We quickly decode the specifics of the Hero Xtreme 160R to help you make an informed purchase.
The Hero Xtreme 160R’s styling is fresh and not just a watered-down job from the larger Xtreme 200R. It still maintains the Xtreme range’s characteristic muscular stance with its lean-and-mean bodywork. Lighting is taken care of by LED units all around with distinctive designs for the headlamp and tail-lamp cluster. The motorcycle also gets hazard lights. The instrumentation is managed by a compact, inverted-LCD that displays a speedometer, odometer, tachometer, two trip meters, and a clock along with the usual array of tell-tale lights.
Seating and Comfort
The saddle is a well-contoured, comfortable, single-piece unit that does not feel lacking in either space or comfort, even for tall riders. The 790-mm seat height and the tapered tank mean that the Hero Xtreme 160R is just as accessible for short riders as well. The tank’s taper also allows the rider to hook their knees to the motorcycle quite easily. One has to stretch forward slightly to grip the handlebar, resulting in a riding position that toes the line between comfort and sporty; on the good side, of course.
Similarly, the sport bike-style pillion’s seat is also quite comfortable for city rides but is a bit of a stretch to get on and off. It has enough space and its contours keep the pillion planted without sliding about too much. Hero have done away with the eyesore grab-rails that stick out and have instead provided grooves on the underside of the rear bodywork. That is a nice touch.
Engine and Performance
An all-new 163-cc, air-cooled, two-valve, fuel-injected, single-cylinder engine powers the Xtreme 160R. This mill develops 15.23 hp at 8,500 rpm and a peak torque of 14 Nm at 6,500 rpm. These figures put it in the same ballpark as its rivals. What I liked best about the Hero Xtreme 160R’s engine is just how usable the powerband is. The fuelling is spot-on and the engine responds to progressive throttle input with a steady stream of power which only tapers off 1,000 rpm shy of the red-line with a strong mid-range to keep city riding interesting. The Xtreme 160R weighs just 139.5 kg (ready to ride) and is a quick motorcycle to ride around town. In the right gear, overtakes can be executed fairly easily. The meaty torque band along with the well-spaced ratios of the five-speed gearbox makes the Xtreme 160R an easy motorcycle to ride. I found myself cruising along in traffic in fifth gear without the engine kicking up a fuss. However, past the 90 km/h mark, the Xtreme 160R does run out of breath and does not go past the 120 km/h mark – both speeds as indicated on the console.
Thankfully, this new engine is also fairly refined because the first signs of unpleasant vibrations creep in only upwards of the 7,000-rpm mark. Even then, it is not irritating enough to be a deal-breaker. That is certainly a point in the Hero Xtreme 160R’s favour.
Ride and Handling
Swing a leg over the Hero Xtreme 160R and in the first few hundred feet it is evident that the ride quality is good for urban use. The motorcycle was pliant over bad surfaces and only a marginal portion of the shock was transferred to me. The front is managed by a 37-mm fork that is damped quite well while the seven-step preload-adjustable monoshock at the rear is set up on the stiffer side. The combination gives the motorcycle composure when tipping into corners and a ride that is far from uncomfortable over even the worst surfaces.
On the twisties, the tubular steel frame worked well with the rest of the chassis and the MRF rubber to help the motorcycle grip its way through a corner without fuss. A 100/80-17 MRF Nylogrip Zapper and a 130/70 R17 MRF revz-S – at the front and rear respectively – provide good levels of grip and are reasonably confident in the wet also. The Xtreme 160R sheds speed by clamping down on a 276-mm disc at the front and a 220-mm disc at the rear. While the braking is stable with good levels of feedback at the levers, we wish Hero had provided dual-channel ABS instead of the single-channel unit.
Price and Verdict
The Hero Xtreme 160R is available in two variants – a front-disc-rear-drum-brake model and a dual-disc model – and a choice of three colours; Sports Red, Pearl Silver White and Vibrant Blue. The former is priced at Rs 1.07 lakh while the latter, costs Rs 1.10 lakh; both prices are ex-showroom. Its competition is priced as follows:
Yamaha FZ-FI – Rs 1.04 lakh
TVS Apache RTR 160 4V – Rs 1.08 lakh
Bajaj Pulsar NS 160 – Rs 1.11 lakh
Suzuki Gixxer 150 – Rs 1.16 lakh
Everything considered, the Hero Xtreme 160R has a lot going in its favour but for a product that costs more than a lakh of rupees, Hero should have paid more attention to detail. Inconsistent quality of plastic and improper fit and finish take a few points off what would have otherwise been a near-perfect score. How does it fare against the competition? It is too early to tell. Maybe a comparison is due. Hmmm…