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Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Hyosung GT650R EFi and ST7 - Up Close and Personal

The Garware Motors and Hyosung conglomeration in India, breathed it's first breath officially on 20th April, 2011, marking a new chapter of both companionship and motorcycling in India. Two very unlike looking partners joining hands and identifying the right market and it's potential to bring Hyosung GT650R EFi and the Hyosung ST7, and that too at a price band which would make even the sanest go crazy.

Very promptly, Garware Motors updated the dealership information across four cities - Gurgaon, Mumbai, Pune and Goa on their official website. As the saying goes - "Seeing is believing!!" so, the very next step for ThrottleQuest was to go to the nearest dealer and check out the bikes personally and I reached Radiant Lifestyles Pvt. Ltd, which is the Garware Hyosung Dealership in Gurgaon.

The first thing that I would like to have a special mention here is that, my experience with most of the dealership of various motorcycle makes has been, well I would say, good. I go in just have a candid chat, and if everything goes well, I'm allowed a test ride and preview and a photo session of the motorcycle. But to my big surprise, my experience with Lifestyle Pvt. Ltd. can be summarized in a single word and that word would be AMAZING. Nothing engages a biker more than a logical and warm discussion on motorcycles and motorcycling and thanks to Mr. Vishal Poria (GM - Sales) and Mr. Ankush Bhasin (Manager Sales), for being so enthusiastic about motorcycles on the whole and giving me an opportunity to discuss about motorcycles, Garware Motors and Hoyosung and a lot more.

GT650R EFi

Well everybody knows about this little pocket rocket, but let me tell you, you haven't seen this bike, until and unless you have seen it in flesh. First impression, would tend to set your senses numb with it's huge appearance. If someone is not habituated with the Sports and Super Sports class of motorcycles, then the GT650R EFi would catch your fancy big time.

The riding posture is quite aggressive, but not as like the Ducati 848s or the Yamaha R1s. It's somewhere in between, but easily sporty enough to keep the rider interested. Personally for 5'9" guy like me, I found the seating roomy enough to work the bike around corners. The low triple clamp handle bar would need getting used to, and given the right posture, it shouldn't hurt much on the wrist and the back.

The engine note of the L-Twin engine is quite bassy and brisk, and would almost fool you into believing that it's quite a busy customer, but based on accounts, it's not as unnerving as it might sound, which in a way is good for the folks who are seriously looking for a launch pad towards the Super Sports class. Having said that, one can easily get tempted to dial in abrupt throttle and tend to forget that it's still 72 ponies at work and that's tremendous power at disposal on Indian conditions.

As I mentioned earlier, the GT650R has tremendous visual presence and is pretty nicely built too. A real close look would reveal that bike might be a notch down on the overall fit and finish, specially when you consider the plastic, and you really feel that it should have had just that extra bit of quality overall. But then, if you consider the price tag at which it's available, you can't really complain much and you tend to overlook such small things and focus more on the enjoyment of riding it.

But it's not that my first impression was all blue and bliss and I didn't observe anything otherwise. There are a few things, which would need some getting used to, specially for the ones, who have been doing rounds on the 150s and 180s and all of sudden what to go for something of a Hayabusa look a like.
  1. The very first thing that unsettled by about the bike was the weight. With a kerb weight of 215kg, the bike is definitely heavy. This would definitely affect the motorcycle's performance on tight curves, for example U turns and tight twisties, and the rider would have to be extra cautious on those mid turn adjustments, else a wash out would inevitable.
  2. With a seat height of 780mm, I was unable to plant my complete foot on the floor, which couple with the weight of the bike can be unsettling. This is the same kind of issue I faced on my Pulsar 200, when I first bought it and required my quite a lot of getting used to. My personal opinion to every prospective rider is not to give it a whack until and unless you are not confident enough to handle the weight and height of the bike, specially when you are on tight turns.
  3. The rubbers on the bike, though sticky, but felt a bit too hard for my liking. A change is definitely welcome here.
Everything said and done, there's no qualms about the fact that the 2010 Hyosung GT650R holds immense promise for the Indian motorcycle fraternity and should quench the thirst for that little bit more until you get thirsty again for the big wagons.

Specifications

Engine
Liquid cooled, four stroke, 90° V twin, DOHC, 4 valve
Capacity
647
Bore x Stroke 81.5 x 62 mm
Compression Ratio 11.6:1
Induction
Fuel Injection (include immobilizer)
Ignition  /  Starting
electric
Max Power
72.68 Bhp  54.2 KW @ 9000 rpm
Max Torque
60.9 Nm @ 7500 rpm
Transmission/Drive
6 Speed/chain
Frame Steel, double pipe
Front Suspension
41mm Oil upside down forks, 120mm wheel travel
Rear Suspension
Swinging arm, 100mm wheel travel.
Front Brakes
2x 300mm discs 4 piston caliper
Rear Brakes
Single 230mm disc
Front Tyre
120/60 -17
Rear Tyre
160/60 -17
Seat Height 780 mm  /  30.7 in
Dry-Weight
194 kg
Fuel Capacity 
17 Litres
    Variants
    There are basically two variants of the GT650R EFi -
    • The Single Tone color with an approx on-road price tag of ₹ 5,25,000 (Delhi)
    • The Dual Tone color with an approx on-road price tag of ₹ 5,41,000 (Delhi)
    Waiting Period
    Currently there's a waiting period of approx 6 weeks, from the time of booking to delivery of the bikes, Hyosung providing the 3S (Sales, Service and Spares) through respective dealerships.

    ST7

    Well the single word to define the ST7 would be Curvacious. It's all about the Cruiser attitude you can think off. A very relaxed seating, with ultra comfy seats, forward thrown steering geometry, handle bar coming to you, forward thrown foot pegs and above all, lots and lots of chrome every were.

    Thumb the starter and the 678 90° V twin greets you in deep throat as if inviting you just hop on and forget everything else. For a cruiser, the engine sound a bit too much in rush though, very much same like the GT650R, which again comes to picture when you notice that for a cruiser engine, the peak performance out of 57.66 Bhp is coming at 8K rpms and a peak of 57.3 Nm Torque coming at 6K rpms, which in my opinion is around 2-3k rpms too much for a motorcycle of this genre.

    First look, the ST7 looks as contemporary as it looks retroish (thanks to it's big slung fenders front and rear). The shiny red almost instantly reminds you of the ultra curvacious Rose McGowan clad in excess of red during the opening sequence of the movie Planet Terror. Sexy would be an malnutritioned word here. Cruisers of this class are meant to be heavy, and at 244kg, it's every bit heavy.

    The minimalistic ground clearance again follows the classic cruiser legacy and also would ensure the the center of gravity remains as low as possible for the long hauls. As with the GT650R, the ST7 also tries to mesmerize you with your looks, and truly speaking, for middle weight cruiser, it builds some serious attraction.

    The fit and finish of the machine looks much better than the GT650R in every aspect. Right from the instrumentation cluster, to the plastic and panels, the build quality is as good as it can be.

    The only thing that twitched my eyebrows a bit was that there was a lot of visible and a bit cluttered wiring around the handle bar and the engine, which I was not expecting to see on a motorcycle which is so beautifully designed and built. Also, as with the GT650R, the rubber on the ST7 felt a bit hard for my liking.

    So, if you want a good performing cruiser at your disposal and at the same time want to stay away from the HD, then the ST7 should be your ideal choice as it's everything you would expect within your budget.

    Specifications

    Engine
    Liquid cooled, four stroke, 90° V twin, DOHC, 4 valve per cylinder
    Capacity
    678
    Bore x Stroke 81.5 x 62 mm
    Compression Ratio 11.5:1
    Induction
    Fuel Injection (include immobilizer)
    Ignition  /  Starting
    electric
    Max Power
    57.66 Bhp  54.2 KW @ 8000 rpm
    Max Torque
    57.3 Nm @ 6000 rpm
    Transmission/Drive
    6 Speed  /  chain
    Frame Steel, double pipe
    Front Suspension
    Hydraulic telescopic fork with 140 mm wheel travel
    Rear Suspension
    Dual oil-damped shock absorbers
    Front Brakes
    2x 300mm disc
    Rear Brakes
    Single 270mm disc
    Front Tyre
    120/80-16
    Rear Tyre
    170/80-15
    Seat Height 675 mm
    Dry-Weight
    244 kg
    Fuel Capacity 
    17 Litres

    Variants

    Unlike the GT650R, the ST7 has no price variation based on colors and all the three colors are available at an approx on road price of ₹ 6,26,000 (Delhi)

    Waiting Period

    The waiting period is same as of the GT650R, of approx 6 weeks.

    Apart from providing the 3S, Lifestyle Pvt. Ltd, Gurgaon, would also be providing various accessories within a period of around 6 months.

    My visit to Lifestyle Pvt. Ltd, Gurgaon, really changed my view about the two motorcycles, and both the Garware Motors & Hyosung conglomerate and the Lifestyle Pvt. Ltd, Gurgaon dealership have earned a very high respect in my view for their efforts to take motorcycling in India to the next level.

    Now, I'm all hopes and etching to have a test ride of both the bikes and present a direct and comprehensive ride review of both the motorcycles.

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    6 comments:

    1. Wow..!! That's huge.

      Can't wait for a comprehensive review of the Korean missiles. Especially the GT650R.

      Am just worried that the seat of the GT would be a but too high some someone of my height (5 ft 5)

      ReplyDelete
    2. The seat height of the GT650R is definitely a bit high as even my foot was also not toughing the ground completely

      ReplyDelete
    3. Hi,
      Nice and informative post. I appreciate the work done by author in this blog. Thanks for sharing this informative post.
      Bikes For Sale

      ReplyDelete
    4. Dear Sajal,
      Thanks for your posts.They were quite informative.
      I am a bike novice and am in the market for a cruiser.
      I have narrowed down my choices to one among the following;
      HD superlow 883
      ST7
      Triumph bonneville.

      Could you give me your take on the aforementioned bikes?

      Though looks matter a great deal, the deciding factor for me would be the mileage.
      I know that this topic(of mileage) seems to be taboo among all those who follow superbikes but any info you can provide would be a great help.

      ReplyDelete
    5. @Anonymous
      Thanks for your kind words.

      Well, the fuel economy of all the three bikes are more or less the same in normal city riding conditions -

      HD SuperLow 883 (883cc,68hp@4400 rpm)- ~19 kmpl

      Triumph Bonneville (865cc,67hp@7250 rpm) - ~20.4 kmpl

      Hyosung ST7 (678cc,57.6hp@8000 rpm) - ~19 kmpl

      So, easily the Triumph and HD SuperLow 883 are almost at par if you consider the Power-to-Economy ratio.

      I would say, if you are on a budget, then go for the ST7. You might not get the quality of the Triumph or the HD, but the ST7 would keep you enticed in Indian conditions. But if you have the leisure of funds, then always go for the Triumph or the HD, which ever gains that extra bit margine for you :)

      Cheers and Happy and Safe riding.

      ReplyDelete

    Item Reviewed: Hyosung GT650R EFi and ST7 - Up Close and Personal Description: Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Sajal Chakraborty
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