Given a choice between form and functionality, one puts good looks over everything else. Indian consumers have gotten as style conscious as they are price conscious. In this changing phase of Indian biking, Honda has a trump up its sleeve in the form of the Stunner, the newest entrant in our long term fleet. It is an exceptionally good looking bike not only in context of its segment but even beyond.
In spite of being just a 125, the Stunner has stunned us with its great in-city performance. In keeping with Honda cred, it is nearly flawless bike, the somewhat restricted feeling engine being its only downside. The Stunner employs the Honda Shine's torquey mill, its best in class bottom end ensuring it excellent tractability with minimal gear shifting.
The biggest change though is the five speed 'box aimed at squeezing out better performance. Ironically, the smaller wheel size (17-inch instead of 18) has brought the gear ratios back to square one. The result is an almost Shine like feel from the bike; immensely torquey acceleration from a standstill but a disappointing surge of power towards the top.
The engine feels smooth while the gearbox is slick and effortless in operation. Fine vibrations do creep in when the engine is revved hard, but go easy on the throttle and things are under control. The Shine is a nimble handler and the Stunner is no different. The bike is equally at home on crowded city streets and twisties, taking corners in its stride.
The compact front-end and short handlebars make it easy to tuck it into tight spots. However, with the stiff suspension set-up, Honda has focused too much on handling and neglected the ride aspect completely. The Stunner is too stiff for a single rider but gets better with pillion on board.
The Stunner excels in the ergonomics department. The seating posture is well sorted out and is a perfect balance between comfort and sportiness. The split seat layout adds to the looks quotient and the pillion perch conceals an adequate storage space for papers, tools etc. Fit and finish raises no eyebrows and the Stunner seems built to last.