report Honda’s Wings of Change have entered our long-term
stables and the Unicorn’s charm is on all right. There's
no two ways about it. Few brands draw half as much attention
as Honda. No matter how hard we try to blend in with traffic,
it stands out like a sore thumb and questions keep raining
down on us.
Though glances of naked admiration are aplenty, the majority
of people reiterate that the Unicorn is relatively ordinary-looking.
Plain Jane it may be, but our deep-blue example has quality
oozing from most corners of its structure. A vibrant halogen-outfitted
headlight is standard and its instrumentation wins our vote
as the best in the country.
the flip side, it lacks a self-starter, has tacky
switches and the indicator and pass-light switches already
get stuck on their own accord. Around the instrument bay,a
pair of chrome screws that fasten the front bikini have
developed dabs of rust, early in their life — this
in spite of the fact that the bike is running in moisture-free
Pune. The rear flexible mounted tail-light unit can get
a little vocal on bad roads and last but not the least,
the steering column has needed frequent adjustment, prompting
us to have it lubricated at its routine first free-service.
Let's not run down the Uni-corn any further because, honestly
speaking, it deserves more praise than criticism. A prime
asset is its 149.1cc, four-stroke engine. A single, smooth
kick is all it takes to make it spring to life every morning
and the flawless motor is a bike-tester's nightmare. There's
zilch to report as faulty. Smoother than soapy bathroom
tiles and with a classy gearshift, the engine makes short
work of each and every situation, feeling just as sturdy
as a locomotive. Power is adequate to zip you through tight
situations and in spite of this, it has been delivering
an average mileage of 52kpl.
Unicorn is comfortable and strikes a fine balance between
ride quality and handling, its rear monoshock suspension
making short work of demanding Indian roads.
No complaints with braking either and there you have it
in a nutshell. Though Honda has been a bit miserly in not
offering too many goodies on its first Indian motorcycle,
the Unicorn makes a reliable comrade. Our experience suggests
rumours of it facing mysterious problems in some parts of
the country are just that — rumours. l
Total fuel consumed 23 litres
Average fuel consumption 52kpl
No. of fillings (brimmed) 3
Total maintenance cost
One company-paid service, and oil change Rs 100
Running costs Rs 0.95 per km
Faults Sticky switches, steering column needs constant adjusting
Likes Smooth engine, instruments
Dislikes Lack of self-starter
Unicorn’s conventional, yet handsome looks draw plenty
switches often foul.
seating is a forte.
|source January 2005