Hero XPulse 200 vs Royal Enfield Himalayan: Entry-level ADVs Face-off
news

Hero XPulse 200 vs Royal Enfield Himalayan: Entry-level ADVs Face-off

Reviews by Team Drivio | Mar 06, 2023

Hero took the ADV world by storm by launching the XPulse 200 a couple of years ago. So let’s see if the baby ADV can pull up the same surprise against the mighty Himalayan

  • The Hero XPulse 200 makes 19.01PS and 17.35Nm from its 199.6cc single cylinder, air-cooled engine
  • With 24.31PS and 32Nm on tap, the Royal Enfield Himalayan is a fair bit more powerful than the XPulse 200
  • Both bikes feature a big 21-inch front wheel, ready to take on the off road trails

Despite the country's thriving adventure scene, there are relatively few options in the small capacity segment. Until a few years ago, the most affordable motorcycle available was the Royal Enfield Himalayan, which had problems in its early days and is still dogged by cynicism despite the new bike overcoming most of those issues.

Naturally, the question is whether you should now consider the XPulse 200 for your off-road needs, or whether the Himalayan is still worth your money. Let’s find out: 

Hero XPulse 200 vs Royal Enfield Himalayan: Design & Features

The Hero XPulse 200 has an impressive set of electronics for its price. A fully digital instrument console with Bluetooth connectivity, turn-by-turn navigation assistance, average speed, and other features are included. There are also LED lights on both ends and a single-channel ABS system. For better water-wading capability, it also has a beak-like front fender, sump guard, knuckle guards, and a high-mounted exhaust.

In contrast, the Royal Enfield Himalayan gets a semi-digital instrument console. The analogue section includes basic readouts such as a speedometer, tachometer, and fuel gauge, while the small digital display includes a digital gear indicator, two trip metres, an average speed display, a side-stand indicator, a clock, a temperature gauge, and a compass! 

While it lacks an LED headlamp, it does include an LED tail lamp. The Himalayan also has a high-set exhaust that allows you to cross rivers with relative ease.

FeaturesHero XPulse 200Royal Enfield Himalayan
LED HeadlampYesNo
Fully-digital ConsoleYesNo
LED indicatorsNo No
Riding modesNoNo
Alloy wheelsNoNo
Split seatsNoNo
Bluetooth connectivityYesNo
Engine guardYesYes

Hero XPulse 200 vs Royal Enfield Himalayan: Engine & Gearbox

Because of the motor's inherent long-stroke design, Enfield was able to tune it to produce dollops of torque low-down. It's an off-dream roader's because there's so much drive to get you out of sticky situations. The engine on the XPulse is the same as on the Xtreme 200R. 

The smaller 199.6cc motor on the XPulse 200 does not have the same driving capabilities as the Himalayan's 410 LS powertrain, and you must wring the throttle to get it going. With a chunk of drive available at 4500-6500rpm, its low-end performance isn't as impressive as the Himalayan's. And when it does get going, it quickly runs out of steam. 

SpecificationsHero XPulse 200Royal Enfield Himalayan 
Engine199.6cc single-cylinder air-cooled 4-valve SOHC411cc single cylinder air-cooled (with oil-cooling) SOHC
Maximum Power19.01PS24.31PS
Maximum Torque17.35Nm32Nm
Transmission5-speed5-speed

Hero XPulse 200 vs Royal Enfield Himalayan: Suspension, Tyres & Brakes

The XPulse 200 is almost as capable as the Himalayan on paper. The spec sheet may appear to be a close match, but there is more to it than meets the eye. For example, even though the beefy suspension on the Himalayan only has 10mm more travel at either end, it provides a more supple riding experience, gracefully soaking in everything in its path. 

Take on the same obstacle course while riding the XPulse, and you'll notice that it's a little firmer. Its quick rebound keeps you on your feet while trail riding, even if there are a few bumps along the way.

While the XPulse 200's single-channel ABS system sounds insufficient on the road, it's a different story off the road, where it allows you to stamp on the rear brake in case you need to lock the rear wheel. With positive feedback, you can dial in the appropriate amount of input on the XPulse. Meanwhile, the Himalayan has dual-channel ABS with the option to turn off the rear unit for some sideways fun.

SpecificationsHero XPulse 200Royal Enfield Himalayan
Front suspension37mm telescopic fork (190mm travel)41mm telescopic fork (200mm travel)
Rear suspensionGas-charged monoshock (170mm travel)Linked monoshock (180mm travel)
Front tyre90/90-2190/90-21
Rear tyre120/80-18120/90-17
Front brake276mm petal disc, dual-piston caliper300mm disc, dual-piston caliper
Rear brake220mm petal disc, single-piston caliper240mm disc, single-piston caliper
ABSSingle-channelDual-channel

Hero XPulse 200 vs Royal Enfield Himalayan: Dimensions

Excess flab is a source of concern for the Himalayan. While the driving force may be sufficient to get you through most situations, you will need steel arms to lift the bike back up if it tips over. The Himalayan weighs 35kg more than mid-capacity adventure bikes like the Triumph Tiger 800 and the BMW F 850 GS. It hides its weight well, but it isn't as easy to manoeuvre between a rock and a hard place as the XPulse.

Being 40 kilos lighter than the Himalayan has its advantages: the XPulse is easy to pick up when you fall. Muscular forearms are also not required here. It can easily dart past any obstacle while maintaining enough leverage to avoid danger. The shorter wheelbase is also beneficial. When the front wheel does deflect over an obstacle, the XPulse regains composure faster, with no wrestling with the machine as on the Himalayan.

DimensionsHero XPulse 200Royal Enfield Himalayan
Length2222mm2190mm
Width850mm840mm
Height1258mm1370mm
Wheelbase1410mm1465mm
Ground clearance220mm220mm
Kerb weight158kg199kg
Fuel tank capacity13-litres15-litres
Seat height825mm800mm

Hero XPulse 200 vs Royal Enfield Himalayan: Price

The XPulse 200, in typical Hero fashion, is fantastically priced. Being more than Rs 78,000 less expensive than the Royal Enfield Himalayan means it presents a better case for itself to the budding off road enthusiasts in India, for whom budget is a primary concern.

PriceHero XPulse 200Royal Enfield Himalayan
Ex-showroom DelhiRs 1,37,496Rs 2,15,900

Conclusion

If your primary goal is to overcome your fear of dirt, the XPulse is an excellent learner's motorcycle. It is easy to navigate city traffic, and it is reasonably priced. This money saved can be put towards cool upgrades like handlebar risers or even some great dirt-riding gear.

If you want a motorcycle that can do everything, spend the extra moolah and get the Himalayan. Trying to keep up with the daily grind? Can do. How about a ride down to Goa? Check. Can you conquer the Himalayas' most difficult terrain? Gladly. Royal Enfield also has a plethora of aftermarket accessories to choose from, which the XPulse lacks. It still has flaws and doesn't feel as complete as we would have liked, but it does offer some advantages over the XPulse. That can make it worthwhile for some.