Despite generating stellar appeal upon launch back in 2019, Hero still had a host of shortcomings to deal with and finally hopes to have fixed it with their latest facelift. The Hero XPulse 200 4V is back with a little more punch, along with a couple of tweaks to the overall package to make it more potent and enticing than it already is. Hero has added 2 more valves, a larger oil cooler, new colour & graphics and slightly revised switchgear. The real question is, have any of these changes actually made a significant difference over the 2V variant?
Well, for starters, the power output from this 199.6cc single-cylinder, air-cooled motor is now up by 1 bhp, which isn’t all that much on paper. Power and torque now stand at 19.1 PS and 17.35 Nm, respectively. These figures are pretty negligible but what helps is the revisions to the gear ratios. Hero has made the 1st, 4th, and 5th gear tall while keeping the 2nd and 3rd gear relatively short. Hero has also added 7 more teeth to the rear sprocket, and all of this comes together rather well to give the XPulse some more pulse, so to say.
This new setup does provide the XPulse with 200 4V a better sense of urgency both and off the road whilst still being usable during one’s daily commute. In-gear acceleration has seen an improvement too, and the engine no longer forces you to ring it but instead invites you to put it through its pace.
The ride quality from this dual-sport is quite a delight both on tarmac and dirt; it quite comfortably glides over most bumps and is quite eager to jump most speed breakers. This feeling of effortlessness over most terrains makes this motorcycle feel somewhat invincible and brings out the fun-loving hooligan in you that wouldn’t mind taking that shortcut riddled with broken tarmac or dirt. Hero also offered a dedicated rally kit for the XPulse 200 2V, which will make its way sooner or later to the XPulse 200 4V.
Puttering around at city speeds, the XPulse 200 4V can cruise at 60 km/hr quite comfortably in 3rd gear while refinement seems adequate. The XPulse is quite a boon to ride even inside the city and, thanks to its new updates, can cruise comfortably at triple-digit speeds. Despite being such a purpose-built motorcycle, the XPulse 200 4V sips fuel quite gently and gives excellent range to any commuter using this as their daily machine.
The tires inspire great confidence and feel planted on most terrains. However, if there is any muck or slush involved, then you’re better off ditching these dual sport tyres for something more dedicated for that type of terrain. NVH levels seem bearable at low speeds, but at higher speeds, you hear an orchestra in the form of noise from the chain, tyres, and the engine that either screams, squeals, or screeches, which can get annoying over longer distances. The on and off throttle transition can also be abrupt and could have been more seamless for a motorcycle that’s meant to be so utilitarian. Nevertheless, these niggles do take time getting used to and coming to terms with, but once you do, boy, you’re in for a treat.
The Hero XPulse 200 4V feels like a proper hooligan, and despite its low output figures, this motorcycle is an absolute boon offroad. It could have certainly done with more power, but despite the lack thereof, this machine will approach most obstacles like a mountain goat and very happily overcome them. I would have definitely loved the handlebar risers from Hero’s accessory lineup, as it would have made riding stood up even more accessible and approachable. Still, this is a great beginner motorcycle and remains a machine that even an expert can appreciate and enjoy. The quality of the switchgear is adequate, and nothing to brag about. The headlights, too, are pretty weak and have a high beam that’s lower than most low beams, which was odd.
All in all, the XPulse 200 4V continues to remain a great offering and could not only serve well as a first bike for most buyers but even as a second or a third. That’s just how good the Hero XPulse and the only thing stopping it from reaching its full potential is its lack of power. With some more muscle, this motorcycle would probably take the entire ADV segment by storm, but alas, one can always look forwards to future Hero projects for that.
For an additional Rs. 5000 over 2V, the XPulse 200 4V is undoubtedly a welcome improvement, another step in the right direction for Hero. At Rs. 1,28,150 (ex-showroom Delhi), the XPulse 200 4V is worth the money and will put a smile on your face followed by a frown once you begin to imagine what a little more power could achieve.
Price – 1,30,150 (Ex-Showroom India)
Engine – 199.6 cc, four-valve, single-cylinder
Power – 18.8 bhp @ 8,500 rpm
Torque – 17.35 Nm @6,500 rpm
Gearbox – 5 Speed
Weight – 158 kilograms
Fuel Tank Capacity – 13 litres
For – Overall Usability, off-road performance
Against – Adequate power, lack of tubless tyres
WORDS – Gavin Rodrigues
Photography – Pavitra Sharm