Hero Impulse took the market by storm, but the lack of power among other things in the bike stopped it from being an all-out off-roader’s delight. To make amends hero presented a concept version of its XPulse 200. However, that too was long ago. First at the 2017 EICMA then at 2018 Indian Auto Expo, but an year later we are still to see the bike hitting the market. Many leaks and numerous failed predictions by auto wesbites, the launch of the bike still remains elusive. However, now a few photos on the internet are doing rounds that hit too close to production version.
These photos reveal Hero’s rally driver CS Santosh riding a very distinct version of the bike. While fans may assume this is the version of the long-awaited dual purpose XPulse 200 that they can shortly buy from the showrooms, there is no confirmation on the same.
How long Hero will take to develop the XPulse 200 and finally bring it to the market, still remains an open question. The photos show two versions of the bike being put through the paces at a custom dirt track. While one version is kind of toned down, and may actually come to the market with a few changes. The other version looks like a more toughened and souped up version with the missing tail and a custom seat. This maybe just another tough version of the bike, but this is mere speculation.
Hero also presented a touring model of the same bike at EICMA last year show, and christened it as XPulse 200T. However, there is no news of the original XPulse 200 or its other variants making it to the market as of now. Hero XPulse 200R is supposed to come with a 200cc engine rated to produce 18.4 Bhp-17.1 Nm which is sufficient for mild off-roading and commuting in the city. What Hero has so far revealed is that the bike will be based on the not so exciting Xtreme 200R and will feature 21-inch and 18-inch at the front and back. While the bike is also meant to be used as a daily-purpose bike, the tyres along with the higher suspension travel and larger ground clearance will truly lend it the dual-purpose character of taking the off-road trail with ease. The new dual-purpose bike from Hero could also feature LED headlamps, long windscreen, luggage rack, and knuckle guards to make it more off-road friendly.
Perhaps the delay behind bringing out XPulse 200 and its late development can be easily understood by the fact that Hero is more focused on the commuter market and that is where the brand truly excels. It is the mass movement of bikes in the lower power segment range that makes Hero world’s largest motorcycle manufacturer. However, the recent shift in purchase trends will also have to be kept in mind and the brand is on the right track, as far as the XPulse 200 is concerned. Upon launch, the only true competitor to this bike would be the Royal Enfield Himalayan, but the sub-lakh price of Hero XPulse and the high cost of RE Himalayan will play a major role in the rivalry of the two, whenever that commences.