Hero Motocorp has updated the XPulse 200 with a BS6-compliant variant, which gets a raft of changes as compared to its predecessor. First of all, there’s the new sticker which, at Rs 1.12 lakh is just Rs 7000 costlier, an acceptable trade-off to the prospect of cleaner emissions. Additional kit is the inclusion of an oil cooler, and the fact there’s no longer a carb variant in the Xpulse 200 lineup. The XPulse 200 BS6 will be available in five colours, with the previously available White, Matte Green and Matte Grey paint schemes joined by the carb-only variant’s Sports Red and Panther Black colours as well.
Starting with the exhaust system, we see the head tube has been slightly redesigned and rerouted from below the crankcase, to better accommodate the larger catalytic converter. This has led to a redesigning of the bash plate as well, which now looks a lot chunkier and more purposeful. And the icing on the cake is the fact none of this has affected the ground clearance, which is an unchanged 220mm.
Delving deeper into the specs, however, and there’s some bad news: the BS6 upgrades saps the XPulse 200 of 0.2bhp of power (bringing it down to 17.8bhp), 0.8Nm of torque (16.45Nm), and also increases its kerb weight by 4kg, to 157kg. All these changes may seem inconsequential, but there’s also the fact that max power is now achieved at 8500rpm, which is 500rpm higher than before. That said, the true extent of the performance drop (or lack thereof) will only be determined once we get our hands on the bike.
Besides these limited mechanical changes, everything else on the XPulse 200 remains unchanged. The XPulse 200 still rides on 21-17 tyres (front/rear) with a 276mm disc up front and a 220mm disc at the rear, and single-channel ABS (especially useful when out on trails). Lastly, the BS6-compliant XPulse 200 now gets a choice of four seat covers, as well as a range of off-road-focussed helmets.
On paper, the BS6 upgrade may have somewhat (again, subjective to a full road and off-road test) dulled the appeal of the XPulse 200. However there is still no escaping the fact there’s no other off-road weapon with the kind of bang-for-the-buck factor provided by the Xpulse 200, with its closest competitor (the Royal Enfield Himalayan BS6) about Rs 80,000 costlier, and 40kg heavier.
And considering the price difference, you can not only install the full Xpulse Rally kit but you’ll also have quite a bit of cash left over to invest in a good offroad training programme. So thumb you nose at the naysayers, the ballad of the XPulse 200 is still far from finished!