If you see the current trend in the Indian motorcycling scenario, you would notice that motorcyclists here have grown a liking towards ADV-tourer motorcycles. Hero gave birth to the segment with the Impulse but it didn’t do well at the time it was launched but the largest bikemaker made a smart decision by reinjectg the genes of the Impulse in the form of Xpulse 200. The BS6 iteration of the same was launched a few days back and Hero also announced that the rally kit is available with the Xpulse 200 at their dealerships.
The price gap
The Xpulse 200’s prime rival exists in the form of Royal Enfield Himalayan. The BS6 version of the Xpulse 200 was launched at INR 1.12 Lakh while the RE Himalayan starts at INR 1.89 Lakh.
The price gap between the two stands at around INR 77,000. The Rally Kit for the Xpulse 200 costs an additional 38,000 and that brings down the price gap to around INR 39,000. Now if you are a hardcore trail rider, it might be difficult to make a choice between the two.
Let’s consider the performance both these motorcycles offer. The BS6 Himalayan is powered by a 411cc single-cylinder, air-cooled engine which produces 24.83 PS @ 6500 rpm while the torque is rated at 32 nm. The BS6 Xpulse 200 makes comparatively less power from its oil-cooled engine. The Xpulse makes 17.8 PS and 16.45 nm of torque. It is pretty evident that the Himalayan makes more power than the Xpulse 200 even with the Rally Kit installed on the latter because it doesn’t change anything on the engine front. The Himalayan, however, weighs more than the Xpulse 200. The Himalayan has a kerb weight of 199 kg while the Xpulse in its stock trim weighs 158 kg.
Suspension setup plays a very crucial role while taking the path less travelled. Both the motorcycles are very capable off the road with a respectable amount of suspension travel. The Rally Kit on the Xpulse 200 includes taller and fully adjustable shock absorbers at the front. These ones now come with 250mm travel, which accounts for a +60mm increase from the stock. The rear monoshock too is 10-step adjustable. The rear suspension comes with 220mm travel, which is 50mm more than the stock bike’s. On the other hand, the Himalayan offers The front suspension is telescopic, with 41mm forks and 200mm travel. The monoshock rear suspension with linkage allows for 180mm wheel travel.
Another crucial element of an Adventure motorcycle is the ground clearance and in this department as well, the Xpulse 200 with rally kit trumps the RE Himalayan. The ground clearance of the Xpulse 200 with rally kit stands at 275 mm which is about 55 mm more than the stock bike! The Himalayan has a ground clearance of 220 mm. In the Rally kit, the seat is a flatter unit and the seat height is +110mm more than before. It stands at a massive 933mm. The Himalayan has a more approachable saddle height at 800 mm. The Rally kit also comes with Maxxis Cross C1 rubber while the Himalayan makes do with standard dual-purpose tyres.
One major chink in Xpulse 200’s armour is that if you install the Rally kit, your motorcycle won’t be road legal. The Rally Kit is not homologated for road use. While the Himalayan can be ridden anywhere, quite literally. It is pretty much evident that if you are looking for a hard-core off-roading machine and can look past the average performance on offer, the Xpulse 200 Rally Kit is the way to go because it increases the stock Xpulse’s capabilities manifold but if you want a more powerful motorcycle which you can also use for touring, the RE Himalayan still makes a strong case for itself.
Here is a video of the Xpulse 200 Rally Kit