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'Why should boys have all the fun?' This tagline might ring a bell and an image of a TV commercial starring Bollywood actress Priyanka Chopra astride a Hero Honda Pleasure might pop up in your mind.
Well, that is just how effective the brand marketing campaign was, for the erstwhile Hero Honda Pleasure back in 2006. It was this very tagline that kept sales growing and brought more women into the scooter market.
The lightweight scooter genre too was birthed as a result of this marketing genius. However, just marketing genius couldn't sustain sales of the product for almost 15 years. Sales were rapidly dropping and the brand needed a refresh. Hero MotoCorp finally launched the Pleasure+ 110 in the Indian market alongside the Maestro Edge 125.
We have ridden the new 2019 Pleasure+ 110 and here is what we think of it.
Design & Styling
If the design and styling of the Pleasure+ had to be described in one word, it would be 'refreshing.' The scooter is now pleasant to look at and the style quotient has certainly improved.
The earlier Hero Pleasure was aimed squarely at women in terms of design and size. With this one, however, Hero seems to have broadened its vision. The styling now seems to be unisex but it still is targeted at women.
The design language is neo-retro which certainly seems to be the flavour these days with several scooters like the Suzuki Access and the Vespa range. The very mention of the Suzuki Access brings us to the headlamp on the new Hero Pleasure+ 110. It certainly seems to have taken inspiration from the Suzuki scooter.
The Hero Pleasure+ 110 comes with silver-coloured headlamp surrounds and that lends a premium feel to the scooter. The side body panels are contoured and the silver-coloured inserts enhance the design.
The inserts make all the difference in giving a lift to the aesthetics of the scooter which would have otherwise been quite monotonous. The rear of the scooter is pretty simple with the brake lights and turn signal indicators integrated into one unit.
The Pleasure+ branding has been placed prominently towards the rear of the scooter. The same silver-coloured trim makes up the surrounds for the instrument cluster too. The Hero Pleasure+ 110 is available in six vibrant colour options in matte as well as gloss finishes. It is a pretty scooter and there is no doubt about it.
However, it does feel like it was built to a cost thanks to uneven panel gaps. If the scooter is being ridden without the pillion rider, the rear portion of the seat lifts up to an extent where some of us thought the seat was not locked in place and got off to check it.
Engine & Performance
When the Hero Pleasure was first launched in 2006, it had one of the biggest and most powerful engines in the mainstream scooter segment. It was an air-cooled, 102cc single-cylinder engine with a maximum power output of 6.9bhp and a peak torque output of 8.10Nm.
Back then, its rivals – the TVS Scooty and the Honda Activa – came with an 80cc and a 98cc engine respectively. Hence, the Hero Pleasure was relatively more powerful. In today's age though, anything less than 110cc is rarely even considered when purchasing a new scooter.
This was also one of the reasons for the decline of the Pleasure's sales in the first place. However, Hero has changed with the times with the Pleasure+ drawing power from an air-cooled, 110.9cc, single-cylinder engine producing 8bhp and 8.7Nm of peak torque.
It is not a stellar increase in engine output, but one has to consider that the engine capacity has increased by only 8.9cc. The Indian market is already familiar with this engine as it does duty in the Hero Duet, Hero Maestro Edge 110 and even Honda's 110cc scooter range. Performance is brisk, thanks to the low kerb weight of 101 kilograms.
More power and less weight always produces great results and that is exactly what has happened with the Hero Pleasure+. Getting the scooter up to speed is an easy task and it did seem eager to hit the 90km/h. Peak torque kicks in at 5,500rpm and max power is achieved at 7,500rpm.
It is between these engine speeds that the scooter is the most comfortable. You could almost call it, its happy place. The Pleasure+ could possibly cross 90km/h mark and go on, but doing those speeds on public roads with a steering setup as light as this was a risk we weren't willing to take.
Ride & Handling
The light steering is a good place to start talking about the ride and handling of the Hero Pleasure+. The Hero Pleasure+ is targeted at people who are new to the world of riding and need a lightweight scooter. However, if you are already used to riding other scooters and motorcycles, chances are that the Hero Pleasure+ would catch you off-guard with its ultra-light steering setup.
The scooter looks a little larger in person than it was before and so one starts riding with the impression of it being as heavy as other scooters on the road. But the Pleasure+ 110 will surprise the rider with its lightweight steering and almost immediate response to even the smallest of inputs.
This effect becomes more pronounced at higher speeds. On the plus side though, it becomes easier for beginners and filtering through traffic is a breeze. The Hero Pleasure+ rides on 10-inch wheels shod with CEAT tyres.
Suspension duties are handled by a bottom link with spring-loaded hydraulic damper up front and a swingarm with spring-loaded hydraulic dampers at the rear. In simple terms, it is a monoshock at the rear and an old-school link suspension up front.
The front suspension hits pretty hard on bumps and this can unsettle the front end especially since the scooter is light. On the plus side, the seat is comfortable and the riding position is very ergonomic. Braking duties are handled by 130mm drum brakes at the front and rear which are aided by Hero's integrated braking system that comes as standard fitment on the Pleasure+.
The Hero Pleasure+ is not a premium model and hence it does not come loaded with top-notch features. It features an open glovebox up front, a USB Mobile phone charger, large under seat storage, and LED boot light. Instrumentation duties are handled by a basic analogue setup. It displays the speedometer, odometer, fuel gauge, side-stand indicator and turn signal on/off indicators.
The Hero Pleasure comes with pretty styling, a new powerful and efficient engine, light kerb weight and attractive colour options. It seems almost perfect for first-time scooter buyers. If you are out looking for a scooter that is easy to ride, easy to own and maintain, the Hero Pleasure+ seems like the right one for you.
Hero MotoCorp retails the Pleasure+ at a starting price of Rs 47,300 and it undercuts its rivals by a large margin. The Honda Activa and TVS Wego, for example, cost Rs 50,974 and Rs 52,162 respectively. Hence the Hero Pleasure+ also proves to be quite easier on the wallet when choosing a scooter.
The Hero Pleasure+ is targeted at women. But going by the price, the design and the overall size, it makes sense for men also to buy this scooter simply because of the value-for-money proposition that it offers. The number of attractive colour options on offer further sweetens the deal.