Hero Xpulse 200 price, off-road performance, owner review – Introduction

A new set of tyres changes the Xpulse’s character and we have a small mechanical issue.

We’ve clocked over 1,000km on the long-term Xpulse 200 4V since the last report and it’s mostly been all good. As usually ends up being the case, most of my time on the Xpulse was spent navigating the craters and chaos within Mumbai rather than on some gnarly off-road trail. Thankfully, this time around, I made sure to actually do some off-roading as well, which we’ll get to in a bit.

New Reise tyres feel strange on the road, but are great off it.

The Xpulse has been running on its new Reise TrailR tyres for quite a while, and I still can’t shake the strange feeling of how the bike handles. Strange because with these tyres’ tall, off-road style profile, the bike wants to ‘fall’ into lean rather than smoothly transition there as most road tyres do. Despite this, I don’t really have a problem with these tyres because they have proved to be consistently grippy and trustworthy on the brakes.

The weirdness on the road is more than made up for the confidence you get off-road. There’s a great sense of grip and feel for what the bike is doing, especially in loose off-road conditions. I’m now keen to see how the tyres do in the monsoon, both off-road and on Mumbai’s frightfully slippery roads. 

A few weeks back, the bike refused to turn on. After diagnosing that it wasn’t the battery, the issue was zeroed down to the lockset that had gone faulty. That cost Rs 649 for the new lockset and Rs 1,265 for the new keys.

Faulty lockset meant the bike could not be started.

Beyond this, it’s life as usual with the Xpulse. The short gearing makes the bike good fun in traffic and the fuel gauge drops at a pleasantly slow rate. At the same time, I still get irritated by the gear position indicator’s inability to show you what gear you’re in if the clutch is pulled in even slightly. Even once you’ve completely released the clutch, it takes a while for the number to pop up on the LCD.

The short gearing is nice to use off road and in the city.

Normally, this wouldn’t be a bother, but the Xpulse’s gearing is so short that you can often find yourself in a higher gear than required when you slow down around traffic. So you look down to see what gear you’re in, but the clutch happens to be slightly pulled in because you’re navigating around the traffic and then the screen is unable to show you the gear.

The seat is better than the first-gen Xpulse, but it still gets painful.

I also find that the seat gets painful after about an hour and that I never fully gel with the ergonomics. The seat-to-foot peg distance is quite tight on the road, while the foot pegs feel a little too forward-set when standing up off-road. There’s good news, though, because the recently launched 2023 Xpulse 200 4V supposedly has improved footrest ergonomics and I’m keen to see what they’re like.

Also See:

Hero Xpulse 200 4V long term review, third report

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