Hero Xpulse 200 FI Long Term Review 2: City Report

24 October 2019, 04:58 PM Vikrant Singh

Introduction

The Xpulse 200 might have been designed as an affordable on/off-road bike but it also feels completely at home handling the daily commute. So far we have done almost 1000km in the city. And, most of it has been through pouring rain and over pothole-riddled roads. Not to mention, we have found ourselves smack in the middle of peak hour Mumbai traffic more often than we would have liked, and that is never a pleasant experience. 

Now, with its large 21-inch front wheel, the Xpulse isn’t as agile as a 150cc commuter, for instance. It isn’t as flickable as scooters or as hard-charging as sub-400cc street nakeds either. So, it’s not all that quick to filter through barely moving peak hour traffic. But, what it lacks in terms of nimbleness, it more than makes up for it with its ride quality, and its sheer ability to beat the road into submission. 

Hero Xpulse 200

Hero Xpulse 200

  • Displacement199.6 cc
  • Max Power(bhp)18.1 bhp
  • Kerb Weight153 kg
  • ;

Ex-showroom, Mumbai

 99,500

All road

So, be it poorly resurfaced roads, or potholes, or gravel and or just chunks of road that have been pulled out,courtesy rains and traffic and poor road laying, nothing really troubles the Xpulse 200. Keep the throttle open and it will fly over it all as if it were a small inconvenience. And, even if you aren’t brave enough to keep the throttle open, the Hero still manages these road disruptions without crashing into them or feeling loose or unstable even. 

This ability of the Xpulse to go over almost everything is down to the 21-18 inch front to rear wheel combo and the long travel suspension. But, the fact that its rear doesn’t shoot you into the sky every time you exit a deep pothole is, of course, down to the lovely damping. The suspension of the 200 is a bit on the stiffer side compared to the Impulse, which, we feel, has done wonders for the new motorcycle’s ability to remain comfortable no matter the road surface. 

Light load

It is also light and well balanced enough to turn around on the side stand. And it doesn’t lose its composure even with a pillion on board. Now, if the rider and pillion are both large-sized adults, then the seat feels a bit small. But, otherwise, the ride, the handling, and even slow speed manoeuvrability doesn’t get worse with the second person on board. And, as it turns out, the Xpulse isn’t difficult to mount – be it for the rider or pillion. 

Speaking of the side stand, it’s a little too angled. So, when on the side stand, the bike leans so far off that it becomes difficult to park it in tight spaces. Now, to be fair, this could be a specific problem on our bike, which we will get checked with the dealer next time it goes for service. 

Next up

Next month, we intend taking the Xpulse out on a long-distance haul; luggage, air pump, extra tubes et al.  In the meantime, the Xpulse has been returning almost 35kmpl on our city rides.

Bike Stats:

Odometer: 3651km

Kilometres ridden this month: 1441km

Fuel efficiency: 35.8kmpl

 

Photography by Kaustubh Gandhi

Gallery

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