Hero Xtreme 125R First Ride Review: Set to Raid the segment?
Hero MotoCorp is one of the leaders in the 125 cc motorcycle segment and the company knows its strengths in delivering user-friendly, functional commuters to the masses. However, the brand is on a quest to break into the premium segment and the 125 cc motorcycle space seems like the perfect opportunity for the world’s largest two-wheeler maker. That’s where the new Hero Xtreme 125R steps in. This is the smallest motorcycle in the “Xtreme" series, which has always been about style with functionality, and aims to break the clutter not just for Hero but in the segment as well. Can the new Hero Xtreme 125R make a dent where it matters? We had a few quick laps of the new stylish commuter at Hero’s R&D centre in Jaipur and here’s what we think about it.
Hero Xtreme 125R: Design
The new Xtreme 125R is a big departure from Hero MotoCorp’s traditional approach towards commuters. This isn’t a “one-size-fits-all" design but rather sharper and more thought-out intended to impress younger buyers. It feels like a bigger motorcycle, much less a 125 cc offering. The Hero Xtreme 125R looks fast even at a standstill, that should set the tone of the styling. Several elements are taken from bigger motorcycles like the hunkered-down LED headlamp that seems to be inspired by Kawasakis, while the muscular fuel tank adds more visual bulk to the styling.
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The fuel tank is further accentuated by the sharp shrouds on either side that will remind you of the BMW G 310 R. The sharp lines continue on the side, splitting the fuel tank into a bulbous top and a slim bottom that contours well into the rider’s seat. The motorcycle gets split seats for that added sporty appearance with split grab rails, a stubby exhaust, and a rear tyre hugger, with Hero selling you the complete sporty package as intended. The overall stance is decent and the Xtreme 125R will surely grab tons of attention on the road.
Hero Xtreme 125R: Features
The Xtreme 125R looks sharp and also gets a decent amount of equipment to go with its looks. This includes the projector lens headlamp with LED DRLs. There are also LED indicators and taillight to further add to the premium appeal. The negative LCD console is rich in information and falls right into peripheral vision. However, the overall quality leaves a bit to be desired on the bike. While fit and finish levels are decent, some plastic panels do come across as cheap. The cables up front could’ve also been hidden better to sell the premium appeal more effectively. What’s noteworthy is that the motorcycle comes with 17-inch wheels at either end with a 120/80 section rear tyre, the widest in its class.
Hero Xtreme 125R: Handling
We had a chance to go around Hero’s handling track at CIT and we can understand why the manufacturer wanted us to sample this first. The Xtreme 125R’s lean profile allows for a nimble motorcycle. Around the test track, the bike felt effortless to corner with the chassis and suspension making for a fantastic setup. The bike flows seamlessly around a bend with a responsive front that allows for a more point-and-shoot riding experience. While we haven’t tested it out in the real world, the Xtreme 125R should make for a nimble handler on the road. City rides should be effortless with easy manoeuvrability being at the core of the handling department. This is more so given the light kerb weight of 133 kg on the motorcycle.
Hero Xtreme 125R: Performance
The fantastic chassis is ably supported by the new 125 cc Sprint-EBT single-cylinder, air-cooled engine. The motor is an updated unit from the Glamour 125 and is tuned to produce 11.4 bhp at 8,250 rpm and 10.5 Nm of peak torque at 6,000 rpm. The Xtreme 125R is light on its feet and quick when you open the throttle. 0-60 kmph comes up in a claimed 5.9 seconds and the bike feels quick in the lower power band for the most part. Hero also claims a fuel efficiency of 66 kmpl (certified), which makes it the most efficient offering in the segment.
Getting speeds to climb up to 70 kmph is easy and most riders will be spending their time in this power band in city rides. However, the higher power band isn’t the most inviting on the motorcycle. We did touch up to 95 kmph on the track but the run from 70 kmph to 90 kmph took a while.
The motor is also impressive when it comes to NVH levels and while it may not be as refined as some of the Japanese 125 cc offerings, the bike does not come across as strained at any point. You will feel mild buzz around the foot pegs and handlebar at the top of the rev band but most users will not be pushing the Xtreme 125R to its limits. The engine is paired with a 5-speed gearbox that works well for the most part. We did see a little clunkiness when slotting into the first gear on our test bike, which could be due to the mechanical parts still being new. The clutch is also light and should make for effortless gear changes in traffic jams. We’d like to spend more time to know more about how it behaves on a day-to-day basis.
The front brake offers a sharp bite on the Xtreme 125R although you may find it to be a bit jerky initially. The rear also gets a disc brake on the higher variant for more effective control. The Xtreme 125R is the first motorcycle in the segment to get single-channel ABS as an option and we didn’t have an opportunity to check the intrusiveness of the setup on the test track. The lower variant continues to get combi-braking and a much lower price tag as well.
Hero Xtreme 125R: Price and Verdict
Speaking of which, the Hero Xtreme 125R is priced from ₹95,000 for the IBS variant, going up to ₹99,500 for the ABS variant. All prices are ex-showroom, Delhi. Those are competitive prices once you consider the decently equipped feature list, capable chassis and light kerb weight on the motorcycle. For those starting their two-wheeler journey but do not want to compromise on style, the Xtreme 125R makes for a compelling case, especially with that imposing design that is sure to attract a lot of attention on public roads.
The Xtreme 125R competes against the TVS Raider 125 and Bajaj Pulsar NS125 in the segment and it’ll be interesting to see if Hero can use its “glamour" to get a chunk of the market share from either model. Bookings for the Hero Xtreme 125R will begin in February this year with deliveries set to commence in the following weeks. We are looking forward to riding this motorcycle for longer to give you a more comprehensive update on whether you should purchase one. Stay tuned!