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Road Test - Hero Extreme Sports - Power Commuter Worth Considering.

Snapshot: Hero would be replacing the Xtreme with Xtreme Sports, the new bike has received subtle changes. Read the road test review to know our impression.

The bike that started off as CBZ under the joint partnership of Hero and Honda, is now known as the Hero Xtreme sports. However with time, almost everything about this bike has changed, the moniker too was changed to CBZ Xtreme from CBZ during the course, then to Xtreme and now it is has been changed to Xtreme Sports. But it would not be wrong if we said that it shares the same DNA. So has the Xtreme Sports changed for the good or not. Let’s find out.

Design Looks and Features

The mid-size headlight cluster has been redesigned and carries eyebrow type DRLs that glow bright even in broad daylight. LED taillight cluster at the rear is bright and looks smart too. The integrated turn indicators that were earlier present on the CBZ Xtreme were removed with the introduction of Xtreme, the Xtreme sports too follows the same approach and uses the outward protruding ones, which we believe work better too. There are split grab rails for the pillion rider to hold on to. Rear view mirrors are wide enough and help increase all-around visibility for the rider.

Hero Xtreme Sports has a wheelbase of 1325mm, which essentially means that it has been derived from the Hero Xtreme that had the same wheelbase, which is also the bike that it basically replaces. The instrument cluster is a semi-digital unit and large tachometer forms a larger part of it and displays the information clearly. In addition, you get features like analogue fuel gauge, side-stand indicator, two trip-meters and a clock. We were extremely pleased with the comfy split seats that have just the right amount of cushioning and the soft rubber used for handlebar grips makes it easy for your hands. The rectangular swing arm uses two gas reservoir shocks for effective suspension duties. 

In terms of ergonomics, the bike pleased us with its comfy as well as wide seats. One thing that we did not like is the oddly placed ignition keyhole, operating it in the start-stop traffic will be a hassle. Hero should consider putting an engine kill switch for the same reason or should either reposition the keyhole. The overall quality of plastics used for switchgear and fit and finish is quiet decent. The switches and buttons on the handlebars are ergonomically sound and are easy to operate.     

Engine and Performance

The 149.2cc engine develops 15.6bhp of peak power at 8,500rpm and peak torque of 13.50Nm at 7,000rpm. We rode the bike on highways as well as through the city and can safely say that the engine is one the smoothest units with even power delivery that we have come across in the 150cc segment. It remains vibration free until 7,700rpm mark. Noticeable vibrations are felt through the handlebars only when the engine is pushed to the higher engine speeds. The 5-speed transmission is not the smoothest but the gear ratios are evenly distributed and the clutch is extremely light to operate in city traffic. The air-cooled engine uses a carburettor controlled variable ignition and has a single overhead camshaft for valve operation. The engine utilizes a square geometry (57.3 x 57.8 mm) that makes is easy to spin. 

The four stroke air-cooled engine uses a carburettor controlled variable ignition and has a single overhead camshaft for valve operation. The engine utilizes a square geometry (57.3 x 57.8 mm) that makes is easy to rev.

Ride and Handling

The fork suspension setup at the front is on the softer side and offers perfect cushioning, while the rear is a five-step preload adjustable dual-shock system that's comparatively stiff which makes it a good handler, but at the same time it works well and does manage to soak in the bumps quite effortlessly. The suspension setup together with soft seats offers perfect cushioning for a comfortable city ride. The upright riding posture and handlebars position though not sporty, offer relaxed position for city riding. You get disc brakes at front as well as rear, which are extremely efficient and confidence inspiring. We managed to get about 50kmpl of average from a mixed run of in and around the city. Considering that we rode it enthusiastically at times, it is indeed impressive.

Verdict

The Hero Xtreme sports should prove to be a perfect premium commuter. Hero’s service network coupled with low cost of ownership should be bike ideal if you are looking for something comfortable and light on pocket to live with. Priced at around Rs 73,000 (ex-showroom Delhi), it competes with a sea of motorcycles out there, but it is indeed an option worth considering.

Photography - Mohd. Nasir

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