Hero Xpulse 200 4V Long Term Review: Fuel Economy, Ride Quality, Performance

The Xpulse has spent the majority of the past two months racking up miles in the city of Mumbai.

I’ve spent quite a bit of time on the Xpulse over the past two months, although it hasn’t been exactly how I imagined it to be when this bike first entered our fleet. Off-road bashing dreams have yet to come true, but I did what most customers will do with this lovely, simple bike—commute.

With the added power of the 4V motor as well as the dramatic shortening of the overall gearing, the Xpulse is now a very good commuter.

The new engine has enough acceleration to feel a bit more entertaining than before, but it’s also very flexible. I looked at the console and found myself in 4th gear at 30 km/h more times than I can remember, with no sign of protest from the engine.

The electrical switchgear looks pretty cheap and feels like it to use.

There are two reasons to like this around town – it’s a bit too short if you plan to do a lot of freeway work. The first is that it lets me ride lazily without having to downshift as often as the chaotic Mumbai traffic would normally require. The other nice aspect of finding yourself in higher gears most often is the positive impact on fuel efficiency. Despite the fact that I still ride at a pretty brisk pace, I still get between 33 and 35 kpl around town, which I think is a pretty decent number. My wallet is certainly okay as it’s otherwise used to draining fast thanks to the 15-17kpl I normally get with the 790.

Of course, the fantastic ride quality of the Xpulse is another thing to appreciate on a daily basis. Strangely the bike wasn’t as comfortable as I remembered when I first picked it up from Zaran and it was quickly reduced to seat foam. Among the updates the 4V received was improved seat padding, but the seat foam on our test bike oddly lost strength, which had a pretty dramatic impact on comfort.

Seat foam lost strength, replaced with new seat unit.

A new seat was installed which immediately fixed the problem, although something like this shouldn’t have happened so soon. The only reason I can think of is that the bike was parked exposed to the elements for a few weeks, during which time a few cats also scratched the material well. Perhaps the slightly ragged seat cover let rainwater in, which compromised the foam. While I can’t say for sure, we’ll be keeping an eye out for how this new seat ages. The one-piece seat assembly costs Rs 1,750, which is a nice reminder of the cost effectiveness of spares on this bike.

On the other hand, while the Xpulse is a very well priced product and is certainly cheap to run, you can’t help but notice the rather basic trim levels. The switchgear, in particular, feels pretty cheap, and after spending time with the beautifully finished Classic 350, the Xpulse just doesn’t have that special feel. But again, for the price it commands, I guess it’s an acceptable compromise.

Now that the monsoon is finally here, I’m looking forward to some messy weekend hikes with friends, so hopefully you can read all about it in the next report.

Also see:

Hero Xpulse 200 4V Long Term Review, First Report

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