Bought a Hero Honda Pleasure last week. Here is my experience with the whole buying process and the riding experience.
I have been riding a Kinetic Honda (March 2001 model, 2 stroke) for the last 5 years. I just dumped it and went for Pleasure. So, most of my comparison of Pleasure is with Kinetic.
I was in two minds about TVS Scooty Pep Plus and Hero Honda Pleasure. I visited a TVS showroom and the person there was not even interested in giving me the details of Pep Plus. Then I visited Hero Honda showroom. The sales person that struck the deal is a totally ignorant lady. She has no clue about the pricing, spare parts, cost of spare parts or anything else for that matter. Besides, she totally misleaded me. She said "I'll give you 5% discount on accessories". Only after I booked the vehicle did she say that I've to be a member of their club which costs Rs.250/-. She also said that the foot mat is a standard part which will be given at the time of deliver. But at the time of delivery she says I have to buy it. Best of all, she confidently denies saying any of such things. She even said she is fed up of convincing me! I haven't heard any sales person talk like that to a customer.
Anyway, I test drove it, got impressed with the pickup and decided on Pleasure.
First of all, its overpriced! Also, the saree stand and the side stand (which are standard with Pep Plus) is not included with Pleasure. The sales lady gave me a list of accessories. I enquired at other shops and found the prices there 40-50% lesser than the Hero Honda prices. The helmet (another accessory) does not have a face cover. I decided to use my old helmet. Its slightly big and does not fit in the space under the seat, but thats no big deal.
The seats are wide. The controls are similar to Pep Plus. Pick up is very good. Engine sounds better than Kinetic. Probably, I got bored with Kinetic's sound after 5 years. The handles are not as wide apart as Kinetic. So, I find a bit uncomfortable. Its just a matter of getting used to I guess.
On both wheels there are two marks which show the status of your break wear. When the two marks meet, its time to change your break shoe. Also, there is a mark on thread wear on the tyres. It is not seen on new tyres. When the thread wears, the mark is seen and its time to change your tyre. The head lamp has a nut below it which can used to adjust the focus (no need to open the head lamp assembly to do that). I found these after I read the manual (Yes, I read the whole manual!).
There is no engine oil indicator. Kinetic had a red indicator. Here you have to manually check the oil and fill it when it gets low. The manual says if the engine oil is too low, the engine will get screwed. And you are supposed to check the engine oil level everytime before starting. The manual also says that if you do not follow the instructions on the manual, the warranty is void! A simple oil indicator would have solved this problem. Or is that very expensive to implement?
The sales lady blessed me with Rs.250/- worth of free accessories. So, I decided to go for a side stand(Rs.80/- + bolt & spring Rs.20/- = Rs.100/-), a buzzer (Rs.55/-) and hand grip (Rs.65/-) (Total Rs.220/-). The side stand looks sturdy, but the spring is very delicate and loose. The stand moves up and down too easily. Parking on the side stand on a slope facing downwards can bring it off! The buzzer feels like its crying every time I turn on and turn off and the hand grip is made of some cheap rubber and smells very bad. I have to wash my hands after every ride. Was it all worth Rs.220/-? Well, when they are giving it for free, they can quote any price and you can't argue!
Hero Honda claims powerfull halogen lamps for Pleasure. At the time of delivery, I checked the head lamps. The power comes only at full throttle. If you lower the throttle, the head lamp's power dims. The mechanic who fitted the accessories says, the head lamp is not connected to the battries and runs on the "coil" directly. Thats why it does not even turn on until you start the vehicle. The battries are used only for the indicators, break light and buzzer. I had the same issue with my Kinetic too. So, I had asked about headlamp dimming at low throttle to the sales lady. She had confidently said "Pleasure has no such issues". But I still have my fingers crossed. I am hoping that the mechanic was wrong and when the battery charges fully, it'll power the head lamps too.
It also has tuff-up tube which are punchture resistant. Holes upto 3mm are automatically sealed by the liquid in the tube. This will allow the vehicle to run for 5-6 kms. You have to get the puncture sealed by that time. The puncture can be sealed by any roadside shop. There is a small nit though. While sealing the puncture, the rest of the tyre has to be below the level of the hole to prevent the liquid from coming out and spoiling the sealing piece. According to the mechanic at the Hero Honda showroom, you can't refill the liquid. At every puncture, some liquid inside will get used. So, with every puncture, its "puncture resistance" will decrease. Sounds logical. He also said that there are no replacement tuff-up tubes. Its only one time. That does not sound logical. This the first machine from Hero Honda with tuff up tube. Probably it'll take time for the spares to arrive. Also, the sales lady told me that spare tuff-up tubes are available. I don't know if I should believe her...
The rear view mirrors are too small. It covers a very small area behind you. I always use both mirrors. Without two rear view mirrors I find it very uncomfortable to ride. The rear view mirrors are a dissapointment. I wish they were expensive accessories. Then I could have bought a better one from some other shop for a lesser price.
While booking the Pleasure, the sales lady asked me if I want to get "teflon coating". It costs Rs.350/- and they would polish once in 3 months for free for a year. I was not interested. Thats it. They did not even clean my vehicle during delivery! It was all dirty. The silver coloured plate on the silencer and the hand grip over the tail lamp had scratches and the paint had gone off at some places. I had to ask them to replace it before taking the delivery. The delivery process took 3 hours!
I had to fill out a survey. One of the questions was "I am buying from Hero Honda because.." and one of the options was "Low prices". I felt like ticking it.. just to mislead them in their data analysis..he he he... Anyway, I didn't.
So, the buying experience was very bad. The sales folks are ill informed and they are ready to mislead the customers. Be careful of what you hear from them.
The riding experience was good. Now that is a new vehicle, I have to drive below 40km/h and I should not accelerate very fast. I have not driven with a pillion till now.
There is a difference in how Pleasure and Kinetic handle the neutral gear. In Kinetic, reducing the throttle to zero is like neutral and the vehicle glides on neutral. In Pleasure, reducing the throttle to zero does not shift to neutral immediately. It takes some time. The higher the speed at which you stopped throttling, the more time it'll take. The feeling is somewhat like engine breaking in my car. Its like, the neutral is choosen only when the vehicle is running below a particular speed. I had driven Honda Deo once. It also had the same property. I guess its the same with Activa too.
Today there was a traffic jam. I had problems with this engine breaking property of Pleasure. The traffic was moving very slowly and it was an upward slope. If I reduce the throttle, it breaks and if I increase it, I suddenly pulls. Then I had to drive down another slope. The vehicle finally fell to neutral and it was going down smoothly. I decided to increase the speed and slightly twisted the throttle. Suddenly the vehicle slowed down with the familiar engine breaking sound!
I don't know the advantage of this engine breaking property. Was this design intentional? I think I need to get used to that critical position of the throttle to make the vehicle move smoothly in variable speed traffic. Also, I still don't know how to smoothly drive down a slope.
Well, its only the first week of Pleasure. And it hasn't been very pleasurable. I couldn't even enjoy the pickp as I am not supposed to until the first service.
I'll update after I drive around with a pillion and after I get used to this vehicle.