For commuters, it is a close call. Now just like the Impulse, the Xpulse too might be the only motorcycle in the household. And that means it has to do a good job of the daily commute; and it must haul a pillion comfortably. Not to mention, it needs to be easy to ride in traffic, and light on the pocket come fuelling time.
The Impulse with its smaller engine and lighter weight was known to return just under 50kmpl. And, it has always been an easy motorcycle to ride. It’s light, it’s reasonably nimble, and though one has to deal with fork flex and less than adequate brakes, the Impulse, with its plush slow speed ride and good clearance makes for a good commute option. It has a long seat too and a comfy, upright seating for the pillion as well.
The Xpulse has a shorter seat in comparison, which doesn’t leave adequate room for two hefty adults. The pillion pegs on the new bike are higher as well. So, things are a little cramped for the Xpulse’s pillion.
The seating ergos for the rider are better. Now compared to the Impulse, the Xpulse has a taller and wider handlebar. And it has an almost identical seat height which is quite accessible for the average Indian. But, the latter has slightly higher set footpegs. So, even though the Xpulse’s seating triangle gives the rider better control and more leverage, taller riders might find it a little cramped.
As for its commuting abilities, the Xpulse doesn’t have the Impulse’s shortcomings. It has a more rigid front end which allows you to get on the brakes harder. And the brakes themselves - disc at both ends, with a single channel ABS - offer better power, bite, feel, as well as progression.
So, not only does the Xpulse make for a more confident commute machine, it’s also faster because one can rely on its mechanicals more. As far as ride quality goes, it isn’t as plush as the Impulse, but, the Xpulse’s tauter suspension works better at higher speeds and over a variety of different surfaces.