Motorsport is indeed improving the breed at Hero MotoCorp, eventually leading to Heros that enthusiasts like you and me will actually want to own and ride
It also works, building on the team’s 100 per cent finishing record and bringing home both riders within the top 15 at the Oilibya Rally, the last in the Sahara desert before containers are shipped off to Peru for the 2018 Dakar. It’s a bike that Markus, the chief technology officer of Hero MotoCorp and the driving force behind Hero MotoSports, is justifiably proud of but until now there really was no connection between the millions being spent on the Dakar and the zillions of Splendors being sold.
Say hello to the Hero Xpulse, son of the Hero Impulse. I want to say much-loved Impulse going by the gushing that follows every mention of Hero’s first on/off-roader, but it sold in such small numbers that sometimes I do wonder who these people really are. I will, however, tell you that Markus is the world’s biggest fan of the Impulse.
“The Impulse is still my favourite bike out of Hero’s stable,” says Markus. “I was riding the Impulse through the Himalayas, a ten-day tour with all my friends on Bullets whose bikes were breaking down, but the Impulse was highly reliable. So focusing on air/oil-cooled engine was important for us.”
In private, well in public also, Markus has made no bones of the fact that the Impulse’s biggest failure was that Hero never pushed it, and it didn’t take a genius to work out that a new Impulse was on the cards from day one. The Xpulse is it. There is a simplicity to the bike allied to a drop-it-no-problem ruggedness that lends perfectly to its intended usage. And the kit is good and proper. 21-inch front and 18-inch rear wheel shod with proper on/off-road tyres and plenty of suspension travel. A few months ago I spoke to BMW Motorrad’s chief designer and he mentioned how they design luggage for the big GS motorcycles to look indestructable. The panniers on the Xpulse have