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Gearing up before heading out to the test track at the Hero Global Centre of Innovation and Technology in Jaipur, I felt as nervous (or probably more) as I did when I first rode on a race track. But this time around, it wasn’t a performance motorcycle, and in the last five years, I have had my fair share of track time, too. Funny how two months off riding can make you feel like a complete noob, huh? But a glance at the Hero Xtreme 125R, and you’d want to take it for a spin. It is a handsomely proportioned motorcycle, and looks premium, too.

The floating tank shrouds look straight off of the BMW G 310 R

The Xtreme’s face has that aggressive look that, to me, said, ‘I eat Pulsars for breakfast’. Then there’s the floating tank shrouds which look, especially with that ‘R’ logo, straight of the BMW G 310 R. The beefy tank, the wide 120-section tyre, and the exhaust design give an impression of a bigger bike. And it feels like one when you sit on it, too. The Xtreme doesn’t get the typical commuter ergos. Instead, you are seated like you would on a sporty naked. From its wide and not-so-tall handlebar to the slightly rear-set footpegs and the split seat, everything spelt its sporty intention.

This engine doesn’t feel like it belonged to the Glamour

Though I was happy to try the bike on a track, a bit of nervousness creeped in, too… till I started the motorcycle. It didn’t have the throaty exhaust I expected after seeing the bike; it was as silent as a Honda. And that’s because under the new, sporty outfit, it carries the same 124.7cc engine from the Hero Glamour. But it has been reworked to produce more power, and with its silent cam chain and counter-balancer offers good refinement levels, too. At lower rpms, the Xtreme’s engine feels extremely smooth and it is only towards the top of the rev band that I felt vibrations at my hands and feet. But most of us wouldn’t be redlining the bike all day on the streets, right? And Me? Well, on the track, I did so on more than one occasion but the vibes never bothered me…

The LCD console is straight from the Xtreme 160R

…because the Xtreme’s diamond chassis kept me engaged all throughout. With my half-functional leg, I may have upset the chassis once or twice, but the bike didn’t flinch and continued to hold its ground, instilling confidence in me. With every lap, as I got the hang of the things, I realised the Showa-developed suspension won’t startle you even if you go hard on the brakes before entering a turn. Then there’s the MRF Nylogrip Zapper-S that kept it all together. And that’s not it. The 125R is the first bike in its segment to pack ABS. Though it is a single-channel unit, it functions just fine. The front brake itself has decent stopping power, however, I would have preferred a bit more feedback at the lever.

The Xtreme 125R isn’t all that expensive for what it has to offer

Coming back to the pits, I was glad that I didn’t have any close calls or aggravate my injuries. And all that nervousness? Well, it had subsided within a couple of laps. That’s the beauty of a motorcycle like this. It is intended to be a learning tool for someone who’s stepping into the beautiful world of motorcycling, and at the same time, it can be engaging for someone with experience, all while not burning a hole in your pocket. At Rs 95,000 for the CBS variant, and Rs 99,500 for the ABS variant (both ex-showroom Delhi), the Xtreme 125R isn’t all that expensive for what it has to offer.