Why I chose to buy the Hero Xpulse instead of the KTM 390 Adventure

After riding the KTMs, an RE Interceptor felt so much more refined and well put together.

BHPian 2StrokeJunkie recently shared this with other enthusiasts.

So after reading all the advice and feedback here, I went back to the Hero showroom but they did not have the Rally Edition now called the Pro in stock and they didn't have any idea when they would get them. I was not keen on buying one from E-city, Lalbaugh, or Magadi Road.

I went to the KTM showroom nearby and tried out their ADVs. Test rides at KTM like always were a breeze, no documentation was even asked, no pesky pillion to ensure you don't run away with the bike. They filled the gas and handed me the keys no questions asked. Compare that with Hero where a mechanic promptly plonked himself behind me on their trashed test ride bike which was a 2-year-old Xpulse. After much convincing by me about not being able to test the suspension if he sat as a pillion, only then did he relent.

I first tried out the X-Adventure - the new budget offering. The suspension was trashy. The less said about the ride quality the better. The motor was perky, 1st to 2nd gear transition caught me off-guard once but that was about it. This model runs on the 250 suspension - which is why the ride quality isn't as good as the standard version is what the salesman told me.

Next, I tried out the standard version and the ride was a lot better than the X-Adv but not Xpulse rally level. Before I tried out the SW I enquired about the price - 4.8 on-road, almost 5 lakhs. I really don't know what KTM is thinking but I wasn't even going to consider it for my requirement.

The test ride reminded me why I never bought a KTM, the vibrations, the rough nature of the motor, the panels, and the fairing shaking with the vibrations. After riding the KTMs and getting back onto the Interceptor, it felt so much more refined and well put together than the KTMs.

So all I could do was wait for Hero to call me and tell me they have got stock of the Pro version. I kept checking their website and noticed that most of the showrooms in Bangalore had got the Rally Edition except for the one I intended to book mine from. In the meantime I kept watching videos on YouTube - a Kannada Vlogger DV had put on a Devil full-system exhaust and got some accessories custom-built from Torque Block and a couple of Kannada vloggers had made some hilarious content that was super entertaining. I realized that this motorcycle was a big hit with the vlogging community transcending boundaries of language. Unfortunately, all I could do was satisfy myself by watching content and waiting.

I finally got a call from Hero but I was travelling for work so couldn't make it. Went after 2 days and found out they had only 4 Pro versions in stock. These were selling out really fast so I had to act fast or wait for another month or so. After some negotiations with the Home Minister on why I needed a 4th motorcycle, and some masculine pep talk from my friends I went ahead and booked the bike on the Hero website late at night and decided to go to the showroom the next day and pay the rest of the amount.

Completed the payment today in the afternoon, a 24-hour delay because of NEFT security protocol, and I finally collected the motorcycle in the evening. There was even more delay at the showroom due to some software issues they had since I had made the booking online. After a wait of close to 3 hours I finally got the gate pass, tanked up, road home, filled air in the tires which the showroom had not - they were over 10 psi lower, admired it for a while, and tried finishing up some work but was too restless so went for a small running-in ride to get familiar with it. The digital console has more features than the Interceptor - LOL

Some of the features on the Pro version are; better quality knuckle guards that connect to the handlebar, projector headlights, switchable abs, taller windscreen. The first few kms felt unfamiliar but I got comfortable soon enough Straddling is easy on this and the ride quality is just what the doctor ordered. I'm being gentle on the motor because of the running-in period, felt that the throttle was snatchy initially but it seems like it's getting better as it frees up. The first service is at 500 km. Took it for a spin on the same horrible road that I tested the KTMs on and it just felt much better. I think I need to change the rear shock setting to be a little softer. Did about 25 km of running-in today.

I will need to understand setting up sag, dampening, and rebound on this to get the most out of the adjustable suspension. I was not very impressed with the explanation the showroom guys gave me. Found a few bits out of place on the bike and got them to fix it. No user manual was provided with the motorcycle, their answer was it is online, no physical copy - scan the QR code on the bike to get it. The QR code led me to a WhatsApp number and the other had chassis details. Downloaded a user manual from the website for the older CS Santosh Rally Edition, they don't seem to have one for the new Xpulse Pro version yet. I have christened mine the seXpulse. S E for Special Editon, I will probably ask CS Santosh to sign the tank. I'm pretty pleased with the Xpulse Pro, it's a very different type of motorcycle compared to the ones that I have previously owned. The riding dynamics are very different too and the next few weeks are going to be a learning curve so I'm taking it easy but I'm excited.

Hero has a very govt. sarkari kind of vibe to it unlike say a Yamaha, KTM, or RE purchasing experience. Their customers are also a very different demographic but I'm glad that they have built a motorcycle that is practical, has style, and offers an alternative lifestyle experience. Only hope their service is up to the mark because the YouTube videos I've seen seem to have many Xpulse Rally Edition vloggers complaining. So fingers crossed. I've noticed some glue-like material on the headlight which I am going to get checked at the service centre tomorrow. Having the showroom right opposite my house made the purchasing decision easier, only hope they are able to service the bike well.

The first thing I did before even getting the bike out was to get them to take off the saree guard and fit a BoBo mobile holder, the USB charger is below the meter console on the new version vs the old one that had it under the seat. I have ordered a gear lever sock and a paddock stand, from Amazon. I think the next accessory I would consider fitting is a top box but I think that would look too big, need some kind of contraption to be able to carry my laptop bag to work. Any suggestions? And thank you, guys, for all the suggestions and for sharing your input - the posts with the "eyes closed to get the Xpulse" and the doctor with the back issues are among the many besides my own personal experience that pushed me to get this motorcycle. Looking to clock many miles on it and maybe actually use it for what it was built to do - going off-road. As many said, this is overkill for city commuting but it does it really well so no complaints. Like the old Tata Sierra ad, the seXpulse - takes the rough with the smooth. Cheers!

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