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Last year, Hero launched the Xtreme 200R in India, its first offering in the 200cc segment after the Karizma. Fast forward a year later, and Hero sprung a surprise at the launch of the new XPulse 200 twins by launching the final member of its X Series lineup in the form of the Xtreme 200S.
Hero's X Series lineup consists of road-focused Xtreme 200R, the off-road mentalist that is the XPulse 200 and its touring-focused sibling the 200T. Hero claims that the final component of this new X lineup - the Xtreme 200S - is the sporty offering for customers.
So can the new Xtreme 200S live up to its maker's claims or is it just case of the Emperor's new clothes? We rode the all-new Hero Xtreme 200S on the North loop of the Buddh International Circuit to find out.
Design & Features
The Hero Xtreme 200S is, in essence, a faired version of the Xtreme 200R premium commuter motorcycle. However, unlike other motorcycles which started off as naked bikes and then got a faired version, later on, Hero seems to have nailed the styling with the Xtreme 200S.
When viewed front on, the headlamp design of the Xtreme 200S reminds you of many old-school Japanese superbikes from a few decades ago. The trapezoidal shaped headlight actually consists of three different sections with two triangular shaped LED lights flanking the main headlight unit.
The LED headlamp features two different sections. With the low beam switch on, the right half of the unit switches on. Switch over to the high beam and both sections of the headlamp light up the road ahead.
The headlamp surround is made from black plastic, which if you go with the red paint scheme provides a good contrast to the bright paint job, along with the blacked out visor.
Under the headlight, there is a small section which shows off quite a few mechanical parts of the bike as the fairing curves away above the front wheel. Also seen are the blacked out front forks and the ABS stickering on the front fender.
When viewed from the side, the Xtreme 200S looks like it was built as a clean design, which leaves you wondering if Hero always wanted to launch the Xtreme as a faired bike. Unlike what has happened in the case of the Karizma ZMR, the fairing of the Xtreme 200S looks like it was designed for the bike instead of a design experiment. There are quite a few sharp lines but Hero hasn't gone overboard with the styling, which gives the fairing of the Xtreme 200S a rather balanced look.
The fairing is neither too large nor too slim and integrates seamlessly with the rest of the bodywork. This can be clearly seen near the fuel tank and near the belly pan (which is blacked out), where the fairing smoothly blends with the rest of the bodywork.
Hero also has kept the badging down to a minimum, with a single Xtreme 200S sticker on the front flanks and one with the manufacturer name under the seat, giving the bike a very clean look that owners will appreciate.
The Xtreme 200S features a single piece seat that along with the footpegs and the single piece handlebar allow for a neutral riding position, which will come in handy for longer rides. The tapering tail section features a set of split grab handles for the pillion rider while the exhaust is slightly stubbier than the one found on the Xtreme 200R. The tail light is a full LED unit as well.
Other than the new headlamp and the fairing, the Hero Xtreme 200S differs from the 200R due to its new fully digital instrument cluster. This new LCD instrument cluster is the same unit found on the new XPulse twins and features Bluetooth connectivity and turn by turn navigation along with call notifications and service reminders.
Engine & Performance
Hero's X lineup including the new Xtreme 200S are powered by the same 199.6cc single cylinder engine that was first seen on the Xtreme 200R last year. The air-cooled, 2 Valve single-cylinder OHC engine produces 18.1bhp at 8,000rpm and 17.1Nm of torque at 6,500rpm. The engine is paired with a 5-speed gearbox that sends power to the rear wheel via chain drive.
The engine provides decent mid-range grunt while the 5-speed transmission shifts through the gears quite smoothly. The engine is quite refined and the vibrations are kept in check even as the bike nears the red line.
At the BIC, where we rode the Xtreme 200S, the faired bike was at full throttle for most of the time. While it did manage to go into the high 110s on the speedo, with the throttle wide open in fifth gear, the Xtreme 200S did not feel comfortable when at its limit.
Ride & Handling
The new Hero Xtreme 200S continues to feature the same diamond-frame chassis found on its naked sibling. The suspension setup includes the same 37mm front forks up front and the adjustable monoshock at the rear. However, Hero has tuned the damper setup of the front forks to deal with the extra weight (the 200S is 2 kilos heavier than the 200R at 149 kgs), but that extra mass doesn't affect the overall handling of the bike when compared to its naked sibling.
Push the Hero Xtreme 200S through a few corners and it responds brilliantly. The new Xtreme 200S turns quite quickly into corners. The MRF tyres offer good levels of grip giving the rider the confidence to lean into corners with the new 200S. While it isn't the best handling bike out there, the Hero Xtreme 200S won't let you down at all if you show it a few twisty roads.
Braking duties on the Xtreme 200S are handled by disc brakes on both wheels which are ably assisted by single-channel ABS. The front disc brake measures in at 276mm in diameter. The rear unit, on the other hand, has a smaller diameter of 220mm. The brakes provide decent bite and bring the Xtreme 200S to a halt quickly.
Price As Tested: Rs 98,500 (ex-showroom)
|Engine||199.6cc, single cylinder|
|Power||18.1bhp @ 8,000rpm|
|Torque||17.1Nm @ 6,500rpm|
Suspension, Brakes & Tyres
|Suspension||(front) 37 mm forks |
|(rear) 7-step adjustable Monoshock |
|Brakes||(front) 276 mm disc |
|(rear) 220 mm disc|
|Tyres||(front) MRF Zapper 100/80-17|
|(rear) MRF Revz 130/80-R17 |
|Seat Height||795 mm|
|Ground Clearance||165 mm|
Hero has returned to the world of faired motorcycles with the new Xtreme 200S and in terms of looks, the new bike delivers in spades. The striking design of the Xtreme 200S is sure to turn heads wherever it goes.
The Hero Xtreme 200S first seemed like the fable of the Emperor's New Clothes, with many expecting a new Karizma. However, the new Xtreme 200S, carves its own niche as a sporty looking faired commuter motorcycle, while offering the best bang for your buck in a nation obsessed with getting the best value for your money.
DriveSpark's Thoughts On The Hero Xtreme 200S
With the Xtreme 200S, Hero has stuck to the formula that made the naked Xtreme 200R good - value for money, a comfortable seating position, a decently powerful engine and good handling. The new design though, with the full fairing and the snazzy headlamp design has elevated the bike to one that the everyday commuter will want to aspire to ride. In our books that makes the bang for the buck value of the Hero Xtreme 200S at its current price tag of Rs 98,500, something you shouldn't ignore when looking for a sporty bike for the everyday ride across town.
Review by Dennis James with Inputs from Promeet Ghosh.