Hero XPulse 200T test drive: A tourer that is affordable

Hero XPulse 200T test drive: A tourer that is affordable
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Hero Motocorp is on a mission to sustain its leadership in the two-wheeler market in the country. It has launched five new models recently, including scooters Maestro Edge 125 and facelifted Pleasure, and three motorcycles.

Among these, the XPulse was the most awaited model. Here, we are testing the XPulse 200T that was launched along with XPulse adventure model. However, since the names are almost identical, bike lovers and prospective buyers could have a doubt - is there any difference between XPulse and XPulse 200T? The answer is clear - if XPulse is an off-roader, the 200T is a touring variant, one that can be a daily ride and at the same time a mile muncher.

Hero XPulse 200T test drive: A tourer that is affordable

The looks

The 200T has come with a lot of new features. However, the standout feature is the retro styling reminiscent of the eighties. The build quality is also good. The design is clean and lean and reminds one of the CB300, especially the round LED headlamp. The meter console comes with digital LCD display with smartphone connectivity.

It also has incoming call alert among its other features. Besides, it also features turn by turn navigation, a first in the segment. There is also a USB charging port to charge smartphones on the move. The handle bar is wide, similar to the ones usually seen on street bikes. All switches are of good quality. Rear view mirrors, though present, are of not much use. The fuel tank design is simple, and the graphics is minimal.

The single piece seat has good cushioning. It also gets tourer like grab rail. The multi-spoke alloy wheel and bash plate (not a metal one like the 200) give a sporty feel. Changes in the chassis of both 200 and XPulse are few and far between. But the big change is the swing arm, which is straight off the Xtreme 200R. Parts have been borrowed from Xtreme because the 200T is a road focus bike.

Hero XPulse 200T test drive: A tourer that is affordable

The 200T also gets the 17-inch alloys from Xtreme together with the MRF Zapper tyres that provide good grip. The rear gets a 130 mm radial tyre. Instead of the petal disc on the 200, braking is handled by a standard disc in the front and rear on the 200T. Hero also offers single-channel ABS as standard.

Engine

A 200cc air-cooled single-cylinder engine does duty on the 200T. It generates 18.4 ps of peak power and 17.1 Nm of peak torque. Though the XPulse also has the same engine, the size of the sprocket is different; the 200T gets a smaller sprocket.

Hero XPulse 200T test drive: A tourer that is affordable

Overall, the 200T has a small bike's feel; those who are not tall too can easily handle it. Ground clearance is lesser than 200 mm. Moreover, the suspension travel is also on the lesser side. The 200T offers an easy and comfortable riding position and can be a great city bike. The gear shifts are tall, which is ideal for highway cruising. Compared to XPulse, the 200T is lighter by 4 kg. Besides, the wheelbase is also lesser. These factors help negotiate twists and turns easily and precisely. The suspension is not hard and can handle potholes without breaking a sweat.

The 200T has 37 mm telescopic front forks and a seven-step preload adjustable monoshock suspension in the front. The seat height on the 200T is 799 mm. The engine is refined and offers good low end and mid-range performance. The upright riding stance and accessible seat height make long journeys a hassle-free affair.

Hero XPulse 200T test drive: A tourer that is affordable

Tester's note

The 200T offers great comfort on both city roads and the highway. The fit and finish have improved a lot. The design is compact. The bike is lighter and shorter. This is a bike that suits those looking for a distinctive vehicle in the 200cc segment.

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