Hero Karizma XMR vs Rivals: Specifications Compared
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Hero Karizma XMR vs Rivals: Specifications Compared

Reviews by Team Drivio | Sep 19, 2023

The Suzuki Gixxer SF 250 is the most powerful of the lot

  • The Yamaha R15 V4 stands at the lower end of things in terms of capacity and power output
  • Hero’s Xtreme 200S 4V is the only one with a 5-speed gearbox here
  • The Xtreme also packs the least premium hardware 

The latest Hero Karizma XMR faces tough competition from four main rivals: the Suzuki Gixxer SF, Yamaha R15 V4, Bajaj Pulsar RS200, and the Hero Xtreme 200S 4V. And as has been the case over the years, this segment has been an extremely competitive one, because this is where riders usually upgrade from their 125cc motorcycles. This is where they now want to go faster and want to learn things like cornering and getting their knee down. 

So if you are someone who’s looking for the same kind of an upgrade, here’s a quick reckoner that’ll further help you decide which bike you should go for: 

Hero Karizma XMR vs Rivals: Design & Features

The Hero Karizma XMR, a fresh reinterpretation of the classic Karizma, brings about some exciting changes that give it a brand-new appearance. It has moved away from the previous bikini fairing and now showcases a sleek, fully-faired design.

One of the most striking features is the inclusion of dual projector LED headlights integrated into this full fairing. Despite its faired look, it retains its sport-tourer identity with elevated handlebars. Interestingly, the XMR's style aligns more with the Bajaj Pulsar RS200 rather than the aggressive super sport appearance of the KTM RC 200.

This motorcycle also boasts an LCD dashboard with Bluetooth connectivity for turn-by-turn navigation. The switchgear not only looks premium but also offers a tactile feel, and there's an illuminated touch that enhances its visual appeal. The dual LED projector headlights and H-shaped LED DRLs not only enhance aesthetics but also provide improved visibility.

What stands out in this group though is the R15. The Yamaha R15 V4, including the R15M variant, draws design inspiration from the R7, which isn't available in India. The R15 V4 boasts an aerodynamic body with sharp, angular body panels, and it encourages a sporty riding posture. 

Its bi-functional projector LED headlight exudes understated elegance, while the twin LED DRLs enhance its premium appearance. Adding to its visual appeal are the sophisticated gold-finished inverted forks, muscular fuel tank, and a split-seat arrangement. The sleek, elevated tail section features split tail panels, a somewhat flashy yet functional tire hugger, and an LED taillamp. The more premium R15M model also enjoys similar features and mechanical enhancements.

Hero Karizma XMR vs Rivals: Engines

SpecificationsHero Karizma XMR 210Yamaha R15 V4Suzuki Gixxer SF 250Bajaj Pulsar RS200Hero Xtreme 200S 4V
Engine210cc liquid-cooled engine155cc liquid-cooled engine249cc air-cooled engine with an oil-cooler199.5cc liquid-cooled engine199.6cc single-cylinder air-cooled 4-valve SOHC
Maximum power25.5PS18.4PS26.5PS24.5PS19.17PS
Maximum torque20.4Nm14.2Nm22.6Nm18.7Nm17.35Nm
Transmission6-speed6-speed6-speed6-speed5-speed

The new Hero flagship motorcycle is powered by an innovative 210cc DOHC 4-valve liquid-cooled single-cylinder engine, marking Hero's debut in liquid-cooled engine technology.

This engine delivers impressive performance, producing 25.5PS at 9,250rpm and 20.4Nm of torque at 7,250rpm. Notably, these figures outshine its competitors, the KTM RC 200 and the Bajaj Pulsar RS200. The power generated by this engine is efficiently managed through a 6-speed gearbox, which also includes the advantages of a slipper and assist clutch for enhanced riding control. 

Now while that sounds good, the bike that really stands out in this crowd is the Suzuki Gixxer SF 250. Its engine not only has the most power and torque, but it’s also the smoothest of the lot. And more importantly, it’s torquey nature means it’s a joy to use and is very effortless. You can be riding in higher gears at lower speeds and this motor will just chug along. So if you’re looking for something easy-going, nothing beats the Gixxer’s charming 249cc mill. 

However, if excitement is what you’re after, nothing quite beats the Yamaha R15 V4. That liquid-cooled motor is exciting and with the VVA technology, it now has a much better low-end. That said, the top-end is where the fun lies. Anything after 6,000 rpm is very exciting and you’ll genuinely enjoy revving the motor out, especially because of how smooth the bike stays even when revved-out. And take it up a mountain road and you’ll see how beautifully its handling complements its engine. That said, its ergonomics are also the most cramped of the lot so taller riders might face an issue. 

Hero Karizma XMR vs Rivals: Suspension, Tyres & Brakes

SpecificationsHero Karizma XMR 210Yamaha R15 V4Suzuki Gixxer SF 250Bajaj Pulsar RS200Hero Xtreme 200S 4V
Front suspensionTelescopic ForkUSD ForkTelescopic ForkTelescopic Fork37mm telescopic fork
Rear suspensionMonoshockMonoshockMonoshockMonoshockGas-charged monoshock 
Front tyre100/80-17100/80-17110/70-17100/80-17100/80-17
Rear tyre140/70-17140/70-R17150/60-17130/70-17130/70-17
Front brakeDisc BrakeDisc BrakeDisc BrakeDisc BrakeDisc Brake
Rear brakeDisc BrakeDisc BrakeDisc BrakeDisc BrakeDisc Brake
ABSDual-channelDual-channelDual-channelDual-channelSingle-channel

The suspension setup of the Karizma XMR is composed of a telescopic fork in the front and a gas-charged monoshock in the rear with a 6-step preload adjustment feature. It's worth noting that the absence of upside-down (USD) forks, found in the Hero Xtreme 160R 4V, is a notable distinction. However, it's essential to mention that the telescopic forks on the XMR perform their job effectively, and the need for USD forks isn't strongly felt.

One interesting cost-saving choice made by Hero is the use of a box-section swingarm. This decision does raise questions, especially when compared to the Xtreme 160R 4V, which boasts USD forks, marking a departure from the XMR's design philosophy.

Interestingly, the bike here that has the most premium suspension componentry is the smallest one; the Yamaha R15 V4. Despite being only a 125cc bike, it gets a USD fork along with a monoshock and the superiority in it is visible the moment you take it out for a spin. Take it to the ghats and you;ll see that the chassis and the suspension have been tuned beautifully. It’s very communicative and gives the rider a lot of confidence to push it to its limits.

This is where the Hero Xtreme 200S 4V really lags behind the others. Its soft suspension and very unsophisticated mono shock simply cannot keep up with the sportiness that the others have to offer. Even the engine, being the only air-cooled one in here, simply cannot keep up with the others and its left gasping for air the moment you cross around 7,000 rpm. So if you’re looking for anything more than just a commuter, we think you should look beyond the Hero Xtreme 200S 4V. 

Hero Karizma XMR vs Rivals: Price & Verdict

 Hero Karizma XMRYamaha R15 V4Suzuki Gixxer SF 250Bajaj Pulsar RS200Hero Xtreme 200S 4V
PriceRs 1,72,900Rs 1,81,700 onwardsRs 1,81,400 onwardsRs 1,72,358 Rs 1,41,250

At its introductory price, the Hero Karizma XMR comes in at a significantly lower price compared to its main rivals, the R15 and Gixxer SF 250. In fact, its pricing is so competitive that it's nearly on par with the older Bajaj Pulsar RS200. After the introductory pricing period ends, the cost will increase to Rs 1,82,900. 

So if you’re looking for an all-rounder that’ll do everything, from commuting to touring to maybe even your track days, the Karizma XMR does stand out, like its predecessor did too. But if you’re looking for something more focused and want to hone your cornering skills on, the Yamaha R15 V4 makes a lot of sense. It’s a lot more exciting, sharp and fun to ride. That said, it’ll also demand more from the rider than the Karizma would.