Hero recently launched the BS6 iteration of the Xpulse 200 and introduced some mechanical changes as well. The Xpulse 200 is one of the most interesting motorcycles by a homegrown manufacturer and is built on the foundation laid by the Impulse. The Impulse might be a thing of the past but the Xpulse has certainly kept the essence alive. We rode the BS6 Xpulse 200 the way it’s meant to be ridden. We rode it for around 300 km and had just the perfect companion to paint the perfect picture: the BS4 iteration of the same motorcycle.
By the end of the ride, it became a lot easier for us to differentiate between the two motorcycles. So has the BS6 Xpulse 200 improved over its predecessor? Or the slight drop in power figures has hampered its performance? Read below to find out.
It has become sort of a standard for motorcycles to make lesser power in their BS6 trims as compared to their BS4 counterparts. The Xpulse 200 follows the same footsteps and loses some power in its BS6 avatar. The BS6 Hero XPulse 200 makes 17.8 bhp at 8,500 rpm and has a peak torque output of 16.4 Nm at 4,500 rpm. In its previous BS4 avatar, it used to make 18 bhp at 8,000 rpm and 17.1 Nm of peak torque at 6,500 rpm. In the transition to BS6, it has gained a few kilos too as the Xpulse 200 now weighs 157 kg which is 3 kg heavier than the BS4 iteration.
It might weigh a little more and make less power than the BS4 avatar but we are happy to report that it hasn’t hampered its real-life performance as it didn’t have any trouble keeping up with the BS4 Xpulse. Both the motorcycles were riding neck to neck. It can attain a top speed of 122 km/h which is speedo indicated. The engine is very tractable and if you want it to, it can transform into an amazing urban weapon as well.
Previously, one could either opt for fuel injection or carburetted version of the Xpulse 200 as they were both on offer but now Hero is offering the Xpulse 200 only with FI. Other changes include a new oil-cooler coupled with a rerouted exhaust system. Now we technically, the rerouted exhaust system should have resulted in lesser ground clearance than before but as listed on their website, the ground clearance stands exactly the same as the BS4 Xpulse 200 which is 220 mm.
Does it ride better than before?
The Oil-cooler has made a significant difference in the overall riding experience. The BS4 Xpulse used to have a little gruff character associated with it and it wasn’t the smoothest of the lot but the BS6 version rides a lot smoother than before and is more refined too. The BS4 engine wasn’t a rev-happy unit and used to struggle a lot after crossing the 7000 rpm mark but the BS6 engine revs more freely. It can sustain cruising speeds of 90-95km/h all day long without feeling strained. The BS4 version, on the other hand, used to feel a little fatigued during those long highways jaunts. It also runs a lot cooler than before and the throttle response is crisper as well. The changes make it a better bike off the road as well.
Other cycle parts are retained from the previous iteration of the motorcycle. Suspension duties are performed by 37mm telescopic forks up front which have a long suspension travel of 190mm. Halting duties are performed by a 276mm petal disc up front coupled with a 220mm rear disc. Hero is also offering the safety net of single-channel ABS. The exhaust rerouting has resulted in a slight change in the bash plate’s design and even though it didn’t pose any problem while we were throwing it around the trails, it seems a little obtrusive than before. Though Hero hasn’t revealed the official fuel efficiency figures but the BS6 Xpulse 200 is 10% more fuel-efficient than before.
It is not a thoroughbred tourer and it would be wrong to presume it as a touring motorcycle. It is meant to take you places but don’t expect it to be the most comfortable of the lot. The seat is particularly not designed for long highway rides and your buttocks might complain after you get off the motorcycle. The rear suspension is not the softest of the lot either.
The BS6 Xpulse 200 is priced at INR 1.11 Lakh ex-showroom and is around INR 5K more expensive than the BS4 version. But when you factor in the changes, the price seems well justified. The Xpulse 200 now rides a lot smoother than before and courtesy the newly installed oil-cooler, runs a lot cooler as well.
The build quality of the motorcycle is phenomenal and will prove to be a worthy companion when you go trail bashing. It might make lesser power now and weigh a bit more than before but that doesn’t change the fact that the Hero XPulse 200 is still an amazing proposition when it comes to affordable ADV motorcycles in India. With a commendable ground clearance, capable chassis and good off-road dynamics, it still stands as a good beginner motorcycle for off-road enthusiasts.