After Hero MotoCorp took the wraps off its much-awaited XPulse concept at EICMA 2017, it made its Indian debut at Auto Expo 2018. Taking the legacy of the Impulse forward, the XPulse comes with a sharper focus on off-road performance, thanks to its ground clearance, off-road tyres, wind protection and an accessible seat height.
The fuel tank has pronounced knee recesses and gets a flush-fitting fuel tank cap. The bike has an upright, commanding stance and a one-piece seat that extends onto the fuel tank – an expected element on an enduro motorcycle. The engine on the vehicle shown at the Expo was shrouded with ample protection – a compact, functional-looking crash guard and a drilled underbelly bash plate. It’s interesting to note that Hero claims the XPulse has more ground clearance and suspension travel than the Impulse, which means it will probably be more capable off-road.
The XPulse features a raised front fender and a round full-LED headlight that’s complemented by a windscreen. It gets an enduro-bike-styled handlebar and hand guards as well. Also on offer is a digital instrument console that gets a gear position indicator, distance-to-empty and more. The XPulse also has an underseat USB charger and Bluetooth connectivity, which has enabled features like turn-by-turn navigation assistance on the digital display.
The single-downtube chassis featured on the XPulse makes use of a box-section swingarm and a monoshock rear suspension, as well as a smaller disc brake at the rear. This chassis is a new development and Hero says it has proved itself at the 2017 Raid de Himalaya rally where it was tested.
The XPulse gets a 21-inch front wheel, a single-channel ABS and a telescopic fork with 190mm of travel. The rear, meanwhile, gets an 18-inch wheel and a monoshock with 170mm of wheel travel. These are the wheel sizes seen on proper off-road machines and are larger than the Impulse’s 19-inch front and 17-inch rear wheel sizes. Ground clearance is an impressive 220mm and a skid-plate will boost its ability to take a beating. At 825mm, the seat height is decent for the purpose, but it may feel a bit high for shorter riders. Hero says that the seat is quite narrow, which should make it easier to get both feet flat on the ground.
Engine and availability
The XPulse is powered by an 18.4hp, 200cc, single-cylinder, fuel-injected motor that it shares with the Xtreme 200R. However, on the XPulse, it could be in a different state of tune and with different sprockets. The bike will be available in either a fuel-injected or carburetted version, with the latter being the more affordable option. With a 14-litre fuel tank, the XPulse should offer a decent range. We expect it to be launched by the end of this year; though the bike showcased at the Auto Expo 2018 was not the production-spec version, it was quite close to it. Hero says it is targeting a price below the Rs 1 lakh (ex-showroom) mark.
Hero at Auto Expo 2018 first look video