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Review: Hero CBZ Xtreme

Driven December 2014

Review: Hero CBZ Xtreme

With its muscular looks and sporty riding stance, the first-gen CBZ was an instant hit in India. It looked and felt sporty. It was unlike anything most Indians had ever seen back in the day. What followed was the CBZ Xtreme, the company’s attempt at refreshing things and catching up with modern motorcycles. What we see here is the same Xtreme as before, but with a sharper body that looks to have lost weight, and equipped with a couple more features in an attempt to lure Indians back to Hero showrooms. And, it’s dropped the CBZ name, too.

The turn indicators have been left out of the bikini fairing on this one, with the pilot lamps now forming a unibrow over the halogen headlamp. Behind the fairing is an all-new instrument cluster, which is dominated by a blue-outlined analogue tacho. Below that lies a digital display with speedo, time, trip and fuel readouts, flanked by warning lights. There’s an illuminated keyhole ring, which helps in poorly-lit areas. The tank is now slimmer than ever with bigger knee recesses.

At the heart of the matter is the same Honda Trigger-derived 149cc motor that produces 14.2bhp and 12.8Nm of torque. Power delivery is smooth, and the engine is very refined throughout the rev range, becoming a bit thrummy as the needle heads towards the 9,500rpm redline. The engine felt stressed cruising at 100kph in fifth gear. This Hero felt best cruising at 60kph in fifth. The Xtreme comes with some nifty features like an engine immobiliser, a service reminder and a mobile charging point under the seat. But the placement of the charging unit is inconvenient, and awkward.

The seating position is upright, and unlike ever before, feels very commuter bike-ish. The suspension feels soft, and does well to absorb bumps at low speeds. At speeds in excess of 80kph, the Xtreme doesn’t feel very composed in a straight line, or while taking on sharp bends. It’s nimble, but the new Xtreme didn’t feel overly happy being flicked around quickly.

There are two versions of the Xtreme that Hero offers – one with a front disc brake, the other with disc brakes front and back. We rode the double-disc version on this occasion, and although the tyres gripped well, the brakes lacked bite. It’s safe to say that there will be a fair number of takers for the new Xtreme, but those who are expecting thrilling performance and handling will be disappointed. The Xtreme comes across as a sound motorcycle given the price, but it is a bike that doesn’t live up to the ‘Xtreme’ badging on the tank.

The numbers
1cyl, 149.2cc, 14.2bhp, 12.8Nm, 55kpl (claimed), Single disc: ₹66,275, Double disc: ₹71,275 (ex-showroom, Delhi)

The verdict
A commuter that likes to be revved. Not the best 150cc bike for enthusiasts.

 



Christopher Chaves

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