Last year, Hero finally brought in the much-awaited Xpulse 200cc adventure tourer. While you may have read about how adept the Xpulse is off-road and the cost-effectiveness of its parts as well, the one version that not many have spoken about is the road-going variant. Yes, the XPulse T is the supposedly road-friendly motorcycle of the two. Hero, for a long time, didn’t have any media vehicles and now we’ve finally got our hands on one. Unfortunately, the motorcycle came just before the Auto Expo and there weren’t any photographers available. So, please bear with the phone quality images and absolutely no riding shots. In this review, I will try and sum not only my experience but also on the good as well as not so good bits of the Hero XPulse T.
Hero has got a design here that will likely be timeless. This way, the motorcycle will not age as quickly as some other similarly styled motorcycles. Moreover, the spare parts are quite affordable. For example, a cone set will set you back by Rs 500 whereas the handle bar too is priced in a similar fashion. The paint quality is good and the fit and finish is appreciable. Steering the motorcycle in tight confines or in traffic isn’t a pain either. You sit high up and have a commanding view. The instrument cluster is clear and legible even in broad daylight. The XPulse T also has got decent cornering manners. Bump absorption is also pretty decent and you can ride through the rough stuff with ease. In terms of fuel efficiency, going by the onboard trip computer, the motorcycle delivered close to 40kmpl. This and the 13-litre fuel tank means a range above 500km. With the side stand on, the engine refuses to start thereby making it a safer option.
This pretty much sums up the decent bits of the motorcycle. Now, let’s move on to the points that could definitely have been worked upon.
The Hero XPulse T has got a lower ground clearance, at 177mm, than its off-road inclined brethren. This means the belly pan will graze on a particularly tall speed breaker. This is with just a 90kg rider on-board. If there is a pillion, there is a sure shot chance of hitting the speed breaker. The pillion seat is not comfortable for long rides. My pillion started complaining after just 20 minutes into the ride. While this is called as a tourer, the 18.4PS/17.1Nm, 200cc engine runs out of breath after 80kmph. The shift from first to second gear is a bit clunky too. The navigation part works only if you download the RideGuide app.
While all this will be known issues, what is not-so comforting is the fact that Hero workshops didn’t pay as much attention as we would’ve liked. For example, I got two test XPulse T motorcycles and both of them had the service indicator on. I was assured that these motorcycles were thoroughly serviced before being handed over. At the same time, pressing the front brake (ABS-equipped) at even light speeds will result in the warning indicator flashing. This is something I haven’t seen even with the Xtreme 200R (same set of brakes and engine). Another thing that I noticed is that with the engine shut and motorcycle in gear, thumbing the starter will result in the vehicle moving ahead by at least two metres. This is something that might catch many owners unaware.
Hero MotoCorp is yet to update the XPulse twins to BS6. It is likely that with the gala event planned for Feb 18, 2020, the announcement for the XPulse will also be made. Expect a price increase of around Rs 5,000 over the carb version. We believe by the time the BS6 models will be launched, Hero may have ironed out these issues. This reminds me. We will be covering the event live. Do keep an eye on our Twitter feed and bookmark the page Expressdrives.com.
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