Hero XPulse 200: Pros, Cons, Should You Buy One?
Here's what works in favour of the most affordable adventure tourer in India and what doesn't
Hero MotoCorp launched the Impulse back in 2011. It was the company's first attempt at an off-road bike. Though the bike seemed promising, it was well ahead of its time, and therefore, poorly received by the masses. That said, the market has evolved over the years and enthusiasts are more aware of the different genres available in the motorcycle space. Hence, Hero revisited the growing adventure-touring segment a couple of months ago with the all-new XPulse 200. A more flexible, slightly more powerful ADV with some segment-first features. Here’s what works in favour of the bike and what doesn’t.
Most affordable adventure tourer:
The Hero XPulse 200 takes the crown of being the most affordable adventure tourer in India, a spot formerly occupied by the Royal Enfield Himalayan 1.80 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi). The bike is offered at a price of Rs 1.05 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi) and pretty well kitted for the amount. To put things into perspective, it features long-travel suspension, dual-purpose tyres, a high-mounted exhaust for better water wading capabilities, single-channel ABS and protective guards to keep crucial components safe.
Aside from being the most affordable ADV in India, the bike also comes with some segment-first features like an LED headlight and a full-digital instrument cluster with smartphone connectivity which displays incoming call alerts and turn-by-turn navigation apart from the essential readouts.
The XPulse 200 offers a comfortable riding posture both on and off the road. Its tall and wide handlebar is easy to reach and provides enough leverage to zip through city traffic or manoeuvre your way through trails. The seat is set relatively low at 825mm with slightly rearset footpegs which enable you to ride on-road and off-road quite comfortably.
Though the full LED headlight setup looks good, it isn't practical at night as it fails to provide enough illumination on poorly lit roads.
The bike’s 199.6cc, air-cooled, single-cylinder motor is fairly refined below 6,000rpm, but post that the vibes tend to creep in through the handlebar, tank and footpegs.
Isn’t a highway cruiser:
The Xpulse 200 has enough low-end grunt for off-road duties and short, quick overtakes within city limits. However, out on the highway, it loses steam post 90kmph and isn’t comfortable maintaining triple-digit speeds.
Should you buy one?
If you’re a novice rider on a budget who’s learning the ropes of adventure touring, the Hero XPulse 200 could be a good start. The bike has enough kit on offer to tackle light trails and even fulfils the role of an urban commuter pretty well. That said, the bike's 199.6cc engine is its biggest drawback, and if highway touring tops your list, the XPulse 200 may fall short of your expectations.