Bike India

Greener M e a b u t n e

We put the BS6 Hero Xpulse 200 to the test and got some surprising results that did indeed please us



he hero Xpulse did create a storm upon its arrival, winning the

Two-Wheeler of the Year Award as well as the Indian Motorcycle of the Year (IMoTY) Award. No mean achievemen­t for this small-engine dual-sport motorcycle. We have clocked quite a number of miles on this machine, it being in regular use as our long-term test bike, participat­ing in slushy off-road events and also an epic adventurou­s journey across three countries. Now we have the Bs6 variant and it begs the simple question: what’s new?

In conformity with most Bs6 updates, there isn’t much new in the new Xpulse other than the obvious and that is not a bad thing at all. The

Zal Cursetji


Sanjay Raikar

bike was a winner already and the new models tread the same beaten path, albeit with a smoother response after twisting the throttle. There are a few more upgrades, subtle but required, such as the new bash-plate which has a different design to accommodat­e the new catalytic converter. It does not look as clean as its prior, but, it is a needed adjustment and does seem strong enough to take a little beating.

Design-wise there isn’t anything new to write home about. The hero Xpulse continues on with its light-weight yet rugged appeal. An offroad fender, 21-inch front wheel, wide handlebars, an leD headlamp, dual-purpose tyres, a clean rear end, and ground clearance that laughs at the sight of speed-breakers is what the eyes tell you. however, nothing that the eyes haven’t already seen on the hero Xpulse, which is no bad thing, as the aforementi­oned is sufficient for what the Xpulse would probably face in its lifespan. hence, as far as design is concerned, hero have stuck to the original blueprints and we aren’t complainin­g.

how does the Bs6 engine feel? smooth. As we mentioned earlier, the Bs6 Xpulse feels noticeably smoother, which is the case for almost all Bs6 variants as they progress from Bs4. however, the Bs6 Xpulse did surprise us with its performanc­e. The 199.6-cc engine, now smoother than before, does not hint at any power loss; in fact, it feels a little quicker when you first ride it. We knew this would be put to the test once we strapped on our DriftBox and got true figures. The Bs6 Xpulse outshone its Bs4 predecesso­r during our performanc­e runs and this makes it the only motorcycle to have accomplish­ed that feat among the bikes that we have tested so far.

The engine feels nicer with more go in every gear. This can be easily noticed in performanc­e numbers in fifth gear: whereas the Bs4 variant topped out at 111.46 km/h, this Bs6 model recorded 116.53 km/h. The story was similar through all the gears with fifth scoring the highest marks. Accelerati­on numbers read from the same page with the Bs6 variant coming out on top with a 0-100 kmph time of 16.97 seconds, a two and a half seconds quicker than the Bs4 which did the same feat in 19.46 seconds. The only loss that we noticed was during the roll-on test from 30 km/h to 70 km/h. here in third, fourth, and fifth gear roll-ons the Bs4 variant was victorious.

Braking followed the former suit with the hero Xpulse 200 Bs6 out-doing itself. The brakes feel very good and though they ain’t the most powerful, are plenty capable on the lightweigh­t dual-sport motorcycle which now sits at a kerb weight of 157 kilograms. The Bs6 motorcycle is a bit heavier than its predecesso­r, understand­ably so too with a new cataliccon­verter and the weight of the greener future we all want, still performed better than the 2019 model. on our brake test run the Bs6 bike scored a time of 2.59 second from 80 – 0 kmph, while the Bs4 version did it in 2.70 seconds. Considerin­g that the Bs6 has more weight gives the 276-mm petal disc front brake and 200-mm petal disc at the rear a deserved crisp high-five. The Xpulse sports single channel ABs, which only works its magic on the front end, allowing locking up the rear, for when in the dirt, unhindered.

how does she handle? predictabl­e. The Xpulse isn’t going to scare you by any means, which is a great thing for beginner riders wanting to explore the unpaved road. That is something the loved hero Impulse did to the Indian market, and the Xpulse picks up right from there with a little more. The 21-inch front wheel rummages its way through whatever madness you find surroundin­g you. We put the Bs4 bike through its paces, not just in the mud, but also on broken and smooth tarmac. Broken tarmac is often the idea of hell for a lot of us, where as the Xpulse handles those conditions with one definitive word, ‘unconcerne­d’ courtesy of the 37-mm telescopic front forks and a 10-step adjustable monoshock at the rear. You also have 220-mm ground clearance that has you laughing at the off-road path and hysterical with the sight of bad roads. That is the purposeful beauty of dual-sport motorcycle­s.

The highway is the only place where the Xpulse somewhat shows an ailment of sorts. The small-capacity engine with its 18 horses doesn’t scream performanc­e; however, the bike feels very happy cruising along between 90 and 100 km/h. even though an overtake at 100 km/h is possible, you do feel a few vibes, so staying above the triple-digit mark would not be recommende­d nor comfortabl­e.

steering is light, darting into direction changes without any hesitation, which is largely

37.80 km/h 63.90 km/h 86.99 km/h 102.37 km/h 116.53 km/h 40 km/h 68 km/h 92 km/h 108 km/h 122 km/h

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