Two Indian-made fully-faired 200cc motorcycles face off!
Following in the footsteps of its cousin the XPulse, the Xtreme 200S finally received its BS6 update this week. But it also came along with a slight drop in engine output. So, how does Hero’s fully-faired 200cc bike stack up against fellow Indian manufacturer Bajaj and its Pulsar RS200? Let’s take a look:
The Pulsar is in a different league when it comes to technology. While the Xtreme has to make do with a SOHC 2-valve, oil-cooled setup, Bajaj, thanks to its learnings from KTM, has equipped the RS with DOHC and liquid-cooling. The end result is quite apparent, with the Pulsar a good 35 percent more powerful than the Hero. That being said, the Xtreme produces its peak figures much earlier in the rev range, so in the city, it should still feel quite sprightly and won’t be left behind. The Pulsar’s more peaky power delivery will mean you need to work the gearbox harder, but thankfully, it has a 6-speed unit with closely stacked ratios, compared to the Hero’s 5-speeder.
There’s not much to separate the two bikes in terms of cycle parts, but one big difference is the Pulsar’s perimeter type design compared to the Xtreme’s more rudimentary cradle-type design. Once again, this is a result of Bajaj’s learnings from its partnership with KTM. The RS200 also has the edge when it comes to brakes, not only coming with larger discs at both ends, but also dual-channel ABS compared to the Hero’s single-channel system.
Dimensions & Weights
Practicality isn’t usually the domain of fully-faired motorcycles, but the Xtreme is definitely the more sensible and approachable bike of this pair. With a lower seat height and significantly lighter kerb weight, it should be the more manageable of the two. It packs in more ground clearance too. Plus, thanks to a flat, wide, single-piece handlebar, it has a comfier riding posture than the RS200 with its raised clip-on bars.
All of the Pulsar’s technological superiority comes at a pretty hefty price, though, because at Rs 1,52,179*, it’s over Rs 36,000 more expensive than the Hero (Rs 1,15,714)! So, if performance and handling are dear to you, the RS is the bike to go for, but if you just want a fully-faired bike for its looks, and don’t care much for riding very quickly, you can save yourself a whole lot of cash and buy the Xtreme 200S instead.
*all prices, ex-showroom Delhi