Monday, April 22, 2024
HomeNews & FearuresBike ReviewsHero’s Dirt Worthy Wild Child: The X-Pulse 200 4-valve Stealth Limited Edition

Hero’s Dirt Worthy Wild Child: The X-Pulse 200 4-valve Stealth Limited Edition

Photo credit: Bjorn Moreira / ZA Bikers

Hero is very much in the news now following Ross Branch’s magnificent showing in Dakar, where he fought single-handedly against a Honda HRC team effort to finish a superb second overall, having led for a major part of the race. On the local front Hero continues to make serious inroads into the commercial and city commuter market. Their X-Pulse dual-purpose model has become popular with those who use it to commute during the week and then de-stress by playing in the dirt on weekends. You come across X-Pulses in the strangest places.

Returning from my December road trip to Cape Town, which I had to do by car as I was picking up a tent I had bought, we stopped over in Clarens. Sipping an ice-cold Clarens Blonde at the brewery I noticed two travel-stained, luggage-bedecked bikes parked on the street. A big BMW GS and a Hero X-Pulse. I soon located the riders and had a bit of a chat. Turns out it was a father/son trip around and through Lesotho. They were full of praise for the performance of the little Hero. The dad mentioned that he had taken it easy on the tar sections of their route for the Hero to hold station. The son retorted that it was the other way around in the dirt, where he had to stop and allow his dad to catch up, especially when the road got gnarly. And that, my friends, is the allure of the dirt-worthy X-Pulse.

Photo credit: Bjorn Moreira / ZA Bikers

I recently spent some time on the latest 4-Valve version of the X-Pulse and came away rather impressed. I rode the Stealth Limited Edition in a Matte Axis Grey colour scheme which looks good. The X-Pulse has undergone some tweaks that have enhanced the riding experience. The rally-style windshield is now 60 mm longer, which significantly reduces the windblast to your torso. The footpegs have also been subtly relocated, 35 mm lower and 8 mm further back. The rider triangle is now quite relaxed, and standing is more comfortable. I would like them even further back, but then again I am on the tall side. Shorter riders will probably find them great where they are. The bars now sport sturdy knuckle guards which will also keep windblast from your hands in winter. Overall, it is a comfy place to spend time.

Photo credit: Bjorn Moreira / ZA Bikers

The LCD display gives all the typical info that you need and is complimented by a perfectly placed USB port. Ideal for a GPS or to charge your phone in a tank bag or on a handlebar mount. On that note, the 13 L tank is metal, so a variety of magnetic tank bags can work on the Hero. The headlight is now a projector LED and is excellent.

Photo credit: Bjorn Moreira / ZA Bikers

Now let us talk about the 199,6 cc oil-cooled OHC 4-Valve motor with its huge externally mounted oil cooler. To the best of my knowledge, it is the first 4-valve motor that Hero has built. It is a peach. It is punchy and smooth all the way to redline, with decent midrange torque. It makes the little Hero a commuting weapon. It wins the stoplight drag races easily, and slices and dices traffic effortlessly. For traversing urban sprawl, it is a great choice. Fuel consumption between 30 to 40 km/L saves you a fortune at the pumps, not to mention the time and frustration saved on your commute. It just makes so much sense! And then we have the weekends.

Photo credit: Bjorn Moreira / ZA Bikers

The X-Pulse is genuinely dirt-worthy. A 21” front wheel and an 18” rear, allow fitment of a wide range of suitable offroad rubber. Discs back and front take care of braking the 161 kg curb weight of the Hero without fuss. The motor produces around 19 horses @ 8,500 rpm and 17,35 Nm of torque @ 6,500. The motor is genuinely willing, even when out of its comfort zone on the highway. It is not that it cannot run at highway speeds, but rather that its 5-speed gearbox really misses the 6th gear. You start feeling sorry for the high revs that the motor is subjected to at highway speeds. Short stints are no issue, but inter-city commutes are not ideal. Realistically you should limit your touring speeds to around 100 km/h.

Photo credit: Bjorn Moreira / ZA Bikers

Offroad is where the little Hero shines. The dirt-friendly wheel sizes, allied to decently damped and sprung suspension with reasonable travel (190 mm front and 170 mm rear) make traversing dirt a lot of fun. The perky motor adds to the enjoyment. There is 220 mm of ground clearance. I rode some gnarly bits of trail, fully expecting to put the decent bash plate to some use but no worries. The bike tracks straight and true, responding to handlebar input to stay on course, the suspension soaking up the bumps with aplomb.

Photo credit: Bjorn Moreira / ZA Bikers

It is this dirt-worthy versatility that makes the X-Pulse such a versatile offering. Turn your commute into a fun exercise then take chilled rides in the dirt on the weekends. And all that for only R56,999. You can’t even buy an e-bicycle for that sort of loot! A 5-year/100,000 km warranty adds to your peace of mind. Take a ride on the wild side. You owe it to yourself!

Photo credit: Bjorn Moreira / ZA Bikers

Hero X-Pulse 200 4-valve Stealth Limited Edition

For more information on the bike featured in this article, click on the link below…

2024

Hero XPulse 200 FI 4V (Stealth...

Pricing From R56,900 (RRP)


Brand: Hero
Dave Cilliers
Dave Cilliers
My name is Dave Cilliers. I consider cars as four wheeled shopping baskets and only worth using as a last resort! For years bikes have been my primary transport. Racing, touring, commuting or just kicking up dust on African tracks, I have owned over 270 motorcycles and ridden millions of kilometres. I am happiest when sharing my passion for motorcycles with like minded people whilst traversing Africa in search of adventure.
RELATED ARTICLES

STAY CONNECTED

74,000FansLike
10,500FollowersFollow