Hero drapes the Xtreme 200R with a fairing and adds more features to woo youngsters. But does the Xtreme 200S offer a different ride experience?
After launching the XPulse twins, it seems Hero doesn’t want to close the throttle on its 200cc offerings. Which is why they’ve added one more motorcycle to the range – the Xtreme 200S. Now, don’t go teary-eyed yet, for this is not a replacement of the Karizma. Instead, it’s a fully-faired version of the Xtreme 200R. That means the same underpinnings but in a fancier and sportier looking body. But does a fairing make any difference in the way it rides as compared to its naked sibling? Well, to find out, Hero took us to the exact same proving ground where we first tested the Xtreme 200R – the Buddh International Circuit.
As said already, the Xtreme 200S is mechanically identical to the Xtreme 200R, barring the fairing and a couple of new features. When I first came to know about this – a month ago precisely – I thought it’ll look atrocious. The spy pictures didn’t help the case either. So, when Hero was dropping the veil on it at the launch ceremony, I was expecting to see an oddball design like the Karizma ZMR. But, nope, I was wrong, fortunately. I must add that Hero’s design team has done a commendable job with the Xtreme 200S. It looks proportionate and rather stylish and not a last-minute slapdash job. The most attractive aesthetic update has to be its bar-type LED headlamp, as it looks pretty neat and sporty. Another update that the S gets over the R is an all-new digital instrument cluster, which it shares with the new XPulse twins. The instrumentation looks neat and it comes with Bluetooth connectivity and turn-by-turn navigation.
Despite wearing ‘sportbike’ overalls, the Xtreme 200S doesn’t get clip-ons – instead, you get a flat handlebar. And that means the mirrors are mounted on the bars instead of the fairing – the only eyesore on this otherwise decent looking motorcycle. The fit and finish are decent, but the plastics around the instrument console have a tacky and flimsy feel.
Overall, the design isn’t groundbreaking or extraordinary, but for its target audience – youngsters and college students – the Xtreme 200S will work just fine.
Cut from the same cloth
The engine, chassis and suspension geometry are all identical to the Xtreme 200R. Of course, there are a few minor tweaks here and there, but the overall riding experience is very similar. The 200cc air-cooled motor churns out 18.2bhp and 17.1Nm of torque in a smooth and effortless manner. It feels quite brisk and eager till 7,000rpm but runs out of steam post that, and the handlebar gets buzzy with vibrations at higher rpms. Performance wise, there’s hardly any difference, but out on the open road, expect it to hit 120 – 125km/h on the speedo because of the fairing. The gearbox is a slick-shifting 5-speeder with a light clutch action. Deceleration duties are carried out by disc brakes at both ends, and single-channel ABS is fitted as standard. The brakes don’t offer sharp bite, but they shed speed confidently. The lever has a wooden feel though.
Handling? More or less unchanged. Despite a heavier front-end, the 200S is agile and, like the 200R, the front-end feels very lively. Around corners, it’s quite confident and stable, and there’s no guesswork involved – overall, it’s a very predictable handler.
On the money
The Xtreme 200S is priced at Rs 98,500 (ex-showroom, Delhi). That makes it more expensive than the Xtreme 200R by around Rs 8,000. If you do the math, that’s not much, because, for the extra money you pay, you get more features – LED headlamp and digital instrument cluster – and a better looking and more attractive motorcycle. Its pricing also makes it one of the most affordable fully-faired motorcycles on the market. And couple that with Hero’s strong customer base, the Xtreme 200S should do well on the sales front. In short, it’s a potent motorcycle for riding in style in the city and short rides over weekends.
- Hero Xtreme 200S
Engine: 199.6cc / Single Cylinder/ Air-cooled/ 2 Valve
Power: 18.2bhp @ 8,000rpm
Torque: 17.1Nm @ 6,500 rpm
Price: Rs 98,500 (Ex-showroom, Delhi)
X-factor: A stylish, enjoyable and feature-packed fully-faired motorcycle that's also priced well.
• Stylish Looks
• Needs more grunt
• Flimsy plastics
Also read: Hero XPulse 200 Review