Hero Xtreme 125R review: A proper Raider rival

    The Xtreme 125R has all the makings of being a big hit.

    Published on Jan 24, 2024 02:00:00 PM


    2024 is the year that Hero turns 40, but its first launch of the year is a bike aimed at riders much younger than that. The new Xtreme 125R is a youthful, sporty and premium 125 that is aimed squarely at the likes of the TVS Raider and the Bajaj Pulsar NS125.

    Hero Xtreme 125R design

    It’s definitely got the looks to draw the young crowd in with an aggressive-looking headlamp that reminds me of the erstwhile Kawasaki Z1000 as well as the new Honda CB1000 Hornet. The meaty bodywork, including the big fuel tank and sharp tail section with its split seats, makes this look and feel like a bigger machine than it is.

    From the side, the wide tank shrouds look a bit excessive, but they’re spot on from the rider’s point of view and only add to the ‘big’ feel, especially since this is just a 125cc machine.

    Hero Xtreme 125R engine changes

    The engine started life as the unit from the Glamour 125. Hero then tried to squeeze out some more power, but this came with increased vibrations and harshness. To offer the typically smooth experience that Hero customers expect, the engine was then given a balancer shaft as well as a silent cam chain. 

    The motor produces 11.55hp, which is not the highest in the class, but on par with the Raider, although its 10.5Nm of torque is a little lower than the TVS. But Hero was never promising segment-leading power; instead, its claims are that this bike has the smoothest engine in the segment and is also the most efficient, with a certified efficiency of 66kpl. 

    Hero Xtreme 125R refinement, performance

    We only got to ride the bike for a few laps around Hero’s test track so it won’t be possible to comment on the fuel efficiency just yet, but the engine is definitely quite smooth. At low revs, it has that typical Hero refinement and there are only minor high-frequency vibrations to be felt at high rpms. 

    Performance feels quite good too, with good flexibility, a decent midrange and it can cross 80kph with ease. The five speed gearbox felt about average - not terrible, but not particularly slick and precise either. One area where the engine does lack compared to the TVS is in the sound - despite the stylish exhaust pipe, it’s pretty normal and doesn’t have that same bassy beat.

    Hero Xtreme 125R handling, chassis dynamics

    The new 125R isn’t just an Xtreme by name and it actually takes quite a few things from its bigger brother – the Xtreme 160. That includes the same 37mm telescopic fork (with retuned internals) and even the chassis is based on the unit from the 160.

    As a result, this bike handles quite well, and while it had a soft and plush feeling, it was also good fun around Hero’s track. Like the Raider, this bike promises to be agile and entertaining but also easy to ride in the city. The main difference is that at 136 kilos, this is 13kg heavier than the Raider which is not insignificant, but it is still 8 kilos lighter than the Pulsar NS125.

    Hero Xtreme 125R features, ABS

    Braking is handled by a 276mm front disc and a 130mm rear drum. There is no option for a rear disc, and actual braking performance is on par with what you would expect from this segment. However, Hero is pushing the bar by offering single channel ABS which is a first for the segment and it comes at a very fair asking price.

    In fact, even beyond the ABS, the bike is quite well equipped, with full LED lighting, including a projector LED headlamp. It also has the same negative LCD dash that you will find on the Xtreme 160R. 

    Hero Xtreme 125R verdict

    The base Hero Xtreme 125R costs Rs 95,000 ex-Delhi, while Rs 4,500 more will get you the ABS-equipped model. That is very competitive pricing and it gets you a stylish motorcycle that is well-equipped, fun to ride and with a good desirability factor. This bike will do well for Hero. 

    Also See:

    Hero Xtreme 125R video review

    Tech Specs

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