Hero Xtreme 200 R Long-Term Review Final Report: Does it Stop at Being an Ideal Commuter?
The Hero Xtreme 200 R might output the least power in its segment. But does that stop it from being an ideal commuter for the ones looking for performance? Find out.
Hero Xtreme 200 R (Image:Anirudh Sunil Kumar/News18.com)
They say the first rain is the most agonizing one for motorcyclists. The grease and oil absorbed by the tarmac during summers are pushed right up to the surface the minute water hits. And while it rained for the first time this year in Noida, my companion for the daily urban grind was the Hero Xtreme 200R. The bike has been in our fleet for a while now and I got my hands on it at the start of June with a little over 600 km on the odo. Hence, two complete months with what is Hero’s second attempt at an entry-level premium performance moniker has said a lot.
While the first and the mid report was taken care of, I was opportune enough to add a few final notes towards the end. Now, before we get to the riding-bit, let’s get the numbers out of the way. The Hero Xtreme 200R is powered by a 200-cc engine that puts out 18 bhp and 18 Nm of torque. This engine is mated to a five-speed transmission and is fuelled by a carburettor. Admittedly, most aspects of the bike have been covered in our previous reports, which leaves us with plenty of room to evaluate how well the bike fits in the urban space.
We rode the bike at the BIC during its launch last year and figured that a race track might not be its perfect habitat. This takes us to the city, where the bike truly seems to fit the bill. To begin with, riding in the city, comes with a few parameters that matter. Manoeuvrability, acceleration, braking, ergonomics, suspension set up and obviously the looks. Well, it can be said in a heartbeat that the Xtreme 200R gets all-things right above...except for the looks. But we’ll discuss it later in the report.
In my two months of riding the motorcycle for commuting and city sightseeing, the bike worked like a charm. The most remarkable factor about the Xtreme 200R is its engine refinement. Hero took the unit from the Achiever 150, increased the displacement and added balancers to phase out the vibrations. However, a bit north of 6,000 rpm we found that the footpegs and the tank do get a little buzzy.
One of the reasons why the bike left us wanting more at the BIC was the suspension, which is set on a much softer note. This might not let it fit the performance bill the way its rivals do. However, on our infamous has-been roads, the bike will work just fine. The raised handlebars and the slightly rear-set footpegs make up for an upright riding position that won’t kill your back or shoulders. The sculpted tank, in addition to this, makes up for good thigh support, helping you move around easily.
As a sports commuter, the torque on the bike has been concentrated at the bottom (talk about being the first one to fly off a green light). The power is easily accessible, which when combined with a light clutch and the slick gear shifts add up for an all-in-all pleasant ride.
The acceleration is crisp yet linear, so the folks upgrading from a 160-cc motorcycle won’t be intimidated. Given its acclaimed performance stature, the Xtreme 200R outputs the lowest in its segment. But at 147 kg, it is the lightest. The motorcycle comes with single-channel ABS which seemed to be the least intrusive in the city. Speaking of the brakes, the Hero Xtreme 200R’s 276mm disc at the front and 220mm disc at the back delivers the right bite and progression.
Being a subjective topic, the only way we can bring a bit of accountability into the picture is by stacking it up with its immediate rivals in terms of displacement. Case in point, the Apache RTR 200 4V, the KTM Duke 200 and the Bajaj Pulsar 200 NS. We think that the new kid in town, on the contrary of Hero’s claims of a wolf-like design, could have done with a more compelling look that steers away from its current ‘Good boy’ charm. This is when we compare its design ethos with the rivals. For instance, the Apache 200 4V can turn heads at a red light with its bikini fairing, small beak, split seat and sharp tail.
For its ideal urban purpose, the Hero Xtreme 200R is bang for the buck. At Rs 91,900 (ex-showroom), the motorcycle is over Rs 9,000 cheaper than the TVS Apache RTR 200 4V. While the latter has more power and better looks, the Xtreme 200R doesn’t lag behind either. The power is adequate for its intended purpose. The power delivery is linear and the engine is not bothered even under stressful traffic conditions.
If we really had to nitpick, false-neutrals did become tiring after it happened 7 times in a 22km commute. A few times, the odometer showed Neutral but the bike moved anyway. But none of these could be a dealbreaker for the motorcycle. In a nutshell, the Hero Xtreme 200R is a true sweet spot between fun and practicality.
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