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Hero Xtreme 160R Track Review: BikeWale Trackday 2021

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Neil Nair

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Introduction

Left Side View

Lap Time: 2:32.12

Power to weight: 108.30bhp/tonne

Tyres: MRF Nylogrip (F) MRF Revz (R)

Why is it here?

Right Side View

Just like every other BikeWale Trackday, the 2021 edition has a theme. For this year, we decided to include motorcycles that impressed us with their performance on the streets. And after having the Hero Xtreme 160R as our long-termer for three months and being blown away by what it had to offer, it was obvious for us to have it for this year’s track day.

The Track

Right Side View

Before we tell you how the Xtreme 160R performed on the race track, here’s a brief about the track itself. The Madras Motor Race Track is one versatile circuit based out of Chennai. While it’s tight enough to be apt for small-displacement motorcycles, certain sections and the main straight are adequately long and free-flowing to be suitable for middle-weight machines.

This 3.7km circuit is a beautiful blend of eight right-hand corners, four left-handers, and three straights. That said, the MMRT has also been FIA and FIM certified with a Grade 2 license to host international racing events. And given our pleasant experience here during our previous track days, it was an obvious choice for this year as well.

The Ride

Right Side View

If you think about a racetrack or a motorcycle you’d use at a racetrack, the Hero Xtreme 160R would probably be the last option that comes to mind. Or maybe, not at all. But can you, if ever, take the Xtreme 160R to a trackday and have fun?

Well, with 15bhp and 14Nm on offer from the 163cc engine, the Xtreme isn’t big on numbers. While the throttle is smooth, the four-speed gearbox is slick and motorcycle feels enthusiastic and peppy; on the straights, it does feel under-powered. However, the Xtreme 160R’s biggest strength is its handling. It feels effortless tipping into corners or while switching sides on the chicanes. The meagre 138kg kerb weight helps its cause further.

suspensions

Although, on its stock setting, the Xtreme 160R’s suspension seemed too soft for my liking (and 60kg weight) and felt unsettled at the rear once leaned in. As I eased onto the bike and began carrying higher speeds, the twitching only amplified. However, after making a few adjustments, the suspension setup seemed to cope well too.

Front View

That said, the Hero Xtreme 160R felt strong on C3 and C10. These corners are tight. These corners are technical. And since they require less speed to tackle them, the Xtreme 160R shone the brightest on these sections of the track. Nevertheless, braking hard into C4 and C8, I wish the motorcycle came with stronger brakes. The setup felt spongy and the little bite it had kept fading as we pushed the Xtreme 160R for the rest of the session.

Chequered Flag

Right Side View

So, is the Hero Xtreme 160R fun at the racetrack? For a conditioned rider, it might not be. But for a track newbie, this would be the appropriate choice. When learning, you’d want to focus on getting the basics like racing lines, braking markers, and body position right rather than outright speed. And those are exactly the areas the Xtreme 160R excels at.

Moreover, it also has accessible power delivery and slight track-friendly ergonomics that would allow you to crouch and tuck in with ease. Before getting on to the track, the expectations of the Xtreme 160R beating lap times were obviously absent. If it were, that would be purely obnoxious. Instead, I expected the Xtreme to show its handling prowess on the track as well as it did on the streets. And in my opinion, it surely did.

Photos by Kaustubh Gandhi

Gallery

Left Side View
Right Side View
Rear Tyre
Right Side View
Right Side View
Right Side View
Front View
Left Side View
Right Side View

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