Move over road tests; here’s an authentic off-road test featuring two of the most affordable dual-sports – Royal Enfield Himalayan and Hero Xpulse 200
We have already established the fact that the Royal Enfield Himalayan is a great package when it comes to touring and high-speed trails. And now in the latest BS6 iteration, Royal Enfield has managed to make it more refined than ever. Of course, there’s now the addition of switchable ABS making it off-road friendlier. Which brings us to this unique off-road test format comprising of five distinct methods – 60- 0kmph braking, fastest to the hilltop, longest jump, fastest to 250m and of course, a full-fledged time trial course! And going against the new Himalayan is the proven Hero Xpulse 200. The 2020 Indian Motorcycle of the Year is brilliant at off-roading but never ever has it been put to a test of this kind.
Remember, this is the ultimate off-road test and there’s going to be only one winner. Time to hit the trails!
TEST 1: FASTEST TO THE HILLTOP
This was a very close contest with the Himalayan coming out on top with barely 0.57 seconds to spare. But that’s owing to a motor with double the displacement. Bear in mind, the Xpulse is almost there with the Himalayan thanks to a lightweight and agile chassis which allows it to literally fly over obstacles be it ruts or boulders and even allows it to climb steep inclines. The motor lacks lowdown grunt though with a short second ratio, peaking very early. The Himalayan on the other hand is aided by a healthy 32Nm of torque which is developed at a lowly 4,250rpm.
TEST 2: LONGEST JUMP
Here, the Xpulse trumps the Himalayan by a very big margin (2ft). Again, the advantage of 40kg over the Himalayan comes in very handy. Even the suspension with a travel 190mm at the front and 170mm at the rear has lesser weight to hold which means it lands more comfortably and gives more confidence to the rider. The Himalayan doesn’t feel as well balanced as the Xpulse and the softer setup means it bottoms out on landing.
TEST 3: FASTEST 250M SPRINT TEST
The Himalayan has the added advantage of a bigger motor here but the Xpulse threw a huge surprise in this test. Obviously, it did not win but the chassis is superb and it can put down the power easily. The short gearing does not work in its favour and neither does the puny 200cc motor. And that’s where the Himalayan steps in. It was not only easier to hit faster speeds on the Himalayan but also the new ‘refined’ BS6 avatar made it far more comfortable than the Xpulse at fast speeds. But then you have to come to a stop...
TEST 4: 60-0KMPH BRAKING
Braking has never been the Himalayan’s forte but Royal Enfield has managed to improve the setup over the years. Switchable ABS really helps off the road for sure but still, the heavier weight and spongy brakes gives you no option but to hold onto dear life when going hard on the brakes. The weight balance and softer setup means it gets wobbly on loose surfaces and you have to hold onto the tank really hard to make sure it doesn’t lose composure. The Xpulse on the other hand comes with brilliant brakes which have been tuned for off-roading. Hero has done really well to tune the braking, especially off-road. The single-channel ABS though is super intrusive and very unpredictable, keeping you guessing at all times.
TEST 5: TIME TRIAL
The ultimate test that combines all the elements; handling, agility, speed and braking. The score is 2-2 so far but this test will reveal the ultimate winner of our first ever off-road test. Our specified course had two gravel-ly straights, two 360-degree turns and a couple of boulder-based corners. The Himalayan was quicker on the straights but the Xpulse had it covered in the end. And that clearly shows in the final results with the Himalayan winning by a margin of almost 2sec. But then you’re spending almost 70,000 rupees over the Xpulse, on the RE. Hero has launched the Rally kit at just Rs 38,000 for the Xpulse which in theory should take the Xpulse ahead in this test and still save you a lot of cash for performance upgrades. Stay tuned!
Contest Terms and Conditions
To participate in the Himalayan v Xpulse contest, all you need to do is comment on the YouTube video with your answer to the question — how much further does the Xpulse jump over the Himalyan. The 5 closest answers will be picked, and in the case of a tie, the winners will be decided by lucky draw. The prizes include Fast Bikes India t-shirts. Do note, the decision of evo India in selecting the best entries (winners) will be final & binding on all participants and no query will be entertained on the same. The contest ends at 11:59pm on June 20, 2020 and winners will be declared by July 2020.