Hero MotoCorp’s Centre of Innovation and Technology, (CIT) in Jaipur recently hosted the 3 day Hero World 2020, a one of its kind event, showcasing their R&D facility & their Newly updated & refreshed BS-VI bike models for 2020. You can read about the CIT & the updated bikes in the latest article we recently did, cause this one’s special. Special because, first time ever in the history of automotive industry, an OEM has manufactured & shall sell a complete Rally ready kit directly to its customers. For most OEMs, its always been about numbers & volumes, and such endeavors did not make economical sense, but not with Hero, guess they have decoded what others couldn’t. They promised a premium yet accessible rally kit at the Auto Expo 2020, and so have they delivered one.
We begin with the Kit inclusions & their pricing, which you all are so excited about.
- Fully adjustable Front (+60mm travel) & Rear (+50mm travel) Suspension – Rs.25000/-
- Maxxis Rally tyres -Rs.10,000/-
- Handle bar raisers (+40mm) -Rs.850/-
- Flat Seat (+110mm seat height) – Rs.2000/-
- Extended Side stand -Rs.800/-
- Extended Gear Pedal -Rs.700/-
The Rally kit has already proven itself in the Dakshin Rally & few other rallies recently, and I got to taste how the rally kit feels like at the Dirt track. Now, I am not a professional dirt track racers, but i have been always fascinated to see riders taking those high speed banked turns, doing airtime, ripping it out as their rear wheel continuously keeps sliding sideways, with all these thoughts in mind, and by the splendid performance, the Hero Factory racers displayed, I more of intimidated to ride, was not really sure how my first time on a Dirt Race track would be.
With all this in mind, I somehow got myself together and got on the bike, ready to ride to live. The Rally Kit is really true to what it promises, 2 laps of practice and it felt like home on the Rally spec Xpulse. It was additionally fitted with an Akrapovic Slip-On exhaust, and a 12-40 Sproket setup to make our ride peppy which wont be a part of the setup, but Hero MotoCorp team said they are working on a Rally spec exhaust too. The kit just inspires tons of loads of confidence to the rider.I was able to easily ride myself into those corners, through the jumps on table-tops and those sliding corners right behind the Hero Racing team lead, and frankly It wasn’t just me, it was more of the bike actually. Most of the times, you would hear people say, it’s the rider & not the bike, but that’s when there cut-throat competition. In a situation where, you are testing new waters, it’s the weapon which will decide your fate, and not just you. The tyres and suspension setup have hit a bulls-eye in terms of feedback, traction and control and most importantly ease of tuning. Such were the features the market expected from a few recently launched so called Adventure bikes, but then we were left disappointed, But Hero MotoCorp finally has broken the trend.
To make life better for the rider in rallies, where most of the time, you are standing or jumping, Hero has included the Flat seat to offer better posture, Handle bar raisers for a taller stance and extended gear pedal, so that you don’t by-mistake change your gears in all the jumping around. All the R&D and Dakar Experience from the past 5 years has provided Hero with the knowledge and know how to deliver a complete rally kit.
Not just that, the Rally kit is completely road legal and can be used in daily commute to touring and has ARAI certification & FMSCI accreditation to make the overall deal sweeter. The Kit will be available in select dealerships in all major cities starting March 2020, and yes, you can choose to buy individual items from the Kit.
Rallying as a motorsports in India’s largest growing community in terms of participation, and the fraternity has been struggling since years, specially New entrants to build a Rally ready bike. With the sales beginning from March 2020, the Rally Kit will be huge success, which I don’t think is any difficult to understand why? Hero MotoCorp has taken the lead & set a new benchmark for others only to follow.
Words – Suraj Sawant
Photography/Video – Govind Gadekar