2023 Hero Xtreme 160R 4V first ride review: Thoughtful upgrades, big impression

₹1.27 - 1.36 Lakhs*
*Ex-showroom price
4 out of 5
Pros
  • Better suspension stability with the new USD front forks
  • New four-valve motor is peppy with more tractable performance
  • Style and feature upgrades help keep it more relevant against rivals
Cons
  • There are mild vibrations around the extreme end of the power band
  • Neither variant lets you have the connected tech and USD forks together
  • Rear suspension could've been slightly stiffer for sharper handling
The 2023 Hero Xtreme 160R 4V has arrived with comprehensive upgrades that work on the 2V's shortcomings along with a bunch of improvements of its own.
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The 2023 Hero Xtreme 160R 4V is here with a four-valve engine, oil cooling, revised styling and more features
The 2023 Hero Xtreme 160R 4V is here with a four-valve engine, oil cooling, revised styling and more features

The Hero Xtreme 160R impressed us when we first saw it arrive in 2020. Easy on the eye, nimble, and fun to ride, this was a big change from the brand’s traditional commuter offerings. Now, three years later, Hero is back with a comprehensively updated Xtreme 160R. Only this time, it’s called the Xtreme 160R 4V where ‘4V’ stands for four-valve.

But it’s not just an engine upgrade. There’s a new front suspension, reworked styling, new colour options and a host of new features as well. There’s plenty to talk about, which is why Hero invited us to its Centre of Technology and Innovation (CIT) in Jaipur, the home ground of all of the brand’s product development activities, to test out the new Xtreme 160R 4V. Do the changes make a difference in the riding experience? Let’s find out.

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Also Read : Hero Xtreme 160R 4V launched at 1.27 lakh, gets major upgrades

2023 Hero Xtreme 160R 4V Review
The new four-valve head ensures more performance and efficiency with lower emissions, and the motor is now oil-cooled too
2023 Hero Xtreme 160R 4V Review
The new four-valve head ensures more performance and efficiency with lower emissions, and the motor is now oil-cooled too

2023 Hero Xtreme 160R 4V: Upgraded engine

The big update is the revised 163 cc single-cylinder engine on the Xtreme 160R 4V. The motor now comes with four-valve technology and oil cooling, along with revised internals as well. The result is more power, better efficiency and lowered emissions to keep up with the latest norms. It now churns out 16.6 bhp at 8,500 rpm and 14.6 Nm of peak torque at 6,500 rpm, paired with a 5-speed gearbox. That’s about 1.7 bhp and 0.6 Nm more than the two-valve model.

The new uprated power figures aren’t segment-leading but the Xtreme 160R 4V compensates by remaining one of the lightest bikes in this category. Hero says the new Xtreme is the fastest accelerating motorcycle in the 160 cc segment with 0-60 kmph coming up in a claimed 4.41 seconds (4.7 seconds on the Xtreme 2V).

2023 Hero Xtreme 160R 4V Review
The Xtreme 160R 4V's motor is now faster and smoother in the low and mid-range while top-end performance gets definitive improvement
2023 Hero Xtreme 160R 4V Review
The Xtreme 160R 4V's motor is now faster and smoother in the low and mid-range while top-end performance gets definitive improvement

We always felt the 2V could’ve done with more power and Hero has addressed that concern here. The new Xtreme is quicker, the mid-range is stronger and it gets to triple-digit speeds faster. The bike feels calmer now at 100 kmph and can easily touch 120 kmph on an open road. However, it’s more at home around 85-90 kmph with enough power for easy overtakes.

The Xtreme 4V is effortless, no doubt, and super tractable with fewer gear changes required. The gearbox itself fits the job well and while it may not be the smoothest out there, it's par for the course. The engine is sublime and power delivery is smooth throughout the rev range. That being said, there are slight vibrations around the footpegs and handlebar at the extreme end of the power band.

2023 Hero Xtreme 160R 4V Review
The 37 mm USD front forks from KYB bring a more planted feel to the motorcycle. High-speed stability has improved and so has the cornering effort
2023 Hero Xtreme 160R 4V Review
The 37 mm USD front forks from KYB bring a more planted feel to the motorcycle. High-speed stability has improved and so has the cornering effort

2023 Hero Xtreme 160R 4V: New suspension

The new Hero Xtreme 160R 4V now comes with 37 mm KYB-sourced USD front forks. This is a big change over the telescopic forks on the two-valve version. The Hero Xtreme 160R was always impressive around the corner and the new USD forks bring a more planted feel to the front this time. The bike feels more confident about attacking a bend, while high-speed stability is far better now for the same reason.

Its light weight also makes it nimble, ever-eager to change directions and easily one of the most flick-able motorcycles in the segment. The new Xtreme continues to use a 7-step monoshock unit at the rear tuned for a pliant ride.

2023 Hero Xtreme 160R 4V Review
The ride quality is plush on the Xtreme 160R 4V but a stiffer suspension would've been nice to improve handling on the motorcycle
2023 Hero Xtreme 160R 4V Review
The ride quality is plush on the Xtreme 160R 4V but a stiffer suspension would've been nice to improve handling on the motorcycle

The overall ride quality is plush, which we do think is detrimental to the sporty nature of the motorcycle. We would’ve liked a stiffer setup to truly enjoy the bike’s capabilities. But for those looking at a comfortably fast sports commuter, the Xtreme 160R 4V offers that and then some gobbling up pretty much every undulation on the road.

Braking performance is effective with disc brakes at either end but the bike only comes with single-channel ABS as standard. This was a good opportunity to bring dual-channel ABS as an option, even if it meant a premium price tag.

2023 Hero Xtreme 160R 4V Review
The Xtreme 160R 4V gets a more aggressive stance with the lowered LED headlamp and revised fuel tank design. It's notably different from the 2V that will continue to be on sale
2023 Hero Xtreme 160R 4V Review
The Xtreme 160R 4V gets a more aggressive stance with the lowered LED headlamp and revised fuel tank design. It's notably different from the 2V that will continue to be on sale

2023 Hero Xtreme 160R 4V: Subtle design changes

Since both the 4V and 2V will be sold alongside each other, it’s a good move to give the former a new visual identity. The LED headlamp unit remains unchanged but has been repositioned to sit lower, while the fuel tank design has been revised and appears more muscular with shrouds. It has been hunkered down as well to create a visual heft that works rather well on the bike.

You also get a new belly pan that screams 4V, while the split seat option is a nice touch. The cushioning is thick though and comes across as bulky. You can opt for a step-up style single seat though, which would be more comfortable. There are subtle upgrades like the new switchgear and three new colour options - Matte Black, Neon Green, and Blazing Sports Red. The neon shade remains our pick here.

2023 Hero Xtreme 160R 4V Review
The negative LCD instrument console is rich on information but is hard to read under direct sunlight
2023 Hero Xtreme 160R 4V Review
The negative LCD instrument console is rich on information but is hard to read under direct sunlight

2023 Hero Xtreme 160R 4V: New Features

The Xtreme 160R 4V now gets Bluetooth connectivity but only on the Connected variant. It’s not offered on the Standard or top-spec Pro variants. So you either choose between Bluetooth connectivity or USD front forks. I’d personally choose the latter any day. That said, you miss out on a bunch of features including ignition alert, app-based navigation, theft alert, vehicle telematics and more via Hero Connect 2.0.

2023 Hero Xtreme 160R 4V Review
The riding posture is slightly more aggressive than before but the Xtreme 160R 4V is largely a comfortable bike. The USD forks are specific to the top Pro variant
2023 Hero Xtreme 160R 4V Review
The riding posture is slightly more aggressive than before but the Xtreme 160R 4V is largely a comfortable bike. The USD forks are specific to the top Pro variant

2023 Hero Xtreme 160R 4V: Ergonomics

The ergonomics are spot-on on the Xtreme 160R 4V. The footpegs and handlebar fall right into place even as the riding posture is now slightly aggressive. The 795 mm seat height makes it accessible to most riders but will involve some tip-toeing if you’re five feet or under. The bike comes with a negative LCD screen that’s rich in information but can get difficult to read under direct sunlight.

2023 Hero Xtreme 160R 4V: Prices

Hero keeps things competitive with pricing that starts at 1.27 lakh for the Standard variant, while the Connected variant is priced at 1.33 lakh. The top-spec Pro is priced at 1.36 lakh. All prices are ex-showroom, Delhi. The Pro variant is more expensive than the TVS Apache RTR 160 4V and the Bajaj Pulsar N160, both of which are strong rivals in the segment.

2023 Hero Xtreme 160R 4V Review
Hero has been listening to feedback and it shows on the Xtreme 160R 4V. The improvements are notable and it's now better equipped to take on rivals
2023 Hero Xtreme 160R 4V Review
Hero has been listening to feedback and it shows on the Xtreme 160R 4V. The improvements are notable and it's now better equipped to take on rivals

2023 Hero Xtreme 160R 4V: Verdict

The Xtreme 160R 4V is now easier to recommend to those looking for a fun sports commuter in the 160 cc segment. Hero has been listening to feedback and it shows. But is it the best 160 cc motorcycle in its category? A proper comparison needs to happen to give you an answer there. What we do know is that Xtreme 160R 4V has the goods to tip the scales strongly in its favour.

First Published Date: 19 Jun 2023, 16:01 PM IST
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