Kawasaki’s Versys 650 is a perfect example of what a bike with 17-inch wheels would be capable of as a tour-adventure motorcycle. It is a perfect bike with a suspension setup that can take any manner of road in its stride while the small wheels ensure the handling is light and easy. These are the sort of motorcycles for enthusiasts and customers looking at comfort on and off the road, but without the primary intention of taking the bike to places where it may not be able to cope. This is exactly what the XPulse 200T was made for, at least when it was first unveiled at EICMA in 2018. The final product is a bit different.
An XPulse only
There’s no mistaking the Hero XPulse 200T for being anything but an XPulse from Hero Bikes. The bodywork is retained from its off-road derivative. Put both motorcycles together and you will see that the XPulse looks quite huge in comparison to the ‘T’. The XPulse sports larger wheels and more suspension travel. The main frame on the Hero XPulse 200T is shared with the XPulse, but the bike shares most of its mechanicals with the Xtreme 200R, meaning it gets the same wheels, rear shock-absorber, brakes, tyres, swingarm and carburetted engine. But the moment we knew this, we were put off to an extent. The Hero XPulse 200T gets the same amount of suspension travel as the Xtreme 200R (130mm at the front and 110mm at the back), which is nowhere close to the XPulse.
Swing a leg over, get riding, and you’ll begin to understand that the ‘T’ rides just like any other street motorcycle. The ride quality is on the pliant side, keeping the ride experience comfortable, but if there’s a bike that mashes undulations, it’s the XPulse. The handling impressed us, and perhaps we can hand it to the MRF rubber it comes shod with. The ‘T’ is not as responsive as the Xtreme, because of its longer wheelbase and a rather relaxed steering angle. ‘T’ stands for Tour, but we don’t think this a touring bike. There’s no tiny windscreen, but ‘T’ has more to do with its engine. Hero Bikes have given the ‘T’ a BS6-compliant carburetted, 18bhp and 17.1Nm air-cooled, 2-valve engine that also does duty on the Xtreme, paired to a 5-speed gearbox. However, the ‘T’ comes solely with a carburettor. Performance is similar, thanks to the torquey engine that feels tractable at low speeds. But start pushing the bike and it begins to run out out of steam after 110kph. The optional fuel-injection offered on this bike ensures improved smoothness, meaning vibrations aren’t too much when the engine is spinning hard and fast. Performance is more than adequate for the city, but not for long distances. Also, on the updated BS6 model, the bike’s exhaust system has received an oil-cooler and catalytic converter, so there’s an increase in the weight of the bike too.
Should I buy one?
There’s no two ways about it. In the XPulse T lurks street bike characteristics, and we think it’s decently priced even. Take into the account its full LED headlight, turn-by-turn navigation, an LCD instrument cluster with Bluetooth etc, and the bike immediately offers its rider more value. But if you intend on off-roading on this one, then you’ll need to be looking elsewhere. Also, grab the latest info on the upcoming bikes, only at autoX.