A few months ago, I got quite ambitious and decided to sell my practically brand-new scooter to fund a purchase I honestly had not thought through. The scooter was faultless and a perfect companion in a city like Mumbai. I parted ways with it for a 1978 Suzuki TS100, which I had intended to use as my daily ride. However, there’s a reason you don’t see people ride 40-year-old machines to the shops and that’s simply because they are hard to keep running. What made it worse for me was the fact that the TS I have is probably the only one of its kind in the country, making spares nearly impossible to come by.
The bike I have has a worn-out crankshaft seal, and the replacement is being shipped to India since the last two months. In the meanwhile, I’ve had to hail taxis and that’s no fun, especially during a pandemic in the second-most congested city in the world. Hero’s latest entrant to Autocar’s long-term fleet, the 160R, couldn’t have come at a better time.
A slightly more spacious pillion seat would go a long way.
Given that it has only just shown up, I haven’t had the chance to put a lot of kilometres on it. That said, I’ve already started learning a few things about it. What becomes quite apparent after a few days is that, in typical Hero fashion, the Xtreme 160R isn’t a fussy motorcycle, and calling this one friendly is an understatement. It’s so light, quiet and undramatic that, at times, you forget it has sporty intentions.
However, I haven’t yet had the opportunity to really push it, which could reveal its fun side, but that’s something we’ll leave for the next report. At present, it’s the motorcycle I use to get from one traffic signal to another, and it’ll probably continue to do so till I get a long weekend off. Despite its compact dimensions, the 160R manages to grab quite a bit of attention. That’s not surprising when you look at the thing. The uniquely sporty design paired with the futuristic looking LED headlight and smoked tail-light help it stand out. A design like this is quite uncharacteristic of Hero (but most welcome!), and it’s leaving bystanders in awe.
Pillion grab handles are neatly integrated into the rear fender.
My short city trips have also revealed some of the 160R’s shortcomings. The pillion seat, for instance, could have been a little more spacious. The fuel cap isn’t hinged and the clutch bites right at the end, although the latter is an issue a quick adjustment will fix.
Unlike Ruman and his Himalayan, I don’t have big trips planned with the Xtreme at the moment, but it’s something I do hope to change.