Hero MotoCorp has finally set its foot again in the off-road/adventure motorcycle category with the launch of the new Hero XPulse 200 and XPulse 200T. The new XPulse 200 can be seen as a spiritual successor to the now defunct Hero Impulse, which was favoured by the enthusiast but was never really able to make its mark in the market. But today, the situation is a bit different, there is a growing demand for touring and adventure motorcycles in India in the entry-level space, especially after the launch of the Royal Enfield Himalayan. In fact, last year, even BMW Motorrad came out with a baby adventure tourer, the G 310 GS. So, while the XPulse 200 is not a direct rival to either of the motorcycles, it's still an entry-level adventure tourer, and here's where it stands against them in terms of pricing.
Also Read: Hero XPulse 200: Top 5 Features
Starting with the newcomers, Hero offers the XPulse in two variants, the 200 and the 200T. While the former is a purpose-built off-road and adventure motorcycle, the XPulse 200T is the more road-biased tourer version of the bike. The off-road-oriented Hero XPulse 200 is priced at ₹ 97,000 for the carburetted version and ₹ 1.05 lakh for the fuel-injected model. On the other hand, the Hero XPulse 200T touring bike is priced at ₹ 94,000 (all prices, ex-showroom Delhi) making both them the most affordable adventure-tourer motorcycles on sale in the country.
In comparison, the Royal Enfield Himalayan is priced at ₹ 1.80 lakh for the standard Granite (Black) and Snow (White) colour models and ₹ 1.82 lakh for the Sleet Grey colour trim, (both ex-showroom, Delhi). At the same time, BMW Motorrad offers the G 310 GS at an exorbitant price of ₹ 3.49 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi), making it the most expensive of all three. For that money, you can buy both the XPulse 200, the XPulse 200T, and the newly launched Hero Xtreme 200S as well.
Also Read: Hero Xtreme 200S Launched In India
Visually, all three motorcycles look purpose-built machines with off-road/adventure-tourer styling. In fact, the Hero XPulse 200 and the Royal Enfield Himalayan come with a bunch of similarities like both have gone with a bare-bones design featuring large 21-inch spoked wheel up front and 18-inch wheel at the rear, long travel suspension, 220 mm ground clearance, and a front beak. The Hero XPulse 200T, at the same time, gets 17-inch alloy wheels at both front and back, with regular sized front forks and a ground clearance of 178 mm. The BMW G 310 GS, on the other hand, gets the signature GS design and styling with the large fuel tanks, bikini fairing, and the sharp beak up front. It also gets a 19-inch front wheel and 17-inch rear wheel, along with up-side front down forks, and few other features that make it more premium offering.
Both Hero XPulse 200 and 200T are powered by 200 cc single-cylinder, 2-valve, air-cooled engine tuned for 18.4 bhp and 17.1 Nm of peak torque. There's a fuel-injected version as well on the XPulse 200. The engine is paired with a 5-speed gearbox. The Himalayan, on the other hand, gets a fuel-injected 411 cc long-stroke, single cylinder, air-cooled engine that has been tuned to offer 24 bhp at 6500 rpm and develop 32 Nm of peak torque at 4250 rpm. The engine comes paired with a 5-speed transmission. At the same time, the 313 cc single-cylinder, liquid-cooled engine tuned for 34 bhp and 28 Nm of peak torque, mated to a 6-speed gearbox.
The new Hero XPulse 200 and 200T are undoubtedly the most affordable adventure-tourer motorcycles you can buy right now, and even for this price, the bike has a lot to offer, at least on paper. Having said that, the bike is a bit underpowered, and in comparison, both the Royal Enfield Himalayan and BMW G 310 GS are far more powerful, and both get dual-channel ABS compared to the single-channel unit on the XPulse, and overall offer a better package. In fact, the G 310 GS comes with better equipment as well. In a nutshell, all three bikes cater to different buyers with different needs and for their respective pricing, they certainly make a strong case for themselves.
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