On their own after their split with Honda, Hero Motocorp has been quietly burning the midnight oil at their brand new R&D centre near Jaipur. Their efforts will begin to bear fruit as early as next week when according to a report, the Hero Xtreme 200S will be finally launched after it was first displayed at the 2016 Auto Expo.
Talking to TOI at the recent showcasing of the new Hero RR 450 Dakar bike, Dr Markus Braunsperger, Chief Technology Officer of Hero MotoCorp and Head of Hero MotoSports revealed that the next two years will be very exciting for the bike maker. When poked about the various concept models which have been displayed till date and if any of them would make it to production, he said, “If you might remember, I said that we will make the Xtreme 200S happen before the next Auto Expo. So you can expect the Xtreme around the Auto Expo. We are at the finish line. Even with the xPulse, we have received big, positive feedback which will further enhance our efforts to make it happen. The xPulse, as a concept, happened not just by chance but for a purpose.”
Talking about Hero Motocorp’s focus on the fast-growing premium segment and products like the Hastur and HX250R which until now, have only remained a concept, he said, “We at Hero MotoCorp don’t support just showcasing concepts but bringing products into mass production. It takes time to come up with something completely new, you can just predict a little bit. Within the next two years, we will come up with a lot of new models. You can expect news on the scooters, you can expect news on the commuters between 110cc and 150cc and even beyond. So, I think we will keep you guys from the media quite busy for, let’s say, next 12-18 months.”
Talking about the future of the Hero HX250R concept, in particular, Markus clarified the company’s stand by mentioning that the 250cc segment, more or less has disappeared now and bikes have moved to 300cc and even larger displacements. He said that this was one of the major reason why Hero MotoCorp sat at this point. “It doesn’t make a wise decision to come up with a bike that in the end does not really hit the centre-of-gravity of the market where you are going enter as a new competitor in a new segment.”
When asked if the HX250R project has been shelved for good, he said, “The same bike with new technology in terms of effort will not make sense because you have to redesign the complete bike, the frame, so from this perspective, coming up from green seeds is a better approach. On being asked for a clear quote on the 250cc faired bike, Markus said, “Not that one, you’ll see an advanced and better one.”