Hero Xtreme 200R Review
Bike Tested: Hero Xtreme 200R; Road Test No. 950; Test Location: Buddh International Circuit
Price OTR Mumbai: Rs. 1,00,000/- (Expected)
Hero Xtreme 200R is now the flagship motorcycle for the Delhi-based manufacturer
Since quite a few years, Hero MotoCorp has been showing us some brilliant motorcycle concepts. But sadly, they have just been concepts. A few months back, in January, Hero launched the Xtreme 200R and after almost 4 months, they got us to the Buddh International Circuit to ride the machine. Sigh! Yes, the first ride of the Xtreme 200R was on the BIC and genuinely speaking, I am impressed with the bike. It was not the best location to test but it was absolute fun, except for the Delhi heat obviously!
Motor Quest: Hero MotoCorp started off with the CBZ and added the Xtreme tag to it in 2013 with a new model. It was a 150cc commuter motorcycle and Hero did a few minor updates to it in 2014 to call it the Xtreme Sports. In January 2018, the company went a step ahead with the Xtreme badge and launched a 200cc sports-commuter version of the same. Named the Xtreme 200R, it is the production version of the Xtreme 200S concept showcased at the 2016 Auto Expo.
Styling - In terms of styling, the 2018 Hero Xtreme 200R comes across as a well-designed motorcycle. Save for the headlamp, turn indicators and the LED tail-light, everything else on the motorcycle is fresh. Even though the LED positioning lamps look more tacky than modern, the small visor above the headlight brings some character. The tank shrouds integrate seamlessly with the muscular fuel tank to give the Xtreme 200R a powerful stance. The Xtreme graphics on the fuel tank are well-finished and add to the sportiness. The bike gets a single-piece seat but the latter half of the seat has been raised. The rear-end isn't the sweetest looking because most bikes in the market offer a sleeker looking tail section. Thankfully, the fat 130-section tyre helps both in terms of aesthetics as well as functionality. There are split grab rails on offer and the Xtreme 200R gets 10-spoke alloy wheels which look really cool!
Instrument Cluster and Switchgear - The 2018 Hero Xtreme 200R gets an analog-digital instrument cluster with blue backlight. The digital display features a speedometer, two trip meters, odometer, fuel-level indicator and a clock. The tachometer is analogue while the tell-tale lights are positioned right above the digital display. The switchgear is of good quality and the buttons have a tactile feel to them. The LHS switchgear houses controls for the horn, turn indicators, choke and high/low beam while the engine kill switch (finally!) and an electric starter button have been placed on the RHS. Shockingly, the electricals on this bike are AC which, in 2018, is very disappointing.
Ergonomics - When it comes to ergonomics, the 2018 Hero Xtreme 200R is a very comfortable motorcycle. It gets a single-piece seat which is really well-cushioned. The pillion seat is wide and accomodating as well. However, the bike gets a single-piece handlebar while the competition is little ahead with clip-ons as standard. In terms of the riding posture, the bike gets an upright seating and centre-set footpegs. This results in a sorted seating position which makes the Xtreme well suited for city commutes. The 795 mm seat height makes the bike easily accessible to even the shorter riders but the rider has to slightly stretch his arms to reach the handlebar. The rear-view mirrors offer a good view of what's behind. The standard variant of the motorcycle weighs 147 kgs, while the addition of ABS makes it touch 148 kgs.
Performance - An all-new 199.6cc engine does the job on the Hero Xtreme 200R. This engine is based on the same platform as that of the 150cc engines and hence, the redline comes in at an early 9000 RPM. Producing 18.4 PS of power at 8000 RPM and 17.1 Nm of torque at 6500 RPM, this motorcycle is the least powerful in the competition. However, the throttle response is great which seems to cover up for the lack of power. All I rode on was the corners of the track as some sections, including the main straight and the back straight, were blocked. Still, I was able to manage 100 km/hr on one of the corner exits.
Least powerful in the segment, yet the Xtreme 200R is happy to rev its heart out
The Hero Xtreme 200R gets a 5-speed gearbox. The gearing is tall and it takes the entire rev range in its third gear to hit 100 km/hr. The clutch is on the lighter side but the gear shifts aren't very slick. However, we were riding on the track and the good thing is that there were no mis-shifts at all. The engine isn't exactly harsh although there were quite some vibrations near the redline during our test ride. The Xtreme 200R has some serious competition when it comes to exhaust note as most of its rivals sound really good! The exhaust note of the Xtreme isn't very exciting but is fairly decent by segment standards.
Riding Dynamics - Hero always gets it right in terms of ergonomics as well as riding dynamics. They had a strong contender back in their CBZ days and since that time, most of the bikes from Hero have had a very promising riding feel and feedback. The Xtreme 200 is better than other stable mates as the ride and handling balance is spot-on. There is no compromise on comfort too as the rider sits upright and still stays engaged while riding. The handlebars are slightly raised as well and tipping the Xtreme into corners is a lot of fun. The motorcycle is confidence-inspiring and gives a lot of feedback.
Slight flick of the handlebar makes the Xtreme 200R change direction
You get an optional single channel ABS on the Xtreme 200R and our test bike was also equipped with one. The front brakes have good stopping power and ABS works as expected. However, the rear brakes have no feel and feedback at all and the rear wheel easily locks up under heavy braking. The suspension setup felt way too soft for the track but in real-world conditions with plently of bad roads, the softly-sprung setup will prove to be a blessing. Upon hard braking, the front end nosedives while the rear monoshock, being a 7-step adjustable unit, had to be put to its stiffest setting to ride on the track.
Verdict – Hero MotoCorp has been slightly late in the 200cc segment and the rivals have been ruling their individual domains very well. The Xtreme 200R is a very capable motorcycle and has the traits from its younger sibling and older Hero bikes. While it also features modern elements like the engine, suspension and ABS, the best part of this package is Hero MotoCorp's service and sales network even in the rural part of the country. For urban users who have plenty of options in hand, the pricing could be the actual deal breaker for the Xtreme 200R.
* Naked, simple and muscular design grabs some attention
* Sorted ergonomics and comfortable seating for riders of all sizes
* Ride and handling balance is spot-on for a sports-commuter
What’s Not So Cool
* Only a single-channel ABS on offer and that too as an option
* Engine misses out on the punch that one expects from a 200cc motorcycle
* The instrument cluster could have been designed better, does not look modern
Hero Xtreme 200R Specifications
* Engine: 199.6cc, Air-Cooled, Single Cylinder
* Power: 18.4 PS @ 8,000 RPM
* Torque: 17.1 Nm @ 6,500 RPM
* Transmission: 5-speed
* Fuel Type: Petrol
* Frame: Diamond
* Suspension: 37 mm Telescopic Forks (Front), Monoshock (Rear)
* Tyres: 100/80/17 (Front), 130/70/17 (Rear), Tubeless
* Brakes: 276 mm Disc (Front), 220 mm Disc (Rear), Single-channel ABS (Optional)
Hero Xtreme 200R Dimensions
* Length x Width x Height: 2062 mm x 778 mm x 1072 mm
* Wheelbase: 1338 mm
* Ground Clearance: 165 mm
* Seat Height: 795 mm
* Fuel Tank Capacity: 12.5-litres
* Kerb weight: 147 kgs, 148 kgs (ABS)
Hero Xtreme 200R
Hero Xtreme 200R Review
The Hero Xtreme 200R is the newest addition to the Hero MotoCorp family. It will be the flagship model of the company. Launched in January 2018, the bike comes with an all-new 200cc engine and features an optional single-channel ABS as well. Hero MotoCorp is yet to announce the price of the Xtreme 200R and we expect it to be priced at around Rs. 1 lakh according to the competition.