Hero began its scooter journey back in 2006 with the Pleasure and it became quite a sensation with its tag line – “Why should boys have all the fun?” It was a light and easy-going scooter targeted towards female riders who were just dipping their feet in the world of gearless mobility. Now though, the Pleasure’s popularity has relatively reduced. But Hero plans to spice things up with the Pleasure+ 110. And as the name suggests, the new Pleasure Plus packs in a more powerful motor, exciting new features and a cosmetic makeover. So, can the new updates help the Pleasure rekindle its popularity?
A much, much-awaited update!
The Hero Pleasure has been present in the Indian two-wheeler market for over a decade. Over its rather long journey, the Pleasure did receive some updates, but they were minor cosmetic ones in the form of new stickers. The feature updates weren’t as significant, to say the least. But his time around, Hero has gone all out! The Pleasure Plus has received a completely new design language and it gets a distinctly retro face thanks to the large and more rounded headlight. Accentuating the retro vibe are the slightly sculpted apron with integrated indicators and the curvy side panels.
Like the new headlamp, the tail lamp too has been replaced by a slimmer unit and gets a black cover for a nice contrasting effect. The Pleasure+ is available in seven colours along with three matte options as well. However, we feel an LED headlamp could have surely jazzed things up. And while some might find the new styling quirky, it certainly has presence, especially in the bright blue shade our scooter was sporting.
In the interest of keeping costs in check, Hero has shied away from offering premium features on the new Pleasure. While the instrument cluster has been redesigned, it continues to be a fully analogue unit with a big and clear speedometer and a small fuel gauge. The front glovebox still gets a pocket for your mobile phone and a USB charger. But the packaging could have been better as the charger is placed below the glovebox. Since the wire has to be routed from the outside, it can be a bit hazardous if it gets entangled with your legs.
Nevertheless, essentials like the integrated braking system along with a boot light under the seat are still there. But what felt missing from the list is an integrated lock which can operate the boot, or even Hero’s i3S auto start/stop system, which other Hero scooters are now getting.
Bigger, more powerful engine
The Pleasure Plus borrows its engine from the Duet and Maestro Edge. The 110.9cc motor produces 8.15PS of power and 8.7Nm of torque. These figures are 1.15PS (16 per cent) and 0.6Nm (7 per cent) more than the older engine. Given that the kerb weight is exactly the same at 101kg, the Pleasure now offers peepier acceleration.
The extra horsepower helps the new 110cc scooter pick up the pace more effortlessly from a standstill, and it even feels more responsive when you open the throttle at speed. Keep it pinned and the Pleasure+ will reach an indicated 70kmph rather easily. Throttle response is also smooth and linear, without any jerk no matter how hard you open the gas. However, once the scooter goes beyond 60kmph, the engine starts to feel a bit strained with minor vibrations on the floorboard. The Pleasure Plus is happy cruising at 50kmph and that’s where the throttle inputs feel the most responsive as well.
It is it still easy to ride
The Pleasure was always nimble on its feet. A low kerb weight and a short seat height made it very easy to manoeuvre in parking lots. And we are happy to report that those aspects have been retained. And given that the underpinnings haven’t changed much, the Pleasure Plus is still quick to change direction in traffic and making quick U-turns is very simple. Shorter riders will have no issues placing their feet on the ground thanks to a narrow seat and a low floorboard. Speaking of which, the floorboard isn’t very spacious, but the cutouts at the front allows you to stretch your feet a bit. The handlebars had ample clearance for my height, but taller riders might face some issues.
However, because of its low weight, the Pleasure feels a little nervous at higher speeds and is best ridden at a more reasonable pace. It gets 10-inch wheels with 90/100 section rubber (tubeless), which feel plenty stable at slow speeds. But the ride starts to feel a little twitchy as the pace picks up.
The feel from the brakes is very numb. You will have to squeeze them really hard if you want the 130mm drum brakes to get the scooter to stop quickly. However, the Integrated Braking System makes sure braking is done in a gradual manner. The front suspension is still a bottom-link unit and hence has its limitations. It does translate a bit of the bad surfaces to the handlebars. A telescopic unit would have helped improve the ride by quite a margin. The rear suspension too is a bit underdamped as sharper undulations and potholes can really be felt by the rider. You will have to slow down quite a bit over bumps for a smoother ride. Overall, the Pleasure Plus feels competent at slower speeds.
The value card
The Pleasure Plus with steel wheels has been priced at Rs 47,300, while the alloy wheel variant costs Rs 49,300 (ex-showroom Delhi). This means that the new Pleasure comes at a premium of just Rs 2,200 over the older variants, which is great value for money. If this wasn’t enough, the aggressive pricing of the new scooter helps it undercuts its rivals by close to Rs 3,000! And given how price-conscious customers are in this segment, the Pleasure Plus nails the value for money proposition.
The updates to the new Pleasure makes it look better and helps it ride more effortlessly as well. It retains its easy-riding ability, which is further enhanced by the new engine. But, these updates feel like they are a few years late, giving you the impression that they have only managed to bring the Pleasure+ on par with its rivals. We would have loved to see more features and better ride quality, which could have given it a serious edge over its rivals. But as things stand, the new Pleasure’s edge remains its pricing. Is that enough to make a splash in this segment? Only time will tell.