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Hero Xtreme, the name rings a bell but doesn’t wake up someone in deep slumber. Hero Xtreme 200R, this bears a lot of weight with the ‘R’ tag and does stir things up. Things like the Indian power-commuter market. The name does ruffle the feathers of some other contenders like the RTR 200 4V, Pulsar 200 NS, FZ 25 etc. But all those things are being done by the name. Can the actual motorcycle pull off something similar and do justice to a very intriguing name? We find out as we ride the Xtreme 200R on BIC.
Text: Sunil Gupta
Photos: Mohit Gena
One look at the Xtreme 200R reminds you of its younger sibling, the Xtreme Sports. The bikes are different not only in displacement, but a lot of other things, yet the design is clearly based on the smaller Xtreme. The front fascia is home to the ‘wolf eyed’ LED pilot lamps that do enhance the visual presence of the motorcycle. The tank shrouds are integrated very well and the graffiti-like graphics on the tank shroud only add to the appeal of the side profile of the motorcycle. The side panels are minimalistic and bear the Hero badging. The rear cowl has also been sharpened and are home to the 200R branding. The bullhorn shaped grab-rails and the LED taillight constitute the rear of the motorcycle. The 130mm wide rear tyre adds to the sporty intent of the motorcycle.
The bike features an air cooled, 4 stroke, 2 valve, 199.6cc single cylinder engine. It produces a maximum power of 18.1 bhp at 8000 rpm and a maximum torque of 17.1 Nm at 6500 rpm. The power is transmitted to the rear wheel via a 5-speed transmission. The new bike gets disc brakes on both wheels and an optional single channel ABS. The front suspension is a 37mm conventional telescopic fork and the rear is an adjustable monoshock unit. The chassis is diamond type and the bike carries a wheelbase of 1338 mm. The bike gets a 12.5 litre fuel tank. Xtreme 200R tips the scale at 147 kg with an increment of 1 kg for the ABS equipped unit. The console is similar to the smaller Xtreme with an analogue tachometer and a digital speedometer. The screen is blue backlit. The digital unit also houses a trip meter, an odometer and a digital fuel gauge.
Undoubtedly the best thing about the Hero Xtreme 200R is the way it rides. The engine feels is refined and stress free even in the higher rev range. The gearbox feels slick and the bike lunges ahead nonchalantly with the twist of the throttle. There’s plenty of low and mid-range torque that should keep the city commuters happy. I rode it on the short loop of BIC (excluding the main straight, T1, T2, T3, back straight, & T4) and it was a ride I’ll remember for a very long time. The throttle variations did most of the work and seldom did I need to downshift to negotiate the corners. The suspension-chassis was a bit on the softer side, obviously to provide more comfort during day to day rides, but it never come in the way of us having some unadulterated fun on the curves of BIC. The bike would dip into the corners with ease and would stay on course without drama. The low ground clearance played spoilsport and the footpegs kept kissing the ground every now and then to unsettle the bike on the corners. But, the grip from the MRF tyres was confidence inspiring and knee scraping became a regular affair during the dozen odd laps I did on that short loop. There were no long straights on this short loop and it was hard to judge the true top speed of this bike, but I did notice numbers in the upper 100s on the speedo quite often, the highest being 111 kmph.
The Hero Xtreme 200R comes out to be a very gentlemanly kind of motorcycle that can be a lot more fun than what is visible on the surface. But admittedly it is not a bike that would make you the talk of the town instantly or make people go weak in their knees when they see it. If you are looking for a motorcycle that merges into the crowd yet is capable of giving an outstanding performance when it comes to day to day riding, then you should definitely take a test ride of the Hero Xtreme 200R before making a final decision. It should prove to be a very capable power commuter. But, it would also face stiff competition from the competitors, from the likes of Pulsar 200NS, Yamaha FZ25, Apache RTR 200 4V, and even the Apache RTR 160 4V as well. Full marks to Hero engineers for not trying to go into heroics (pun unintended) and putting more stress on the practical aspect of motorcycling. It is a very good product in this category from Hero (after a very long time) and what can make or break things for them is how they price it. The price of this bike has not been disclosed yet and we would be keeping a keen eye on how it is priced. A price tag south of or near INR 90,000 mark would make it a very sweet deal and would compel the prospective buyers to give Hero Xtreme 200R a long and serious look.