Hero Xtreme 200R First Ride Review

03 November 2018, 10:43 AM Neil Nair

Introduction

So, here we have the Xtreme 200R, Hero’s second attempt in the premium motorcycle segment, although with a very modest Rs 89,900 (ex-showroom, Delhi) price tag. In fact, it also holds the title of being the most affordable 200cc motorcycle with an ABS system as standard. 

We did have a short spin on the track a while ago but that seemed to be a blurry territory for the Xtreme 200R. Does it feel more at home in the real world then? Let’s find out.

Quality

The Xtreme 200R does look like the offspring of the Xtreme Sports and the Hunk. It gets aggressively styled tank shrouds and a muscular tank that flows nicely into the chiselled rear section. While the entirety of the design screams sporty and looks appealing, the eyebrow-like LED position lamps and the wide front fender seem a bit off.

It also gets chrome finished foot levers which could have easily been replaced by blacked-out components like the rest of the bike. 

 

Ex-showroom, Mumbai

 89,900

The fit of some of the parts may not be of the highest level but the quality of plastics used is top-notch. The switchgear also feels tactile and is easy to reach. Furthermore, Hero has paid attention to detail with the neatly detailed fuel filler cap and faux air intakes on the headlamp cowl and tank shrouds. 

Comfort

The first impression astride the Xtreme 200R’s is of its taut character. The single-piece seat feels hard and the handlebar feels heavy. However, that perception changes on the move, as the seat starts to feels accommodating and anything but uncomfortable.

The suspension setup on the Xtreme 200R is firm but does an adequate job absorbing undulations and potholes. It also ensures the bike does not waddle around at high speeds. The upright riding position and slightly rear-set foot pegs are also spot-on. It may not indulge you to tuck in but it surely won’t leave you with a sore back after a long commute. 

Performance

The Xtreme 200R is powered by a 199cc, single-cylinder, carburetted engine that produces 18.1bhp and 17.1Nm of torque. Now, these figures might not put it on the top of the ‘fastest 200cc’ list, but it surely is the most refined motor in its class. The throttle response is crisp and the bike feels peppy and engaging from the word go. The loud intake howl further amplifies the Xtreme's sporty intent.

It offers a strong lower to mid-range pulling quickly to 9000rpm in the fifth gear, hitting close to 120kmph on the clocks. Gear shifts all through the five-speed transmission are slick and finding neutral isn’t a chore either. The Hero Xtreme 200R comes equipped with a 276mm front disc and a 220mm rear disc with a single-channel ABS as standard. This setup offers excellent bite and feedback and showed no signs of fading even after testing it to the limit. 

Then there is one of the most important prospects of a small-capacity streetfighter; its ease of riding in the city. And flickability is the Xtreme 200R’s major strength. The bike is composed and moves around readily, making filtering through traffic and quick turns quite effortless. 

Technology

The Hero Xtreme 200R may not come equipped with a whole lot of technology, but it offers enough to get the job done. It gets a white backlit analogue tachometer and a digital unit which displays speed, odometer, two trip meters, fuel-gauge, a clock and service reminder.

There also are two LED DRL’s positioned above the conventionally lit headlamp. Apart from this, the Xtreme 200R also gets a single-channel ABS system, the biggest selling point on the bike. 

Fuel Efficiency

The bike returned an average of 37.5 kilometres per litre in our fuel efficiency test. Combine that with a 12.5-litre tank capacity and you are good for a 470km trip without stopping for fuel. 

Fitness of Purpose

The manufacturer positions the Xtreme 200R as an affordable performance bike; however it is unlikely to attract the attention of an enthusiast upfront. Instead, the Xtreme 200R is for customers who want to upgrade from a 125cc or 160cc motorcycle to something more powerful. Apart from power, Hero is offering the bike with ABS and at a price bang in the middle of the 160cc motorcycle domain. Retailing at Rs 89,900 (ex-showroom, Delhi), the Xtreme 200R is a few hundred rupees cheaper than the Honda CB Hornet 160R and around Rs 5,600 lesser than the base version of its direct competitor, the TVS Apache RTR 200 4V which does not get ABS.

Our Take

Without beating round the bush, the only drawback we found was the lack of exclusivity and distinctiveness. The design of the motorcycle, although aggressive, struggles to draw attention. However, in terms of feel and mechanicals, the Hero Xtreme 200R offers more than the price its demands. With a punchy engine, excellent brakes, and comfortable riding ergonomics, the Hero Xtreme 200R is definitely an engaging character overall.

Photography by Kapil Angane

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