Hero Xpulse 200 Review
The XPulse 200 is possibly the most talked about product in the Hero MotoCorp line-up right now. And this is only possible due to its aspirational styling, good price point and feature list. Plus, it is targeted at a set of buyers who have always liked the idea of exploring the country on two-wheels with a shoe-string budget.
The XPulse 200 is possibly the most talked about product in the Hero MotoCorp line-up right now. And this is only possible due to its aspirational styling, good price point and feature list. Plus, it is targeted at a set of buyers who have always liked the idea of exploring the country on two-wheels with a shoe-string budget. Now, the XPulse 200 has been present in the country for a little over a year now, and it has a great fan following too. But it is 2020, and that means, it needs to meet the stringent BS6 emission norms. And with this new 2020 variant, the XPulse 200 has. We spent almost a week on it, rode on some pretty roads, some terrible roads and even took it to some monsoon-hit areas. And this is our take-away about the Hero.
In its 2020 avatar, the XPulse continues to have that rugged, tall and slim ADV look. In fact, this design language was well-received by the country. The long travel suspension and a huge ground clearance churn out a great off-road ready stance. The only visual change that the BS6 gets is the exhaust pipe routing. It is now placed between the engine cover and bash plate. Also, the catalytic converter does take up some aesthetic space. Rest is similar to the BS4 variant and honestly, we quite like it.
Let’s start with the fanciest of all – the Bluetooth instrument cluster. It is fully digital and gives out some useful information. There’s an eco-indicator too, that lights up depending on the amount of throttle the rider gives out. Then there’s turn-by-turn navigation that works pretty accurately. The LED headlights and taillight work brilliantly too.
From the utilitarian aspect, there’s the large bash plate and knuckle guards. The exhaust has been mounted quite high, making it a good machine to cross streams. The bike has a large ground clearance of 220mm which makes it perfect for some good off-roading sessions. The suspension travel meanwhile, is 190mm at the front and 170mm at the rear. There’s a single-channel ABS as standard. The tyres are dual-purpose in nature.
The 200cc motor is fuel-injected and now gets air-cooling. The overall power figures have gone down marginally. The five-speed gearbox continues to have the same ratios as the BS4 model.
Before we get to the actual ride, let us talk about how the engine feels. Due to fuel-injection, this motor runs much smoother and crisp now. The overall NVH has reduced quite a lot. Plus, the bike runs much quieter now, thanks to the presence of the air-cooler. The power delivery is linear and the mid-range feel has changed drastically, as the BS6 variant is running richer overall. So overtakes and on the trails, the XPulse runs much quicker. There’s a slight increase in top-end performance too.
Coming to the road riding experience, the BS6 XPulse has managed to impress us. Firstly, the seat has been updated with a new foam. This was done to decrease the fatigue that usually comes with long distance riding. Even in the city, it felt quite good to experience the seat. There’s a slight change in overall ergonomics as well. The mounting angle of the handlebar has changed a bit which resulted into a better riding experience in the city. But the seating triangle hasn’t been affected.
The highway cruising speeds have been improved. In the previous version, the XPulse was comfortable at 90kmph, but now it can be pushed to around 100kmph. The vibes, the engine stress and noise have decreased quite a bit. The high speed stability continues to be good.
But the best place to enjoy the XPulse the most is off the road. That’s where its long-travel suspension, good ground clearance and dual-purpose tyres perform brilliantly. Plus, with the stronger mid-range now, it’s easier to tackle some trails or even some jumps for that matter. The increase in kerb weight doesn’t really bother here. The XPulse continues to be nimble in such dirt conditions. In fact, you can thrash around or abuse the motorcycle and the XPulse will take all the beatings with ease. And in case, you are one of those who taste the mud more often than not, your backbone will be thankful despite the numerous lifting sessions.
The BS6 XPulse has been priced at Rs 7000 more than the BS4 model at Rs 1.12 lakh (ex-showroom Delhi). For the extra few thousand rupees, you get a motorcycle that has seen some major mechanical improvements and an engine that is much better to experience. Plus, the XPulse continues to perform well on the road, as well as off the road. And it can handle commuting tasks pretty well too. There’s still some wants with the bike though. Like a more powerful motor and better brakes. But for its price tag, the BS6 XPulse is a great motorcycle. You should get one if you want to explore the countryside and also ride in a city which is filled with bad roads. I did.
Photography by Kapil Angane
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