June 16, 2021

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Hero Xtreme 160R long term review, first report

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A few months ago, I got quite ambitious and decided to sell my practically brand-new scooter to fund a purchase I honestly had not thought through. The scooter was faultless and a perfect companion in a city like Mumbai. I parted ways with it for a 1978 Suzuki TS100, which I had intended to use as my daily ride. However, there’s a reason you don’t see people ride 40-year-old machines to the shops and that’s simply because they are hard to keep running. What made it worse for me was the fact that the TS I have is probably the only one of its kind in the country, making spares nearly impossible to come by. 

The bike I have has a worn-out crankshaft seal, and the replacement is being shipped to India since the last two months. In the meanwhile, I’ve had to hail taxis and that’s no fun, especially during a pandemic in the second-most congested city in the world. Hero’s latest entrant to Autocar’s long-term fleet, the 160R, couldn’t have come at a better time. 

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A slightly more spacious pillion seat would go a long way.

Given that it has only just shown up, I haven’t had the chance to put a lot of kilometres on it. That said, I’ve already started learning a few things about it. What becomes quite apparent after a few days is that, in typical Hero fashion, the Xtreme 160R isn’t a fussy motorcycle, and calling this one friendly is an understatement. It’s so light, quiet and undramatic that, at times, you forget it has sporty intentions. 

However, I haven’t yet had the opportunity to really push it, which could reveal its fun side, but that’s something we’ll leave for the next report. At present, it’s the motorcycle I use to get from one traffic signal to another, and it’ll probably continue to do so till I get a long weekend off. Despite its compact dimensions, the 160R manages to grab quite a bit of attention. That’s not surprising when you look at the thing. The uniquely sporty design paired with the futuristic looking LED headlight and smoked tail-light help it stand out. A design like this is quite uncharacteristic of Hero (but most welcome!), and it’s leaving bystanders in awe. 

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Pillion grab handles are neatly integrated into the rear fender.

My short city trips have also revealed some of the 160R’s shortcomings. The pillion seat, for instance, could have been a little more spacious. The fuel cap isn’t hinged and the clutch bites right at the end, although the latter is an issue a quick adjustment will fix. 

Unlike Ruman and his Himalayan, I don’t have big trips planned with the Xtreme at the moment, but it’s something I do hope to change. 

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