When Hero launched the original Xtreme 160R in 2020, we absolutely loved it here at autoX – so much so that we ended up awarding it our ‘Best of 2020’ award. As we had concluded back then, the Xtreme 160R is a motorcycle that gets the basics right. Be it its performance, handling, fuel efficiency, or price, it has a perfect balance of what a 160cc premium commuter is expected to deliver.
Now, for 2023, Hero has introduced a new and updated version of its potent 160cc roadster. Dubbed the Xtreme 160R 4V, the new version has a 4-valve cylinder head, upside-down front forks, a more aggressive stance, and new features and equipment.
The changes sound promising on paper, but how much of a difference do they make in the real world? We got to spend a day riding this new version at Hero’s test track in Jaipur, so read on to know our verdict.
Hero Xtreme 160R 4V: Engine Performance
The biggest change here is, of course, the engine. You may think it’s the same old 163cc unit with a 4-valve setup, but that’s not the case. This is an entirely new engine with virtually all-new internal components. And it also gets an oil cooler now. Power output sees a bump of around 1.5bhp as this engine produces 16.6bhp. Torque is also up by 0.6Nm to 14.6Nm in the 4V derivative as compared to the 2V variant. The gear ratios of the five-speed transmission have also been tweaked. However, in the process, the 4V has gained a few kilos as it weighs around 144kg – 5kg more than the 2V.
The increase in weight, however, doesn’t hamper the performance – the 160R 4V is still a quick motorcycle. The first thing you notice is the refinement, crisp throttle response, and free-revving nature of this motor. Hero claims it’s the quickest and fastest motorcycle among its oil-cooled rivals, and while we couldn’t verify it with a VBOX, the Xtreme 160R 4V does launch off the line like a pocket rocket. The in-gear acceleration is strong as well and the engine always has more than enough grunt for the job. The gearing is short, which helps in extracting the maximum performance from the motor. The clutch action is light, and the gear shifts are smooth and seamless.
Compared to the 2V, this engine doesn’t just feel more eager to rev but it’s also much smoother at higher revs. From what I can remember, the 2V would start buzzing its pegs post 5,000rpm, but in the 4V, the NVH levels are better damped for sure. That’s not to say it’s a completely vibe-free affair here – it’s just that they only become bothersome at 7,000-8,000rpm in the new version. We didn’t get to max out the motorcycle at the track, but 115-120km/h appeared on the dash quite comfortably on some of the long straights of the track.
Hero Xtreme 160R 4V: Ride and Handling
Another big update on the Xtreme 160R is the introduction of upside-down 37mm KYB front forks (available only with the Pro variant). And this has made a world of difference. Not that the Xtreme 160R was a shoddy handler in the first place, but the riding experience, especially the ride quality and stability have improved vastly. Bump absorption is better while the front-end stability is even better. It’s still a quick-turning motorcycle that tips into corners at the drop of a hat. The front end felt more planted and stable compared to the old bike. And you can lean it to some crazy lean angles without realizing it. It’s a joy to ride this motorcycle around corners – or at a long and flowing track like the one we were on. Overall, quite an effortless handler.
The rear wheel gets a Showa mono-shock and surprisingly it also held well during the track session. It is softly sprung, no doubt, but not to the extent where it feels mushy. The braking system – comprising massive 276mm and 220mm front and rear petal discs – is equally potent and offers sharp bite. Although, at the track, I felt they were a little too sharp for my liking. ABS is still single channel on all the variants and this is a bit of a miss by Hero. The tyre size is unchanged – 100/80-17 front and 130/70-R 18 – but they are now sourced from Ceat instead of MRF. The tyres offered adequate levels of grip on the track, which was pleasantly surprising.
Hero Xtreme 160R 4V: Design and Features
In terms of size and dimensions, the Xtreme 160R 4V is almost identical to the 2V version. However, the design of the 4V is more aggressive, thanks to a muscular tank design, hunkered-down stance, and bright dual paint schemes. You now also get a split-seat arrangement, and the saddle is pretty cushy and supportive. The riding position may be a little sporty, thanks to its slightly rear-set pegs, but overall it’s comfy and relaxed.
The fit-and-finish and quality levels are more or less unchanged, meaning it’s acceptable but not the best in the segment. The LCD instrument cluster is retained from the 2V version, so it’s quite basic. In broad daylight, the visibility is bad and the read-out is barely legible. You do, however, get Bluetooth connectivity across the range. In addition to this, you now get over 20 connected app-based features including vehicle diagnostics, live tracking, remote immobilization, and more. However, these are offered exclusively with the mid-line Connect variant.
The Xtreme 160R 4V is priced between ₹1.27 lakh and ₹1.36 lakh (ex-showroom), and that means it’s around ₹5,000-7,000 costlier than the 2V version. Considering the updates on offer, the 4V marks a clear step up in all the departments, so it justifies the premium. Not to mention, it’s also priced at par with its rivals with a difference of a few thousand rupees here and there.
All told, if you are a young enthusiast who’s looking for an entry-level motorcycle that ticks all the boxes while also being light on the pocket, the Xtreme 160R 4V is the one you should home in on.
- Hero Xtreme 160R 4V
Engine: 163cc / Single-Cylinder / Oil-Cooled
Power: 16.6bhp @ 8,500rpm
Torque: 14.6Nm @ 6,500rpm
Price: Rs 1.36 Lakh (Ex-Showroom, Delhi)
X-Factor: Light, Agile, Quick, and Sharp -- the Xtreme 160R 4V is an ideal tool for enthusiasts starting their motorcycling journey.