In the last year and a half, almost all mass-market two-wheeler manufacturers such as Honda Scooter And Motorcycle India, TVS Motor Company, Suzuki Two-Wheelers and even the likes of Aprilia have launched 125 cc scooters in India. The average scooter buyer today is looking for that extra oomph in terms of power and looks which the 125 cc models offer, rather than the typically staid design of the 110 cc scooters which are all about practicality. The Hero Destini 125 is a great example of a 125 cc scooter with decent performance and offering the practicality and comfort of a 110 cc scooter.
Also Read: Hero Destini 125 First Ride Review
Looks and design
Make no mistake about it; Hero is positioning it as a family scooter, so the looks are conservative. The rear resembles the 110 cc Hero Duet, and the front looks quite similar to the Honda Aviator. Chrome is used abundantly on the front apron to give the scooter a premium look in an otherwise conservative design. One word to sum up the design of the destiny, conventional! There are two variants of the Destini 125, which are LX and VX. The differences are cosmetic - the VX gets the chrome garnish on the front apron, dual texture seat and alloy wheels, which the LX variant misses out on. Overall, the conservative design is something which sees favour with most scooter buying Indians and with the Destini 125, it will particularly work well, especially in the rural and semi-urban markets, which is a big market for Hero.
The biggest USP on the Destini 125 is Hero's patented i3S or the idle start-stop system. Destini is the first ever scooter in India to get a start-stop system. So, how this works is if you keep the start-stop system on, and you are at, say, a traffic signal and idling for 30 seconds, the engine shuts off automatically and starts again just as you pull the rear brake lever in. Hero claims a real-world efficiency figure of 51 kmpl and with the i3S system, we believe the efficiency will be over 45 kmpl.
Other features include a part digital part analogue system, where there is an analogue read-out for speed and information such as fuel, trip meters and odometer is spelled out by the small digital readout. The layout is basic but does the job well. There is a tell-tale light for side-stand indicator as well, which is pretty useful. Then, there's also the multi-function ignition key, and you can unlock the seat as well as the fuel tank lid, from the ignition key itself. It's a small detail, but certainly handy to have. The features list is summed up by the 19 litre underseat stowage, which doesn't swallow in a full-sized helmet but can definitely swallow groceries, books and a half-faced helmet. Also, the VX trim gets a USB charger port and a small LED light for illuminating the underseat storage.
Engine and performance
The Hero Destini 125 uses a 125 cc single-cylinder engine which is air-cooled and makes 8.7 bhp at 6,750 rpm and 10.2 Nm of peak torque at 5,000 rpm. The numbers are decent for a 125 cc scooter and the performance par for the course. The Destini can easily cruise at speeds of up to 70 kmph and even cross 90 kmph should there be a need, but that will require a long stretch of road. The refinement is spot on although once you cross 70 kmph, there is the barest hint of vibration.
The throttle response is slightly dull for a 125 cc scooter and the ride quality is a little bouncier than we would have liked but all these are not deal breakers. The Scooter gets telescopic forks up front and a monoshock at the rear. What could have been better is an optional disc brake, and a 12-inch front wheel is missed, which somewhat robs you of the confidence in handling and stability. The Destini doesn't get disc brakes at all and the drum unit up front lacks bite. Although, the Destini 125 does get an integrated braking system or IBS, which is Hero's equivalent of Honda's CBS or combined braking system.
The scooter is shod with 10-inch cast alloy wheels and tubeless tyres, which is a good thing. Bigger tyres would have definitely improved the ride quality. Filtering through traffic is easy and comparable to other 125 cc scooters and flickability is not a problem on the Destini 125. Overall, it is a scooter which will be loved to be ridden by all members of the family, young or old. And that is precisely what Hero is gunning for!
The Hero Destini 125 is the first ever 125 cc scooter from Hero and while it may not be edgy and stylish, it has mass appeal, which is what Hero is looking for. It offers the performance of a 125 cc scooter and the practicality of a 110 cc one and does so without any qualms. With a starting price of ₹ 54,650, the Destini is the most affordable 125 cc scooter in India and the VX variant is priced at ₹ 57,500. The value-for-money quotient is high and so is the appeal. There are scooters such as the TVS Ntorq 125, Suzuki Burgman Street and the Honda Grazia which offer better performance and more features and are stylishly designed as well, but the appeal of the Destini 125 lies in its simplicity, which is where it could score more over its rivals in the semi-urban and rural markets.