Ground Hero: Attending Hero World 2024
A fresh launch, a new flagship bike unveiling, cutting-edge prototypes and more took place at Hero’s annual celebration.
Published On Feb 10, 2024 07:00:00 AM
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Most of what you need to know about Hero World lies in the name itself. This is an event hosted at the company’s Centre of Innovation and Technology (CIT) just outside Jaipur, which encapsulates all things Hero. It is attended by us media folk, as well as Hero’s investors, suppliers and dealer partners, where the brand showcases everything new that it has to offer. The inaugural running of the event took place in 2020, when Hero unveiled updated BS6 versions of its Glamour and Passion Pro commuters, as well as an updated Xtreme 160R. Also on display was its much talked about 300cc+ off-road prototype, as well as the launch of the Rally Kit for the Xpulse.
The COVID-19 pandemic then threw a spanner in the works, forcing Hero to put the event on the back burner for a few years. In 2024, though, Hero World made a return, and it was a similarly high-profile event, with a number of headline-grabbing new products. The star attraction, of course, was the long-awaited Mavrick 440 – Hero’s own motorcycle built on the 440cc air- and oil-cooled platform that Hero developed for the Harley-Davidson X440. Despite being positioned below the Harley (prices haven’t been revealed yet, but the componentry gives this away), the Mavrick still marks Hero’s most premium, largest capacity motorcycle to date.
While the Mavrick made the biggest news, it wasn’t the biggest surprise at Hero World 2024 – its unveiling was already quite well known. The accolade of biggest surprise goes to the new Xtreme 125R, a new sporty 125cc bike whose launch at Hero World wasn’t anticipated until just a day before the event, when pictures of it leaked online. This little Xtreme was shown on stage at the event, along with pricing, and we even had a chance to ride it briefly on the handling track at CIT.
Post the unveilings, we were then free to explore the rest of the common areas accessible to us at CIT, including a rather neat ‘boulevard’ that Hero had set out. This area included a number of custom Vida e-scooters that had been modified to showcase the customisability of the platform, with the removable rear seat. These ranged from Vidas featuring a drinks set laid out on the rear carrier, to one with a DJ sound console installed. The electric motocross bike concepts shown by Vida at EICMA were also present, along with Hero’s own Xoom 125R and Xoom 160 scooters that were unveiled at the same show. But perhaps the most innovative vehicle on display was the Surge S32.
Surge is a startup that is wholly owned by Hero MotoCorp (it is part of HeroHatch, the company’s incubation centre), and it has spent the last few years working on a modular EV platform that it calls the S32. What makes it unique is that it’s designed to quickly and conveniently convert between a two-wheeler and a three-wheeler. Essentially, it comprises a rickshaw without a front wheel, into which an e-scooter slots and also acts as the front wheel. In this form, the rear wheel of the e-scooter is off the ground and rests on the rickshaw platform. The e-scooter can then also be decoupled and used by itself. Surge claims that the conversion process takes just 3 minutes.
Other one-off projects on display at Hero World included a mini race bike aimed at children, similar to something like the Italian Ohvale race bikes, but featuring the 99cc air-cooled single-cylinder engine from the Splendor.
A glimpse into the future was provided by a range of prototype flex-fuel vehicles on display, based on the Splendor and Glamour. What was conspicuous by its absence was the larger-capacity liquid-cooled Xpulse model(s) that Hero is known to be working on – the very same one previewed by the off-road prototype at the 2020 edition. When and where this bike will finally break cover in production form remains to be seen, but nevertheless, the event served as a great reminder of everything that’s silently going on behind the scenes at the world’s largest two-wheeler manufacturer.
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