Eye make-up for Libero
The new headlamp and the lower price have made the Libero into a more wholesome product, discovers Deepesh Rathore.
It's been quite some time since the Libero broke cover but the world still seems reluctant to be mesmerised by its unique headlamps that often reminded people of culpable homicide. The Yamaha mainstay is a very competent bike and can match any other executive commuter on performance, mileage, stability or ride comfort but when it came to styling, people were often left speechless by the 'one-eyed bug'.
Now Yamaha has decided to broaden the Libero’s appeal with a new styled model. The new Libero - Libero LX - comes with round headlamps to make it more mainstream than the other model. Mechanicals remain the same as the older model. The Libero LX, too, makes do with a four-speed gearbox and a heavily-modified version of the Crux-R engine. In fact, this engine delivers up to 85 kpl (under standard test conditions, of course!), and is smoother too.
On the go, the initial acceleration is peppy. It is only towards the top that the Libero runs out of breath and the gearbox cries out for a fifth gear. The narrow 2.75 x 18" rubber in the front and 3.00 x 18" tyre at the rear do a commendable job as does the twin cradle chassis as the handling is quite predictable and confident. Braking, too, is commendable from the drum/drum combo as the Yamaha hardly deviates from the straight line.
So what is new? For one, the absence of a 'fashionable' headlamp and its bikini fairing that some costs have been saved and these are being passed down to the customer.
The Libero LX ex-showroom price in the capital is Rs 39,800, making it about Rs 1,000 cheaper than the older version, which remains on sale. To add to the kitty, Yamaha is offering two gold coins free with every cash purchase of the Libero LX and four gold coins free on purchase with finance by ICICI bank.
The older Libero has more road presence, even if it is in the evil sense. However the Libero LX is a more mainstream bike and, I suspect, will appeal to many more customers.