While I was penning our "best 150-160 cc naked/streetfighter motorcycles" story, Hero MotoCorp launched its latest contender, the Xtreme 160R. Since it was too late in the day for it to be included in the story, I decided that I'll write a separate piece on it, which you're reading right now. Also, thinking aloud now, I wouldn't have included it anyway in the aforementioned comparison story because I haven't ridden it yet. Therefore, treat this story as a sort of first impression that I got upon seeing its specifications and pictures. Also, do let me know what you think of the bike as of now. There's a bit of a revelation for you in this story, especially if you're an RTR 160 4V fan.

Hero Xtreme 160R BS6
Hero Xtreme 160R BS6Hero MotoCorp

Hero Xtreme 160R price: Is it competitive?

The bike comes in two variants: one with a front disc/rear drum combo and the other with discs on both wheels. The former has been priced at Rs 99,950 while the latter will cost you Rs 1,03,500. All prices mentioned in this story are ex-showroom, Delhi.

Here's how the competition stacks up:

Honda Unicorn: Rs 94,548. The Unicorn comes only as a disc/drum model.
Yamaha FZ-FI: Rs 99,700 (discs on both wheels).
TVS Apache RTR 160 4V: 1,02,950 (disc/drum variant) and 1,06,000 (discs on both wheels).
Suzuki Gixxer: Rs 1,11,900 (discs on both wheels).

Hero Xtreme 160R Design: Has Hero created the best looking bike in this segment, finally?

I love the way this motorcycle looks! I never thought I would say that for a Hero, especially after what they did to the Karizma's styling. However, I must also add that the company is indeed getting back on track, and I quite like the XPulse and the Xtreme 200S (especially in red) too.

The Xtreme 160R will be available in three colors: white, blue, and red. Hero calls them Pearl Silver White, Vibrant Blue, and Sports Red.

Hero Xtreme 160R BS6
Hero Xtreme 160R BS6Hero MotoCorp

I won't get into the design details (not until I see it in flesh and metal) right now; I'll just say that from the pictures at least, it looks the most muscular of the lot. Hero says that the commercial launch of this motorcycle will be accompanied by a 360-degree media campaign with the tagline—Heads will Turn, Hearts will Race. I think they've got the first part of the tagline covered. Let's see in the next section below whether the hearts will race or not.

Hero Xtreme 160R Power, Torque, and Acceleration: Quicker than the RTR 160 4V?

The Xtreme 160R produces 15 bhp at 8,500rpm, which makes it one of the more powerful motorcycles in the segment. The TVS Apache RTR 160 4V still remains more powerful though. It produces 15.8 bhp at 8,250rpm, and 14.12 Nm at 7,250rpm. Hero hasn't mentioned the torque details yet.

Hero claims that the Xtreme 160R has a class-leading 0-60 km/h acceleration time of 4.7 seconds. Since we've already established that the bike's most direct rival is the RTR 160 4V, I must inform all of you that I had achieved a time of 4.1 seconds for the 0-60 km/h run on the RTR 160 4V BS4 carb version. TVS used to claim 4.7 seconds for that bike. I said "used to" because the carb version isn't on sale anymore, thanks to the BS6 norms, and TVS has not yet disclosed the performance figures of the BS6 bike.

All said and done, it looks like the Hero Xtreme 160R would indeed turn out to be the quickest motorcycle in the segment (dethroning the 160 4V) because it's 10.5 kg lighter than the RTR. But again, the RTR still has a slight power advantage, so anything might happen...

Hero Xtreme 160R BS6
Hero Xtreme 160R BS6Hero MotoCorp

I am now eXtremely interested in testing both the bikes soon. That's when I would also be able to tell you about its ergonomics as well, among other things. As of now, Hero hasn't mentioned anything about its seat height, dimensions, etc. What the company has disclosed is that the bike has LED illumination all around (yes, including the indicators); side-stand engine-cut-off feature; 276 mm and 220 mm petal discs at the front and rear, respectively; single-channel ABS; 165 mm ground clearance; fully digital instrument cluster; 37 mm fork; 7-step adjustable mono-shock, and a hazard switch (that lights up all four indicators, a feature loved by Indians).

That's all for today. Expect a review as soon as the media units are available in Delhi.