The Hyosung ST7, the Korean cruiser that is being brought to India by the Garware group is a massive, stylish and well-built bike

India, the second largest market in the world, is showing no signs of slowing down in terms of sales, and not one to be left behind, Korean two-wheeler major, Hyosung, has made India its latest target and has tied up with Garware group to bring its ST7 cruiser to India.

Design & Engineering

Classic cruiser style, massive fenders, solid alloy wheels with beautiful detail work and gleaming chrome fields define the ST7. A mammoth motorcycle by any standard, the ST7 is fat and low, with huge chrome-clad forks framing its simple round headlamp and enormous handlebars reaching back to the rider.

The headlight is bright enough at night, remaining on during the day as is common on several big bikes. Smart, round mirrors provide rear vision, while the ST7 offers decent switches, including an engine-kill along with a hazard warning option. The horn could sound better, but we liked those smartly machined alloy levers, which are reach-adjustable for the front brake. Palm grips are adequate. What is inconvenient and takes a while getting used to is reaching the ignition key slot, which is located behind the steering clamp. Chrome-framed instruments sit atop a 17-litre teardrop tank. The bold speedometer is very legible and rider-friendly, while there's also a smaller digital display giving the odometer, twin trip and fuel readings.

The chrome theme extends to the engine, coating the humongous radiator shroud, several crankcases, cam covers and elegant dual silencers. What spoils the plot though is the gleaming and overdone drive-belt guard.

The ST7 comes with nice-looking seats for the rider and pillion, the smart red stitching adding style, just above a dinky set of side cowls. This cruiser sports a handsome tail, with a brilliant LED brake lamp, bar-mounted indicators and tapered mudguard. But this bike could have benefited from better fit and finish.

The ST7 uses a Hyosung-built, four-stroke, liquid-cooled engine that displaces 678.2cc. It's a V-twin, cylinders separated by 90 degrees and dual overhead camshafts pushing four valves within each head. Bore and stroke measure a short-stroke 81.5 x 65mm, a deciding factor behind why maximum power of 61.7bhp comes into play as high as 8000rpm, and all 5.8kgm of torque is delivered only at 7000rpm.

The fuel-injected ST7 starts easily each morning, its double-barrel exhausts belting out a loud but unexciting note. You can't help but wish the clutch felt lighter and not so bothersome in stop-and-go traffic conditions; still, the five-speed ST7 gearbox saves the day. The gears shift smoothly, with adequate feel at the foot lever.

While it is not as smooth as we would have liked, the big V passes up minimal vibes and revs with gusto through its power band. Gear ratios are nicely spaced, the bike pulling a true 82kph in first, feeling relaxed enough when cruising in the region of 120-130kph. But the fuelling is a letdown on the ST7. You have to keep modulating throttle and correcting your input to maintain constant cruising speeds for this engine has a mind of its own. You often lose revs — and speed — inexplicably despite riding with a steady hand, which can be a nuisance. The ST7 lacks the refined engine feel we look for.

The big Hyosung completes the 0-100kph dash in an impressive 6.43 seconds, with its top speed in the region of 180kph.

A big positive to the ST7 is its riding position as the wide handlebars provide good leverage and enable light steering for such a large motorcycle. The saddle is wide, generously padded and you sit in luxury, legs splayed forward to the footrests. You could get off this Hyosung feeling relatively fresh even after long rides.

The heavy 244kg cruiser is held together by a steel, double-cradle frame. Suspension is 41mm telescopic front forks, the rear using hydraulic shocks, linked to a rectangle section swingarm. It doesn't take undue effort to switch direction on the ST7, or sail through a set of corners, unless getting past really tight bends, which is understandable.

The ST7 package is, however, let down by harsh ride quality and inadequate Shinko tyres. The ST7 becomes bouncy and unnerving to ride in anything other than ideal, straightline conditions. The tyres do not provide good traction, particularly at the rear, squealing their protests under hard braking and losing traction well before they should.

The ST7 comes with a four-piston caliper, 300mm front disc brake and 270mm disc at the rear. The front brake lacks good bite, calling for much effort. We took 49.85 metres to stop the burly Hyosung from 100kph.

The ST7 delivers decent enough mileage for its segment. Our city tests showed the bike capable of 19.6kpl, this figure rising to 22kpl when we stuck to steady cruising speeds on Indian highways.

The Hyosung ST7 has got its proportions right. It also looks very stylish. However, when one looks under the sheen it is not an exciting machine, especially at an estimated price of Rs. 6 lakh.

Keywords: Hyosung ST7