Hero Xtreme 200R vs Bajaj Pulsar RS200: Practical Naked Or Aggressive Supersport?
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Hero Xtreme 200R vs Bajaj Pulsar RS200: Practical Naked Or Aggressive Supersport?

Reviews by Team Drivio | Apr 07, 2023

We see if the Hero Xtreme 200R is like other Hero bikes, commuterish and meek, or can it take on the exciting Bajaj Pulsar RS200. 

  • The Xtreme 200R’s 18.4PS and 17.1Nm from its 200cc engine are among the lowest output figures in the 200cc class. 
  • Bajaj, on the other hand, has tuned the RS200 to make a solid 24.5PS and 18.6Nm. 
  • In terms of styling, the RS200 looks sporty and aggressive, a lot, lot more than the Hero Xtreme 200R. 

Hero MotoCorp hasn't been associated with high-performance motorcycles in a long time. Sure, they were behind some enthusiast favourites like the original CBZ and Karizma, but these have since become obsolete, with the company focusing its efforts on revamping its commuter lineup. 

But now with the new Xtreme 200R, can it regain lost ground and go up against the aggressive Bajaj RS200? Let’s find out: 

Hero Xtreme 200R vs Bajaj Pulsar RS200: Design & Features

FeaturesHero Xtreme 200RBajaj Pulsar RS200
LED HeadlampNoNo
Fully-digital ConsoleNoNo
LED indicatorsNoYes
Riding modesNoNo
Alloy wheelsYesYes
Split seatsNoYes
Bluetooth connectivityNoNo

To begin with, does the Hero Xtreme 200R look the part? No, not quite. While the tank is well sculpted and gets chunky tank shrouds (which look a little too large in our opinion), the Xtreme 200R's high mounted bikini fairing gives it the distinct demeanour of a commuter motorcycle. The long straight exhaust looks like it belongs on a bike from a decade ago, as does the simple front fender, which is as generic as it gets. 

However, there are some nice design elements here, such as the tail panel, which is chunky in the middle and tapers off to a sharp point at the back. The LED tail light is eye-catching and cutting-edge.

The entry-level supersport is reminiscent of a certain electric bike that has been around for a while. The Pulsar RS 200 has angular body panels, a full fairing, twin projector headlamps with LED DRLs in the eyebrows, and an LED tail light. The dual-tone paint scheme, on the other hand, has always been a source of contention.

The bike is outfitted with twin-projector headlamps for ample illumination, a semi-digital instrument console that feels a little dated, backlit switchgear, dual-channel ABS for safety, and clip-on handlebars for a sporty riding posture. The console displays information such as the fuel gauge and includes two trip metres, an odometer, a clock, a service-due indicator, and tell-tale lights.

Hero Xtreme 200R vs Bajaj Pulsar RS200: Engine & Gearbox

SpecificationsHero Xtreme 200RBajaj Pulsar RS200
Engine200cc air-cooled engine199.5cc liquid-cooled engine
Maximum Power18.4PS 24.5PS
Maximum Torque17.1Nm18.7Nm
Transmission5-speed6-speed

The Hero's 2-valve setup foregoes a screamy top-end in exchange for a powerful mid-range. The pull from 5000 rpm is relentless, and short-shifting at 9000 rpm is preferable to trying to pull the engine to its soft-limiter, which kicks in at around 10,500rpm. 

So, while the straight line performance isn't mind-blowing, it does feel reasonably quick. However, because the motor is so smooth, you won't realise how fast you're going until you look down at the speedometer. In the end, it all comes down to practical performance.

The Pulsar RS200’s 199.5cc engine, on the other hand, is tractable but tuned for top end whack, which is useful on the racecourse, and it is well geared to get off the line quickly. The engine is more refined than before, but we did notice a small buzz coming from the motor in the 5000-6000 rpm range.

Hero Xtreme 200R vs Bajaj Pulsar RS200: Suspension, Tyres & Brakes

SpecificationsHero Xtreme 200RBajaj Pulsar RS200
Front suspensionTelescopic ForkTelescopic Fork
Rear suspensionDual shock absorbersMonoshock
Tyres

Front: 100/80-17

Rear: 130/70- R17

Front: 100/80-17

Rear: 130/70-17

Brakes

Front: 276mm disc

Rear: 220mm disc

300mm disc

230mm disc

ABSSingle-channelDual-channel

Braking on the Xtreme 200R, is very much like everything else on the bike, forgiving and average. The bike isn’t sharp but it has decent progression and should keep things safe in the urban jungle. That said, we wish the bike got dual-channel ABS, just as an added net of safety. 

The brakes are provided by a 300mm front and 230mm rear disc gripped by Bybre callipers. The bike comes with an optional single channel ABS system that cuts in far too early. Regardless, braking remains effective and sure-footed. 

Hero Xtreme 200R vs Bajaj Pulsar RS200: Dimensions

DimensionsHero Xtreme 200RBajaj Pulsar RS200
Length2062mm1999mm
Width778mm765mm
Height1072mm1114mm
Ground clearance1335mm157mm
Kerb weight146kg166kg
Fuel tank capacity12.5-litres13-litres
Seat height795mm810mm

The RS has always been a good handler and continues to be so, feeling more stable in corners than the NS 200, despite the latter's more communicative front end. The RS has a slightly sharper rake and a stiffer setup, and it is also quite capable on a racecourse.

It all comes together in a very neutral handling package that's easy to flick on the Xtreme 200R, no doubt helped by the short(ish) 1335mm wheelbase and a switch to 17-inch wheels (a welcome change from Hero's 18-inch fare). However, it does not feel as sharp to turn as the Apache RTR 200. The progressive nature of the handling will undoubtedly make things easier for less experienced riders, but there's enough ability here to delight even the most experienced.

There's also a lot of stability here. The Xtreme 200R rides on MRF rubber, with a Zapper 100/80 bias ply in front and a REVZ 130/70 radial in back, and these tyres are undeniably good. The peg feelers did, indeed, grind through a few of the corners but even dragging the pegs, sometimes hard, wasn't enough to change the orientation of the 200R.

Hero Xtreme 200R vs Bajaj Pulsar RS200: Price

PriceHero Xtreme 200RBajaj Pulsar RS200
Ex-showroom, DelhiRs 88,000Rs 1,71,021 

All things said, Hero has priced the Xtreme 200R extremely competitively. At Rs 88,000, the bike is priced on par with a lot of 125cc bikes and even scooters. For that, what you get is a good-looking bike that has features to keep you just interested. 

The Pulsar RS200, on the other hand, carries a rather exorbitant Rs 1.71 lakh price tag. But what this Pulsar can do well, is justify it. What it boasts of, over the Hero, is a liquid-cooled engine, more premium kit that’s even tuned rather well and most importantly, a sense of excitement that the Hero Xtreme 200R fails to deliver. 

Verdict 

If you directly compare the Xtreme 200R to the RS200, or even other 200cc motorcycles like the Pulsar NS200 and Apache RTR 200 4V, you'll be let down. The Bajaj and TVS bikes have a laser-like focus on performance that the Xtreme lacks. But that was never what Hero intended to do with the Xtreme. 

They intended to create a usable 200cc machine with enough real-world performance without sacrificing any aspect of practicality. You can think of this bike to be a more powerful version of the sporty yet practical 160cc bikes like the Suzuki Gixxer and Honda CB160 Hornet. The exact same thing is reflected in its extremely aggressive price tag as well. 

The Pulsar RS200 is Bajaj's fastest and best handling sub-250cc sportsbike to date. And through recent updates, the bike’s definitely gotten a lot more refined and visually appealing.