With Hero now discontinuing the Xtreme, the time has now come for our long term motorcycle to retire. Though the Xtreme wasn't exactly one of our favourites, it endured everything we threw at threw at it (sometimes with a pinch of salt). Nevertheless it's with a heavy heart that we bid adieu to our beloved workhorse.
During my ride to Nashik a few months ago, I had appreciated the well-balanced suspension setup of the Hero Xtreme. However, without the additional weight of the pillion and the baggage, I found the rear suspension to be too soft for my liking. As the Xtreme comes with a five-step preload adjustable rear suspension, I decided to tinker with the preload settings to see whether I could stiffen up the rear of the motorcycle. After tightening the springs by two clicks, I noticed that the suspension had become firmer, markedly improving the Xtreme's rideabilty in the city as well as highways. While I couldn't do anything about the soft front end, the lowered rear section inspired more confidence during cornering on winding roads. Even with the marginal reduction in ride height, which is a result of the increased preload, there was no sign of the underbody scraping on speedbumps.
- 149 cc
- 14.2 bhp
- 145 kg ;
Last known Avg. Ex-showroom price
The Hero Xtreme comes with a very quirky safety feature, one which hasn't been seen on modern motorcycles. The Xtreme does not allow you to start the motorcycle when you are in a gear, and the side stand is engaged. It also cuts the ignition whenever you pull down the side stand in any gear apart from neutral. Though this might be confusing (and irritating) initially, a small red indicator in the instrument cluster alerts you every time the side stand has been engaged. The Xtreme’s instrument cluster also gets a big blue backlit LCD display which meticulously displays the speedometer, fuel-gauge, odometer, dual trip meters as well as a clock.
The key slot, which sits below the fancy instrument console, comes armed with an immobiliser. The Xtreme's key is equipped with a sensor chip, which is paired with the immobiliser system. This immobiliser ensures that no other key (even duplicated ones) apart from the ones with its paired sensor can be used to start the motorcycle. The safety angle aside, the flashing blue ring around the key slot also comes handy whenever you need to start the motorcycle in a dim environment.
Although it is illuminated by regular bulbs, the 'eyebrow' parking lamps above the headlamp look like LED DRLs, thanks to their smart design. The Xtreme also gets a 12V accessory socket to charge mobile phones. That said, the inconvenient placement of this socket (under the seat) meant that we rarely used this feature.
One of the few problems that we encountered over the past six months including continual loss of tension in the chain, which meant that the chain had to be tightened frequently. The Hero service centre was also unable to fix a problem with the turn indicators, which kept going haywire every time the bike was exposed to rain.
When it was launched last year, the Hero Xtreme came with an exhaustive features list which gave it an edge over its rivals. The rear disc brake is an option that none of the current crop of 150cc commuters (apart from Xtreme's successor) have. But then, despite being the most feature-loaded motorcycle in its segment, it would be fair to say that Hero MotoCorp was never able to capitalise on these plus points. Hero eventually discarded the immobiliser and the mobile charging port in the Xtreme's successor - the Xtreme Sports.
The Hero Xtreme has always given us the impression of being a robust motorcycle, thanks to its hefty 146 kilogram weight and sturdy build. The tall seating, cosy seat and the footpeg placement make the ride comfortable as well. With the lack of grunt complementing its laid back character, the Hero Xtreme is a very pleasant motorcycle to live with.
Goodbye Xtreme, so long.
Photography: Kapil Angane & Ranjan Bhat