Hero Xtreme 200S Review
This is the fully faired version of the Xtreme 200R. It is priced at under a lakh ex showroom in Delhi, and it makes no pretence of being an out and out sports bike. It is still for the Aam aadmi; still for the commuter junta; and still for those who will only own one motorcycle. But, Hero says the extra pizzazz the 200S brings in, is something even commuter centric consumers want.
This is the fully faired version of the Xtreme 200R. It is priced under a lakh ex-showroom in Delhi, and it makes no pretence of being an out and out sports bike.
Sure, it is still for the Aam aadmi; still for the commuter junta; and still for those who will only own one motorcycle. But, Hero says the extra pizzazz that the Xtreme 200S brings in, is something even commuter-centric consumers want.
Let’s be honest, after what Hero did with its last fully faired offering - the new Karizma - even mashed potato on a plate looks more handsome. But this one, is a job well done. The 200S has good proportions. It’s not heart-achingly pretty, but it is sporty, and is good looking enough to draw a second glance.
The tank, the tail, the side panels, and even the front mud guard is all from the Xtreme 200R. The front fairing though is new. As is the all-new LED head lamp. And it all comes together quite well.
The 200S is based on the Xtreme 200R. It has the same chassis, same suspension, same gearbox, same wheels and same tyres. Churning out around 18bhp and 17Nm of torque, this 199cc engine is relatively refined and free revving. And the five speed gearbox is a slick shifting one too.
The suspension layout still includes a set of telescopic forks upfront and a preload adjustable monoshock at the rear. And, the S, like the R, runs on 17-inch wheels at both ends with grippy MRF rubber. There’s also no change to the brakes, and the S gets single channel ABS.
New features compared to the 200R meanwhile, includes just one - a new instrument cluster. It is an all digital unit, and it has read-outs for speed, engine speed, gear and time. It also has two trip computers which throw up info on distance travelled, average speed and the time taken. There’s also an Eco display which helps the rider ride more economically. And lest we forget, the S also gets an all-LED head lamp.
Given how much the 200S shares with the R, we weren’t expecting the former to ride differently. And since we were on a race track, well, everything regarding rideability, ride quality, pillion comfort, and commute friendliness, went out the window.
But we did learn that the S is a sweet handling motorcycle. It doesn’t have a lot of power and around BIC, one is riding in fifth with the throttle pinned to the stops almost all the time. But, the S’ turn-in is seamless. It settles into a corner with pliancy. The grip levels from those MRFs at the race track are very good. And though the chassis doesn’t scream with feedback, it never felt anything but solid leaned into bends.
The seating ergos are still very commuter-like, so tucking in behind the fairing with my growing belly wasn’t easy. The footpegs are also exactly in the same position as the 200R, and so these aren’t high or rearset enough for track use. Needless to say, grounding them came with the brief.
Now, you might think the Xtreme 200S is just the 200R in a fancier set of clothes. And you won’t be completely wrong. But, honestly, the S is a lot more.
For starters, its styling now makes it quite desirable. It also has better instrumentation. But, more importantly, at this price point, it packs in the need and want of a commuter so well, I won’t be surprised, if the 200S becomes the bike that puts Hero MotoCorp on the premium motorcycle map.
Photography by Kaustubh Gandhi
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