Off-roading as a sport has recently become quite affordable and popular in India, be it on two-wheelers or four-wheelers. Thanks to vehicles like the Mahindra Thar and motorcycles like the Hero Xpulse 200 , serious off-roading has now really come down to the masses. The Mahindra Thar is the most affordable 4x4 available in the country right now and its a proper one at that. Similarly, the Hero XPulse is the most affordable off-road focused motorcycle in the country. But have you ever wondered which of these two will be faster? Not on road, but off the tarmac.
Well, here we have an unusual drag race between a Mahindra Thar and a Hero XPulse 200 on a sandy beach. While both vehicles are completely different from each other, they both are purpose built for one thing - proper off-road ability that comes in an affordable package. The video has been uploaded by Crankshoot Paasil Vyas on their YouTube channel. With both vehicles lined up on the start line for the race, it is the Mahindra Thar that gets off the line better. It has no wheel spin and finds traction immediately. On the other hand, the XPulse can initially be seen spinning its wheels, until it finally gets going with a little push from the rider.
From then on, the XPulse goes flat out and builds a healthy lead on the Thar to win the drag race. On the other hand, the Thar struggled to maintain a progressive speed on the uneven beach surface. The driver even had to apply the brakes a few times as the Thar experienced heavy vertical movements on the uneven surface. The driver was afraid that if he continued to push it to higher speeds, it might even topple. The XPulse did not face any such issue and was able to go flat out on the sandy surface. In another attempt on a more even surface, the XPulse took off with a lead and won the second round as well. Meanwhile, the Thar had a poor start with an intrusive traction control system and the heavy vertical movement was still prevalent at high speeds.
Designed and developed completely in-house at Hero's R&D hub in Rajasthan, the Hero Xpulse 200 uses a 200cc single-cylinder engine that produces 17.8bhp and 16.45Nm and comes mated to a 5-speed gearbox. The motorcycle features 37mm telescopic forks at the front with a travel of 190mm and a 10-step adjustable monoshock at the rear. The 21-inch front and 18-inch rear wheel set up come with dual-purpose tyres. The motorcycle has 220mm of ground clearance. To make the dual-sport motorcycle even more purposeful, the Hero Xpulse 200 is even available with an optional rally kit for an additional INR 38,000.
Engine options on the Thar include a 2.0-litre mStallion TGDI petrol engine that makes 150 bhp and 300Nm of torque (320Nm with the automatic gearbox) and a 2.2 litre mHawk diesel unit that makes 130 bhp and 300 Nm of peak torque. Transmission options include either a 6-speed manual or a 6-speed automatic gearbox for both the engines. Four-wheel drive along with a low-range transfer case is standard for all the variants. While the Thar may not have won this off-road drag race, it can tackle even tougher terrains with no drama at all. Unlike its predecessor, it is also a very well rounded package that you can also use as your daily driver.