Yestermorning, I visited CMC motors in Nairobi to view and possibly do a test ride on their highly praised and worshiped HERO X-PULSE 200. I met Robert, the sales man on the motorcycle section and we talked lengthily about their bikes.
The engine is a bit underpowered
2. The sit is a bit narrow and this may not be good for my butt on long journeys. The pillion would need well cushioned gluteus maximus muscles.
3. The brakes which are single channel abs (front only) lack the bite needed to stop the bike fast enough. However, I was told that it's probably because there may be an airlock and if bled well, they've got teeth.
The last two can be corrected by an owner if they feed the need. As for the engine, well...
1. The bike is a badass off-road. It has a 10 step adjustment rear monoshock with descent travel on both front and rear. The front wheel is a 21inch and the rear is an 18 inch (I can't remember the other dimensions 😊)
2. The digital console, though small, is well laid out. The gear indicator shows which gear u are on only when you completely release the catch ( I think I'll hardly ever need to read my gear position as my bide doesn't have that feature and I like it that way. The road is more important). Bluetooth connectivity and a usb contactioion (under the seat) that can power and or charge your gadgets on the go.
A very utilitarian lagage rack. Yes.
4. The stock tyres are good enough to go to heaven and back. (You heard your pastor right; the way to heaven is narrow, thorny, rough....)
The sitting position is upright and the handle bar is well placed.
6. The wind visor is small enough not to look like the GSU shield while deflecting the wind well over my head. Fake eye lashes would be ok with it 😂.
7. It looks masculine, big and unique. Bodaboda will not prefer the x-pulse and thus, you'll not see too many of them on the streets.
This bike is not like the shinery that uncle wa TNT ya white hired to carry a 🐄 somewhere in Nyeri... It's a bike that teacher will enjoy on his daily commutes in the back routes of south coast ( and almost from the staffroom to the class). Even Wakili can arrive on it to court (probably in time) and the judge will not look at him from the top of his glasses. I believe if I have it, I'll be prouder to pack it in front of my 'duka la dawa' and the clients will not think I am a fake 'mtu wa dawa'.
It's a good looking machine. Big tyres. Wire spoked wheels. Slim profile. High exhaust. Crash guards. Robust bash plate. Bright LED headlight. It looks the business, like you can start it, revv hard and speed off to conquer undiscovered trails.
It switched off a couple of times after I engaged first gear. Maybe cold engine manenos.
The 200cc mill has a typical thumper sound, but not drammatic. Soft and subtle. On idle you can barely hear it. A DT it definitely isn't. Despite being fuel injected, it has a choke. Interesting.
Impressions from my brief parking lot test ride: Lightweight. Agile. The gearshift action was comfortable and precise. Coming from the Dominar the bike doesn't feel all that powerful, but that translates to it likely being forgiving when off-roading. Heavy engine braking in first gear is quite noticeable. This will catch you by surprise a few times before you get used to it. Feather the throttle as you slow down...
The stepped single piece seat is narrow and accessible. At 823mm (32.4"), the seat height is perfect for those of us on the shorter end of the spectrum. I could get both feet flat on the ground and reverse with ease. That bodes well for urban commutes. The compact digital instrument console is uncluttered and informative. It even shows when the side stand is down.
A centre stand doesn't come as standard so you have order it (the demo bike was fitted with one). It has a rear luggage rack. I'm waiting for their formal brochure (they didn't have one) and a quotation for optional accessories.
A proper off-road test is needed to enable me get a comprehensive picture. I won't lie, this bike has appeal. It calls to you. You WANT to hop on and ride it. Hopefully i'll get a chance to do so soon.