Hero Mavrick 440 First Ride Review: Fun and Versatile, But Not Perfect

We recently rode the new Mavrick 440 on the salt flats of the Rann of Kutch to find out if the new Mavrick is a premium Hero offering or a parts-bin Harley. So, which is it?

By Karan Mathur | Photography Team autoX | on February 19, 2024 Follow us on Autox Google News

When Harley-Davidson launched the X440 last year, the 300 – 400cc motorcycle segment was at the peak of its popularity in the country. At the first ride event for the bike, I tested the motorcycle at a tight-knit racetrack designed to test the limits of relatively small-capacity motorcycles. The bike managed to impress us with its robust power delivery and agile handling. And now, the Hero Mavrick 440 has managed to do the same, although in a completely different setting – a sprawling expanse of white desert where good grunt and predictive handling can be particularly useful. While it may be different from the Harley, what does it have to offer as a stand-alone product? Well, as I found out, it has a lot of impressive features but without some flaws, which may prove to be a deal breaker for some.

Hero Mavrick 440 First Ride Review: Design and Features

While some may argue that the design of the Mavrick 440 seems derivative, borrowing elements from various other motorcycles – for instance, front elements from the Honda CB300 R, while the middle of the bike is reminiscent of the Yamaha FZ-X, and if you reach a little, you see the hints of the Xoom 160 at the rear – I, for one, find Hero’s approach commendable. Design, after all, is a matter of personal taste, and tastes differ. Now, I think that even if Hero has drawn inspiration from other two-wheelers, they've curated the best features from each. Three aspects of the motorcycle’s design particularly caught my attention – the neo-retro LED headlamps, the contoured fuel tank with sharp-looking shrouds, and the stubby tail section. Collectively, these elements make the Mavrick 440 a good-looking motorcycle, contributing to its overall design and making it a visually striking option, which is likely to appeal to a lot of riders.

Hero Mavrick 440 Review Design

However, that’s not to say that it gets everything right; for instance, I found its uninspiring instrument cluster to be the most disappointing aspect of the bike. I think that Hero could have done a lot better in terms of its execution – it has a simple design, but it looks a lot more cluttered than necessary. While the middle section of the unit displays essential motorcycle data, navigation directions, and call information, among other things, the remaining space of the cluster seems underutilised, merely housing warning lights, which could have easily been integrated into the LCD unit for a sleeker look. I wish that Hero Motocorp would have taken a more innovative approach, but, then, these things can be potentially improved in future iterations.

Another aspect that can do with improvement is the overall quality of the bike. While nothing felt loose or rattled during our ride, the overall fit-and-finish leaves much to be desired. The paint quality of certain parts, the feel of some switches on the handlebar, and exposed welds around the frame detract from the overall experience of the bike.

Hero Mavrick 440 Review Instrument Cluster

Despite its shortcomings, I still like the design and the road presence of the Hero Mavrick 440 – it exudes the feel and appearance of a larger-capacity motorcycle. Hero has mentioned time and again that it has adopted a mass-forward approach in terms of design, and it’s quite evident.

Now, in terms of features, I would have preferred a colour TFT screen. However, given the Mavrick 440’s budget-friendly starting price of Rs 1.99 lakh, some may find the absence of a TFT screen acceptable. Check out all the variants of the Hero Mavrick and what they have to offer.

Hero Mavrick 440 First Ride Review: Performance

The Hero Mavrick 440 gets the same engine as the Harley X440 but with a slightly lower torque figure of 27Nm, which 2Nm less than the X440. The power, however, remains the same at 27bhp. Despite this variance, both offer similar levels of performance. The Mavrick 440 gets a healthy amount of low-end grunt and continues to build power and speed progressively, thanks to its meaty mid-range. Now, given that it’s a single-cylinder engine and that the bike was developed under budget constraints, some compromises were inevitable, which are quite evident in its top-end performance, as the power trails off rather quickly beyond the 6000rpm mark. While the Mavrick 440 offers impressive short bursts of power, especially on loose surfaces like salt flats, it may require more effort to extract its full potential in faster riding conditions.

Hero Mavrick 440 Review Cornering

The 440cc engine is mated to a 6-speed transmission with a slipper-assist clutch. However, I observed that while the bike performs optimally between the first and fifth gears, the sixth gear seems to have an out-and-out overdrive ratio designed for higher speeds to reduce engine strain and minimise vibrations. Unfortunately, this makes the engine feel underpowered and sluggish, especially during highway overtaking manoeuvres.

Overall, the motorcycle is an adequate performer – it’s fun and versatile but, as mentioned, needs more effort to excel in fast-riding conditions. This makes it the kind of motorcycle which will appeal to riders in tier one and tier three cities, especially given Hero’s strong presence in these regions of the country. In my opinion, the biggest drawback of the bike is the noticeable amount of vibrations through the pegs, handlebar, and fuel tank. While these vibrations are somewhat controlled in the city, they become more pronounced on the highway.

Hero Mavrick 440 Review Rear Wheel

Hero Mavrick 440 First Ride Review: Ride and Handling

The best aspect of the Harley-Davidson X440, in my opinion, is its handling. And I think that the Mavrick’s more compact and different ergonomics make it an even better machine to ride than its counterpart. Despite a soft suspension setup offering 130mm of wheel travel at both ends and a ground clearance of 175mm, the Mavrick 440 doesn’t fit the typical mould of a scrambler or a dual-purpose motorcycle. Hero has successfully created a bike that offers a nice balance between sporty performance and off-road abilities. For reference, here's what the Triumph Scrambler 400X offers in comparison.

During my test ride, the motorcycle was equally fun to ride on both smooth stretches of the tarmac and broken roads and rough surfaces. Overall, it proved to be a fun and comfortable companion. However, it does falter slightly on twisty sections of the road in terms of handling, especially during sharp turn-ins. The bike’s front-end rake is sharper than that of the X440, but it tends to feel a bit unsettled during sudden manoeuvres.

During discussions with the development team, I broached the idea of a scrambler iteration of this bike, and their evasive response and the way started smiling led me to believe such a project might already be in the works. And if true, I think that it will be the perfect form for the evolution of this motorcycle.

Hero Mavrick 440 Review Jump

Hero Mavrick 440 First Ride Review: Verdict

During the test ride, we rode the Mavrick for close to 200km to Dholavira, an island town in the middle of the Rann of Kutch Lake. Along the way, we tested the bike on open highways, single-lane tracks, broken tarmac roads, open salt flats, and dusty, gravel tracks. Overall, the Hero Mavrick 440 performed admirably in these diverse riding conditions, exhibiting versatility and reliability.

However, I think that the Mavrick 440 lacks that distinct X-factor to give it an edge over its competition. Nevertheless, the new 440cc urban roadster is a decent attempt from Hero Motocorp to get into the premium motorcycle segment and will serve as the perfect tool for those looking to upgrade from a 150 – 200cc motorcycle – an adequate stepping stone for their big bike journey ahead. Plus, its affordable price tag of Rs 1.99 lakh (ex-showroom) will undoubtedly appeal to prospective buyers. That said, if are looking for a motorcycle that is as sharp as the KTM Duke 390 or has the same brand recall as that of the Harley-Davidson X440 or Triumph Speed 400, the Mavrick 440 just isn’t it.

  • Hero Maverick 440

Engine: 440cc / Single-Cylinder / Air-Oil Cooled

Transmission: 6-Speed

Power: 27 BHP @ 6,000RPM

Torque: 36 NM @ 4,000RPM

Price: ₹1.99 Lakhs to ₹2.24 Lakhs (Ex-Showroom)

X-Factor: Perfect tool for big-bike aspirants, and well-priced too!

•  Design

•  Comfort & Price

• Short Powerband

•  Quality & Handling

Tags: Mavrick 440 Hero Mavrick 440 Hero MotoCorp

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