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Up there, but not quite

Korean bike major Hyosung joins hands with the Garware Group to bring the company’s ST7 cruiser to India. But are they on the right track?

autos Updated: May 01, 2011 01:39 IST

Classic cruiser style, massive fenders, solid alloy wheels with beautiful detail work and gleaming chrome fields define the all new ST7. What we liked at the first glance are those smartly-machined alloy levers, which are reach-adjustable for the front brake. The ST7 comes with nice-looking seats for the rider and pillion. This cruiser sports a handsome tail, with a brilliant LED brake lamp, bar-mounted indicators and tapered mudguard. The ST7 though doesn’t feel as solidly built as a rival Honda or Harley-Davidson. This bike could have benefited from a better fit and finish of course.

The ST7 uses a Hyosung-built, four-stroke, liquid-cooled engine that displaces 678.2cc. Maximum power of 61.7bhp comes into play as high as 8,000 rpm, and all 5.8kgm of torque is delivered only at 7,000 rpm. However the ST7 lacks the refined engine feel we usually look for and which is yours for the asking on the Harley-Davidson SuperLow. The big Hyosung completes the 0-100kph dash in an impressive 6.43 seconds, with its top speed in the region of 180kph.

A big positive to the ST7 is its riding position as the wide handlebars provide good leverage and also enable light steering for such a large motorcycle. The heavy 244kg cruiser is held together by a steel, double-cradle frame. The bike is however let down by harsh ride quality and inadequate tyres. The rear suspension feels generations behind where it needs to be. And the ST7 becomes a bit unnerving to ride in anything other than ideal, smooth, straight-line conditions, where its long wheelbase provides easy stability.

The tyres fail to provide good traction either. The ST7 comes with a 300mm front disc brake and 270mm disc at the rear. The front brake lacks good bite, further calling for much effort at its lever. We took 49.85 metres to stop the burly Hyosung from 100kph. The ST7 delivers decent enough mileage for its segment. Our city tests showed the bike capable of 19.6kpl; the figure rose to 22kpl when we cruised at steady speeds on Indian highways.

Hyosung ST7

Price: R6,00,000
(Ex-showroom)
(L/W/H): 2,470/960/1,135mm
Ground clearance: 155mm
Wheelbase: 1,690mm
Kerb weight: 244kg
Engine: Twin-cylinder,
liquid-cooled, four-stroke, V-twin
Displacement: 678.2cc
Max power: 61.7bhp at 8,000rpm
Max torque: 5.8kgm at 7,000 rpm
Specific output: 90.9bhp
per litre
Construction: Alloy cylinder and head
Bore/stroke: 81.5/65mm
Valve gear: 4 per cylinder, dohc
Ignition and fuel: TCI, electronic fuel injection
Gearbox: 5-speed,
1-down, 4-up
Brakes: (f/r) 300/270mm

Verdict
The massive Hyosung ST7 looks stylish and good on paper. However, it has an ordinary engine and lower than passable handling. The Indian ST7 stands on very shaky ground at its indicated price of R6 lakh. We don’t recommend this motorcycle over the variety of superb Harley-Davidson cruisers already available in India, at around the same value, with a few priced even lower.