• Hero Xpulse 200 4V long term update: 720km

The entry-level adventure bike is put straight to the grind

On my fourth consecutive fall with the BMW F 850 GS, I had an epiphany. Lightweight dirt bikes are apt for noobs like me who want to ride on trails. Those are easy to pick up after a fall. But then I thought to myself as I struggled to catch my breath, dirt bikes are expensive! Currently the only affordable and lightweight adventure motorcycle is the Hero Xpulse 200.

In its latest avatar, the Xpulse 200 4V is more capable and feels easier to ride than its predecessor. At the start of the year, we took a Hero Xpulse 200 4V and a Harley-Davidson Pan America 1250 to Shimla in search of snow. In the hills and on tricky terrain, the Xpulse not just kept up with the larger ADV but also felt more comfortable doing it.

In the rare event when we dropped it on the trail, we were able to just pick up the motorcycle and keep riding. That’s the beauty of the Xpulse. Besides being highly capable, it is quite user-friendly and a great tool to learn trail riding on.

The 200cc air and oil-cooled motor is a gem. It is a torquey unit with enough grunt to power the lightweight frame through the trickiest of terrains. The motor’s linear power delivery makes the Xpulse predictive and rider-friendly as well. It is potent enough to cruise at 80-90kmph all day. As part of its update, the motor features a larger oil-cooler for better thermal efficiency and reliability.

I love the fact that the Xpulse feels so much more accessible as an adventure motorcycle. The seat height might feel tall at 825mm but the thin profile makes it quite accessible for even my 5 feet 8 inch frame. The suspension tune also feels softer which makes it more comfortable while riding over longer distances and covering the harshest of trails making it easier to ride over rough surfaces be it the rain-wrecked roads or our favourite hidden trails. The 21-inch front and 18-inch rear spoked wheels are another highlight and help the motor clamber over obstacles with ease. The day I got the motorcycle, I took it to a nearby trail just to get reacquainted with it and am quite glad that it feels friendly yet quite capable.

The new livery looks quite appealing. I especially like the dual tone-red and black colour scheme on our long term motorcycle. I plan to take our long term Xpulse on many adventures and more importantly learn the finer nuances of off-road riding with it.

Hero has also launched the new rally kit for the Xpulse 200 4V. We had it on our previous long term Xpulse 200 2V and it made a vast difference in the motorcycle’s off-road capabilities. I plan to get the kit retrofitted into our long term Xpulse at a later date as well as add some enhancements to make it more touring friendly.

Bikes Long term garage

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