It has got loads of chrome, classic attitude and it is perfect cruising material. Better still, it’s on its way to India. Adhish Alawani delivers the exclusive ride report of Hyosung ST7 Photography: Sanjay Raikar
Something Chrome, Something Cruising!
Hyosung Motors seem to have taken things very seriously. The last time they came to India with the Comet and the Aquila, it was through Kinetic Motors. These motorcycles were a success. The only glitch was the fact that these bikes came in extremely limited numbers and without a properly planned service backup. Nonetheless, the market is changing rapidly and Hyosung have decided to come back with a bang. As you must have seen on the earlier pages, we rode the Hyosung GT650R and were very impressed by the supersport machine. Let us now shift our attention to something classic, something chrome, something cruising!
Introducing the Hyosung ST7, a good example of a modern-day classic cruiser. The ST7 has been built taking into consideration the competition from the likes of the Japanese and the Americans. When we first saw the bike in pictures, we were not really sure if its styling would suit our taste. In reality, however, it’s a different story altogether. The curvaceous tank dips in towards the seat and the flow continues all the way until the broad, sweeping rear fender. The liberal use of chrome on the dual pipe exhaust, engine casing, air box, radiator case, belt drive cover and loads of bits here and there add a lot of hardcore bling to the machine. The 41mm telescopic forks set at a 33-degree rake are neither too laidback nor too aggressive. The softly padded saddle, pullback handlebars and forward mounted footrests offer typical cruiser posture, at least for a five-foot-ten-incher like me. The instrument cluster sits in the chrome housing on the humongous tank. The only bits of styling that do not suit my taste include the small, round headlight (a bigger one would do the job better) and the multi-spoke alloys.
The true deal, however, is the heart of the ST7, sitting under the tank in the form of a liquid-cooled, 90-degree V-Twin, displacing 678cc and pumping out 62 PS. The peak torque figure goes to 63 Nm and punches in at a high 7500 rpm. Sounds weird for a V-Twin cruiser to have its peak torque so high. However, it doesn’t feel so while riding. The bike pulls amazingly from low revs and continues pulling strongly in the mid-range. 130 km/h is reached in second gear if the throttle is whacked open and cruising at 150 km/h is truly peaceful. Wedded to the V-Twin engine is an impressive five-speed transmission that offers butter-smooth shifts through the cogs. Interestingly, the ST7 comes with a belt drive, which not only adds to the cruiser character and attitude, but also offers a good and smooth drive.
The powerplant of this Hyosung sings a soft tune and the refinement levels are quite high: the hardcore cruiser-lovers might just miss the thump to some extent. The ST7 scores brownie points when it comes to the weight and usability of the machine on a day-to-day basis. With a kerb weight of 244 kg, the ST7 is pretty manoeuvrable even in heavy city traffic. Even after logging over a couple of hundred kilometres, there was no sign of fatigue creeping in. The not-so-wide and not-so-tall ‘bars offer good steering in tight situations as well. Not a lot is usually talked about the handling of a cruiser. But I would still make a special mention that this bike handles very well. Not even once did I feel that there was a hint of instability around corners or while flicking from one side to the other. The Bridgestones also provide awesome grip and contribute to the good road holding that the bike offers. The brakes on the ST7 are pretty decent and do the needful quite efficiently. There is hardly anything that I can complain about in this cruiser.
And looking at the price tag of approximately Rs 5–5.25 lakh, I am sure no one has anything to complain about. Hyosung have brilliantly managed to introduce a motorcycle in the market that bridges the huge gap between the local wannabe cruisers and the hardcore ones like Harleys or Suzukis. The ST7 is expected to hit the market along with the GT650R by Diwali this year. Also expect the company to offer tall windscreens and saddlebags etc. as accessories.
The final take on the ST7? Take off the pillion seat, get on the leathers and ride the highways for days on end.
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