The Indian two-wheeler market has been abuzz with two upcoming adventure motorcycles, the KTM 390 Adventure and the BMW G 310 GS. While these will create a whole new segment, that of Rs. 3-4 lakh dual purpose or adventure touring based options, the pricing also puts them into a niche segment. India is still a price-sensitive market with 70% of two-wheelers being sold under Rs. 1 lakh. This means those looking at an affordable adventure bike will certainly not sign their cheque books for these two bikes.
And this gets us to the Hero XPulse 200. Now while most critics will want to run it down for the lack of impressive specs on paper, the fact is that under Rs. 1 lakh (ex-showroom), we couldn’t have asked for more from an adventure motorcycle. Here is a quick look at why the XPulse will be a great tool for your annual Ladakh ride. Before that, do watch the official video below
It’s priced right
As stated above, the XPulse 200 will be priced under Rs. 1 lakh, which puts it at 2/3rds the price of the Royal Enfield Himalayan. Likewise, it will be less than 1/3rd the price of the KTM 390 Adventure and the BMW G 310 GS. Don’t get us wrong – we understand the KTM and BMW offerings are a lot bigger, but for those on a budget, the XPulse 200 will ring all the right bells. If you want the most affordable go-anywhere bike, this is it.
It’s feature packed
One of the biggest shortcomings of the Himalayan are the features on offer, or the lack of it. The XPulse 200, however, ticks all the right boxes in this regard. It gets a single channel ABS (for the front tyre), front and rear disc brakes, fuel injection, up-swept exhaust, mini wind-shield and even knuckle guards. Further, riders will be able to connect their mobile phones with the fully digital console to run navigation on the go. Want more? This bike even offers an LED set-up for all the lights and lamps. Now, do the more expensive adventure bikes offer all this?
Just the right amount of ‘kick’
The XPulse will get a 200-cc fuel injected engine with 18.4 PS of power and 17.1 Nm of torque. Thanks to its relatively light weight, these figures are ample for 90-95 kph highway cruising and climbing up the mountains passes of the North. Tourers do not go flat out but instead like to have a punchy mid-range, which negates the need for constant gear changes, and going by my recent ride on the Hero Xtreme 200R, the XPulse will definitely offer this too. The XPulse also offers 190 mm and 140 mm of suspension travel at the front and rear respectively. The skid plate will also allow riders to push the bike into the unknown without having to worry about damaging the engine.
Cheaper to run and maintain
The 200-cc engine will deliver a real world mileage of 40-45 kmpl which is about 20-25% more than the Himalayan and double that of the KTM and BMW offerings. With a speculative fuel tank capacity of 12 litres, the XPulse 200 will offer a real world range of 450-500 km, beating the KTM and BMW hands down! Also, being a Hero product at this price point, it’s safe to assume that the maintenance cost of the XPulse will be half that of the other two upcoming adventure bikes.