New bike: Xpulse 200 with rally kit

AK

AK

A week back, I bought an Xpulse 200. I’ve been enjoying riding a motorcycle after some 4 long years, hence the lack of articles.

The motorcycles that I had to choose from were, in decreasing order of love:

  1. Royal Enfield GT 650 – What the heart wanted
  2. KTM 390 Adventure – What the brain wanted
  3. Hero Xpulse 200 – What the wallet wanted

The GT 650 in Dr. Mayhem color was my first choice, I even bought my new riding gear to color match it. I took a test drive and loved it, but of course Royal Enfield had to fuck up somehow. The waiting period on it was 2-3 months, which is just stupid. It’s spring in Punjab, this is the perfect time to ride. In 3 months, the road will be lava.

The 390 Adventure would have been great too, but I couldn’t justify spending some 4 lacs on it right now. On top of that, I already have thousands of kilometers on the Duke 390, so it may have felt like divorcing my wife and marrying her sister. I couldn’t find any in the used market in Punjab, and didn’t want to buy an out of state one, not worth the hassle.

The Xpulse it was then, but buying a motorcycle is not as straightforward as I’d imagined. I had the money ready, but that didn’t seem to be enough. For some unknown reason, no showroom in Mohali had stock for it. I live in a small town, the local Hero dealership simply said “We only sell Splendors”, so that was that.

To clarify, the “correct” choice of motorcycle would have been a Dominar 400. It’s easily available, easily repairable, and great for touring, which is what I enjoy the most. But I didn’t want to buy the right machine, I wanted to make a stupid choice. Stupidity is fun.

Through a random Whatsapp chat and some friendly friends, I found that Hero sells their bikes and parts online via Hgpmart.com. That site name is by far the worst URL I can think of for Hero to choose, and the internet seems to concur because nobody fucking knows it exists. The site proved more than useful however, it showed which bike was in stock at which showroom.

Randomly going through the dealers around me, I found a white Xpulse Fi at Ladiyan Motors, Ropar. This was very strange, Ropar is a small-ish city, certainly not the hotbed of moto activity in Punjab. But I wasn’t complaining, called them and they said they indeed have it.

Some more digging later, found out that it’s a July manufactured bike. The dealership said they actually got delivery of the bike in December, but who knows. I didn’t particularly care however, it was a BS6 machine, and there have been no updates to the bike since the BS6 one was launched. If anything, I could use the old stock as an excuse to get some discount.

Drove to the showroom on fine day, and immediately noticed that the bike already had a rally kit installed. That was just kick ass, I had planned to buy the bike and then slowly upgrade the parts, but to have one already kitted out was fucking amazing.

The showroom people were more than happy for me to take a test drive, which is a rare thing for a dealership to offer for a new bike. A mechanic sat behind me, and I was barely able to keep the thing standing, with my feet barely touching the ground. The Maxxis tires made it feel like I was riding on punctured rubber, but otherwise I couldn’t find any problems.

Spoke to the sales guy, told him I’m ready to pay right now, but he gotta get me a discount since it’s a 6 month old machine. Finally brought the price down by some 6000 bucks. I didn’t really want to haggle too much, I don’t particularly enjoy it, so the bank transfer was done.

In total, it cost me 1.71 Lacs.

Of course I had driven there in my car, so I couldn’t pick up the bike that day. I did make use of the car and brought home all the stock parts that were taken off the bike, the suspensions bits, the mudguard, stock tires etc. When I got back home and told my parents I’d bought a new bike, they were confused by the random assortment of dissociated bike parts that I’d brought back, rather than a functional bike.

There were a bunch of things for me to handle, so I couldn’t go back immediately to pick up the bike. Got the registration stuff done over the phone, but the days kept passing by.

It was a strange situation to be in, rather than waiting for the Royal Enfield people to tell me when my bike will be available, the Hero people were calling me when I am going to pick up the damn thing. I went back a few days later, and rode it home.

The delivery experience was hilarious. I had to be at the showroom at 8.30 in the morning. The staff wouldn’t get in till 10. But they were nice enough to take care of all the paperwork and leave it with the guard. One mechanic was also present, he fit the A/F number plates, filled up some fuel, and I was good to go.

Picture me in glorious riding gear, jumping up on the seat, ready to ride away into the sunset. I start the bike, and then try to take the side stand off, and I can’t fucking reach it. After 3-4 attempts, I give up and ask the mechanic to help. He kicks it from under me, and so the party starts again.

Stopped at a nearby pump and got a full tank. Once I got on the highway, I found that I couldn’t shift into the 6th gear. This was weird, so I stopped and Googled “how many gears does an Xpulse have”. The answer was 5. That should give you an idea how little I had thought this whole thing through.

The Maxxis tires worked quite alright on the highway home, they do get quite vibey for anything above 80 though. Random people kept riding/driving next to me to take a look at the bike. For the price, this thing get a disproportionate amount of attention.

It was only once I got home that I realized that the bike was missing both rear indicators and the number plate light thingy. The showroom had removed it for the rally look I guess, along with the hideous rear mudguard.

That should tell you that I didn’t really do a PDI on the motorcycle. The simple fact is that I didn’t want to. I have a tendency to OCD into shit, if there was even a smallest defect with the bike, it would’ve ruined my entire buying experience. I hate to buy new stuff anyways, but I truly wanted to enjoy this one. This is another advantage of buying a cheap thing, if there was anything wrong with the bike, it could be fixed extremely cheap anyways.

I didn’t want to think, just wanted to ride.

I’ve done some 300 kms on it till now, and already dropped it once. Barkbusters and a tail tidy kit are on the way, the high security number plates are waiting for me at the showroom. The rear suspension guard thing is already smashed by some stone, but I couldn’t give a smaller shit.

The whole experience has been liberating. The saying “buy a bike you’re not afraid to drop” deserves more love. I love this machine because I don’t care about it, at all. Whatever gets broken can be replaced easily, without the need to sell a kidney. I can just focus on enjoying the experience.

And things are going to break for sure. I am 5 foot 8 inches, I can barely put a single foot down on the ground. The rally kit is overkill for me, my level of skills will never be able to justify what the stock bike can do, much less with the kit on. I have not been able to use the rally seat at all, the bike is unrideable for me with it. Immediate plans include learning the skills in this video.

But stupidity is fun, mental amounts of fun. I’m happy with my choice, it was sheer luck that I found the bike in the color that I liked, with fuel injection, and the rally kit already in there. Let’s see how far I can push that luck.

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Comments

  1. Tomson

    Great to have you back riding again,bud…. All the very best…!!

    Reply
    1. AK

      Thanks!

      Reply
  2. Arvind Ramakumar

    Congratulations on the Sexpulse!! Sure to make you smile and even laugh a lot more than the other two from your list. Happy trails mate 🙂

    Reply
    1. AK

      Agreed, thanks!

      Reply
  3. Vignesh

    Congrats mate! I’ve been drooling looking at the Rally kit ever since it was announced….fully aware I don’t possess the skills (nor will I acquire those) to make use of it. But pulls the heart strings it does!

    Now you gotta take it to Spiti:P

    Reply
    1. AK

      Haha, yeah I live very close to Spiti, gotta make use of that sometime 🙂

      Reply