Hero Xtreme 125R: Road Test Review

Ritesh Patil
Sporty thrills without the large bills

In the not-so-distant past, the 125cc motorcycle segment was the practical, day-to-day commuter one with a few exceptions. That changed recently with the influx of a few prominent models that offered sportiness without really sacrificing practicality or even breaking your wallet. Hero MotoCorp wants a piece of the pie with the Xtreme 125R. Can this new 125cc motorcycle toe the fine line between sportiness and practicality?

Full marks to Hero for design! The Xtreme 125R leaves a strong first impression with its aggressive styling. The sporty headlamp, muscular fuel tank, sharp engine cowl and split seats all help make the Xtreme 125R quite a looker. The 120-section rear tyre is the widest in the segment and combined with the tyre hugger adds more heft to the mass-forward design. Overall, the Hero 125R looks and feels larger than what its engine capacity would suggest. 

Hero has done a decent job in terms of features as the Xtreme 125R gets all-LED lighting, a good-looking negative LCD borrowed from its bigger sibling – the Xtreme 160R besides also featuring single-channel ABS, which is a segment-first feature. Unlike the TVS Raider though, there are no ride modes on offer, which isn’t a big miss in our books. 

Its 124.7cc air-cooled single-cylinder engine has been derived from the Glamour 125 but puts out higher outputs of 11.6PS @ 8,250rpm and 10.5Nm @ 6,500rpm. The figures are on par with its competitors and the power feels more than sufficient in the city confines. The power is delivered linearly and the low-speed tractability is quite good as you can ride at crawling speeds even in the third gear. Out on the highway, the engine is quite rev happy and the motorcycle easily crosses the 85kmph mark, but quick overtakes at those speeds do require some planning and an extra downshift. 

The clutch is light to operate and the gear shifts are smooth. The recent motorcycles from Hero have had impressive refinement levels and the Xtreme 125R is no different. You hardly feel any vibes coming in from the motor, even when it is closer to the redline, which is quite impressive. That said, a more bassy exhaust note would make the riding experience more exciting.

Get in the saddle and you’ll notice that the handlebar is relatively low and wide. The footpegs too are rear set and overall you sit in a slightly sporty yet comfortable riding posture that feels in line with the 125R’s focus. The 794mm seat is easy to access while the riding position is quite roomy even for taller riders like yours truly. 

The Xtreme 125R also shares its underpinnings with the Xtreme 160R with identical 37mm telescopic front forks and a rear monoshock by Showa. At 136kg, it isn’t the lightest in the segment but thanks to the excellent weight management, the Xtreme 125R feels very light on its feet. The front end feels responsive and sure-footed in the corners and overall the motorcycle impresses with its agility and sporty dynamics. The 125R manages to strike a fine balance between comfort and sporty handling. The suspension feels slightly on the firmer side but never uncomfortable. On one occasion, I saddled my way through a really bad patch of road and the Xtreme 125R comfortably took it all in its stride without losing composure. Also helping matters are the MRF Nylogrip Zapper tyres that provide ample grip in corners. Overall, the Xtreme 125R is a very friendly motorcycle for beginners looking to learn the ropes of motorcycling. 

The only minor setback in the overall dynamic package is the braking. The setup includes a 276mm front disc and a 130mm rear drum with single-channel ABS. While it has the largest front disc brake in the segment, it lacks bite and could do with more feel from the lever. The ABS is intrusive under hard braking but the overall stopping power is decent enough for usual commuting duties. 

With prices starting at Rs 95,000 (Rs 99,500 for the ABS version), ex-showroom, the Xtreme 125R is priced on par with its primary rival – the TVS Raider 125. For the price, the Xtreme 125R packs in all the characteristics of a sporty commuter like funky looks, decent performance, impressive handling and it is not behind in the features department either. It makes for a fantastic beginner motorcycle and quite a good looking one too.

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