhi, the fuel injected Maestro commands a premium of just Rs 2,700 over the carb version. This is surprisingly very good and makes it even more affordable than the carb equipped 125cc Grazia! The only feature missing here as compared to the carb Maestro is the star-stop i3s tech but we are sure buyers will overlook this.
Right then, Hero seems set in the 125cc segment with the Destini and now this, a premium offering. If you are in the market for an urban scooter, this one deserves much attention!