The sweeping corner I love so much on this road is coming up and the Hero Impulse is busy confusing the pants off me. Should I lean out, supermotard style, let the bike gain a huge lean angle with the leg out smartly to catch the front if it goes? Or should I slide my butt off the inside as usual, stick my knee out, load the inside peg up and slice through like I was on a road bike? Ah, the pleasures of having a choice. And that is what the Impulse really is about. It answers a question that has often popped into your head (and mine) but has, so far, neither been fully articulated nor ever answered. And the question is this. Do Indian streetbikes, the vanilla commuters, need to be erm, normal. Can’t one be unashamedly sporty? The sales figures of the Impulse, I think, will partially answer that question shortly.
Styling and design
While you might get away by saying the Impulse is just a dirt-ified CBZ X-Treme, you would actually be wrong. Parked in a lot full of other Indian bikes, it sticks out even in black. It is taller than the rest though most of us managed to get our feet on the ground without undue stress and it is skinnier in appearance, the exhaust peeks out near the right end of the single-piece seat, dirt bike style and the whole appearance is an unfamiliar dirtbike styled thing. But it is well-made apart from some very ugly welding seams on the fairing and it looks distinctive enough. The chunky on-off-road style tread pattern, the tall 19-inch front tyre, the taller forks, spoked wheels and all make it poles apart from the current crop of 150cc machines.