On the engine front, the Xpulse 200T now gets the 4-valve update that has been available on the Xpulse 200 for a while. Now, this is a tried and tested motor. If it can hold up the punishment dished out to its dirt bike variant, it can definitely take on the urban environment. So how well does it work in the 200T?
The 199.6cc motor isn’t the most refined unit out there, but it’s more buzzy than vibey. Right off the bat, the motor makes a bad case for itself thanks to a fueling issue at slightly under 2000 rpm. At minimal or off-throttle, it gets snatchy, and the jerking can get a little annoying. But once past that, it’s all smooth sailing. With 18.3bhp, 17.35Nm of torque, and just 153kg to lug around, the 200T feels sprightly.
Acceleration is brisk, and even revving the motor to as high as 9000 rpm to have some fun is no issue at all. But fun and games apart, all its power is made under 8000 rpm, and it’s best to keep the engine between 3 to 7000 rpm for optimal performance.
While it’s not a screamer of an engine, its forte is tractability. The 5-speed gearbox has pretty closely stacked gear ratios, and before you know it, you are already hunting for a sixth cog as early as 85kmph. But it’s because of the short ratios and meaty midrange that one does not have to shift gears too much, which is a boon in city conditions.
The 200T will trundle along without hiccups at 25kmph in fifth gear and go all the way up to 120kmph without any issues. Now that is some impressive performance. However, don’t expect blazing performance on the highways, with the 200T definitely better suited for urban conditions.
The 200T gets the same diamond frame chassis as the Xpulse. However, it gets 17-inch wheels, which give it newfound agility. On the suspension front, the 200T gets 37mm front forks that also get a fork brace for better stability. At the rear, the rectangular swingarm is suspended by a 7-step adjustable monoshock. While it’s set up just right, it’s further aided by the grippy MRF Revz tyres. The 200T feels light and extremely flickable, maneuvering through traffic. Going through corners, there is plenty of grip to play with. The footpegs also offer plenty of cornering clearance, so you can really get your lean on.
Coming to the ride quality, The Suspension setup on the 200T is a little on the firm side, but Hero has done a splendid job of getting the damping spot on. The 200T absorbs bumps and potholes with aplomb, and one rarely has to slow down for them. What is impressive is how quickly the bike settles down after hitting a bump and feels extremely stable even on longer stretches of bad roads.