The Xpulse 200’s Rally Kit changes the experience of the motorcycle


The Xpulse 200 is a great value-for-money off-roader but for ₹ 38,000 more, Hero will sell you a fully road-legal Rally Kit that ramps up its off-road abilities. This includes a rebound and compression adjustable front fork, a preload and rebound adjustable monoshock and Maxxis off-road knobbies. You also get a handlebar riser, a longer gear lever to accommodate bulky off-road boots, a taller rally-style seat and a longer side stand. That is a proper off-road kit for not a lot of money, but is it for everyone?

The transformation

The Xpulse 200's Rally Kit changes the experience of the motorcycle

The changes that the Rally Kit brings about are apparent from the moment you climb onto the bike. With the taller suspension and seat, you are perched a massive 933mm high in comparison to the 823mm on the stock bike. If you use the stock seat with the Rally Kit suspension, the height is 882mm; the rally seat on the stock suspension sits at 878mm – both tall combinations that will take some getting used to.

At 158kg with the kit (stock is 157kg), this bike is nowhere close to being as light as the 105-odd kg 250cc dirt bikes available from Kawasaki or Suzuki. Then again, it is about five times lighter on the pocket and road legal too. The Maxxis knobbies go against everything one would expect a tire to do on tarmac. They never feel settled and it is like you are constantly riding on a flat tire. Cornering is a nervous experience as well, and then, there is also the loud droning tire noise on tarmac.

Just to prove how they hate being on tarmac, our tires have done just over 700km and are already showing signs of wear. Performance suffers too, with the Rally Kit-equipped bike slower than the stock Xpulse in all our acceleration tests although, surprisingly, the braking distance was actually reduced.

Dirty dancing

The Xpulse 200's Rally Kit changes the experience of the motorcycle

However, none of this matters because the Rally Kit helps you experience what a serious off-road setup feels like in the dirt. One will soon realize that the trick with these tires is to let the handlebar move about and figure itself out.

This can be an unusual sensation at first but once you get the hang of it you start to realize that this is a very capable motorcycle to ride in the dirt. The suspension is comfortable on the road, but it really comes into its own once you pick up speed. Bumps, jumps and ruts are dealt with a composure that is noticeably better than the stock suspension and the bike flies through them in a completely unflustered manner.

Rally ready

By now, you should be able to figure out if the Rally Kit is for you. If you are looking at aggressive off-road riding, or considering a début in competitive rallying, there is not anything else like the Xpulse 200, and that too at this price.

However, the components are also available individually, and you should definitely consider them if you own an Xpulse. For example, tall riders can make the bike much more comfortable with just the seat and the handlebar riser for a total of ₹ 2,850. If you feel the stock suspension is not as capable as you would like, you can go for the Rally Kit suspension at ₹ 18,000 for the fork and ₹ 7,500 for the shock. As for the tires, which are priced at ₹ 10,000 for the pair, we would only recommend them if your time on tarmac is minimal to non-existent.

Overall, the Rally Kit completely changes the experience the motorcycle provides, and it offers unmatched value for money.

You have reached your limit for free articles this month.

Subscription Benefits Include

Today’s Paper

Find mobile-friendly version of articles from the day’s newspaper in one easy-to-read list.

Unlimited access

Enjoy reading as many articles as you wish without any limitations.

Personalised recommendations

A select list of articles that match your interests and tastes.

Faster pages

Move smoothly between articles as our pages load instantly.

Dashboard

A one-stop-shop for seeing the latest updates, and managing your preferences.

Briefing

We brief you on the latest and most important developments, three times a day.

Support Quality Journalism.

* Our Digital Subscription plans do not currently include the e-paper, crossword and print.

.

these-vacation-pictures-of-kat-kristian-prove-her-love-for-travelling/ Queen Elizabeth II nailed monochrome dressing PM Modi turns 72; Here’s how India is celebrating his birthday From Avneet Kaur to Mouni Roy: TV celebs’ stylish bikini collections