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Hero XPulse 200T review, test ride

3rd May 2019 12:30 pm

The road-biased XPulse offers a completely different experience from its off-road sibling and it leaves us with more questions than answers.

  • Make : Hero MotoCorp
  • Model : Xpulse

The Kawasaki Versys 650 teaches us that fitting a set of 17-inch wheels onto what would otherwise classify as a tour-adventure motorcycle can be an excellent idea. What you get is a bike with a suspension that can handle any quality of road, but the smaller wheels keep the handling light and easy. These kinds of motorcycles are perfect for riders looking for true all-road comfort and ability, but with no interest in pointing their motorcycles in the direction where no road ventures. And that was the promise of XPulse 200T when it was first revealed at EICMA 2018, as a sibling to the XPulse, but that's not quite how things panned out.

Visually, there’s no doubt that this is an XPulse, since it wears all of the same bodywork as the off-road bike. You can read all about here. Park them side-by-side, however, and the T is dwarfed by the XPulse due to the latter's bigger wheels and much longer suspension travel. While the T uses the main frame from the XPulse, it actually has a lot more in common with the Xtreme 200R, with which it shares its swingarm, brakes, wheels and tyres, carbureted engine and even the rear shock. And therein comes the first disappointment. The T offers only as much suspension travel as you’d find on the Xtreme 200R, or 130mm and 110mm at the front and rear, respectively. That's a far cry from the 190/170mm setup you’ll find on the XPulse, and it shows.

On the road, the T rides exactly like you’d expect a standard street bike to. There’s a good level of pliancy in the suspension, which keeps things comfortable, but it certainly doesn’t eat through craters as the XPulse can. Handling is pretty good too, thanks to the grippy MRF rubber, but the bike isn’t as responsive or reactive as the Xtreme, because it has a more relaxed steering angle and a longer wheelbase.

The 'T' in the name is supposed to stand for ‘Tour’, but that’s a bit of a stretch. For starters, the T doesn’t get the small windscreen seen on the XPulse, but the bigger contradiction to that name lies in the powertrain. The XPulse T uses the very same carburetted 18.4hp/17.1Nm air-cooled, 2-valve motor from the Xtreme, with a precise 5-speed gearbox. Unlike the XPulse, you can only have this one with a carburettor.

Performance is familiar, with it being torquey and tractable at lower speeds, but a tendency to run out of breath above 110kph. While the power figures are the same on the XPulse, that bike’s optional fuel injection creates a little smoothness and that means the engine is a little less offended when asked to hold high speeds for long durations. Nevertheless, the kind of performance you’ll find on both XPulses is good for quick city work, or on slow technical trails, but not for effortless touring.

As things stand, the XPulse T is a street bike, and with a price tag of Rs 94,000 (ex-showroom, Delhi), it’s quite a nicely priced one. The fact that it offers a full LED headlamp and a Bluetooth-capable LCD instrument console with turn-by-turn navigation makes it even better value than the Xtreme 200R as well. If you do find yourself considering this machine, you should be aware that the only XPulse- related experience you’re getting is in the design and the name.

Also see:

Hero XPulse 200T image gallery

Hero XPulse 200, 200T launched at Rs 94,000

Hero Xtreme 200S review, test ride

PRICE Petrol Petrol AT Diesel Diesel AT
Ex-showroom - Delhi Rs 94,000
ENGINE Petrol Petrol AT Diesel Diesel AT
No of Cylinders Single-cylinder
Cubic Capacity (cc) 199.6cc
Cooling System Air-cooled
Fuel Delivery System Carbureted
Compression Ratio 10:01
Valves per cylinder 2
Max Power (hp @ rpm) 18.4hp at 8000rpm
Max Torque (nm @ rpm) 17.1Nm at 6500rpm
TRANSMISSION Petrol Petrol AT Diesel Diesel AT
No of Gears 5
Dimensions & Chassis Petrol Petrol AT Diesel Diesel AT
Weight (kg) 150kg
Length (mm) 2118mm
Width (mm) 806mm
Height (mm) 1089mm
Wheel base (mm) 1393mm
Ground Clearance (mm) 178mm
Seat height(mm) 795mm
Fuel Tank capacity (lts) 13 litres
BRAKES Petrol Petrol AT Diesel Diesel AT
Front Brake Type Disc
Front Brake Size (mm) 276mm
Rear Brake Type Disc
Rear Brake Size (mm) 220mm
SUSPENSION Petrol Petrol AT Diesel Diesel AT
Front Suspension Telescopic fork
Rear Suspension Monoshock
WHEELS AND TYRES Petrol Petrol AT Diesel Diesel AT
Front wheel (inch) 17
Front Tyre 100/80
Rear wheel (inch) 17
Rear Tyre 130/70
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