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Review: 2018 Hero Passion Pro, Passion XPro review, test ride
The Passion is as reputable a brand (if not more) than the Splendor. It has contributed immensely to Hero’s gigantic, overpowering presence as a mass-market manufacturer. Unlike the Splendor, however, the Passion is more liberal in its approach to styling and appeal; and this means Hero can evolve it more generously, at every stage. The result is the two snazzy-looking motorcycles you see here – the Passion Pro and the XPro. What’s new? In simple terms, both motorcycles now get the non-sloper, in-house developed 109.1cc motor previously seen only on the Splendor iSmart 110. The output figures on both Passions are identical – 9.5hp at 7,500rpm and 9Nm of torque at 5,500rpm – and both share the 4-speed gearbox, as well. Both get electric starters (as well as a kick) and are carburetted, and i3S (idle-start-stop) is standard on both, too. How are they different? In mannerisms, the Passion Pro is the friendlier, more conservative one while the XPro tries its hand at spiritedness. The engine has no contribution to the latter but the difference lies in the dynamic setup. The Pro is 1,962mm long and the XPro is 1,967mm long, with respective wheelbases of 1,236mm and 1,249mm. How, you ask? This is because the XPro gets a longer swingarm and this has a noticeable impact on the cornering liberties, it lends you. The XPro also utilises a stiffer rear shock which adds to its handling prowess and the Pro is, obviously, the more comfortable commuter, as a result. The two Passions are different visually, too and the XPro is definitely a more appealing design. That being said, thanks to revisions to the bodywork, it’s the more conservative Pro that gets the sportier-looking seat while the XPro has to make do with the flatter unit. The Xpro gets tubeless tyres as well, while the Pro doesn’t. A 240mm front disc is offered on both motorcycles, thankfully, although CBS will only happen by 2019 (when it becomes the norm). On the tarmac The XPro is definitely more enjoyable but that may not necessarily be the lookout of the average commuter. The 109cc mill (on both) isn’t happy being revved hard and the heel-and-toe shifter makes quick progress a bit of a task. I couldn’t toe-shift the bike up the gearbox in my riding boots and I wish Hero had taken the initiative to educate and evolve its wide audience base in this aspect – a daunting task but, ultimately, a fulfilling one, no? This mill is linear and has decent low-end grunt but lacks the refinement of the Honda Dream range, especially at higher revs. Short-shifting is the way to go on these motorcycles since efficiency is, in any case, the priority for in this segment. In the short riding loop I had access to, I managed to get its analogue speedometer to display 80kph, but it’s definitely more at home doing 65kph or lower. Vibrations (from the handlebar and footpegs) are evident but get annoying only if you ride it in a commuter-inappropriate manner (like you would ride a KTM, I mean). Hero definitely could have made a better attempt at improving its refinement levels, however, especially considering it has the benefit of international exposure as well as its impressive Rajasthan-based R&D centre. Is it rock-solid? Yes it is. Both motorcycles are devoid of more-than-necessary bodywork (although they aren’t austere either) and with low kerb weights of 116kg (Pro) and 119kg (Xpro), these will come by as friendly, easy-to-ride machines. Both take kindly to bumps and while the Pro is more absorbing thanks to its softer-set suspension, both are pliant and can take on India’s worst with ease. The 18-inch alloys contribute to their relative long-leggedness although I certainly preferred the XPro to the Pro for its longer-swingarm-aided longer wheelbase and the consequent stability. On a different note, the 240mm disc tends to overpower the front tyre (2.75 x 18 on the Pro, 80/100 R18 on the XPro) and hard braking results in the handlebar getting a pronounced tug to the right. This is not a nice feeling, at all although I would still prefer it to a less potent drum brake. Which is the one to buy? Honestly, for all the XPro’s appeal, the Pro is the one to go for. It’s more comfortable and isn’t trying too hard to impress. I’d be hard-pressed to tell one from an XPro in a Hero-infested crowd, anyway. Since the Pro is lighter (by 3kg), taller (in terms of its seat height – 781mm; 778m for the XPro), and has the bigger fuel tank (11 litres; 9.2 litres on the Xpro), it’s more practical and fit for its intended purpose. That having been said, the XPro is worth a consideration if you want a commuter with a slim sporty intent without losing out on efficiency. Currently, the Splendor iSmart 110 is priced at Rs 52,658 (ex-showroom, Mumbai) and the existing Passion Pro (with an electric starter, disc brake and alloys) is priced at Rs 51,397. This upda [...]
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Lexus NX300h priced from Rs Rs 53.18 Lakh
A month after the NX300h was officially unveiled; Lexus has finally announced its prices. The base, luxury variant of the NX300h is priced at Rs 53.18 lakh (ex-showroom, India) while the top of the line F-Sport is priced at Rs 55.58 lakh (ex-showroom, India). The NX300h is powered by a petrol-hybrid powertrain - a 2.5-litre, petrol mill coupled to a rear-mounted electric motor which, in combination delivers 197hp and 210Nm of torque. The engine is mated to an E-CVT gearbox that channelizes the power to all four wheels.  The NX300h gets power-reclining rear seats, a 10.3-inch multimedia display with standard navigation system, a 14-speaker Mark Levinson sound system, 360-degree panoramic surround view, heads-up display and foot gesture-based sensor-activated rear power tailgate. The F-Sport variant also gets paddle shifters. Safety kit of the NX300h includes eight-airbags, ABS and vehicle stability control. Considering that Lexus is importing the NX300h in India as a Completely built unit (CBU), the company has priced it competitively enough to lock horns with Mercedes GLC, upcoming BMW X3, 2018 Audi Q5 and the recently launched Volvo XC60.  Read our Lexus NX300h review [...]
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2G verdict: What happens to the 122 licences that SC quashed?
With the special CBI court acquitting all persons in the 2G case, the big question is about the fate of the 122 licences granted to companies and the allocation of 2G spectrum which was quashed by the Supreme Court in 2012. [...]
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Delhi police raid 'spiritual university' and find women behind locked doors
Women held at compound run by guru appear drugged, with city’s commissioner for women fearful it is a site for sexual exploitationPolice in Delhi have discovered a “spiritual university” in the north-west of the city where inspectors say up to 200 women and girls are being held behind a series of locked doors.Conditions inside the building were “shocking”, said Swati Maliwal, the Delhi commissioner for women, who took part in a raid on the four-storey facility this week. Related: Ram Rahim Singh: fatal clashes follow Indian guru's rape conviction Continue reading... [...]
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I was accused to ensure DMK lost elections, says Kanimozhi after acquittal in 2G case
Acquitted in the 2G spectrum scam cases, DMK leader Kanimozhi thanked people for standing by her. Kanimozhi had a big smile on her face after the Patialia House Court acquitted her and all other accused in the 2G scam [...]
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Panchkula violence: Court to hear the matter on Jan 11
Panchkula District & Sessions Court will hear the matter pertaining to Panchkula violence on 11th January. Violence broke out at Panchkula after Ram Rahim was convicted in a rape case by the special CBI court on Friday leaving 32 [...]
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Potato on its toe: Farmers dispose tonnes of it as govt goes lukewarm on the issue
Every year, farmers have to dispose tonnes of potatoes. One farmer was forced to commit suicide after he was unable to pay back the loan that he had taken. With all this prevalent, governments are still up to no good to solve these issue. [...]
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DIY generation: Just Rocking It!
The one that sparked it all off was the Punjabi song "Main Tenu Samjhawan", when she was only 15. [...]
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'Ajinkya Rahane will deliver,' feels former India batsman Praveen Amre
Amre who has been Rahane's childhood coach, says it is also his to figure out which are the areas in his batting that needs improvement. [...]
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La Liga: Cristiano Ronaldo fitness a worry ahead of El Clasico
The Portugal star received rough treatment as he scored the winner in last Saturday's 1-0 victory over Brazilians Gremio in the final, but Ronaldo had insisted he would be fit for the visit of Barcelona. [...]
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La Liga chases record Asian audience with early El Clasico
La Liga`s drive to build its audience in Asia and establish itself as the most popular league in the world prompted Saturday’s `Clasico` between Real Madrid and Barcelona to be scheduled at 1 pm local time, officials said on Thursday. [...]
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Yogi Adiyanath imposes selfie ban near his Lucknow residence, Akhilesh calls it New Year gift
Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath has banned folks from clicking selfies on the road leading up to his official residence in Lucknow. A sign put up by the state's police at the beginning of the road warning against [...]
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Court has put propaganda to rest, says Manmohan Singh post 2G verdict
After a special court acquitted all accused in the spectrum scam case, Former prime minister Manmohan Singh on Thursday said that the court has put the propaganda to rest. The judgement speaks for itself, Manmohan Singh said. "I do [...]
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Our stand has been vindicated, it was a scam by Vinod Rai: Kapil Sibal post 2G verdict
Reacting to 2G verdict, Senior Congress leader Kapil Sibal on Thursday said that their stand has been vindicated. He also said that Vinod Rai's presumptive loss theory has been proven wrong. Speaking to media, Sibal said,'' I had always [...]
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India unveils anti-smog cannon in fight against Delhi pollution
The cannon blasts water droplets at high speed to flush out air pollutants, but environmentalists say it doesn’t tackle the root cause of the problemIndia has unveiled a new weapon against air pollution – an “anti-smog gun” which authorities hope will clear the skies above New Delhi but which environmentalists say amounts to a band-aid solution.The cannon’s Indian manufacturers say the fine droplets of water it ejects at high speed can flush out deadly airborne pollutants in one of the world’s smoggiest capitals. Related: 'Half my lung cancer patients are non-smokers': toxic air crisis chokes Delhi Related: Pollution stops play at Delhi Test match as bowlers struggle to breathe Continue reading... [...]
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Virat Kohli, Anushka Sharma call on PM Modi, invite him for wedding reception
Ace cricketer Virat Kohli and Bollywood actress Anushka Sharma, who recently got married in Italy, on Wednesday, met Prime Minister Narendra Modi and invited him to their wedding reception to be held in Delhi tomorrow. The Prime Minister also spoke [...]
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Row over women ‘chest size' criteria in Madhya Pradesh forest ranger recruitment form
A row has erupted over the recruitment of forest rangers in Madhya Pradesh which asks for the chest size of the candidates, including women applicants. In the criterion mentioned in the application form, men should have a minimum chest size of [...]
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BMW X7 to be unveiled by end-2018
The BMW X7 SUV will be shown in production form towards the end of 2018, following the presentation of the X7 iPerformance concept at the Frankfurt motor show in September 2017. BMW's seven-seat Mercedes-Benz GLS and Range Rover rival will sit at the top of its model range alongside the 7 Series. The first pre-production models have rolled off the production line in Spartanburg, South Carolina, US. The X7 has been spotted testing several times in the past few months, offering glimpses of the future SUV's design and scale. It will be the largest SUV yet produced by BMW and adopts a typical SUV body shape with a boxy passenger area and, as the new BMW shots confirm, a flat-faced front end, toned down from the controversial styling of the X7 iPerformance concept. The extra large kidney grilles and slim headlight clusters remain, however. The X7 iPerformance concept which precedes the production version will be toned down in styling ahead of the car's sales debut, but its dimensions will remain largely the same. This means that a length of 5020mm, 2020mm width and 1800mm in height, as well as a 3010mm wheelbase, will all remain largely the same, and the car will be roughly 113mm longer, 82mm wider and 37mm higher than the existing third-generation X5, with a 76mm longer wheelbase. Beneath the camouflage will be familiar BMW design features, such as halo daytime running lights and kidney grilles. The light bar seen on the X7 iPerformance concept is not carried over to the production model. The seven-seat BMW X7 is being developed with the US and Chinese markets in mind but was confirmed for the UK market by BMW's head of sales and marketing, Ian Robertson, in 2016. Speaking to our sister-magazine, Autocar UK at the New York motor show, Robertson said: “We will have some versions that are top-end luxury, as well as more mainstream versions. I can’t talk about pricing now, but given that this car will have all the technology and luxury of the 7 Series, it gives you a pretty good idea of the price point we’re talking about.” Previously, it was thought the X7 would be built on an extended version of the X5’s underpinnings, but Robertson said many parts are actually bespoke. “If you put both cars next to each other, the resemblance is small in terms of wheelbase etc. We’re not going to just extend the wheelbase, it’s a complete new panel cell.” It is too soon for BMW to confirm which engines will go into the X7, but sources have previously speculated that it will feature a selection of six and eight-cylinder engines, such as the 3.0-litre diesel in 30d, 40d and 50d guises and the twin-turbo 4.4-litre petrol V8 from the X6 xDrive50i. Robertson also hinted that the X7 would use engines from a wide range of BMW models, rather than just the X5 and X6. It will offer the choice of traditional petrol and diesel and, as showcased by the new BMW concept, a plug-in petrol-electric hybrid driveline with a zero-emission range of up to 100km The BMW X7 will be built at the company's plant at Spartanburg in the US. It will have three rows of seats, making it a rival for the Cadillac Escalade and the Lincoln Navigator in that country and China. It's around 110mm shorter and a little wider than the Mercedes-Benz GLS, and around 30mm longer than the Range Rover. [...]
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New Consumer Protection Bill approved by Union Cabinet
New Delhi, Dec 20: The Union Cabinet on Wednesday approved a new Consumer Protection Bill that seeks to establish an authority to safeguard consumers' rights and has provisions for penalty and jail terms in case of adulteration and misleading ads by [...]
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2G scam case verdict to be pronounced today
Delhi's Patiala House Court will pronounce verdict in 2G spectrum scam case on Thursday. Hearing in the five-year-old trial had concluded in April. The verdict was reserved for orders on April 16, 2017. In the last hearing the judge had said [...]
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Tamil asylum seeker to be deported after failing to meet deadline
Detainee struggled to fill out 41-page application form in English – and was not able to access legal assistance in timeA Tamil asylum seeker has become the first person slated for deportation – without having his claim for protection even assessed – after falling foul of the ministerial deadline of 1 October to apply.The man, who has been given the pseudonym Rajah because he remains at risk of being deported, was placed in handcuffs at Villawood detention centre on Wednesday morning and slated for removal in the evening. Related: Sri Lankan man 'risks torture and rape' if deported from Australia Related: The blanket deadline for a group of asylum seekers is unfair and dangerous | Anthea Vogl and Sara Dehm Continue reading... [...]
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Suhaib Ilyasi's mother-in-law hails court verdict
New Delhi, Dec 20: Anju Singh's mother on Wednesday expressed satisfaction over the life term awarded to Suhaib Ilyasi for killing her daughter after a 17-year-long battle. The former TV anchor and producer was awarded the sentence by a Delhi court [...]
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Briton criticised over sculpture of 'terrible' Uzbek dictator Karimov
Paul Day says ‘I go with the flow’ as critics ask if artist’s monument in Moscow square will reflect reality of Karimov’s bloody ruleThe late president of Uzbekistan, Islam Karimov, was widely regarded as one of the most ruthless dictators in recent history. His regime jailed and tortured critics, and massacred hundreds of unarmed protesters in the town of Andijan in 2005.Despite his reputation, a leading British sculptor is working on a memorial in Moscow to Karimov, who died last year after a 27-year rule over Uzbekistan. Related: Islam Karimov obituary Continue reading... [...]
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Jayalalithaa's videos from hospital released ahead of R K Nagar bypoll
A day before the R K Nagar bypoll, TTV Dinakaran has released a video showing Jayalalithaa in the hospital. In a strategically timed move, Dinakaran's team has released the footage to counter suspicion of Jayalalithaa being unconscious throughout her treatment at [...]
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Why was the Jayalalithaa's hospital video released before RK Nagar polls?
Disqualified MLA P.Vetrivel, a TTV Dhinakaran loyalist, on Wednesday released a brief video just a day before before the R K Nagar bypoll, of former chief minister Jayalalithaa in a hospital bed Vetrivel claimed the video was taken when she was [...]
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How Donald Trump's Jerusalem move ruined Christmas in Bethlehem
Trump's policy shift on Jerusalem two weeks ago triggered Palestinian protests which are hurting the Christmas festivities in Bethlehem. [...]
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4 gun-toting men gangrape minor girl and then attend marriage ceremony in Muzaffarnagar
The accused attacked the minor girl as she drew water near her house at dawn. [...]
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Did Virushka invite PM Modi to wedding reception? Looks like it
The couple is believed to have extended an invitation for their wedding reception to the PM, that is scheduled for December 21 (Thursday) in the national capital. [...]
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