Hero Motocorp, the Gurgaon based manufacturer showcased the Xtreme 160R first along with their complete BS6 line-up to us back in February when our team visited the CIT at Jaipur. We had loved what Hero presented to us, in the form of a new worthy competitor in the already crowded 160cc sports commuter segment. Hero had showcased this design at EICMA under the 1R concept, but we were more than surprised when Hero actually brought it to the production line & in what a way. Hero already has a commuter oriented Xtreme 200 out there, has the Xtreme 200S for the sports oriented market and the Xpulse 200 for the Adventure oriented market, what was missing from the mix was a sports commuter, and that’s exactly what the Xtreme160R is.
In terms of design, as I said, its based on the 1R concept, it was radical & futuristic, and nobody expected Hero Motocorp, India’s largest commuter motorcycle manufacturer to bring something this stylish & performance oriented on the table ever. The moment you see this bike, I am sure everyone’s eye will catch the skilfully crafted Tank cover panel integrated to the side panel giving it a stunning & refreshing look; these kind of design elements is something we have never seen in the segment.
The tank panel carries the aggressive muscular lines from the mudguard and gives the design an overall flow. On the front sits a LED headlamp setup, which resembles somewhat like a futuristic robot face. This LED lamp unit is mounted onto 37mm SHOWA telescopic forks, onto which a 276mm disk brake setup has been installed. The front fendor gets these aggressive lines, which gives it a beefy muscular look. The switch gear is of premium built quality, and has modern features, something we haven’t seen the past from Hero Motocorp. On the right side, it gets an integrated switch for Engine Kill/On & ignition, while the left side gear comes equipped with indicator switch, horn & upper dipper switch. It gets a 12 litre fuel tank, sitting inside the sculpted tank panels.
On the Rear, the Xtreme gets a smoked LED tail-lamp with aggressive body lines complementing the overall design DNA. The pillion grab handles which you were till now thinking aren’t there, are actually integrated & hidden under the tail panel. The rear wheel gets a tyre hugger, adding to the muscular look. It gets these 8 spoked magwheels, designed in line with the characteristics of Xtreme.
The Extreme runs on MRF radial soft compound tyres, with a 100-80-17 section tyre on the front & 130-70-17 section tyre on the rear which provide more than enough feedback, traction & grip. Though, the Xtreme shall only be available in 2 options of rear brakes, 1 being the standard drum brake variant, and other being a 200mm disk brake variant, that’s sweet, but what would have made it sweeter is the option of dual channel ABS option. Its something, Hero is yet to deliver, hopefully the next iteration comes equipped with it, but what it gets is a First Ever seen, 7 step adjustable Rear suspension, which can be tuned as per your comfort & weight & other preferences.
Well all this equipment has been loaded onto a newly developed Light Weight diamond type chassis, which gives the Xtreme right balance of agility, rigidity & balance. With a kerb weight of less than 140kgs, its definately lighter than most of its competition. It gets a ground clearance of 157mm which is more than satisfactory for Indian roads, and with a seat height of 790mm should be accessible & in range of most of Indian buyers.
On the Exreme160R, we get a negative LED display instrument cluster, which is something, Hero Motocorp never have used in this class of motorcycles. It displays information like 2 trip meters, an Odometer, A digital clock, a digital tachometer and a fuel gauge. It also has signal lamps for Upper,
Neutral light, side-stand down indicator and signal lights On, ABS status and a check engine light to assist rider while riding.
The Xtreme gets an all LED treatment with sporty looking indicators completing the package. With color options of RED, WHITE and BLUE, the Xtreme 160R will appeal to all young & style conscious segment of the market. And what better timing than now for the Xtreme160, when personal transportation demand is rising, with concerns over corona virus & hygiene in public transport. The Xtreme gets a upper hand over most of its competitors in terms of styling & looks, with only the Apache 160 4v sharing similar the kind of aggression & styling. Undoubtedly, one of the Best looking bikes in the segment.
Coming to the heart of the Xtreme, it gets a newly developed from scratch 163cc 2-valved air-cooled engine, which is mated to a 5-speed transmission which delivers 15Ps of power and 14Nm of Torque, which is the best in class of 2-valved engines. The gearbox is butter smooth in upshifts, but was a bit clunky during downshifts in the initial few kilometres of riding, must be the machining rough ends, but within 300kms of riding it got pretty much working well. The linear power delivery & engine refinement throughout the rev-band is something that shall leave you baffled and awestruck. Never ever, did a 160cc motorcycle ever felt this engaging. Now, its not as powerful as its other 4 valved competitors like the Pulsar NS and Apache, but what I can surely tell you is that they don’t deliver the kind of package & ride experience the Xtreme160R does.
So other interesting fact about this engine is the low compression ratio of 9.8:1. Now low compression ratio translates into low mileage & low power figures, but that’s not the case with Hero MotoCorp’s Xtreme 160R. But, Since its weights just 138.5kgs, the power to weight ratio is much better than others, rather thanks to the lower compression ratio, the engine runs less stressed no matter what rpm you ride at, the engine will also have lower wear and tear and will cover longer distances than other higher compression bikes not just in terms of service, but overall life of the engine will exceed others, overall cost of ownership of the vehicle will be less, savings for your pocket, sounds like a great deal right.
The Xtreme 160R is definitely one of the best riding experience we have had in recent past before Corona happened. The ride quality & comfort is spot-on & impeccable, with comfort and control never leaving your side, thanks to those progressively tuned suspensions which is soft initially but get stiff as the dive progresses. The brakes provide ample bite and feedback, giving greater confidence to ride, though I did miss ABS on the rear. The new light weight chassis is brilliantly agile & stable, letting you have all the fun without any surprises, without much stress or fatigue setting in. Yeah, in terms of power, the Xtreme aint the most powerful of the lot, but engine power isn’t all that matters, I can definitely say that Xtreme is all ready to take the fight head-on with the current 160cc sports commuter market leaders, with its agility, refinement, performance, aggressive styling and impressive ride quality and off course its mileage thanks to that 14 different sensors adjusting the fuel flow. The Xtreme hit a top speed of 110kmph, but its most pleasureable to ride in the 30-90kmph range on top gear, and can do 80-90 kmph cruising & ghat sections with utmost ease all day long. Also, the Single tank to side panel offers a unique styling, but its subjective I would say.
The Xtreme 160 is definitely a very promising & stylish preposition, at 1,03,000/- for the dual disk variant, and 99,500’- for the single disk brake variant. All you 100-125cc riders & first time buyers out there, the 160cc segment now has more options to choose from. Definitely ticks all the right boxes for me. What do you guys think ? Do let us know in the comments section.
Words – Suraj Sawant
Photography & Video – Bhushan Joshi