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Hero Xtreme 125R: Road Test Review

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Ajinkya Lad

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Introduction

Hero Xtreme 125R Right Front Three Quarter

Commuter motorcycles are synonymous with ease of riding and frugality, but they can look uninspiring and offer just about acceptable performance. But, in order to add some spice to the segment, manufacturers have started introducing sporty commuters into the market. Case in point, the Hero Xtreme 125R.

Now, the Xtreme 125R is quite an exciting motorcycle and competes against the TVS Raider 125. But, how exciting can a commuter actually be? Well, that’s exactly what we will be finding out in this road test review.

Styling and Quality

Hero Xtreme 125R Left Front Three Quarter

Swanky, bold, and aggressive! These are the adjectives I’d use to describe the motorcycle’s styling. The low-slung LED headlamp, sharp cuts and creases, and vibrant colour scheme add an air of sportiness to the motorcycle. The Xtreme 125R should appeal to working executives and college-goers who want a sporty yet easy-on-the-pocket commuter. That said, personally, I would prefer a slightly more mature and understated styling.

Hero Xtreme 125R Right Side View

Meanwhile, the fit and finish levels are quite good. There aren’t any odd panel gaps and the switchgear quality is on par with the segment. If anything, the paint quality could’ve been better as it doesn’t feel premium.

Ergonomics and Comfort

Hero Xtreme 125R Left Side View

By virtue, a commuter should offer neutral ergonomics and needs to be comfortable to commute on. And, we are happy to report that the 125R is an extremely comfortable bike. In fact, in our experience, it is more comfortable than the Xtreme 160R, offering a neutral rider’s triangle with an upright handlebar and central-set footpegs.

Hero Xtreme 125R Split Seat

Meanwhile, the seat cushioning at both ends is very soft, making it quite comfortable to commute. But, if you spend anywhere over a couple of hours in the saddle, your bottom starts to dig into the cushion, giving you a sore backside. Hero could have offered a slightly denser cushioning on the Xtreme 125R.

Performance and Handling

Hero Xtreme 125R Engine From Right

The Xtreme 125R is powered by a 124.7cc, air-cooled motor, which Hero claims is an all-new unit. The engine produces 11.4bhp at 8,250rpm and a peak torque of 10.5Nm at 6,000rpm. A five-speed gearbox transfers power to the rear wheel.

Hero Xtreme 125R Left Front Three Quarter

Crank the engine, and the refined nature of the motor is instantly apparent. And, even at speeds upwards of 80-85kmph, the engine continues to feel refined with a minor buzz on the footpegs, which isn’t bothersome at all. Now, Hero claims that 90 per cent of the torque is available earlier in the rev range. But in my experience, the motor could do with a better bottom end, as I had to work the gearbox in stop-go traffic. That said, once you get going, there’s good torque available in the mid-range to maintain highway speeds.

Hero Xtreme 125R Right Front Three Quarter

The gearbox, meanwhile, is quite slick and it shifts through the gears without any false neutrals whatsoever. Even the clutch feels light to operate. That said, we can’t say the same about its brakes. For instance, the front brake lacks bite and feel, and even the progression is just about average. You need to stomp on the brakes to get the bike to a halt. The rear brake, though, works well and offers adequate stopping power. The only silver lining is that the ABS doesn’t feel intrusive at all.

Hero Xtreme 125R Left Rear Three Quarter

The suspension of the Xtreme does a commendable job of delivering a comfortable ride. In fact, the ride quality is borderline plush with even minor undulations such as road joints or ruts, being cleanly ironed out at any given speed. However, when faced with sharper road imperfections, you may feel a little kickback from the rear but it never gets to unbearable levels.

Hero Xtreme 125R Front View

Hero has, over the years, cracked the chassis engineering department. We have been mighty impressed with the handling dynamics of the Xtreme 160R, and its smaller 125cc sibling is no different. It changes directions at the slightest of inputs which makes filtering through traffic an enjoyable affair. Even around corners, the motorcycle feels precise and composed, thereby inspiring confidence to carry good lean angles. In the handling department, the Xtreme 125R gets a big thumbs up.

Features and Technology

Hero Xtreme 125R Front Disc Brake

In the features department, the Hero Xtreme 125R gets a first-in-segment single-channel ABS as an option. Other features include full-LED lighting, fully digital instrument console, widest-in-segment 120-section tyre, and a Showa monoshock. The base variant gets CBS as standard fitment. That said, the Xtreme 125R misses out on Bluetooth connectivity, which is offered on some of its rivals.

Fuel Efficiency

Hero Xtreme 125R Right Rear Three Quarter

For a sporty commuter, the Hero Xtreme 125R is quite fuel-efficient. In BikeWale’s city test, the motorcycle returned a mileage of 56.40kmpl. With a fuel tank capacity of 10 litres, the motorcycle can easily cover over 550km between refills. In comparison, the TVS Raider 125 returned an economy of 56.76kmpl on the same route and similar traffic conditions.

Should You Buy It?

Hero Xtreme 125R Left Side View

Everything said and done, the Hero Xtreme 125R is quite an exciting 125cc motorcycle. It is easy to ride, comfortable, and practical. Then, it is also decently equipped with features, is fuel efficient, and offers a pleasant ride quality. But, what surprised us the most was its handling dynamics.

Hero Xtreme 125R Right Front Three Quarter

The Xtreme 125R is pretty nimble on its feet, as if it changes directions telepathically. Sure, it could do with better paintwork, denser cushioning, and perhaps sharper brakes, but on the whole, it has all the ingredients to make for an exciting sporty commuter. So, if you are in the market for a sporty 125cc commuter, you should definitely consider the Hero Xtreme 125R.

Photography by Kaustubh Gandhi

Gallery

Hero Xtreme 125R Left Rear Three Quarter
Hero Xtreme 125R Engine From Right
Hero Xtreme 125R Front Disc Brake
Hero Xtreme 125R Split Seat
Hero Xtreme 125R Right Front Three Quarter
Hero Xtreme 125R Left Side Multifunction Switchgear
Hero Xtreme 125R Front View
Hero Xtreme 125R Right Front Three Quarter
Hero Xtreme 125R Right Side View
Hero Xtreme 125R Right Rear Three Quarter

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