Everything but… POWER. The Hero Xpulse 200 Fi is a bike that has changed the way people looked at Hero. Hero has introduced a new chassis and upped the game for other manufacturers. This makes the Hero Xpulse a very unique bike. So should you consider buying the bike or is there something that is still missing? Will there be a more refined product? Let’s take you through every aspect of the bike and leave the decision up to you?
SuperMoto or Offroader?
At first glance, the Xpulse 200 reminded me of the Yamaha RX. Like the bike’s body is really skinny for its chassis. But the bike is really wide if you compare it with other bikes in the market. The Handlebars are wide and it has a tall seating position. But is it tall? The answer is, NO. The bike does have a long travel suspension but it is quite softly sprung. So when you sit on the bike it does not feel that intimidating. Also, the weight of the bike plays a big role here. If you are a short rider you can manage tiptoeing as there isn’t much weight. The seat is very comfortable and long. For pillon the footpeg is not that high and remains comfortable.
The one thing that you notice about the bike is the wide handlebar. It sometimes is a task if you are seated a bit back and you want to make a full lock. But there is plenty of room on the bike to move around. The ergonomics are relaxed but they feel like the rider is on the bike not with the bike. The footpegs are well place but the gear lever feels a bit hard at times.
From the Riders Eyes
If you are the one riding the bike you are greeted with a wide handlebar. It’s quite straight and gives an advantage in technical off-road tracks. But it compromises on the traffic filtering part. The next thing that you notice is the key tumbler. The key of the bike is pretty basic and for some reason, the on position on the key tumbler is not straight. This might be a small thing but it might confuse when in a hurry. As you turn on the bike the digital instrument cluster. It is an LCD unit probably water-resistant. It shows basic information starting with the Tachometer, speed and gear position indicator. Also, there are 2 trip metres, BlueTooth connectivity, average speed, and eco-indicator. Now don’t be surprised that Hero has offered so many features because some of them don’t work as intended. For example, a basic feature like the gear position indicator does not show the gear until the clutch is released. This partially beats the purpose of having a gear position indicator.
Moving to the parts that connect the rider and the bike, the throttle somehow feels that it has a small lock to lock distance. This means that the throttle response will be aggressive. Even though the response is aggressive the engine does not rev fast. The switches of the bike are good for the price point.
As You Gun The Throttle
The engine of the bike is the most recent thing I would like to talk upon. That is because it is not that great. If you are looking for a great engine then this bike isn’t for you. For a 200cc engine, it produced only 18 bhp of power. But the power is delivered at 8500rpm. Being an oil-cooled engine, and having a SOHC setup the engine does not rev that fast. So if you want instant power there ain’t any. You will have to work the gearbox and if you are lucky to get the revs in the right spot by downshifting then only you can get some power. This too does not last long as you hit the rev-limiter soon and have to upshift. The gearing of the bike is not too short nor too low. But you can not pick the bike up from second gear in a standstill. The engine needs some work from Hero and we can see that happening with the new introduction of an oil cooler.
Also read: Hero Xpulse 200 Vs Impulse -What changed?
The long wheelbase and the 21-inch tyre at the front does not give the bike agility as such. But the rake angle works in its favour. Also, the high ground clearance gives it a good amount of lean on both sides. This is where the suspension of the bike says no and does not keep it stable. The key highlight of the Hero Xpulse 200 is the Suspension. This can eat any kind of stuff that you throw at it. The bike can gobble potholes and speed breakers without breaking a sweat. Looking at Indian Road condition we can call it a great city bike.
As we are on the topic of wheels and convenience, these two words do not come in the same line with this bike. The wheels of the bike are dual-purpose tyres with spoked wheels. As the wheels are spoked they need to have a tube setup and this just increases the hassle when there is a puncture. We wish that there was an option of having road tyres with alloy wheels from the Hero Xpulse 200T.
Is it Safe?
In the name of safety, the bike does get single-channel ABS. There is an issue with the long-travel suspension and the ABS. This is being fixed currently by Hero. If we take a look at other factors then there is the Headlight. The headlight is set high so the throw and spread are good. But the luminance is not that great for highway use. Also, it makes use of a white light which is very dangerous in foggy situations. The bike gets knuckle guards but they do not act as lever protectors as they are mounted from the inside. The windshield is small but does reduce buffeting for shorter riders. Also, this bike does not do high speeds so wind buffeting might not be a problem.
So here is it! All the facts about the Hero Xpulse 200 for you. Now you can see what is your purpose of buying the bike and do this bike check all the boxes. The bike does not have rivals in the same price range but the Himalayan and the KTM Adventure 390 are in the same segment. So if you are not on a budget lock then do check those bike too. The Hero Xpulse is priced at Rs 1.08 lakhs.