Xtreme, a relatively established name, now gets a brand new engine, indigenously developed cycle parts and a head-turning design.
Now, people following the Xtreme 160R would remember the 1.R concept showcased in Milan Motor Show last year. Years of R&D at Centre of Innovation and Technology, Hero MotoCorp is all set to rival the TVS Apache RTR160 4V, Bajaj Pulsar NS160 and a few others.
The naked fairing looks modern and premium, thanks to the sharp and edgy design, and vibrant colour schemes. Hero has taken a minimalistic approach in designing the new Xtreme, with front-heavy proportions.
The head and tail lamps are compact, aggressively-styled, and are all-LED. The bike sits of 17-inch wheels, while front 37-mm telescopic and rear 7-step monoshock are employed for the duty.
The wheelbase at 1,327mm allows swift handling. Tank shrouds add to the design aesthetic as well as dynamics, allowing the rider to effortlessly align thighs in the fold. The lightweight (under 140 kilos kerb) and lowest seat height (790 mm) ensure the rider is in command. Putting in long hours in start-stop traffic should not be difficult, thanks to centre-set footpegs and a flat-and-wide handlebar.
The single-unit perch is cushiony and accommodates two people on the go comfortably. The trendy bit is the integrated grab rails, which takes a while getting used to.
Under the skin is a brand-new BS6-compliant, single-cylinder, air-cooled, 163-cc engine with 15 PS and 14Nm. In the pecking order, Xtreme isn’t as powerful as Apache RTR160 or Pulsar NS160, yet what makes it quick on its feet and nimble to potter through are the best-in-segment power-to-weight ratio and compact wheelbase.
The 5-speed gearbox is slick and the clutch lever is light to operate. The engine is revv-happy and the max power kicks in near the 9,000-rpm redline. When stuck in the crowded confines, you have to downshift a gear or two to extract the mid-range torque.
What’s pleasantly surprising though is the refinement level of the 163-cc motor. Xtreme 160R, the first BS6 Hero motorcycle, we are reviewing pulls through the rev-range clean and vibrations kicking in only past 8,000-rpm.
The company claims a 0-60 kmph dash in 4.7 seconds, while we were able to touch 118 kph on the speedo. Surely, a thinner, leaner and a pro rider can pull it to 122-125 kmph.
Hardware package includes an ABS (anti-lock braking system) in the front wheel, telescopic front shockers, rear monoshock and a new diamond-type chassis, which has played a significant role in keeping the curb weight low.
The ride quality is largely supple with the suspensions doing a fairly decent job in ironing out the road undulations. The 37-mm front, however, feels a bit too stiff over the monoshock.
FE figures will again plant a huge smile on your face. Frugal like most Hero offerings, the Xtreme 160R returned over 50 kmpl in the cities and on the highways the mileage dips to 46.
After all these, Bajaj Pulsar NS160 still may look like a better-equipped package in the segment due to a more powerful engine and greater hardware on offer.
Xtreme 160R, in fact, is the most affordable, starting under Rs 1 lakh (ex-showroom) and extra Rs 3,500 for the double-disc variant. Well, the amount should be good enough for college-goers to convince their parents.
Hero MotoCorp scores well, thanks to a modern design, refined and peppy engine and swift handling. Will Hero Xtreme 160R replicate the Karizma ZMR success? It should be a riveting contest in the 160-cc space now.
In Video:Hero Xtreme 160R road test review