Hero MotoCorp’s Xtreme range of motorcycles is all about commuting with style. The 150cc range helped the brand capture some decent market share. Then, it launched the Xtreme 200R, which captured the growing need for premium motorcycles. Now, Hero MotoCorp offers another Xtreme in the ever-competitive and highly profitable 125cc segment, which is currently ruled by the Shines and the Glamours. The 125cc segment is a space that is about offering aspirational styling, more features, and better performance. As of yesterday, this space was ruled by the TVS Raider 125 but the Xtreme 125R plans to take away some of the sales, if not all.
Hero motorcycles usually sport design languages that are meant to attract a wide range of consumers. But with the Xtreme 125R, it is clear that the brand wants to capture the attention of India’s youth. The overall styling language on this Xtreme is quite aggressive. It all starts with the fascia, which looks highly inspired by the famous Kawasaki Z1000. The angular headlight unit, muscular fuel tank that is flanked by sharp shrouds at the bottom, and the sharp tail section make this motorcycle look extremely sporty and aspirational. The Xtreme 125R also sports LED lights all over. But there are a few things on this motorcycle that don’t feel right. For example, the rear tyre hugger – while it does add a bit of mass at the rear, the design and the quality look cheap.
In the features department, Hero MotoCorp has managed to perform well and that is because it has equipped the bike with some first-in-the-segment features. The bike gets single-channel ABS, which isn’t standard equipment, but the brand is offering this safety equipment under a new model. The base model gets CBS as standard. The headlight, taillight, and even the turn indicators – all are LED. The rear tyre is also the widest in the segment at 120/80-17. Almost all 125cc bikes get a 110 width tyre at the back.
Over the last few years, Hero MotoCorp has managed to crack one major aspect of its motorcycles well, and that is the chassis. As a result of this, the overall handling performance of some of their bikes, such as the Xtreme 160R and the X440 has impressed us to the core. And it is the same story with the new Xtreme 125R. While I couldn't spend more than 15 minutes on Hero’s handling track, it was more than enough to understand that the Xtreme 125R can handle well – be it in the tight corners or flowing through some of the chicanes – this Hero motorcycle could manage all of it easily. The front is agile and quite responsive, too, and as a result, it was super easy to turn the bike the way I wanted to.
Some credit also needs to go to the new 125cc engine. This motor is brand new and a lot of focus has gone into making the low- and mid-range useable. It makes 11.4bhp at 8,250rpm and a peak torque of 10.5Nm at 6,000rpm. The company claims that 90 per cent of the torque comes in quite early and due to that, it becomes easier for riders to use it daily in the city. Sadly, we had a fast handling track to use and the majority of the time, I was at the higher rev band. Here, I could feel the motor behaving well and could continue to perform well if used for a longer duration.
Then, the overall refinement and NVH levels are quite decent. The five-speed gearbox was easy to use, and the clutch felt light enough. However, the actual performance of this motor will be known when we test it in city riding conditions and not in a controlled environment, such as Hero’s test track. During this ride, there was one thing that kept bothering me – the front brake. Despite having the biggest disc, the lever barely had any power and feel. We were told this could be because of the continuous use of brakes at high speeds. The actual consumers will be riding in the city, and the braking performance in those conditions will be completely different.
Should you buy it?
We rode the Xtreme 125R for a brief period and in that time, the only major thing we could judge was the way it handles itself. The bike is extremely capable in the corners and also at some tight turns. This aspect combined with the lighter kerb weight is likely to make the new Hero Xtreme 125R a fun and easy bike to ride in the city. The 125cc motor offers good torque spread too, and the overall refinement is acceptable. But the biggest impact of this bike is its appearance. The bike will definitely turn heads, and to be honest, it feels as if the Xtreme 125R belongs to the 150cc segment. We are hoping to test this bike properly sometime next month, and February is when we’ll be able to tell you if it makes sense to buy the new Xtreme 125R. For now, this bike should be considered if you are looking for a stylish 125cc motorcycle in the market.
Photography by Kapil Angane
Hero Xtreme 125R Chain Cover