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A meeting at short notice needed be to get to the other side of town real quick. The Hero Xtreme 200R to the rescue!
Maruti Suzuki has borrowed the Ciaz for a few days, and there was no way I could say no to them. I mean, it is their car, isn’t it? That means more saddle time on the Xtreme! Background story: I spent the last monsoon in Mumbai and unless you had emergency floatation devices on your motorcycle, taking it out was always a gamble. Pune, on the other hand has a peaceful monsoon. It’s mostly couldy skies and the downpour seems to know when I’m on the bike and stays away.
Pick up the August issue of the magazine and you will find a story by me about the Hero Xpulse and Impulse. Now, all would have been well and good if the Impulse that turned up to our shoot wasn’t prepped for dirt track and motocross – it behaved nothing like the original Impulse, or so I’m told. I’ve never properly ridden the Impulse and needed some perspective. The Ed put me in touch with Rishad Cooper, veteran auto journalist who spent 15 years testing and writing about motorcycles at Autocar India. He owns an Impulse and recently bought an Xpulse. He also lives on the other side of Pune. With a deadline to meet, I dashed through evening traffic on the Xtreme to get some perspective.
That dash through town reminded me of why the Xtreme makes so much sense. So many people crying about the fact that it is underpowered – I didn’t need more power on those wet, choked streets. Not once did I wish the bike had more grunt. The lightness of its controls, the way it delivers its power was all perfect. Sure, I’ve been facing a few hitches between 3000-4000rpm -- there is flat-spotting since the air filter issue still persists, but its great otherwise. Ergonomically, it finds middle-ground between upright and sport-commuter and its super-flickable.
I made it in time to Rishad’s for an early dinner, and a rather wholesome chat about motorcycles. He gave me enough perspective to deserve to be co-author on that story! Meanwhile, I’m trying to fix up a service at a Hero service centre close to home and shall try and get the filter rectified this weekend. Catch the Xpulse/ Impulse story in the magazine and stay tuned for updates about the Xpulse!
Total km: 950km
km this week: 70km