Hero XPulse 200T 4V Road Test Review: 3 Likes And 2 Dislikes
We find out whether the changes made in the 4V iteration of the XPulse 200T makes it a more rounded package
When Hero launched the XPulse 200 twins, the offroad-friendly XPulse grabbed all the limelight thanks to its capabilities. While the XPulse 200T was like a middle child that was quickly forgotten, Hero has put quite a bit of work into the 4V iteration. We swung our leg on the bike to find out whether the new version is more loveable than before.
The Hero XPulse 200T 4V is equipped with a 4-valve configuration, enabling it to breathe better thanks to two intake and exhaust valves as compared to the 2-valve version. The consequence of this was immediately felt as soon as you started moving. The revs build up quicker, and the engine feels peppy and raring to go.
Most of the power is concentrated between 3000-6000rpm, where the bike feels like it is in its element. This coupled with the snappy, accurate gear shifts and fairly light clutch lever action make it an exciting bike to ride. In our 0-60kmph acceleration tests the bike was just 0.13 seconds behind the Hero XPulse 200 4V, at 4.59 seconds. While it may not sound much, it’s a little surprising considering the XPulse 200T 4V gets fatter tires (which should translate into better grip) and weighs 5kg lighter than the offroad-friendly sibling.
Good looks & Solid Build Quality
Hero MotoCorp has made subtle yet crucial tweaks that makes the XPulse 200T 4V much more wholesome than the 2V variant. The headlight cowl, meaty looking fork gaiters and robust switchgear make the bike look and feel premium. Though the single-piece grab rail is functional, we’d have liked it if Hero had retained the chunkier one from the 2V as its design flowed more cohesively with the tail panels.
The engine portion also looks pretty clean, and so is the cockpit, with all the wires organised neatly. Another neat touch is the red engine head that sort of merges with the red colour portion of the fuel tank.
The Hero XPulse 200T 4V feels pretty easy to manoeuvre thanks to its wide handlebar that offers adequate leverage, not to mention the light 153kg kerb weight. Even though the front is a little raked out, it doesn’t feel as sluggish as expected. Since the front 17-inch alloy wheel is smaller than the one on the ADV, it helps in changing directions quickly.
The suspension is slightly taut, and there’s enough grip from the MRF tyres, the combination of which results in a sprightly motorcycle that doesn’t shy away from corners. That said, the tyres are noisy on rough roads. It also sheds speeds quickly thanks to the progressive brakes that also have a good bite.
Not Great For High-speed Touring
Despite the addition of two extra valves, there’s only so much one can eke out of the 200cc air-oil-cooled engine. The bike feels comfortable cruising at around 85kmph, but the vibrations become bothersome as the speedo edges closer to 90kmph. Having said that, if you want to gas it out and overtake at higher speeds (read 100-110kmph), it will do so. At 100kmph, the tacho hits 7000rpm, which is 500rpm lower than the 2V version, so the extra valves do their part in mitigating engine stress. But then, that’s also a little beyond the powerband, so sustaining it becomes a tad difficult owing to the vibrations, particularly on the footpegs.
Not As Fuel Efficient, Jerky On-off Throttle Transition
The fueling seems to be off as the on-off throttle transitions was pronouncedly jerky, especially in the first three gears. This gets particularly annoying in slow moving traffic, and at times, anxiety-inducing when you’re gassing out mid-corner on a gravel road. The fourth and fifth gears are better in this aspect, but one would expect better finesse.
Another disappointing aspect of the XPulse 200T is its mileage in the city. In our tests, we got 42.47kmpl, which is a whole 9.12kmpl less than the XPulse 200 4V! Fueling could be one of the reasons for this difference in mileage. However, it fares slightly better on the highway, at 44.68kmpl, 2.4kmpl more than its dual-sport sibling.
The Hero XPulse 200T 4V does a much better job than its predecessor in several aspects. It looks better, feels better, and rides better. Though it performs relatively better on the highway, it still leaves much to be desired, particularly considering the fact that the T is meant to stand for Touring. Summing up, if you like a flickable bike that’s friendly in the city and can tour (albeit lazily) on the occasional highway runs, the XPulse 200T 4V makes a great case for itself.