Hero Xpulse 200 4v: Long term review

1000km on the smallest ADV in the Indian market that doubles up as a commuter and a tourer

It has been just over five months since I bought the Xpulse 200 4V and so far, it has been a good experience. The dual-sport bike looks funky in this white and blue colour scheme and is sure to turn heads in traffic. There are now three more Xpulses in the parking garage of my office after I bought one, so the popularity of the Hero flagship is catching up!

I recently did a short trip to Mahabalipuram, around 60km from Chennai, just clock some more km on the odo before the first service requirement of 500km. This gave me a change to stretch the Xpulse’s legs a bit. I haven’t ridden the 2v model, but the general opinion is this is a much better tourer compared to the 2v as the 4v allows the engine to breathe more and reach the top speed without much strain. The bigger rear sprocket with 7 more teeth is another noteworthy change which contributes for better torque distribution across the powerband. The bigger oil cooler helps in heat management as well.

I felt the sweet spot for the 4v is 90kmph and you can do 100kmph if you find a nice stretch of straight roads. It takes time to climb from 100kmph to 110kmph, followed by some protest from the engine which is spinning at over 7000rpm in fifth gear. The throaty exhaust note when you wring the throttle is good to hear. I found myself touching 100kmph on several occasions, but the soft suspension setup and the tall riding position don’t inspire confidence to push the bike further.

The bike is fun to ride in the city and overtakes are quite easy. 19bhp and 17.35Nm of peak torque may not sound that much but it is quite enough in urban traffic. I found myself in 25kmph in 4th gear on many occasions without any protest from the engine. The engine is quite tractable and that is what makes it a great 200cc commuter/ADV.

The Xpulse 200 4v has been an able commuter with decent touring capabilities and a knack for eating bad roads for breakfast. It shines when the roads are rough. The 220mm of ground clearance and the upswept exhaust are a boon in the waterlogged streets during the monsoons. The CEAT knobbies provide good grip in wet conditions. On the downside, the switchgear quality could have been better. The front brake lever has faded a bit and that too is evidence in cost cutting. The screws that hold the switchgear on the left and right side of the handlebar are rusted. Rust resistant stainless steel screws could have been used for these, as they hold the main switchgear in place. Apart from these minor hiccups, the Xpulse 200 4v is doing well now.

With the monsoons fast approaching, it’s a relief that I have an ADV to tackle sticky situations. I am also eagerly looking forward for the XClan Chennai Chapter to explore the offroad capabilities of the bike and to interact with the community. Hero MotoCorp, please launch it in Chennai soon! 

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