Hero MotoCorp has been extremely (no pun intended) busy the last couple of years. The company’s all-new 200cc engine was being tested and there are a slew of new products coming out too. These vehicles were based on the same platform but have different body forms. The starting point was the Xtreme 200R while the others have just followed. In a gala event, Hero introduced three new motorcycles, all with a focus. We will talk about the Xtreme 200S here. This one, as you guessed, is the faired Xtreme 200R. We got a few laps at the BIC and here is what we think of this motorcycle.
Hero Xtreme 200S design
Hero MotoCorp didn’t have to invest a significant chunk of money on this motorcycle. Or it looks like. The cycle parts as well as even the dimensions are shared with the 200R. What flummoxs me is the nomenclature. Why did Hero name the faired bike as 200S while the R could have been a better option here. Moving ahead, this motorcycle looks great. While the R seems like a bigger Xtreme 150, the S doesn’t resemble any other bike in the Hero line-up. The full fairing has been bolted on very nicely and the full LED headlight is a good touch. The mirrors still sit on the handlebar though.
There is only one snazzy graphic on the side. This one looks decently done too. Apart from the fairing and windscreen, what will catch your attention is the fully digital instrument console. This one houses Bluetooth pairing and also turn-by-turn navigation, similar to the one in the TVS NTorq. We also like the fact that there is an econometer, borrowed from erstwhile partners Honda. This econometer will tell you the right time to shift a gear and has a 3-step visual indicator. Apart from this, the LED tail light, blinkers and even the tyres are from the 200R.
Engine and transmission
The only change you see here is the addition of one more tooth to the rear sprocket. This will ensure initial acceleration is a tad better. The 200cc, air-cooled engine is fed by a carb and produces 18.4PS/17.1Nm. Hero has attached a 5-speed gearbox to this setup. The gearshift felt a bit rubbery in action. However, having ridden a properly run-in Xtreme before, I guess the shifts will become a bit smoother later on. The air filter of the Xtreme 200S uses a paper element and the intake sound is erm…sporty. There is no change in the way the motorcycle accelerates and we believe this 200cc motor will propel this faired bike to a top speed of around 117kmph. A bit of crouch and you may see 122kmph on the speedo.
Vibrations are well contained in the useable part of the rev range (2,000-7,000rpm). However, at around 100kmph and 9,000rpm you do feel slight vibes from the handlebars. What this motorcycle will excel at is the fuel efficiency. With the kerb weight at 149kg, it is one of the lightest fully faired bikes out there. This weight increase is only 1kg more than that of the naked bike. A significant effect then on performance isn’t to be expected.
Ride and handling
The Xtreme 200S tips into corners very easily. In fact, the front suspension has been fine tuned to accommodate the weight of the fairing. The rear monoshock is still a 7-step pre-load adjustable unit. There is a single channel ABS at work while the discs at both ends too are communicative enough. We can’t talk about ride quality since we rode the bike only at the track. However, a bit more of a stiff set-up would have made it a proper corner carver.
The Hero Xtreme 200S, we feel, is the right step for anyone wanting a fully faired 200cc motorcycle. All this without busting the wallet. The Hero Xtreme 200S price in India is Rs 98,500, ex-showroom, Delhi. At this price point, you have the Suzuki Gixxer SF 150, the Bajaj Pulsar 220F as well as the now-defunct Yamaha Fazer 150 vying for your attention. Only the Pulsar is more powerful than the Xtreme 200S here.
If you’re a college going kid or just started on your first work assignment, the Xtreme 200S is the bike for you. It will keep you happy in the city as well as on the occasional highway jaunt. The price is extremely competitive and the entire package is much more appealing as well. However, if you are a true blue enthusiast and have a bit more money to spare, then there are other options available in the market.
Things we like about the Xtreme 200S
Styling, instrument console, price
Things we don’t like about the Xtreme 200S
More power will be welcome
Trivia: The Hero Xtreme 200S doesn’t replace the Karizma ZMR. In fact, the Karizma twins have long since been discontinued for the Indian market. Not only this, even the other Hero 150cc machines too are for international consumption now
Images by Lijo Mathai and Vikrant Date