Hero MotoCorp has finally launched the XPulse 200 in India. And boy are we impressed with the pricing - Rs 1.05 lakh for the Fi variant, Rs 97,000 for the carb model (ex-showroom Delhi)! This makes it the most affordable ADV you can buy right now, undercutting its closest rival, the Royal Enfield Himalayan, by almost Rs 74,000! That said, are you still better off buying the Royal Enfield or should you go with Hero’s offering? We stack them against each other on paper to find out.
For its price the Hero XPulse 200 packs an impressive set of electronics. This includes a fully-digital instrument console with Bluetooth connectivity, turn-by-turn navigation assist, average speed and more. Additionally, you also get LED lights at both ends and a single-channel ABS system. To suit its purpose, it also features a beak-like front fender, sump guard, knuckle guards and a high-mounted exhaust for better water-wading capability.
The Royal Enfield Himalayan, on the other hand, gets a semi-digital instrument console. The analogue part showcases basic readouts like speedometer, tachometer and fuel gauge while the small digital display reads out stuff like digital gear indicator, two trip meters, average speed display, side-stand indicator, clock, temperature gauge and a compass as well! While it does miss out on an LED headlamp, you do get LED tail lamp. The Himalayan also features a high-set exhaust to let you ford rivers with relative ease.
Powering the XPulse is the same engine as the Xtreme 200R. However, unlike the Xtreme 200R or even the XPulse 200T, the company offers the XPulse 200 in both Carb and Fi variants. Both variants produce the same amount of power and torque and come mated to a 5-speed transmission. Engineers at Hero have tinkered around this engine to make it more off-road-centric, but we’re reserving our thoughts for our first ride review.
The Royal Enfield Himalayan’s engine is all-new and gets an additional oil-cooler and overhead cams for better performance. Thanks to its long-stroke engine, it produces a healthy amount of torque at lower revs than the XPulse. That’s something which would really come in handy during trail riding. However, we’ll need to put the two motorcycles against each other to really notice the different engine characteristics.
Unlike its road-focused sibling, the Hero XPulse 200 get a different chassis, long-travel suspension, a healthy amount of ground clearance, a taller seat and spoke wheels wrapped in knobby Ceat Gripp tyres. Sounds good for getting started in off-roading, right? Well, the Himalayan takes it a notch further, without being too intimidating. It gets even longer travel suspension and lower seat height while maintaining the same ground clearance and better braking hardware.
But, let’s address the elephant in the room.... well, almost literally. The Himalayan is pretty heavy, to be precise 30kg heavier than the XPulse, which might end up being cumbersome for some. Not to mention it comes with a non-switchable dual-channel unit which isn’t exactly what you need if you’re a pro. On the other hand, the XPulse gets a single-channel ABS system which should let you slide the rear.
Price & Verdict
If you’re someone who wants to get his/her feet dirty and get into off-road and trail riding, the XPulse 200 just makes a lot of sense on paper. Especially, for the fact that it is inherently light and is really affordable. However, if you’re someone who finds the Hero offering a bit tame for your liking and don’t mind spending the extra money, the Himalayan won’t disappoint you. Yes, we will be bringing you a comprehensive road test comparison soon enough. So, make sure to watch this space for more.