KTM RC 200 vs Hero Karizma XMR: Specifications Compared
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KTM RC 200 vs Hero Karizma XMR: Specifications Compared

Reviews by Team Drivio | Mar 14, 2024

The Hero Karizma XMR is actually the most powerful bike in its segment

  • With the Karizma XMR, Hero made its first liquid-cooled engine
  • The 210cc engine makes a solid 25.5PS and 20.4Nm
  • In terms of looks, both bikes look authentically sports bikes

If you've been aspiring to move up from your 100cc/125cc commuters and venture into the 200cc sports bike segment, the KTM RC 200 naturally emerges as an excellent option. However, currently, the Hero Karizma XMR also emerges as a compelling choice. Therefore, if you find yourself torn between these two appealing sports bikes, our comparison will assist you in determining which one suits you best.

KTM RC 200 vs Hero Karizma XMR: Designs

When it comes to lighting, the Karizma boasts a headlight arrangement featuring dual LED projector headlights encircled by H-shaped LED DRLs, enhancing both visibility and aesthetics. Notably, the inclusion of dual-channel ABS marks a significant milestone, being the first in a production Hero bike. 

Adding to its innovative features, the Karizma introduces an adjustable windshield, a pioneering feature in its segment. The raised clip-on handlebars contribute to a comfortable touring experience, emphasising the bike's versatility.

In terms of road presence, the Karizma XMR maintains a balanced size, neither too large nor too small. Its well-designed fairing panels, eye-catching tail, and vibrant yellow colour make it stand out. Hero has struck a balance in creating a sporty and aggressive appearance without the bike feeling that way when you ride it.

The most notable change lies in the striking new design philosophy. The updated RC features a considerably larger visage, showcasing KTM's signature flair with a distinctive and somewhat unconventional design.

Compared to its predecessor, the new RC adopts a more upright stance, incorporating a larger front section and a taller, rounded windscreen. According to KTM, these alterations contribute to improved aerodynamics, a claim supported by our first-hand experience, which confirms commendable wind protection. 

In person, the bike presents a more cohesive appearance than depicted in images. While the front end may lack the sharpness and aggression of its predecessor, it undeniably commands attention, exuding even greater presence.

The engine remains the cornerstone of this bike, with the 199.5cc liquid-cooled single-cylinder retaining the same specifications as the current BS6 RC 200, with no alterations to the 25hp/19.2Nm power and torque figures. However, the new RC benefits from a 40 percent larger airbox, a modification KTM claims results in improved throttle response and a more robust torque curve.

KTM RC 200 vs Hero Karizma XMR: Engines

Performance plays a crucial role in sportbikes, where the Karizma holds a significant advantage. It demonstrates superior roll-on acceleration and outpaces it by over 2 seconds in the 0-100kph sprint. 

The Karizma's engine, reminiscent of KTM, revs up faster and produces a distinctive sound. Surprisingly, its larger capacity results in a peaky, exhilarating surge of acceleration in the mid-range. Both engines operate smoothly but tend to get slightly buzzy at higher RPMs. However, the Karizma prioritizes power over fuel efficiency, offering lower figures. 

SpecificationsHero Karizma XMR 210KTM RC 200
Engine210cc liquid-cooled engine199.5cc liquid-cooled engine
Maximum power25.5PS25PS
Maximum torque20.4Nm19.5Nm
Transmission6-speed6-speed

The RC series introduces a new frame featuring a bolt-on subframe. While the main frame remains largely unchanged, resulting in no alterations to the steering geometry or wheelbase, a notable upgrade for customers is the increased fuel capacity. The fuel tank now accommodates 13.7 litres, a significant enhancement over the previous RC's modest 9.5 litres.

Despite the additional weight from the increased fuel capacity, the RC 200 maintains its previous weight of 160kg. This feat is achieved through KTM's efforts to reduce unsprung weight by over three kilograms. Areas such as the rear chain sprocket, the new front brake disc, and the wheels have undergone weight-saving measures. Moreover, KTM assures us that the new wheels are not only lighter but also stronger than their predecessors.

KTM RC 200 vs Hero Karizma XMR: Suspension, Tyres & Brakes

On the contrary, the Karizma offers a sporty yet less aggressive riding position, alleviating strain on the wrists and back. While competent in corners, it lacks the connected feel of the R15 and may exhibit some loss of composure over larger undulations.

SpecificationsHero Karizma XMR 210KTM RC 200
Front suspensionTelescopic ForkInverted Fork
Rear suspensionMonoshockMonoshock
Front tyre100/80-17110/70-R17
Rear tyre140/70-17150/60-R17
Front brakeDisc BrakeDisc
Rear brakeDisc BrakeDisc
ABSDual-channelDual-channel

The Karizma impressively handles rough and bumpy roads. Its comfortable riding position helps alleviate strain on the wrists, shoulders, and back. The suspension strikes a balance, maintaining a plush feel in most situations without being overly soft. 

However, hitting severe potholes can cause the front fork to bottom out, even at moderate speeds. Regarding handling, it aligns more closely with bikes like the Pulsar RS200 and Gixxer SF 250 than the more focused R15 or RC. When pushed hard on winding roads, the rear shock may feel slightly too soft.

KTM RC 200 vs Hero Karizma XMR: Dimensions

Both bikes boast good grip levels and feature similar brake setups with dual-channel ABS. However, the Karizma prioritizes a more forgiving and absorptive ride quality. While the RC 200’s well-tuned suspension efficiently handles smaller bumps, its riding position may exacerbate the impact of rough roads. In contrast, the Karizma offers a more compliant ride, transferring less of the impact from poor roads to the rider.

A notable enhancement can be seen in the seats. Although KTM has maintained the same 835mm seat height, the seats are now flatter, better cushioned, and significantly more comfortable than before. Additionally, they boast stylish covers that exude a premium feel and provide excellent grip. KTM has also slimmed down the section where the seat meets the fuel tank, although riders below 5'7" may still find themselves on tiptoes when straddling the bike.

KTM RC 200 vs Hero Karizma XMR: Prices

In typical Hero manner, the Karizma XMR 210 is priced excellently, at Rs 1.73 lakh, ex-showroom Delhi. It is not only a whole lot cheaper than the other 200cc bikes, but it is in fact almost on par with some performance-oriented 150cc bikes like the Yamaha R15 V4. So in terms of value-for-money propositions, the Hero Karizma XMR definitely wins this battle.

Ex-showroom DelhiHero Karizma XMRKTM RC 200
PriceRs 1,72,900Rs 2,17,696

KTM, on the other hand, has priced the RC 200 at Rs 2.18 lakh, ex-showroom Delhi. Sure, it is not extremely expensive, but when you think about the other 200cc bikes, the RC 200 does come across as a slightly expensive proposition.   

Verdict

If you are on a budget, the Hero Karizma XMR definitely makes more sense. The high-revving engine coupled with its really impressive handling is something that will make the Karizma a more easy bike to ride. So, lesser experienced bikers are ought to find the Karizma XMR an easier bike to ride. That said, it is still properly fast and will keep newer riders entertained. And add the much lower price tag to that and it means you do have a winner in your hand. 

The RC 200, on the other hand, should be something more experienced riders should look at. Its power is still focused on the top end and you will have to rev the bike out to really enjoy it. Post 6000rpm is when you start feeling the bike get fast and that is when you start to understand the bike’s actual speed and the fact that it is quite a quick bike.

In sum, if budget is not a constraint, and you want something that will keep you engaged for a longer period of time, you should consider getting the KTM RC 200. But if you are on a tighter budget and want something more friendly, we think the Hero Karizma XMR would suit you better.