The Xpulse has been a fleeting member of our long-term erm... fleet, ever since it first came in. I had big plans with the bike, but between my work schedule and the amount of time it’s spent at the service centre, most of the plans fell through. But, since you last read about our long-term Xpulse, it’s gotten a rather significant upgrade with the addition of Hero’s Rally Kit.
Now, the Rally Kit is a mixed bag when it comes to everyday usability. On our website, you can read a more in-depth review of what it has to offer, but here’s the gist: the longer travel suspension is something you’ll immediately be fond of. On the flipside, you’ll have to get used to the vastly taller ride and the alien-feeling knobby tyres.
Oodles of travel makes slowing down for potholes redundant.
The Maxxis knobbies, unsurprisingly, hate the tarmac. Ride through a little crevice that you wouldn’t have usually bothered about and the bike will do a little wobble – harmless, but a little unpleasant. I presume that this only gets worse in the wet. With regards to tyre life, the knobbies have done just over 1,000km and are already showing proper signs of wear, with the ‘knobs’ having lost a noticeable amount of rubber. Having said this, the tyres weren’t designed to be ridden on the streets and so to see what they’re really capable of, I took the bike to a little dirt circuit in Mumbai.
The track at the Ajmera IndiKarting venue in Wadala, Mumbai, is a very straightforward circuit, with a few tight hairpin turns and a couple of short straights. This layout turned out to be rather tricky for the Xpulse because the second gear lacked the grunt to pull out of a corner, and the engine wasn’t too happy being constantly revved out in first. But, at the end of the day, it’s still a very fun bike to ride in the dirt, and even when the rear slides away as you throttle out of a corner, it’s very gradual and you feel completely in control. My only other issue is that, at 158kg, it’s rather heavy for a dirt bike and muscling it around in the dirt is physically demanding.
Faulty hose resulted in engine oil leak and had to be checked twice.
So, while it’s properly fun in its element, we haven’t been able to enjoy it as much because, like I’d mentioned, it spent a lot of time at the service centre. The hose that carries engine oil to the oil-cooler was faulty and resulted in an engine oil leak. The service centre tells us that this is something that other Xpulse owners have also reported and the company was replacing the component free of charge. Apart from that, the bike has run problem-free. I’m already planning on revisiting that dirt track and am also on the hunt for fun trails close to Mumbai.
Hero Xpulse 200 long term review, first report