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    Rubber pads on luggage rack don’t slot back into place.
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Hero Xpulse 200 long term review, first report

30th Oct 2020 8:00 am

A new BS6 Hero Xpulse 200 enters our long-term fleet and we have plenty planned for this machine.

Our regular readers will recall that the Autocar Xpulse 200 long-term test bike (last seen in December 2019) was green and had a different number plate. That particular bike was one among the pre-production units that were used for the press ride event in May 2019. We ran it for a while, but after a few visits to the workshop for multiple small niggles, it was decided that the best course of action would be to get an actual production-spec unit for our long-term review. This was around early 2020, and with the promise of an improved BS6 iteration on the horizon, we decided to wait for a BS6 model to begin our long-term test with. The white motorcycle you’re looking at here is our new long-termer, and this time around, it’s a proper production-spec unit.

Hero-XPulse-brake
ABS engagement is better managed over bumpy sections.

More than impressed, I’m relieved with the improvements that have come with the BS6 model. The engines on all the previous XPulses we’ve ridden (all pre-production, mind you) felt stressed when run hard, and, in a couple of cases, even started making an unhappy sound from the valvetrain after extensive hard usage. For a bike with just 18.4hp and 154kg to move around, high revs were going to be a constant state of being for this machine. Thankfully, the BS6 update makes big improvements here.

Hero-Xpulse-oil
Now oil-cooled, the engine feels smoother and less stressed.

The most apparent change is the inclusion of an oil cooler. The engine now sounds and feels smoother when revved out. The fact that the power has reduced by 0.6hp and weight has gone up by 3kg is of no real consequence either, because our test figures show that the real-world performance is about the same as before.

The new bike has only been with us for a few days, and so far, it’s proven to be a very nice commuter. Aside from the wide handlebar, the bike slots through traffic just as well as any sporty 160cc commuter and its ride quality is something those bikes couldn’t dream of matching. We haven’t had enough time with it to test the real-world fuel efficiency so far, but it seems to be consuming fuel at a pleasingly slow rate.

Hero-Xpulse-switch
The pass light switch still occasionally sticks on.

Some things haven’t changed from the old Xpulse and the switchgear still occasionally sticks, while the rubber pads on the small luggage rack are already lifting. Quality appears to be on the same level as before, but given the intended usage of this motorcycle, it’s something I don’t mind living with.

Of course, we have much more planned and, in addition to messing about off-road on the weekend, we’re also planning to take it out on a multi-day trip as soon as the situation allows for it. Eventually, we’re hoping to get the rally kit on this bike too and that will really boost its abilities.

Also see:

Yamaha MT-15 long term review, second report

KTM 790 Duke long term review, second report

Fact File
Distance covered 1234km
Price when new Rs 1.12 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi)
Maintenance costs NA
Faults NA
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