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Hero Xtreme 200R - First Ride Review

Hero Xtreme 200R - First Ride Review

Snapshot: Maybe it is too late to the party, but it surely is not too little.

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Hero Xtreme series of motorcycles is not new to India, in fact, Indians have an old love story with original CBZ and CBZ Xtreme motorcycles which can be considered the original inspiration to the today’s Xtreme 200R. The company has been working on the new Xtreme 200R for quite some time now. And it looks like they are finally prepared to launch the same very soon. I was invited to get a first-hand experience on the same bike at none other than the Buddh International Circuit which is a dream track for motorheads like me.

Looks –

The new Xtreme 200R clearly impresses in the looks and design department. Hero designers certainly got the proportions right with this one as the design geometry looks decently balanced. When compared to the older Xtreme bikes, it has grown in dimensions, and look buffed up, and modern. The headlight gets twin LED pilot lamps, while at the back the tail light is all LED and this section is one of the highlights of the design. The split grab rails fit in perfectly with the design and big and bold exhaust muffler only completes the aesthetics in a much-appreciated manner. Also, the company has given the bike highly exciting color combinations and sticker sets that give a sporty edge to the motorcycle.

Coming on to the instrument cluster, it gets a semi-digital panel that has an analog tachometer while rest of the information like fuel level, current speed, and much more is displayed digitally. The only thing that is sorely missed is the gear position indicator which is present in some of its basic rival bikes.

Engine and Transmission –

The Hero Xtreme 200R gets a single-cylinder, carburetted, air-cooled, 2-valve, 199.6 cc engine which delivers close to18.2 bhp of maximum power at 8,000 rpm and 17.1 Nm of peak torque comes at 6,500 rpm. The engine comes mated to a 5-speed transmission with one down and rest up pattern. As soon as the clutch is released, the bike progresses with a smooth push. The gearing is kept short for the initial gears which might result in the need of constant gearshifts throughout the daily city rides (but that is yet to be tested on the public roads). Since the track didn’t allow to use the lower gears, I was mainly pushing the bike only in the last two gears. The best part was, there was no significant vibration even when the bike was pushed to the limits and was doing triple-digit speeds. Hero engineers seemed to have worked hard on keeping the vibrations under check. Overall the engine felt rev happy, smooth and with mildly sporty delivery which is a good combination for the purpose it serves.

Ride and Handling –

The bike has been built around an all-new diamond frame that has worked in favor of the bike. Also, it gets 37 mm Telescopic Hydraulic front suspension and 7 step adjustable monoshocks suspension at the back. The front has been kept soft while the rear can be adjusted as per rider’s weight and need. I was riding on the rear being set to lightly stiff, and with my weight of 85 kgs I could have used one more click to make it a bit stiffer, but none of the less, the setup surely proved to be impressive.

Thanks to its light weight of 148 kgs (ABS), the bike requires no effort at all when leaning in a corner. It is only the high-speed switchbacks that might make a rider nervous because of the less feedback from the front end but at the same time, it hugs the corners well and scrapping knee pads is a child’s play.

Since it was a race track, everyday comfort and how the suspension deal with practical riding conditions is yet to be tested but seeing Hero’s track record of making some of the most comfortable bikes for Indian roads, I’m sure the Xtreme 200R would be no different.

Verdict –

Maybe it is too late to the party, but it surely is not too little. Hero Xtreme 200R is a likable motorcycle in the sub 200cc category which offers a decently powerful and refined engine, features, and capable chassis. It might not be the sportiest package in the segment but at the same time it does everything that is designed to do, and it does that well. 

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