Hero Xtreme 200R

At the race­track with Hero Mo­to­Corp’s most pow­er­ful naked bike

Bike India - - CONTENTS - STORY: ANOSH KHUMBATTA PHO­TOG­RA­PHY: HERO MO­TO­CORP

hero’s famed naked gets a fresh boost of power, we ex­ploit it all on the track

We first got a glimpse of Hero mo­to­Corp’s 200-cc street bike at the 2016 auto expo, where their con­cept mo­tor­cy­cle was first shown, badged the Xtreme 200s. Now, over two years later, we fi­nally see the pro­duc­tion ver­sion in the flesh, and Hero in­vited a bunch of us journos to ride their lat­est cre­ation at Noida’s Buddh in­ter­na­tional Cir­cuit (BiC). the Hero Xtreme 200r, as the ma­chine has of­fi­cially been chris­tened, is an evo­lu­tion of the com­pany’s Xtreme sports and Hero mo­to­Corp’s first foray into the 200-cc pre­mium commuter seg­ment.

the styling of the new bike has re­mained faith­ful to the orig­i­nal con­cept, thank­fully mi­nus the bright red front wheel, belly, and tyre-hug­ger. the fam­ily re­sem­blance with the 150-cc Xtreme sports is clear, with a sim­i­larly-shaped head­light, tail-light, and over­all sil­hou­ette, al­though the eye­brow-es­que po­si­tion lights are now leD and tank ex­ten­sions are more pro­nounced; as seems to have be­come the norm in

this seg­ment. Hero have fi­nally made the over­due shift to 17-inch wheels — all the other mo­tor­cy­cles in their port­fo­lio run on 18-inch­ers — and the stylish black al­loys are shod with a 100-sec­tion tyre up front and a 130-sec­tion one at the rear. these are con­sid­er­ably broader than the 80- and 110-sec­tion shoes on the ex­ist­ing Xtreme sports and give the new bike a pur­pose­ful and mus­cu­lar ap­pear­ance be­fit­ting a pre­mium of­fer­ing.

sad­dle height is a very ac­ces­si­ble 795 mil­lime­tres and the seat it­self is well-con­toured, sup­port­ive and feels just right as i set­tle into it. ahead of me, the dash con­sists of a sporty-look­ing ana­logue tachome­ter flanked by a dig­i­tal dis­play for speedome­ter, odo and trip me­ters, and a bar-type fuel-gauge, al­though i did miss a gear in­di­ca­tor. a row of tell-tale lights run across the top, the most notable among these is the new am­ber aBs lamp; yes, in a first for Hero mo­to­Corp, this bike comes with aBs as stan­dard, al­beit a sin­gle-chan­nel unit that keeps only the front wheel from lock­ing up.

the 199.6-cc air-cooled sin­gle is eager to fire up and set­tles into a smooth idle with a quick dab of the starter but­ton; the unit is sim­i­lar in con­struc­tion to the 149.2-cc pow­er­plant cur­rently do­ing duty in the achiever and Xtreme sports but is bored out to achieve the higher ca­pac­ity. it churns out 18.4 ps at 8,000 rpm, 17.1 Nm of twist at 6,500 rpm, and is mated to a smooth-shift­ing five-speed gear­box that threw up no sur­prises dur­ing my ride. fu­elling is man­aged by a 32-mm CV car­bu­ret­tor; there is no fuel-in­jected vari­ant on of­fer. the en­gine sits within a steel di­a­mond-type frame and is sus­pended by a 37-mm tele­scopic fork up front and a seven-stage ad­justable monoshock at the rear; this is the sec­ond Hero mo­tor­cy­cle to sport a monoshock rear sus­pen­sion, the first be­ing the now dis­con­tin­ued im­pulse.

ex­it­ing the pit-lane at in­dia’s premier race­track, i was a lit­tle ap­pre­hen­sive about whether this 200 would do jus­tice at a track that stretches full-blown litre bikes to their limit. Hero wanted us to ap­pre­ci­ate the han­dling char­ac­ter­is­tics of their new bike and so we were con­fined to the twisty short loop at the south­ern part of the track where we could ex­plore the dy­namic ca­pa­bil­i­ties of the bike.

leav­ing an im­pres­sion at the BiC seemed like a tall order for a ma­chine of this size, but i can now at­test to the fact that the sus­pen­sion, though plush and tuned more for com­fort than for track duty, worked ex­tremely well with the rigid chas­sis, re­sult­ing in a mo­tor­cy­cle that felt sta­ble and safe even when pushed to ex­treme lean an­gles at triple-digit speeds. the mrf rub­ber inspired con­fi­dence close to the limit and i was soon dart­ing from apex to apex with the throt­tle wide open in fifth gear through most of the eight cor­ners on the loop; not once did the bike feel ner­vous or un­set­tled from the thrash­ing.

the en­gine makes a de­cent amount of torque down low and pulls com­fort­ably from just over 2,500 rpm be­fore get­ting into its strong mid-range. tuned more for us­abil­ity than for top speed, the bike feels hap­pi­est be­tween 4,000 and 6,000 rpm and can cruise

This mo­tor­cy­cle would be happy fer­ry­ing you to and from work all week at rush hour, while also be­ing just as ready to hit the twisties or the high­way

com­fort­ably be­tween 80 and 90 km/h with min­i­mal vi­bra­tions find­ing their way through to the rider. push the Xtreme 200r fur­ther and it will cross the triple-digit mark, al­though the pow­er­plant does start to feel stressed and out of breath by this point.

Brak­ing du­ties are taken care of by a 276-mm disc up front and a 220-mm one at the rear and, apart from the sin­glechan­nel aBs, the front end also gets steel-braided brake lines to re­tain con­sis­tent brak­ing per­for­mance even when rid­ing hard. Bite, feel, and feed­back were very good and the well­tuned aBs is not one bit in­tru­sive, only step­ping in to smooth out sud­den panic brak­ing.

With the limited time i had with the mo­tor­cy­cle at the track, it would be dif­fi­cult to com­ment on real-world per­for­mance. the up­right and com­fort­able rid­ing po­si­tion, pli­ant sus­pen­sion and strong mid-range in­di­cate that Hero are aim­ing more for prac­ti­cal­ity with a dash of sporti­ness, rather than an ag­gres­sive cor­ner carver, and in this re­spect i think they’ve got it just right. this mo­tor­cy­cle would be happy fer­ry­ing you to and from work all week at rush hour while also be­ing just as ready to hit the twisties or the high­way over the week­end. We ex­pect the price to be around the rs 90,000 mark and, as such, the Xtreme will go up against sev­eral es­tab­lished ri­vals across the 160- to 200-cc seg­ment.

it is great to see Hero fi­nally rais­ing their sights and en­ter­ing the 200-cc seg­ment with this new mo­tor­cy­cle and we hope to see more in­ter­est­ing launches from in­dia’s largest mo­tor­cy­cle man­u­fac­turer be­fore the year is out.

199.6-cc mill makes us­able torque through the mid-range

Dash is sporty, but is miss­ing a gear in­di­ca­torSwitchgear works well and feels durable

At­trac­tive tail­lamp is car­ried over from the Xtreme Sports

Brakes work well with the grippy MRFs

Seat is spa­cious and well-padded

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