The 160cc motorcycle has only been more competitive in the last few months, with the introduction of a few new motorcycles and a sizeable update to the existing ones. It is, after all, the most competitive segment in the Indian market since motorcycles here are not just frugal commuters, these are also performance-oriented offerings without being too hard on the wallet.
Right now, we’re going to discuss two of the most exciting motorcycles in the lot, of which one has been updated thoroughly as it made its transition to the stricter BS-VI emission standards while the other one is a completely new offering, and it’s one that’s really looking to give a hard time to its outright competitors.
So, without confusing you guys a lot, the former is the TVS Apache RTR 160 4V, which has been updated this year to meet the BS-VI norms and it also comes with updated styling. But more importantly, it has been our pick of the range for the longest time, since it excels on so many fronts. The latter is the all-new Hero Xtreme 160R, which we only reviewed a couple of weeks ago and it’s a bike that left us completely impressed with its capabilities.
Both of these motorcycles are very competitively priced and none of them will be too hard on the wallet. But, since these are performance-oriented motorcycles at the end of the day, the question remains to be, which one is a better performer? Well, to answer that, we’ll have to pit these motorcycles to one another back to back for an extensive comparison. As of now, we’ll stick to a detailed specification comparison.
So, starting with the TVS, it was updated alongside its bigger sibling towards the end of 2019. Therefore, it is the oldest of the two here. However, it still looks fresh and modern, thanks to its sharp and aggressive styling. With the update, TVS has also made sure it carries the equipment standard to this segment, so now it has gained an LED headlamp with DRLs, feather touch start, and redesigned mirrors.
The Xtreme 160R, on the other hand, is an entirely new motorcycle. To everyone’s surprise, the 160R looks apart and feels very modern with its angular design, which hasn’t been the case with Hero’s motorcycles in the past. The design is snazzy and it demands your attention as soon as spot one on the road. It, too, comes with LEDs for the headlamp as well as the taillamp. But that’s not just it, it is the first motorcycle in its respective segment to come with LED indicators, which look really premium and lends this motorcycle a contemporary appeal.
As for the instrumentation, both the motorcycles pack a fully-digital instrument cluster, which is capable of showing tons of rider-centric information. Therefore, both are equally matched in this department.
At the heart of the TVS Apache RTR 160 4V is a 159.7cc single-cylinder mill, which is good for 15.6bhp and 14.12Nm – down from 16.1bhp and 14.8Nm in the pre-BSVI version. The Hero Xtreme 160R, on the other hand, comes powered by a 163cc single-cylinder engine, which is capable of churning out 15bhp and 14Nm of torque. Since both these motorcycles are neck-in-neck with one another in terms of power and torque output, it’s hard to tell which one would be a better performer on the road without a comprehensive test.
However, having ridden them both earlier, we can confirm that both these motorcycles are extremely well performers with peppy acceleration at least in the lower-end and mid-range of the rev band.
Where the TVS retails for a little over lakh – Rs. 1.01 lakh to be precise – the Hero retails for Rs.99,950 (both prices ex-showroom). So, the Hero is a tad bit more affordable than the TVS. Also counter in the fact that Hero has a better brand image in the Indian market makes for a strong positive point for the Hero Xtreme 160R.
However, since both motorcycles are almost equally priced, equally powerful, and equally good in the way they deliver a seamless riding experience, we think it’s hard to pick one in this comparison. Therefore, in the end, it all boils down to the styling, of which one would you prefer, the fresh design of the Hero, or the slightly older design of the RTR. To read more comparisons like this, be sure to tune in to autoX.