Motorcycle giant Hyosung will soon begin its second innings in India, with the snazzy ST7. The company took a beating in 2003 after launching the 249 cc Aquila via Kinetic Motors. Poor spare parts availability and shoddy aftersales made the company lose favour among its customers. Overcoming this initial setback, Hyosung recently revealed plans to re-enter India in a fresh collaboration with Garware Motors.
The ST7, its second Indian cruiser, sits low with standard cruiser-like dimensions. At the front, a 13-spoke alloy wheel sits under a large mudguard. The chrome bar above mounts the motorcycle turn signal indicators. Decent quality switchgear is offered, including an engine kill and hazard warning. A raised chrome platform on the ST7’s expansive 17-litre fuel tank hosts the bike’s large, analogue speedometer that reads up to 220 kph. A digital screen displays the fuel level along with the odometer and twin trip readings.
The ST7 oozes chrome all over. Other than its twin cylinders that are sheathed in black, the ST7’s engine is finished in chrome that’s visible on the radiator shroud, cam covers, crankcases and elegantly curved dual silencers. While the paint quality is impressive, this Korean bike doesn’t quite feel as solid as a Honda, Yamaha or its arch rival, Harley-Davidson.
The four-stroke, liquid-cooled 678.2 cc twin cylinder engine is set in a 90 deg V layout. However, the maximum torque of 5.8 kgm is only offered at a peaky 7000 rpm. Again, max power of 61.7 bhp is produced at 8000 rpm.
Cruise-friendly gearing lets the bike cross 60 kph in first gear, and 120 kph in the second. While the ST7 can amble along comfortably at 130 kph, top speed is in the region of 160 kph.
Good ride quality and straight line stability are commendable. The ST7’s tyres offer reasonable grip, though the fat rear tyre does tend to lose traction under hard braking. You can expect mileage to be in the range of 20-25 kpl.
Price: R6.5 lakh (estimated, on-road)
On sale: March 2011
L/W/H: 2470/ 960/ 1135 mm
Wheelbase: 1690 mm
Ground clearance: 155 mm
Fuel tank capacity: 17 litres
Kerb weight: 244 kg
Engine layout: V-twin, liquid-cooled, four-stroke
Displacement: 678.2 cc
Power: 61.7 bhp at 8000 rpm
Torque: 5.8 kgm at 7000 rpm
Gearbox 5-speed, 1-down, 4-up
The ST7 is a good package, but it is priced at a steep R6.5 lakh. Also in direct competition is Harley Davidson’s XL883L. Hyosung now needs to focus on its aftersales network.