The Hero Xpulse 200 has been hailed for its off-road prowess, as well as its friendly nature and affordablility. With so much going for it, the only letdown was its lacklustre 200cc engine, especially at highway speeds. Well, Hero has put plenty of work into fixing that for 2020, along with making the bike BS6 compliant. We’ve just ridden the bike; and boy, has this upgrade made a difference!

New life

The Xpulse 200’s fuel-injected BS6 engine displaces the same 199.6cc as the BS4 motor. However, in the transition to meet new emission norms, it has gained a second catalytic converter, an oil-cooler, and lost a little power (18.4hp at 8,000rpm vs 17.8hp at 8,500rpm) and torque (17.1Nm at 6,000rpm vs 16.45Nm at 6,500rpm). 

Engine is noticeably more refined.

The good news is that our test reveals there hasn’t been much of an impact. In the 0-60kph run, the acceleration time difference is a mere 0.1sec, and even at 90kph, the BS6 model only lags by 0.49sec. It’s at this point that the gap steadily increases and the BS6 bike takes 1.49sec more to hit 100kph. Bear in mind that, apart from the BS6 Xpulse being 3kg heavier, these tests were conducted on a damp road. 

In reality, the bike really doesn’t feel any slower. In fact, it’s actually the other way around. Despite what the numbers suggest, the BS6 Xpulse feels noticeably peppier. It also feels less stressed while sitting at 100kph on the highway. The new oil-cooler has surely helped in this regard as, in theory, it helps in maintaining oil temperature; thereby helping the engine perform better, particularly at high revs, for sustained periods of time. 

BS6 upgrade brings a new oil cooler.

Why fix if it ain’t broken? 

What has not changed is the Xpulse’s abilities while riding off-road. You get the same purposeful design, brilliant chassis setup, compliant suspension and friendly demeanour that lets novice bikers understand the basics of riding a motorcycle off-road. 

Verdict

In the end, the Xpulse 200 remains a fantastic choice for those taking their first steps in the exciting world of off-road motorcycling. Its lightweight, nimble handling and accessible power are its strongest attributes. And now, with the BS6 engine, the bike has become a great proposition for those looking for an all-round motorcycle that is capable of handling the city commute, highway runs and exploring trails on weekends. All of this at an accessible price point of Rs 1.12 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi), which makes the Xpulse 200 unbeatable value. 

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