Clever is what we would call the launch of the new Hero Achiever 150! The timing and the segment couldn’t have been more suited for Hero’s next big launch after the Hero Splendor iSmart 110, as Diwali is nearing and the millions of Splendor and Passion customers could be looking to upgrade their garage along with their wardrobe.
Coming out of Hero MotoCorp’s proud new kitchen, the CIT at Jaipur, the new Achiever is made vastly of the same recipe but is presented with new dressing. Much like the brand’s other commuters, the Achiever is not graced with a wow factor in its looks, but just an aroma of freshness that seems enough to appeal to the middle-aged target demographic who may shy away from flashy alternatives.
The new Achiever 150 is clearly and admittedly not intended for youngsters, so our perspective is from the shoes of a comparatively senior commuter, the kind of people who clock in at 9 and clock out at 5.
The update is mostly cosmetic, with a new fuel tank that’s larger, new side panels that flow flamboyantly from the reservoir, new rear cowl that also continues seamlessly from the mid-section, and new body graphics that do not scream. The headlamp assembly is made sharper and the colour coordinated mirror caps round up the premium touch.
To keep the price highly competitive, the new Hero Achiever is still devoid of fancy features like digital speedometer and sophisticated hardware like monoshock rear suspension. But the bike is well compensated for an attractive appeal with 3D logo on fuel tank, clear lens indicators, and coloured mirrors as mentioned above, while black alloy wheels, engine and chain cover, and red springs at the rear are carried over from the predecessor.
This is because the chassis is just the same that supported the old Achiever, but Hero says that it has been tweaked for better handling, which was noticeable indeed. The engine is also the same that powers the previous model, which has been in the market since the first generation Honda Unicorn, so is the exhaust from the looks of it, but the powertrain is also retuned for a much linear power delivery.
The maximum power remains to be 13.4 bhp at 8,000 rpm and peak torque 12.8 Nm at 5,000 rpm, but the motor feels more predictable to the touch of throttle that makes it more comfortable to ride in dense traffic. As a result the bike feels more peppy too, consistently as you pedal up, and yet manage a 0-60 kmph sprint in 5 seconds (as claimed by Hero). With a pillion there is certainly a difference in pull, but the linearity of the acceleration does not go for a toss.
The mileage of new Hero Achiever 150 is claimed to be 50 kmpl as per WMTC (World-wide Motorcycle Emissions Test Cycle), not the usual Indian Test Cycle, so the figure would be very close to what you’d actually be getting in day-to-day ride.
Throughout the average rev-range the bike is absolutely vibration-free, negligible amount does emanate beyond around 6,000 rpm, which is definitely not a concern.
The tyres are Ceat Secura Zoom 80/100-18 at the front and rear, which is just enough for a calm rider to reach work and back home. The straight line grip is good, but lean much or encounter a slippery patch on road, nervousness would creep in.
The overall experience with the bike was very pleasant, as it has just enough salt to give a good taste to an office-goer or an errand-runner who would be upgrading from a 100 cc or a 125 cc bike, or starting his motorcycling experience straight from the Hero Achiever 150.
This is one reason we appreciate the brakes, as the 240 mm front disc offers clean, progressive braking that wouldn’t put the fear of God in a person who’s new to it. We haven’t ridden the front drum brake variant yet, but considering the marginal price difference of INR 1,000 we advise the buyers to choose the disc brake model. The price of the new Achiever 150 for the disc brake variant is INR 62,800 (ex-showroom, Delhi).
One teeny tiny concern was the seat. The foam seems too thin and the material behaves somewhat weird. It moves like jelly, left, right and forward, but required compression/damping did not seem to be present. Also, the rear shocks seems too soft, which is good for solo riding, but with a pillion the bumps were heavy and rough patches on road were reaching the riders.
Nevertheless, the new Hero Achiever 150 is a well-rounded and well-refreshed package. The familiar iSmart or i3S (idle Stop-Start System) is now available on the Achiever as a standard feature, and its switch is not to be mistaken for the engine kill switch. Another appreciable addition to this bike is the first-in-segment Always ON Headlamp which will soon become mandatory on all new motorcycles, due to its contribution to safety. This means there is no headlamp ON/OFF switch on the right side switchgear console, and you’ll see a lot of folks on the road signalling you to turn the light OFF during daytime.
Please post your questions in the comments section below, and your opinion of the Hero Achiever 150 if you’ve bought it.
PS – Hero has also announced a limited Edition Achiever. To read more on the same, please read our article here.