2012 Suzuki Hayate in India road test

Suzuki Hayate first ride
The Hayate is Suzuki’s first foray into the mass motorcycle segment in India – the 100-110cc commuter.  The company started out with the likes of the Zeus and Heat, both 125cc motorcycles, capable but didn’t catch the fancy of Indian. Right now the Hayate’s task is to establish Suzuki at the bottom of the motorcycle segment in India. With a true-blue 110cc commuter in the portfolio, Suzuki is definitely eyeing a bigger chunk in the pie and taking the fight right to Honda, TVS, Bajaj and Hero MotoCorp.
Hayate in Japanese means ‘swift wind’. It sure does look stylish for a commuter and the name seems to blend well with the styling of the motorcycle. The Hayate borrows design cues from the Slingshot as is evident from the fairing, walk closer and one will realize that the motorcycle is actually much smaller in flesh. The 8-litre fuel tank(sans a flush-fitting filler cap) is a neatly sculpted unit with its lines flowing smoothly into the side panels and onto the edgy looking tail lamp. The seat is typically commuter-oriented with its upright seating stance.  The end can gets a heat shield over it. The meter dials are a simple affair, which is the norm for the 100-110cc in the market – a speedometer and fuel gauge with the tell-tale lights for company.
How is it to ride:
The Hayate gets a new 112cc engine which makes 8.4PS of power at 7500rpm and 8.8Nm of torque at 5500rpm. An all-down shift pattern 4-speed gearbox handles transmission duties. The Hayate feels easy to ride in the city as most 100-110cc motorcycles do, though the gearshifts can sometimes be notchy. Pottering around in town, the Hayate doesn’t demand downshifts too often and is comfortable doing 30kmph in third gear.  Aiding things is also the fact that the clutch is a very light unit. However out on the highway, the occasional jaunt for the average commuter, the Hayate’s otherwise refined engine feels strained and struggles to build power. The maximum we could coax her into doing was 89.1kmph on the Vbox with vibrations seeping in through the handlebars and foot pegs. Like most commuter motorcycles, it also gets affected by cross-winds. The brakes (130mm front and 110mm rear drums), a norm away from the 130mm drums on both the ends by other manufacturers, do their duty perfectly by coming to a stop from 60kmph in 2.95s. The little Suzuki also acquits itself well on the mileage front by delivering 64.5kmpl in the city and a phenomenal 73kmpl on the highway- a crucial aspect for the Indian market.
Our thoughts on it:

The Hayate makes sense for someone looking at a frugal entry-level motorcycle. Its ride quality is also good, looking at the size of craters that the rest of the world calls potholes and we Indians, roads. Suzuki has also priced the Hayate very competitively (Rs 40,162 for the kick start variant and Rs 42,162 for the electric start one, ex-showroom Pune) though there are better options out there. Should you really buy it over the ever-so trusted Hero Splendor or the new entrant, the Honda Dream Yuga?That will be decided at a later stage on these very pages.


    Related Articles