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Hero XPulse 200 4V: Road Test Review

06 December 2021, 10:00 AM Suvil Susvirkar

Introduction

Hero Xpulse 200 4V Right Front Three Quarter

Pros: Improved mid- and top-rev performance, plush ride quality 

Cons: Lacks windblast protection, front brake could've been better

The Hero XPulse 200 is a fantastic motorcycle to step into the adventure-tourer category of two-wheelers. This motorcycle from the country’s largest two-wheeler maker comes loaded with features and carries a price tag that make it a no-non-sense, value-for-money proposition that is almost picture-perfect. Why “almost”, you ask?

Hero Xpulse 200 4V Fuel Tank

While the motorcycle is very tempting, its two-valve setup means that it doesn't feel very comfortable in the higher rev-band. Hero MotoCorp has addressed this issue with the introduction of the new XPulse 200 4V or four-valve. This new variant of the XPulse range, which is currently sold alongside the standardXPulse 200, features a four-valve setup instead of the two-valve unit on the original iteration of the motorcycle. How well does it work? We rode the motorcycle in and around Mumbai to find out.

Quality

Hero Xpulse 200 4V Front View

Hero MotoCorp has not changed anything in term of design or equipment. In fact, strip away the decals, and you would have a tough time visually distinguishing the four-valve variant from the standard model. At the front, you see a very familiar-looking round LED headlight, a tall front fender, and a short flyscreen. The cockpit includes a digital instrument cluster with Bluetooth connectivity. Other styling elements include a metal fuel tank with recesses that make it narrower towards the saddle, a step-up seat, tall-set exhaust, and wire-spoke wheels.

Hero Xpulse 200 4V

Hero Xpulse 200 4V

  • Displacement199.6 cc
  • Mileage - Owner Reported42 kmpl
  • Max Power(bhp)18.8 bhp
  • Kerb Weight158 kg
  • ;

Avg. Ex-showroom price

₹ 1,32,430

Hero Xpulse 200 4V Fuel Tank

However, to distinguish the four-valve version from the standard model, Hero MotoCorp has given this motorcycle a different set of graphics that look sportier and a '4V' badge on the fuel tank. The new XPulse 200 4V is available in three colours – Trail Blue (Pictured), Blitz Blue, and Red Raid.

Hero Xpulse 200 4V Handle Bar

The build quality is commendable with almost no uneven panel gaps visible anywhere on the motorcycle.  The switchgear, too, works with an assuring click and performs the function well. The 'Mode' and 'Set' buttons near the instrument cluster work well too, although the rubber coating on them doesn’t really scream quality. However, it’s easy to overlook this small element as the rest of the motorcycle is well put together.

Comfort

Hero Xpulse 200 4V Right Side View

As the equipment remains similar to the XPulse 200, this 4V variant continues to deliver upright ergonomics and comfortable ride quality. The suspension setup, which comprises telescopic front forks and a preload-adjustable rear mono-shock, deliver a firm yet comfortable ride quality. Of course, you can play with the settings of the rear mono-shock for plusher ride quality. However, the stock setting worked perfectly well for my body weight.

Hero Xpulse 200 4V Front View

The ergonomics of the XPulse 200 never got me excited, and the situation remains similar with the 4V version of the motorcycle. Seated, the motorcycle feels very nice and comfortable. It’s also very easy to manoeuvre through traffic or ride over bad road surfaces. However, the footpegs are positioned too forward and high for my liking, and standing on them while off-roading doesn’t feel very comfortable. The windscreen at the front doesn’t work very well either, and it’d barely keep any wind away from your torso. It’s adequate for city use, but you should look for alternatives if you intend to use this motorcycle for highway touring.

Performance

Hero Xpulse 200 4V Right Front Three Quarter

This is where the XPulse 200 4V is aimed to shine, and the motorcycle doesn’t disappoint. Sure, the power and torque output figures are similar to the XPulse 200, but this variant builds speed at a commendable pace in the mid- and high-revs. Linked to a five-speed transmission, the 199.6cc, single-cylinder, air- and oil-cooled engine makes 18.38bhp at 8,500rpm and 17.35Nm of peak torque at 6,500rpm.

Hero Xpulse 200 4V Engine From Right

Keep the tachometer above 3,000revs, and the XPulse 200 4V keeps moving forward with absolutely no fuss. It continues to build momentum at a commendable pace throughout the rev-band, even closer to its 9,500rpm redline (as against 8,500rpm marked on the console). The fifth gear is good for all speeds above 50kmph. The XPulse 200 4V will also venture into the triple digit speeds, although the motor feels stressed post 100kmph levels. We found that 80kmph to 90kmph is the sweet spot for cruising.

Hero Xpulse 200 4V Left Side View

The refinement levels are good, but with some scope for improvement. The motorcycle feels refined most of the time, however, there is a noticeable buzz from the footpegs from 6,000rpm onwards. The five-speed gearbox, too, isn’t something to write home about, and it doesn’t feel very refined. We faced several false shifts and neutral issues throughout the road test.

Hero Xpulse 200 4V Front Suspension

The braking setup is decent, although the front lacks the initial bite, and you would need to use the rear brake more often to shed speed efficiently.

Technology

Hero Xpulse 200 4V Head Light

Technology has been a USP for the Hero XPulse 200. Similar to the standard motorcycle, the 4V variant gets an LED headlight and a Bluetooth-enabled instrument cluster. There’s also an underseat USB charger that can be used to recharge your devices on the go. The headlight looks stylish, however, it doesn’t really perform to the expectations. The low-beam spread is decent, but the high-beam reach isn’t very long.

Hero Xpulse 200 4V Instrument Cluster

The instrument cluster displays basic level of information, and it gets an edge due to the turn-by-turn navigation function. The ride-related information on the console comprises a speedometer, tachometer, an odometer, two trip meters, average speed recorder, gear position indicator, eco indicator, and a digital clock. The electronic rider aids are basic, and the XPulse 200 comes with a single-channel ABS.

Fuel Efficiency

Hero Xpulse 200 4V Right Rear Three Quarter

The XPulse 200 4V returned a fuel economy of 32.48kmpl during the Bikewale road test which, along with its 13-litre tank capacity, should help the motorcycle deliver a range of 422km.

Verdict

Hero Xpulse 200 4V Front View

The Hero XPulse 200 is indeed a perfect stepping stone into the world of adventure tourers. It’s stylish, loaded with some premium features, easy to ride, and priced competitively, thus making it a very appealing product. The 4V variant further improves the performance in the mid- and high-revs, making it even more fun to ride than before.

Hero Xpulse 200 4V Left Front Three Quarter

On the downside, a few issues such as the feedback from the front brake and headlight performance need to be ironed out while the gearbox operations could’ve been smoother. But one can easily overlook these small issues, as this aggressively priced product from Hero MotoCorp is an ideal companion for the inadequate quality of roads in most parts of the country.

Photography by Kaustubh Gandhi

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