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Hero MotoCorp has unveiled many new products in the past few months but the most significant amongst them is the HX250R, a quarter-litre bike which has been a long time coming. Hero started the 200cc plus segment more than 10 years back with the launch of the Karizma in 2003, a bike which instantly became a favourite of Indian motorcyclists. In fact the Karizma’s fan following was so strong that for the first 5 years of its existence, it ruled the segment in spite of receiving not a single change whatsoever. Now the Hero HX250R is set for launch by September and will be becoming the new ruler of the 250cc segment.

So why do we strongly feel the Hero HX250R will be a massive success? It has the goods on paper and there is no reason why it shouldn’t be able to perform on the road, after all Erik Buell Racing has been involved in the development, a company well known for race bikes. If Hero is able to bring out the production model of the HX250R with the same specifications it had announced last month, then they sure are going to give Bajaj Auto’s Pulsar SS200 and SS400 a lot to worry about. The Hero HX250R will also give tough competition to the Honda CBR250R while the KTM RC 200 is also likely to be affected.

When we first saw the specifications of the Hero HX250R, we were simply blown over. We couldn’t believe how the bike weighed a mere 139 kgs. In fact it was so unbelievable that our team decided to find out what exactly is a Geodesic frame. As it turns out, Geodesic is nothing but the mathematical name for Trellis. Yes, the Hero HX250R uses a Trellis frame, the same frame used by Ducati and KTM in most of their bikes. This frame enables extreme lightness and razor sharp dynamics. Why did Hero not call it a Trellis frame straight away? Maybe for preventing people calling them a copycat of Bajaj Auto as the Duke 200 and Duke 390 use the same frame. Heck, even the Hero Hastur uses a Trellis frame as is so evident by a simple glance on the bike.

The Hero HX250R is among the first few bikes from the company to use a monoshock rear suspension while also being the first made in India bike to carry an under-seat exhaust. That’s not all, it is also the first Hero bike to carry a 6-speed gearbox and ABS (which is a combined system). The brakes are ByBre make with 300 mm disc at the front and 200 mm disc at the rear, stopping power should be good as the tyres are 110/80/17 and 140/70/17 at the front and rear respectively. Not to forget, the rubber is Pirelli Sport Demon.

The all digital instrument cluster looks cool (and should be feature laden just like the Karizma ZMR) and the windshield visor is quite tall reducing wind blast at high speeds. Comfort won’t be the highlight of the Hero HX250R as the riding position appears to be very sporty (the bike uses clip-on handlebars) with the raised pillion seat not the most comfortable. Handling as expected from a bike with a trellis frame and super gluey rubber should be just excellent. We expect the HX250R to be shaper than the CBR250R around corners while giving somewhat of a feel of a Yamaha R15, although not being as sharp as the YZF machine.

Coming to the most important matter, the engine. The Hero HX250R uses an all new 249cc, 4-valve engine with fuel injection and liquid-cooling. This single-cylinder motor outputs a massive 31 BHP of peak power at 9000 RPM (redline comes in at 10,500 RPM, much more than what the Karizma does) while torque output is 26 Nm. Gearing will be on the taller side and considering the low weight, performance should be stellar enough to whizz past 0-100 km/hr in under 8 seconds. Top speed will be in excess of 160 km/hr.

The Hero HX250R will without doubt be the fastest 250cc bike in the market. Even faster than the upcoming Kawasaki Z250 which has 1 extra horsepower but a lot of extra weight. In spite of all that power, one can expect the HX250R to be decently frugal and the bike has two modes – Economy and Sports. One can expect a mileage of 30 km/l from this quarter-litre Hero machine.

So the Hero HX250R does seem to rule the 250cc segment on paper and there is no reason why it shouldn’t capture the hearts of 250cc buyers. It does look attractive with Hero’s lightning bolt design theme (although a bit narrow in terms of width, the all round LEDs do give that premium look) and is going to be very very fast. Factor in Hero’s wide dealership network, low cost of service and aggressive pricing and you know why the Hero HX250R is such an awaited motorcycle. We expect Hero to price the HX250R for under Rs. 1.5 lakhs with ABS being optional. Do you think the Hero HX250R will rule over the Bajaj Pulsar SS200 and Honda CBR250R?

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