Hero is a
name well-known in the commuter two-wheeler market. The company has been making
pocket friendly commuter bikes for the common Indian man for decades. But
lately the company has been trying to push its way into the premium market.
They launched the Xtreme 200R last year and now that bike has three more
siblings, each catering to a different kind of rider. We got to ride the Hero Xtreme
200S, a sporty faired 200cc bike, on the Buddh International Circuit in Greater
Noida. An odd choice….or was it?
199.6cc air-cooled, 4-stroke, 2-valve, OHC
Dimesnsions (L x W x H) (mm)
2062 x 778 x 1106
Front: 37mm Telescopic Forks
Rear: 7-step adjustable monoschock
Rear: 220mm Disc
Front: 100/80-17 Tubeless
Rear: 130/70-17 Tubeless
Rs 98,500 (ex-showroom Delhi)
Design and Styling of Hero Xtreme 200S
Xtreme 200S is essentially a Sports variant of the Xtreme 200R. So the company
has slapped on a fairing to the front of the bike to give it a race inspired
look. The bike does look good, especially from the side because this is where
you are able to fully appreciate the lines and creases running across the
fairing and the rest of the body. The front gets a horizontal and robotic
looking LED headlamp unit. While there are no DRLs, the front does look simple
yet menacing. The top half of the fairing with the curved wind-screen reminded
me of the superbikes made by a certain Italian manufacturer. Barring the
fairing, the bike looks very similar to the Xtreme 200R from the side and rear.
cushion is adequate for two people and decently comfortable. The cowl helps
with wind blast to a small degree but the bike is not too friendly for properly
ducking for maximum efficiency. I was impressed by the fit and finish of the
Xtreme 200S as there were no loose panels or weld marks evident. Good job Hero
update on the Xtreme 200S is the inclusion of smartphone connectivity via
Bluetooth. Once connected, the LCD display can show you turn-by-turn navigation
and call alerts. This is a feature that is, as of now, not seen in any other
motorcycle in this segment. So it was a great move by Hero to include the
feature in their product, despite the budget conscious nature. Apart from this,
the display shows the standard set of information including speed, rpm, gear,
two trip meters and time. I was irked a little by the dated design and layout
of the text and the rickety instrument cluster that moved when you push one or two
buttons on the display.
Engine and Performance of Hero Xtreme 200S
housed in the Xtreme 200S is a 199cc air-cooled, single cylinder, OHC unit that
is also found in the Xtreme 200R. The company says that they have made small
changes to the engine response and gearing but in my opinion they won’t make a
discernable change in the bike’s behaviour. Despite my initial scepticism, the
Xtreme 200S was a lot of fun on the track. We rode it on the part of BIC that
is littered with twists and turns. I kept the bike on the 5th gear
throughout the majority of the session as there really was no reason to shift
down. The engine growls and pounces till about 7000rpm. That makes sense as
peak torque of 17.1Nm is reached at 6500rpm. Beyond this point the juice kind
of runs out and the climb to higher speeds becomes slower. But what the bike
lost in straight line run, it more than gained around the bends. At first I
thought the bike was a bit too twitchy and would probably crash if I pushed it
too hard. However, I was proven wrong and the bike was steady through the
corners. The tyres provided plenty of gripeven at extreme angles. I found
myself scraping the pegs at almost every turn. I found the upshifts on the 5-speed
transmission a bit too hard and hope that Hero is able to make improvements on
it in the future.
and brakes are the same as the Xtreme 200R. So you get 37mm telescopic forks at
the front and a 7-step adjustable monoshock at the rear. The suspension tuning
was a bit bouncy for track usage but should do fine in the urban jungle. There
is a 276mm disc brake at the front and a 220mm disc at the rear. Sadly you only
get single channel ABS. I did not get to test the brakes fully on the track but
I could gauge that the bite from the rear was plenty but the front could do
with some more. The Xtreme 200S only comes with a carbureted engine as of now
but we have hopes that a fuel injected version will be available sometime in
the future. You don’t really get to test the bike for vibrations on the track
but I could feel some amount of it at certain points. A full investigation can
only happen once we get the vehicle for a proper road test review.
sensibly priced the Xtreme 200S at Rs 98,500 (ex-showroom Delh). That makes it
about Rs 7,600 more expensive than its naked sibling. For that money you get a
good looking product, a better instrument cluster and smartphone connectivity.
There really isn’t anything substantial to complain about the bike. In case you
want something more performance oriented, you could pump in some extra cash but
as of now, no other bike in this segment comes with smartphone connectivity. I
have a feeling that this bike will click with people looking for a good looking
faired motorcycle that is practical and not too heavy on the pocket.
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