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Monday, May 30, 2011

2010 Hyosung ST7 - Ride Review

What's the first picture you get in your mind when you first hear the word - "Cruiser". Let me tell you what do I get in my mind - I see a relaxed canvas awaiting me to paint a scenery in chrome, with the brush of a thunderous sounding engine, while I'm sitting as if I'm on my couch in my lounge, with my hands relaxing on the handle bars which are coming towards me and I'm thinking all this while - "Is that a grin on my face or it's this sheer power that's stretching my face to touch my ears". Swing your leg across the saddle of the 2010 Hyosung ST7 and you would understand, exactly what I said above.

If you want a true American Chopper styled cruiser motorcycle, which can give all the pleasures you expect from a cruiser and which handles as nimbly as the everyday motorcycle you see around and still is not as brutal to your pocket, the Hyosung ST7 should satiate you and more. The biggest motorcycle manufacturer from Korea, has attempted to create an all round cruiser, and boy have they been successful in doing that. Massive fenders, generous touch of chrome all round, forward thrown front end geometry, relaxed seating, chunky rubber and above all a very busy, grunty and revvy engine. The ST7 has got the right things at the right places.

The Korean Engineers should be given kudos for creating such a subtle engine, which is capable of generating ample torque and performance numbers with such ease that you are almost mistaken to belief that it's not even happening.

Pull the clutch and thumb the starter and 678cc, 90° V twin roars with a thunderous note and makes it's presence felt to every soul around, almost like it's a menace coming straight out of hell. Just a simple flicker of the right wrist demonstrates how eager this engine is. It's a very busy engine and the character is proved once you hit the road and start stretching it's legs. The first gear engages with a distinctive "THUD" and a little play of the clutch tells you that 57.66 BHP of peak bang from this engine is more than you would even need from a cruiser on Indian roads.

Make Model
Hyosung ST7
Liquid cooled, four stroke, 90° V twin, DOHC, 4 valve per cylinder
Bore x Stroke 81.5 x 65 mm
Compression Ratio 11.5:1
Ignition  /  Starting
-  /  electric
Max Power
57.66 BHP @ 8000 rpm / 46 KW @ 8000 rpm
Max Torque
57 Nm  @ 6000 rpm
Transmission  / Drive
5 Speed  /  belt

The engine demonstrates loads of mid range and top end performance, but going slow on this baby can be a subject of getting used to. The bottom end performance was good though, but it might be just me, that I was expecting a tad more from a cruiser. The bike was pulling effortlessly from speeds of 60 kmph @ 5th, but it showed signs of discomfort when I was doing 40-45 kmph @ 5th and tried to pull from there. Cruising with this engine at speeds of 130 kmph @ the 5th cog, seems like a child's play. Going past 150 kmph, is where I felt that this bike should have had a 6th gear to dispense with, which would have made the ride past 150-160 kmph even more fun, as the engine stress start making it's presence felt by that time. Talking about the gears, just butter smooth transmission through the cogs. The gear box won't make you feel that it's not in a mood, be at what speeds you are.

The one thing that this engine is frivolous about is, the torque from mid-range and above. You just feel like surfing as waves of torque come towards you and that translates into a riding pleasure that's tough to parallel. The 57 Nm of torque coming at 6000 rpm would not only keep you interested in highway cruises, but would also entice you when you are in the city.

At the same time, there's one thing that I would love to have improved on the ST7 is the fueling. The burst of power does not gel well when I open the throttle in a hurry. The fueling feels falling behind in providing the engine the required amount of fuel required with that sudden throttle action, which results in an abrupt power delivery. But the scene is different when the throttle action is smooth, the fueling in that case becomes very precise and smooth.

Ride and Handling
The ST7 is a classic American Chopper styled cruiser (with more practicality though) and everything about the ST7 is what you expect from a cruiser to be. Being a Sports Bike guy, I surely had to first understand the bike and get used to it's ergos, but once I was in-land, boy did I had fun... sure did I!!

The forward thrown steering geometry and foot pegs, came to me as a slight shock, but at the same time, it brought a smile on my face, as they feel a class apart. The moment you sit on the saddle, you are greeted by a sense of aristocracy. The handle bars coming towards you as you are comfortably seated, the chrome shining all around you, would make you feel like a different personality, like a person who is not governed by any sense of urgency in life... everything feels relaxed and calm.

Frame Steel, double pipe
Front Suspension
Hydraulic telescopic fork with 140 mm wheel travel
Rear Suspension
Dual oil-damped shock absorbers
Front Brakes
Single 300mm disc
Rear Brakes
Single 270mm disc
Front Tyre
Rear Tyre
Seat Height 675 mm
244 kg
Fuel Capacity 
18 Litres

Moving at slow speeds and making tight U turns would need some practice and getting used to because of the long wheel base and the steering geometry, but be rest assured that, once the rider gets a hang of it, it would be as easy as you would feel doing the same on, say a Bajaj Avenger.

One might get easily lured into believing that, with a Kerb-Weight of 244 kg and peak power output of 57.66 Bhp, this would one heavy metal fat butt to drag. But a quick spin on the ST7 would prove something way otherwise.

The ST7 is a very nimble handler and that 244 kg of Kerb-Weight just gels with the flow of the bike once it gets moving. Maneuvering the bike through the traffic feels like bliss even at speeds of 120+. Speaking of which, brings me to a very important factor in handling the bike. The Wind Blast. I found the wind blast seriously unnerving at speeds past 140 and the need for a wind screen was very seriously felt at that time. That would be a must to have accessory with this bike, which other wise, has no default wind protection.

With a Ground Clearance of 155mm and a Seat Height of 27", the ST7 is virtually built for Indian roads.Braking is sweetly handled by the 300mm disc upfront and 270mm disc back rear, and with suspension dancing in tandem, the handling of the ST7 inspires a lot of confidence, be it at slow speeds or when you cruising at speeds past 130. However, personally I found that the suspension was a notch too soft to my comfort and I would have definitely preferred a stiffer suspension setting. But again that can be just only me.

Like I said earlier, everything about the ST7 inspires a feeling of sophistication. The tank placed chromed console with analog speedo and digital details like odo and temperatures look very contemporary. The arrangement of the controls on the handle bar is also good, even though I felt that the levers came a bit awkwardly to my wrist, but then what the heck, they can be adjusted as per the rider.... just a little DIY.

One thing I would personally like to change is the horn, they just feel so tiny in front of the stature of the ST7.

Quality and Reliability
The ST7 is the better built bike in comparison to the Hyosung GT650R. The quality of the paint finish is premium and easily one of the best in class. The quality of the equipment is also good. But at this time, I won't be able to comment on the long term quality and reliability as that hugely depends upon how the rider maintains the bike. But yes, at the same time I would say that the choice of plastic used, does give you a budget feel and also, the way the wiring has been handled specially around the handle bar, puts you off a bit. More so, you can see and feel how badly they rub and vibrate against the handle bar at high speeds.
Overall the ST7 is very immaculately built motorcycle.


The Hyosung ST7 is an all round player with lots of potential, character and presence. The performance number can keep any Indian biker satiated for years together and in the price bracket the bike is in, with good after market support, we have a winner at our disposal. There might small quality issues here and there, but if you put things into perspective, ST7 is your cruiser for all your practical purposes.

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  1. Great post Sajal bro!!

    Congrats on being one of those very few who have taken the ride experience of the ST7.

    How about the comfort on the ST7 over bad roads? Usually cruisers are not the most comfortable over broken surfaces.. also are there any engine vibrations?

  2. Payeng Dude,
    Thanks man... thanks for always being there to cheer me up :)

    The ST7 handles bad roads with ease and that's why I said, it feels like the ST7 is custom made for Indian conditions, but yes, at the same, the feeling would be different when you ride the bike on highways and when you ride it on tough terrains. I would recommend the ST7 for hill rides like Manali et' al, but at the same time, I won't recommend it for places like Khardungla and Tawang, even though it can handle on it's own, but the trecherous terrain there, would underplay ST7's capacities and it's sheer weight would take the upper hand.

    For the vibes, till 150kmph, but beyond that you start feeling some vibes creeping up to handlebar, and that's when I felt that a 6th cog would have been immensely good. But you know what, from my point of view, on a cruiser, I would expect some sweet vibes, it's just a tadka to the fun. :)

  3. So when is the GT650R review coming up..??


  4. @Danial
    Thanks Man... Thanks for your appreciation :)

  5. They have to have a price tag which is less than the harley sportster otherwise it will be very hard for garware to sell this bike.
    All said and done ST7 is a superb looking cruiser and anyday better looking than a harley sportster (which IMHO looks more like a big city bike).

  6. @Preejush,

    Totally agree with you man. The ST7 is very neatly placed and has a lot of character for a cruiser.

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  9. absolutely spot on sajal. I have been riding it for a year now and its an awesome bike. Dont bother about people saying its korean or comparisons with HD. IT feels great and looks even better. A HD with this kind of look and feel would cost you about 18L at the least so no comparison.

  10. I own a 2013 ST 7 and a Harley Dyna Low Rider.

    Performance wise very little separates the bikes. Appearance wise very little separates the bikes.

    You have old technology versus new technology.

    I love the Hyosung. It will never replace my Harley, but it gives me a choice when I want to ride a modern stylish cruiser.

    Well done Hyosung. Great styling, a great all around package for an exceptional price.

    If you can't see that - you need to see your optician before going to book a ride !


    1. Thanks Martin for sharing your views... appreciate it :)

  11. Hi I am buying st 7 on Jan 15 th.many ppl tell there is heating issue. Can anybody help me out

  12. The old men look very young on sitting on the famous Hyosung ST7 2010 red bike and he also looking for this bike ride. And this men knows the he is not more young or suitable for riding this type of super bike so he wears all the protective gear for his bike riding, he a wears a jacket and the wonderful shiny motorcycle helmet for his safety. And he deliver the massage to the people of all ages that every one can ride the super bike with wearing best motorcycle helmet with best motorcycle and all other protective gear.


Item Reviewed: 2010 Hyosung ST7 - Ride Review Description: Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Sajal
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