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Hero Xtreme 160R 4V: Road Test Review

Authors Image

Pratik Bhanushali

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Introduction

Hero Xtreme 160R 4V Right Front Three Quarter

Why buy it?

Good handling and balance

Commendable fuel efficiency

Likeable styling and proportions

Why avoid it?

- Needs better build quality

- Stiff rear suspension setup

Not so long ago, we rode Hero MotoCorp’s debutante for its premium category of motorcycles, the Xtreme 160R 4V. Now, that was at the brand’s test facility, which meant everything was in a controlled environment – right from the tarmac condition to the traffic and everything in between. But now, it was time to put the Xtreme 160R 4V through its paces in the real world, with no particular riding conditions and see how it faired.

Styling and Quality

Hero Xtreme 160R 4V Left Front Three Quarter

Hero has got the styling on point for the Xtreme 160R 4V. And to be fair, it has been derived majorly from its two-valve model with minor changes. The new iteration gets a macho styling and elements like the revised headlight design, taller pillion seat, and muscular fuel tank contribute to the attribute. The model that you see here is the Pro variant and comes painted in black with silver badging on the tank and red accents elsewhere. This makes for a nice contrasting effect. Even the red stripe on the alloys gives the Xtreme 160R a dash of sportiness when the bike is in motion. Moreover, it’s impossible to overlook the golden USD front forks. These add to the Xtreme’s visual appeal and make sure the premium-ness is evident.

Hero Xtreme 160R 4V Engine From Right

But when it comes to the quality of the new Xtreme 160R, we feel there is more work to do. Our test bike has certain areas that have started losing the paint finish and also developed a white patch with less than 2,000km on the odometer. The plastic on the fuel tank also seems to rattle while riding and makes a recognisable noise, which is something you would expect on a rather aged motorcycle. Then, there are the switch cubes, which have left us with mixed feelings – the right side unit works just fine and feels tactile, whereas the left cube is ergonomically uncomfortable. The pass light switch feels small and there seems to be a delay in the response too.

Ergonomics and Comfort

Hero Xtreme 160R 4V Left Side View

When it comes to the Hero Xtreme 160R, the ergonomics are worth mentioning here. You sit upright with your feet slightly rear-set because of the footpeg position. There’s a good view of everything in the front without any obstruction, thanks to the Xtreme’s clean layout. The handlebar is wide and neutrally set. That said, if you wish to get in a slightly sportier riding stance, then, the seat has enough space for you to scoot back. This would allow you to tuck in partially. Hero has offered a dense cushion on the seat, which is something we liked and found comfortable even when clocking around 350km in a day on an interstate ride.

The pillion seat, too, feels comfortable. There is enough space between the rider and the pillion pegs, which means there is no awkward contact while shifting gears or braking and moving the feet back. Then, there’s the suspension setup, which we quite liked, but it now seems a little bothersome. This is a result of the stiff ride quality at the rear. When ridden over small speed blocks, potholes, or rumblers, the Xtreme feels uncomfortable and you would feel minor jolts to your back. After a while on the saddle, you might want to get off the bike just for some relief from the beating that your lower back would take.

Hero Xtreme 160R 4V Right Rear Three Quarter

This is our feedback from the stock setting, and considering this bike will be in the BikeWale long-term garage too, we will tweak its preload shortly and see how the monoshock’s response changes. There’s a slight change in the rebound once a pillion is onboard, as there is significant weight added. But because Xtreme 160R 4V is made for commuting, we feel it could do with a soft setting primarily. This will enhance its overall usability on our broken and undulated roads.

Performance and Handling

Hero Xtreme 160R 4V Right Front Three Quarter

With the new four-valve configuration, the new Hero Xtreme 160R’s 163cc, single-cylinder, air/oil-cooled motor makes 16.6bhp and 14.4Nm. That’s a small bump in the power over its predecessor. Then, it continues to use a five-speed gearbox but the cogs have been revised and sit closer to each other. All these changes have translated to more tractability in the lower revs. My home-to-office and back commute consists of a large patch with dense but moving traffic. And barely do I find the need to shift in the first gear when filtering between vehicles. All that needs to be done is modulate the clutch and keep the momentum as needed.

Once you see an open patch, a gentle wring to the throttle gets the revs climbing quickly. The first three gears feel short, while the fourth lets you ride in the mid-range for a bit. Once around 70-75kmph, you can shift up and the idle riding speed in the fifth gear is 85-90kmph. This is the sweet spot for the Xtreme 160R 4V as the vibrations are minimal, the engine doesn’t feel strained, and there’s a little more juice left to accelerate to 100kmph and above if the need be.

Hero Xtreme 160R 4V Right Side View

But once you approach three-digit speeds, the motor’s vibrations are evident and bothersome. The bike feels out of its element and you might want to take a step back and dial down the speeds. The gearbox has a nice clicky feel throughout the shifts. The odds of missing out while shifting up or down are very low.

Thanks to the stiff suspension, the Xtreme feels planted at all speeds. Its handling is on the sportier side and the left-to-right flicking comes naturally and intuitive. The steering feels light and gives adequate leverage to dive into corners if the occasion arises. There were a few instances when we came across roadblocks during the test. However, taking a complete and quick U-turn on the Xtreme felt effortless and we were on the move in no time. These are some of the important boxes a commuter bike needs to check and the Hero Xtreme 160R 4V does that too.

Features and Tech

Hero Xtreme 160R 4V Instrument Cluster

Apart from LED illumination, the Hero Xtreme 160R 4V comes with a fully digital instrument console, USB charging port, side stand cut-off sensor, and ABS. Now, the headlight functions phenomenally and lights up a decent portion of the road during nighttime. The high beam is even better and very reliable when riding on the freeways. Then, the instrument console delivers a plethora of data but it is barely visible once the sunlight is harsh. You might have to get extremely close to the screen to get hold of any reading, which is far from idle. But the LCD glows well in the dark and it's as good as you would want it to be. All the numbers and letters are visible and laid out neatly.

Fuel Efficiency

Like all the other bikes during a road test review, the Hero Xtreme 160R 4V, too, went under the BikeWale fuel efficiency test. It returned 48.28kmpl after being ridden in moderate traffic in the city and open freeways for the most part. So, with a 12-litre fuel tank capacity, you are looking at a range of around 580km. But this figure could vary if you ride at slightly higher speeds of about 90-100kmph. The expected range will drop to around 420km in one go.

Should you buy it?

Hero Xtreme 160R 4V Right Front Three Quarter

Simply put, Hero has employed a series of small updates on the Xtreme 160R in its 4V trim. These have led to a sizeable increase in the overall value for money. The Xtreme handles everything well, be it slicing through the city traffic, switching lanes at higher speeds, or even hunting corners in the ghats. The engine, too, is just what is needed for commuting and occasional spirited jaunts across the freeways or even weekend rides. It is also fuel efficient, which means you may not have to think twice if the Xtreme has to be your only tool for commuting every day. The cushy seat and roomy rider triangle further highlight this aspect.

Hero Xtreme 160R 4V Right Side View

But, it’s still far from being perfect or flawless. The paint quality is inconsistent and the plastics need better and flush fitting. The features list is average at best since smartphone connectivity is only available on the mid-spec model. Another area where the Xtreme could do slightly better is the braking. The setup needs more bite and a better feel because the current configuration comes off as wooden and takes time to chop down the speed.

If you can overlook the said bits, then the Hero Xtreme 160 4V is an easy recommendation.

Photography by Kaustubh Gandhi

Gallery

Hero Xtreme 160R 4V Right Front Three Quarter
Hero Xtreme 160R 4V Left Side View
Hero Xtreme 160R 4V Right Front Three Quarter
Hero Xtreme 160R 4V Instrument Cluster
Hero Xtreme 160R 4V Right Rear Three Quarter
Hero Xtreme 160R 4V Right Front Three Quarter
Hero Xtreme 160R 4V Left Front Three Quarter
Hero Xtreme 160R 4V Engine From Right
Hero Xtreme 160R 4V Right Side View
Hero Xtreme 160R 4V Right Side View

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