The 150-200cc segment in the Indian motorcycling industry has witnessed immense action in the last few years. And why not – from young guns who have graduated out of college to a commuter user who wishes to upgrade his bike, this segment is always on the radar of motorcycle buyers in the Rs 80-90,000 price bracket. And while other manufacturers were busy slogging it out with each other, Hero silently launched the Xtreme 200R in limited markets, like Kolkata, to gauge customer response.
It goes without saying that Hero has played the pricing card very well. They are offering a 200cc motorcycle at the price of a 160cc machine and this ups its value quotient by a huge margin. In fact, it is even cheaper than Honda’s 160cc CB Hornet and Suzuki’s 155cc Gixxer. As visible in the sheet below, the Xtreme 200R is just Rs 5000 more expensive than the Yamaha FZS and yet offers ABS, an essential rider aid, as standard. Hero has cleverly priced the 200R neck to neck with TVS’ new and updated RTR 160 4V.
Next factor here is the engine itself. Not only does the Xtreme offer the largest engine capacity, it also manages to put out the highest power and torque. It might be the heaviest of all here, but the extra power and torque erase that factor completely. We rode the 200R at the Buddh International Circuit a few weeks back and were quite impressed with the punchy low and mid-range of the bike that should allow for great city runs.
As far as dimensions are concerned, all the five bikes have almost the same figures and there isn’t much to choose from. While the Hornet does look muscular, TVS revamped the RTR 160 completely to make it look like a younger RTR 200. The Gixxer got a mild update with new color options and the FZS is known to offer one of the better/sportier color schemes. The 200R is new but plays an understated role which should go down well with most buyers. That said, I love the large tank extensions, engine guard and LED tail lights. It also gets the narrowest rear tyre here – as wide as the RTR 160.
Summing it up
With the 200R, Hero is trying to target two sets of buyers. First are those who wish to upgrade from their 100-125cc commuters and want a ‘large’ capacity bike for ego thrills, but without paying more than a 160cc unit. Second are pure Hero loyalists who have been waiting for the company to come up with a performance-oriented bike. True, it might not offer the quickest acceleration runs or the highest top speed figures, but the 200R came across as a smooth, agile and peppy motorcycle. Ever thought a 200cc bike could deliver 45 kmpl in city usage? This one does and can be the deal maker for many. Here is our review video from the BIC track.
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