Nov 11, 2010

8 Bike History/Timeline: Hero Honda Passion: [2001-2010]

The history and time line of one of the best selling 100 cc bikes in India, the Hero Honda Passion

When a common man in India thinks of buying an "affordable, good looking/stylish motorcycle which also returns good fuel efficiency", the first name that probably comes to his mind is the "Hero Honda Passion".

And its for good reason actually. After successfully surviving in India's thriving, but tough to crack two wheeler market for nearly 10 years, the Hero Honda Passion has now become a huge brand. It is probably second in terms of sales, to its cousin the Hero Honda Splendor (which is the world's largest selling motorcycle model).

2010 Passion Pro APDV

In the meanwhile Hero Honda has stuck to it's promise of offering "Style" right from the launch of the Passion. The tag line for the Hero Honda Passion might have transformed from "When Style Matters" to a more "desi" "Ab Sirf Style Hi Style Bolega" for the Passion Pro in 2010, but Hero Honda has been consistent with its message.

Hero Honda Passion Timeline

With reliability always associated with Hero Honda products its not surprising to see why the Hero Honda Passion been so successful a model. Posted below is the history of the Hero Honda Passion so far.


Hero Honda Passion [2001]

Peak Power: 7.5 Ps @ 8000 RPM
Tag line: When Style Matters

Launched in Early 2001, the Passion was a stylish alternative to the plain Jane Hero Honda Splendor. Mechanically the engine on the Passion was (and still continues to be) same as that of the Splendor. The Humble horizontally laid 97 cc engine used to pump out 7.5 Ps of max. power at 8000 RPM.

Physically, the Passion appeared different to the Splendor due to the new body panels, headlight, and tail light and seat profile used. As far as I remember the Passion was the first motorcycle in India to feature a clear lens headlamp.





Hero Honda Passion Plus [2003]

Peak Power: 7.5 Ps @ 8000 RPM
Tag line: When Style Matters More

The Passion got its first cosmetic upgrade in 2003 and also got “Plus” attached to its name. The cosmetic changes were a new sticker job, an alloy rear grab rail, a new silencer heat shield and clear lens turn indicators.





Hero Honda Passion Plus (with alloy wheels) [2007]

Peak Power: 7.5 Ps @ 8000 RPM
Tag line: ???

The next upgrade of the Passion Plus came in 2007 when it got a fresh set of stickers and new paint scheme and also black paint on the engine covers and black colored alloy wheels.

The "Passion Plus" logo also got a redesign and was now pasted on the tank instead of on the side panels as on the earlier variants.





Hero Honda Passion Pro [2008]

Peak Power: 7.8 Ps @ 7500 RPM
Tag line: Ab Sirf Style Bolega

By the end of 2008 the Passion got the "Pro" naming and also a new design headlamp, sticker job and color schemes. The exhaust pipe was now finished in matt black color instead of the stainless steel as found on the earlier variants.

Most significantly the Passion Pro now got an Electric Start (Hero Honda prefers to call it "Power start") variant. The Passion Plus model was around for sometime but eventually has been discontinued now.





Hero Honda Passion Pro (APDV) [2010]

Peak Power: 7.8 Ps @ 7500 RPM
Tag line: Ab Sirf Style Hi Style Bolega

In the beginning of 2010, the Passion Pro got its latest upgrade as the "Passion Pro APDV". The most significant change visually was a new edgy Tail Lamp and a Digital Display, the speedometer is still analog though.

The exhaust outlet at the end of the silencer pipe became a bit stubby (reportedly the new Passion Pro APDV has got its engine tweaked to comply with the BS III norms for two wheelers). The rear mud flap has also got a slight redesign which along with the sharp tail lamp makes the rear portion of the bike look chunky.



My opinion on the Hero Honda Passion:

I was never a very big fan of the styling of the Hero Honda Passion initially. To me the Passion was nothing but a bike with extra plastic. I was not too enthusiastic either when Hero Honda resorted to minor cosmetic/sticker makeovers.

But the present Passion Pro definitely looks nice for a commuter motorcycle. I also have to give it to the Hero Honda designers, they do a good job with stickers and graphics.





Launch dates: Source

[P.S: If anyone can correct/throw some more light on the history of the Hero Honda Passion, then he/she is most welcome to do so]





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Disclaimer:

This is to remind that the Views or Opinions in the blog are entirely mine unless explicitly stated. The Views and Opinions published in this blog should in no way be related to any other person or organization associated -- directly or indirectly -- with me.






8 Comments:

praveen said...

its a versitle bike in india, most of the middle aged persons 30s&40s are passionate about this bike, i think hh have to put self start as standard variant like we found in the bajaj discover 100.

Shaiju B said...

Payeng, after reading the article I felt nostalgic about Passion. I still remember the ad of Passion 2001 - "Born in a Studio not in a factory". After this ad only Bajaj come with an ad for Pulsar, "Born in Gym not in a factory" - something of that sort. At that Splendor was the best selling model for Hero Honda. Passion was an answer to customers who need a better looking Splendor. Just like you, I was also not a big fan of Passion's styling. At that time I felt like there were too much of plastic on the side panels. But it was an instant hit among the youngsters partly bcoz of the fact that it was the best looking bike in its segment.

One more thing I see in this article is the change in the font size of the Hero Honda logo in Passion. Is it a sign of the separation of Hero and Honda ?

Payeng said...

@Shaiju, the "Passion" logo is now pasted on the tank instead of on the side panels as on the earlier variants.

Goes to show that the Passion is now a brand which can stand on its own


@Praveen

had it not been for the competition, the Passion might not have even come with the self start. Its the competition which makes products better

praveen said...

yes its right but when a customer spends 56000 buggs he needs needs some extra requirement atleast self start not digital display on his bike, now a days self start had became a standard mendatory as we seen on star city and discover 100.

melville said...

Damn! I didn't know that even the HH Passion Plus-2010 has a digital display. And the Ninja has to make do with a set of old-school clocks!

In addition to the headlamp, I guess the Passion was the 1st bike to have an MFR (multi focal reflector) tail-lamp too. From the ad shots, it seems like the disc-brake was introduced as an option in 2008

Shaiju B said...

Payeng, after reading the article I felt nostalgic about Passion. I still remember the ad of Passion 2001 - "Born in a Studio not in a factory". After this ad only Bajaj come with an ad for Pulsar, "Born in Gym not in a factory" - something of that sort. At that Splendor was the best selling model for Hero Honda. Passion was an answer to customers who need a better looking Splendor. Just like you, I was also not a big fan of Passion's styling. At that time I felt like there were too much of plastic on the side panels. But it was an instant hit among the youngsters partly bcoz of the fact that it was the best looking bike in its segment.

One more thing I see in this article is the change in the font size of the Hero Honda logo in Passion. Is it a sign of the separation of Hero and Honda ?

bala said...

hello...I want to give a new look to my bike by changing its Silencer...for Passion Pro-2010 april model (Self start)...can any body suggest me how to get some good & economical models...

Anonymous said...

ab hum gud bye bolenge..:d

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