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  • The single-piece seat is well padded and spacious.
    The single-piece seat is well padded and spacious.
  • Hazard light is a useful addition.
Switchgear quality is ...
    Hazard light is a useful addition. Switchgear quality is acceptable.
  • Smoked tail lamp lens looks mean.
    Smoked tail lamp lens looks mean.
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Rating 8 8

Hero Xtreme 160R review, road test

29th Jul 2020 12:00 pm

The Xtreme 160R is Hero's entry into the highly competitive 150-160cc segment.

  • Make : Hero MotoCorp
  • Model : Xtreme 160R
We Like
Unique and modern styling
Impressive handling
We Don't Like
Weak top-end performance
Finish can improve
Basic instrumentation

There’s no better way to describe the 160cc motorcycle space in India than by calling it a segment that can get your pulse racing without being too hard on your wallet. Motorcycles in this space walk the fine line between being performance-oriented and frugal, penny-wise  commuters. Hero gave us a taste of its all-new entrant to this segment, the Xtreme 160R back in February and we’ve finally got the chance to spend some time with it in city, out on the highway and on some winding roads. Here’s what we think.

The Xtreme 160R is undoubtedly the most eye-catching bike in the 160cc segment.


LED headlight looks futuristic, beam could have been brighter.

Hero has always been quite conservative when it comes to styling and most of their two-wheelers use safe design philosophies that appeal to the masses. With the Xtreme 160R though, they’ve pulled a switcheroo and it almost looks like a futuristic concept bike. The headlight cluster is quite a complicated piece and the headlight itself is encapsulated in two layers of plastic panels that give the entire unit a transformer-like face, but without being too aggressive and polarising, like a certain rival from TVS. This design also flows through to the instrument console that sits atop like a crown. 

What’s also nice to see are that the indicators on this Hero have finally made the switch to LED. Not only are they smaller, but they also look a lot more contemporary. That said, the glossy black colour of the housing of these indicators don’t match the rest of the matt? black plastics on the Xtreme 160R.


It’s from the side that one will really catch sight of the unique styling. While the chunky tank is something we’ve seen before on Hero’s of the past - like the Hunk, the tank extensions are distinctive. These single-piece panels flow all the way from the front, along the sides and right upto the rear panels that house the taillight. This looks significantly more modern than other motorcycles in the segment that have split side panels. Hero has also put a part of its new tubular frame on display and while that looks quite sporty, it would've been nice to see neater welds.

Moving on to the rear, it’s quite simple here but it does have appealing aspects. Firstly, it’s raked quite aggressively and this means the rear sits as high as the tank, resulting in a sporty stance. Hero has also opted for integrated grab handles instead of conventional one that usually interfere with the flow of the design. Something else that also doesn’t stick out on this bike is the tailight, the lens on it has a smoked finish and it works rather well with the black bodywork around it. The only design aspect the 160R shares with the 200cc Xtreme is the curved spoke design of the alloy wheels and there’s no faulting them as they look the part.

In its entirety, the Hero Xtreme 160R does stand out and draw quite a bit of attention. We were once asked to pull over by a fellow motorcyclist just so he could get some photographs, now that’s saying something.

Powering the Xtreme 160R is an all-new 163cc, two-valve, single cylinder engine that makes 15.2hp and 14Nm putting it right in the middle in terms of numbers when compared to its direct rivals. Something you’ll notice right off the bat about this engine is how refined it is. Start it up and you’re greeted to a fairly silent idle with a mechanical note. Impressively, not much changes when the engine is under load as well. In fact, this single-cylinder engine feels smooth all the way up to the redline. 

While we are on the subject of the engine, what has to be said is that this one has been tuned for low and mid-range performance. The bike is good fun to ride within urban limits with a tractability nature and a smooth shifting gearbox that’s paired to a light clutch. You get through the first three gears quite quickly, by the time you hit the taller fourth and fifth gears, the engine begins losing steam and overtaking on the highway isn’t as effortless as we would’ve liked. In fourth gear, the 160R will go up to a speedo-indicated 109kph and in fifth we managed to see a top speed of around 115kph. Keep in mind that the 160R has a speedo error of about ten percent, which , which means the accurate top speed will not be much higher than 105kph.


The power delivery at low speeds is peppy and the throttle response is crisp, but when ridden flat out, the performance just isn’t as strong as as the spec sheet had us expecting. The test figures tell a similar story and the Xtreme 160R gets to 60kph in 5.77s while 100kph arrives in a leisurely 23.36 seconds. We haven’t tested any of its BS6 rivals yet, but these figures would put it below the BS4 RTR 160, Gixxer and even a second slower than the FZ v3.0.

These figures are disappointing, especially when you consider that the 160R is one of the lightest bikes in the segment at 139.5kg (rear disc variant). The rear drum brake equipped variant is 1kg lighter at 138.5kg. Clearly, Hero is going for punchy city manners along with refinement and efficiency rather than outright performance with this bike.

Suspension on the Xtreme 160R is handled by a 37mm telescopic fork and a seven-step preload-adjustable monoshock. Both are similar to what we see on other motorcycles in the segment, but Hero has managed to tune them very well. The ride quality is absorbent without feeling too soft and this doesn’t change even with a pillion. People living in Tier-2 and Tier-3 cities will appreciate how the bike manages to get through a rough patch of road so easily. The 167mm of ground clearance will also prove to be sufficient. 

Like its larger 200cc cousin, the Xtreme 160R also shines when it comes to handling. The aforementioned suspension set-up paired to the well executed tubular frame makes it delightful in the corners. The low kerb weight and communicative chassis also makes the 160R fun and flickable. It’s not just a quick turn in that the 160R allows, but the dollops of mechanical grip will keep you confident even mid corner. The MRF Zapper FYM at the front and the radial MRF Revz S tyre at the rear are among the best tyres you will find in the segment and offer a good amount of grip and feedback.

Like the Xtreme 200, the 160 uses a 276mm disc brake set-up (220mm at the rear) that translates to predictable, precise braking performance. The front brake lever feel is neutral and braking is neither too sharp nor too sensitive - it has been tuned with beginner rides in mind. There’s a noticeable amount of dive upon hard braking, but it’s nowhere near a scary amount. Like every other bike in the segment, the 160R only comes equipped with single-channel ABS and the system works as expected. In our performance tests, the Xtreme 160R came  to a standstill from 60kph in 18.77m which is acceptable, but nowhere close to segment leading. 


Feel from front brake lever is neutral. ABS works as expected.

As for the ergonomics, the rider is positioned in an upright, comfortable position. The rider’s triangle on the 160R is best described as commuterish with a hint of sportiness. You are required to lean forward slightly and your feet are a little more behind than on a regular street bike. The ergonomics are quite likable, especially in the city and they are in tune with the nature of this bike. Hero has also managed to get the seat right as it’s well padded and spacious. As for the seat height, 790mm is friendly for short riders and among the lowest in the 160cc segment. At the same time, the Xtreme 160R feels a little more spacious for tall riders compared with the RTR 160.

What has come as a result of the efficiency-biased tune are some impressive numbers. The tractable engine allows you to carry a gear or two higher than you usually would which brings down the rpms and as a result, fuel consumption. The Xtreme 160R managed to deliver 52.3kpl on the highway and 44 .1kpl in the city. These figures will be appreciated by buyers who are moving up from commuters or even buying this motorcycle as their daily commuters. With a fuel tank capacity of 12 litres, the Xtreme will cover a good distance before needing a refueling.  

The 160R is Hero’s first offering to feature all-LED lighting. While the taillight and turn indicators are quite bright, the same can’t be said about the headlight. The throw from the new headlight is adequate, but it could use a stronger beam. 

While the Xtreme 160R does use fully-digital negative LCD instrumentation, it doesn’t really display more than what a typical digi-analogue unit would. All the data you get is from  the speed, tacho, odo, clock, fuel gauge and two trip meters and there is no trip computer information. Hero says they’ve got a  new ECU with 14 sensors in place for its fuel-injection system and it would have been nice if some readings like real-time fuel efficiency and engine temperature could be displayed. Another tiny niggle is that the display can be hard to read when sunlight hits in directly from above.

More information on the LCD would have been nice.

What we missed out on most was a gear position indicator, but the Xtreme makes up in other areas with features like a hazard light switch and a side stand down engine cut off function. There’s also a neat new kill switch that doubles up as a starter button.


The Hero Xtreme 160R is priced very competitively at Rs 99,950 (rear drum brake variant) and Rs 1.03 lakh (rear disc brake variant). It is the most affordable motorcycle in its segment and a full Rs 10,000 cheaper than the Suzuki Gixxer which is now the most expensive bike in the space. While the 160R is lacking when it comes to the top-end quotient of the engine, it makes up for it with attractive design, enjoyable handling, comfort and impressive fuel efficiency. That said, the finish in some areas could have been better, as could the feature list, but the latter would have driven the price up. To sum up, the Xtreme 160R is a good looking everyday motorcycle that’s brisk in the city, fun in the corners and light on the pocket. If you want the fastest bike for the money, you will have to look elsewhere.



PRICE Petrol Petrol AT Diesel Diesel AT Electric
Price Range Ex-showroom - Delhi Rs 99,995-Rs 1.03 lakh
ENGINE Petrol Petrol AT Diesel Diesel AT Electric
No of Cylinders 1
Cubic Capacity (cc) 163cc
Engine Layout Single-cylinder
Cooling System Air-cooled
Fuel Delivery System Fuel-injection
Bore/Stroke (mm) 57.3 x 63.3mm
Valves per cylinder 2
Max Power (hp @ rpm) 15.2hp at 8500rpm
Max Torque (nm @ rpm) 14Nm at 6500rpm
Power to Weight Ratio (hp/tonne) 108.9hp/tonne
TRANSMISSION Petrol Petrol AT Diesel Diesel AT Electric
No of Gears 5
Dimensions & Chassis Petrol Petrol AT Diesel Diesel AT Electric
Weight (kg) 139.5kg
Length (mm) 2029mm
Width (mm) 793mm
Height (mm) 1052mm
Wheel base (mm) 1327mm
Ground Clearance (mm) 167mm
Fuel Tank capacity (lts) 12
BRAKES Petrol Petrol AT Diesel Diesel AT Electric
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 Electric
Front Suspension 37mm telescopic fork
Rear Suspension Monoshock
WHEELS AND TYRES Petrol Petrol AT Diesel Diesel AT Electric
Front wheel (inch) 17
Front Tyre 100/80
Rear wheel (inch) 17
Rear Tyre 130/70
ACCELERATION Petrol Petrol AT Diesel Diesel AT Electric
0 - 10 kph (sec) 0.51s
0 - 20 kph (sec) 1.13s
0 - 30 kph (sec) 1.89s
0 - 40 kph (sec) 2.88s
0 - 50 kph (sec) 4.21s
0 - 60 kph (sec) 5.77s
0 - 70 kph (sec) 7.96s
0 - 80 kph (sec) 10.76s
0 - 90 kph (sec) 15.11s
0 - 100 kph (sec) 23.36s
BRAKING Petrol Petrol AT Diesel Diesel AT Electric
60 - 0 kph (mts, sec) 18.61m
EFFICIENCY Petrol Petrol AT Diesel Diesel AT Electric
City (kpl) 44.1kpl
Highway (kpl) 52.3kpl
Overall (kpl) 48.2kpl
Overall Range (kms) 578.4km
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