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Hero X-PULSE 200 at 2000km

The beach and border ride
15 August 2021
The longer way back
20 September 2021
 

By Marigi Emmanuel

At first site, most people confuse it with the Yamaha DT. They only don't know how wrong they are. The Hero Xpulse 200 is a ragged path creating two wheeler made by Hero Motorcorp India.

When you mention India in the automobile industry, missy people think that their products are inferior in quality as compared to Japan and or may be the west. But owe an to you. This particular product is well put together with high quality materials. The particular bike I have is a 2018 model, more popularly known as the x-pulse bs4 model.

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The frame

Very firm and strong, well designed and gives the rider a good sitting position with a well positioned handle bar that can be raised using after market raisers for a better off-road ride while standing. For off-road use, the seat is good enough. For cruising over long distance, the soft narrow saddle t numbs your bum and the pillion will not be happy either. However, one can customize it to their taste locally. (I'm working on mine). There is more than enough space for luggage when I'm alone but with a pillion, 🤪. The intrusive chunky silencer doesn't make things any better. A centre stand doesn't come standard. You have to buy one on the side.

The front suspension has a descent 190mm stroke and coupled to the 21inch wheel, we hardly know what a speed bump is. On washboard at 30km/h, it doesn't even try to break your back. The rear mono shock does a great job I'm keeping the bike in place at all speeds and even at twisties. I haven't mastered knee downing so don't ask. Am slow in the corners. Ground clearance is a non issue to this off-road master. 220mm. The wire spokes are superb for our rough roads. The foot pegs have a removable rubber pad t to grip on your soles when off-roading so as not to slip and thus avoid crusshing. The pillion's are foldable... However for the driver they are too small and uncomfortable for long off-road hauls that might need lots of standing. I've heard that they can be replaced with some from the Himalayan 🤭.

 

Engine and drive set

A 199cc motor produces 18.5 hp. These horses accelerates fast from low speeds giving you a good headstart but seem to run out of breath at speeds over 115km/h. You will need to master the throttle so as to attain and maintain 125km/h on a flat road. However, on my recent Meru-Nanyuki-Karatina trip, I could feel the claimed 16Nm torque going up the hills in the Thataka Nithi section: you can imagine my smile 😁 when overtaking the toyota hiaces on the Meru route. We were doing ups of 80km/h up some of the longest and steep hills on gear 5. On gear 4 full throttle, the engine would scream and prompt me to shift to 5 and relax there. I think it has enough torque to pull up a stump. The top speed can be increased by either reducing the teeth on the rear sprocket by about 6 or by adding 2 teeth on the drive sprocket. Nb somme torque will be lost. In traffic jam, the engine produces some more heat than my previous Totois 125 Star HLX😂, but it's not bad. I am yet to feel the vibrations people talk about at over 100kph

 

Consumption

I had been used to the ever forgiving Totois HLX 125 that used to take me from Mwea to thika on one liter petrol. On the X-pulse, Ksh 1000 worth (7.83 lt) petrol gave me 296km or 310km. This translates to about 38km on a liter. Nov bad for a 200cc pushing up the Meru hills . May be if I was travelling a flat road at an average 80km/h, It could give me more. I think a full tank of 13 liter will take me to Mwalim in diani without worrying and probably make some rounds in his backyard.

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Tyres

It has Pirellis written SAHARA METZELER ENDURO 3, tube type 3plies nylon 120/80/18.... On the rear and 90/90/21 on the front. Made in Brazil.... They are 50/50 tyres meaning, they are a good compromise for both on road and off-road use. Well, they do what they should do well and being nylons, I believe they will last forever.Amen.

Digital console

You should see the amazement on their faces😮 when they see the bright screen as I pack the bike... It has rev meter( tachometer), two trip meters, fuel gauge, odometer, gear position, speedometer, a clock, and at the top there are lit indicators for side stand on, turn signals, high beam and ABS. Using the rubber buttons that are a pain to press on the go, you can toggle between the trip meters, navigation bluetooth connect and fuel economy indicator. The gear position indicator only shows when you fully let go the clutch.😔.

 

Wind screen

What is this for by the way? At speeds over 80km/h, you feel the wind on your face. We need a bigger one. Otherwise it's just beautiful.

Lights and horn

There is no headlamp switch on the handle bar! 😱 You cannot ghost into a place stealthily without being noticed. But think about it, it's a good safety feature. (Head light always on). The head and rear are LED and thus good energy conservation. The head lamp has a good through from the low beam but does not cast wide enough. The full beam concentrates on the far front centre and is not sufficient for safe night ride. Hero needs to improve here. Otherwise, after-market head lamp and OE some auxiliary lights would help to brighten the future of the night journeys. The turn signals miss out on LED and that is 😏 okeysh. .[The horn just sounds ridiculous. You would need to change it straight after purchase. You barely hear it at 90km/h.

The porcupine in the room

This machine comes at a cool price of Ksh 300,300 at CMC and other selected dealers. This doesn't include ridding gears eg the yell🟡w helmet. (CMC knows it's a bike for very serious people).
To order, please call Nancy 0721473767 or kibet Robert 0746064270
For technical questions, please call Andrew 0745318752

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