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Lately, there has been a lot of buzz on the internet about Hero MotoCorp’s plans. While nothing was concrete, speculations were ripe that Hero was planning to bring back the Karizma and working on a higher-capacity XPulse.
So when we were invited to Hero MotoCorp’s home base for a launch, we were expecting one of the aforementioned two. Upon reaching CIT Jaipur, the Global Center of Innovation and Technology, we were in for a surprise. Hero launched the all-new Xtreme 160R 4V. No need to be glum though as the new Xtreme has a fair bit to be excited about.
The Hero Xtreme 160R has been around for a bit and a half. It has seen a fair bit of success too and deservedly so. It was lightweight, handled well and had a decent amount of power. Despite that though, we always felt that the engine was the thing that needed the most improvement.
Hero listened and the result is the new Xtreme 160R 4V. In addition to the engine, there are a few more things that are new or have been improved. So without further ado, let us get right into it.
Starting with the looks, the new motorcycle is not an overhaul but… let’s call it a ‘significant makeover’. While the overall design theme remains the same, some tweaks accentuate the muscularity of the new Xtreme 160R 4V.
The fuel tank shroud has been angled a bit more aggressively. That along with the split seat makes the motorcycle look sportier and meaner. On the Pro variant, the headlight is also mounted a little lower to make the shoulders of the motorcycle look bulkier. More on the variants in a bit.
The switchgear has also been changed and the newer ones not only look better but feel better as well. In terms of colour, We rode the matte black variant which looked pretty good but the one that really caught our eye was the Neon & Blue Glitter one with golden forks. We believe that those are the ones that’ll bring in the most customers to the showrooms. Let us get to the variants then and move on to performance.
So with the new Xtreme 160R 4V, you have three variants to choose from. Standard, Connected, and Pro. Pro gets all the bells and whistles including USD forks, a USB port, and Bluetooth connectivity. Standard is devoid of all of these features.
The Connected variant is the Standard variant but with Bluetooth-enabled connectivity features such as geofencing and navigation alerts. Strangely though, these features are limited to the connected variant. We expected them to be standard on the Pro variant, please excuse the pun, but that is not the case.
The one thing that we found to be a bit odd is the positioning of the side stand. For shorter riders, the position makes it very difficult to reach it with your foot. It is placed slightly forward. To reach it reliably, one may have to sometimes use their hand to retract it- a small niggle limited to shorter riders on an overall great design. In terms of looks and features then, the Xtreme 160R 4V is right up there with the best. Can it go the way it looks though? Let us find out.
During the presentation, we were told that the new engine isn’t just about the 4-valves and an oil cooler. The block and the crankcase are different and the gearbox has been revised as well. All of these changes have prompted Hero MotoCorp to claim that the new Xtreme 160R 4V is the quickest motorcycle in its segment. The veracity of this claim is something that we cannot comment on but in general, the Xtreme 160R 4V feels pretty quick.
The revised 163.2cc engine is good for 16.7 bhp of power and 14.6 Nm of torque. That’s a healthy 1.7 bhp gain over the old bike but it is the new gear ratios that enable the Xtreme 160R 4V to accelerate like it does. And that does not come at the expense of top speed either as it retains almost all of the top end of the older bike. It gets to 60 km/h and 100 km/h much quicker and does not seem to taper off after 80 km/h like the older bike. The top speed is a speedo indicated 122-125 km/h.
Overall, the new Xtreme 160R 4V feels like a much quicker motorcycle. It boasts strong but very usable performance. Our only gripes in this department are related to refinement. The engine is generally quite smooth but everything gets a little tingly higher up in the rev range. Next, the gearbox. It can be a little clunky sometimes. While it gets the job done with no qualms, it could have been slightly better.
Moving on to handling and ergonomics, we had zero issues in these departments. The Xtreme 160R 4V is surefooted and predictable. Since we rode the Pro variant with the USD forks, it felt even better in terms of handling.
The braking was on point as well though the single-channel ABS may be a letdown for some. Tipping the scales at 145 kg (Pro), the Xtreme 160R 4V is the lightest motorcycle in the segment and that goes a long way in accentuating the handling characteristics of the motorcycle. Ergonomically too the Xtreme 160R is quite sound and the rider’s triangle is fairly comfortable.
The Hero Xtreme 160R 4V is priced above the older 2V variant and it starts at INR 1.27 lakh (Ex-Showroom, Delhi) for the Standard variant and goes up to INR 1.36 lakh (Ex-Showroom) for the Pro version that we rode and is seen here. At this price, it seems like an interesting prospect and one that is surely worth checking out.