A Nimble All rounder – Honda XR 190 LPosted On: May 20, 2018 By : AutoLife Team
Honda has been there ever since the beginning of motorcycle culture in Nepal. The brand has always been able to keep a name for itself and create something iconic in the motorcycle industry. Even more so, Honda has defined an era with some of the most iconic models, shaping a foundation to what the present industry is built upon. From the very early days of Honda, people have widely accepted the brand and relied on what they have been able to provide.
In the 80’s, with the XL series, Honda was able to create a cult classic among motorcycle enthusiasts and giving them something that they could ride anywhere. These motorcycles were for all the explorers and wanders. But sadly, the XL series stopped coming to Nepal and a void was left among the masses. But now, Honda has something to fill in this void with the XR series. We have already seen how the XR150L has performed exceptionally well in the market. Now we have something that is a successor to the classic XL185, a new addition to the XR series, the XR190L. For this issue, we got our hands on the XR190L and took it out for a spin. Here, we present you with our thoughts on the XR190L.
DESIGN AND FEATURES
Honda has done it again with the XR190L, by coming up with a motorcycle that can appeal to everyone. At the first glance, the motorcycle looks very tamed but if you keep looking at it, the beauty of the bike just keeps enhancing. Even the color combinations on the XR are well selected and the shade of red and white just make the designs pop out even more. The spoked rims, long travel suspensions, high front fender and the exhaust design give the bike a well- rounded off-roader stance. However, the XR doesn’t look like an outright dirt bike but more so a dual-purpose bike that can take anything that you throw at it.
On the features department, the Honda XR190L is pretty much a very basic machine, keeping things as simple as it can. The most notable feature on this bike has to be the PGM-FI (Programmed Fuel Injection) system designed for optimal balance of performance and economy. What the PGM-FI does is, it monitors the engine and the riding conditions along with the throttle control through the ECU (Engine Control Unit) ensuring the right amount of combustion and aiding ignition in all kinds of weather conditions and altitudes.
As mentioned earlier, everything else on the motorcycle is pretty basic, the instrument cluster comes with an analog speedometer and fuel meter. The motorcycle comes loaded with a crossbar-design handlebar which is built to be fully compatible for challenging off-road riding, with positioning that provides a commanding riding position. Also, the XR comes with a rear carrier that can be loaded up to a maximum of 20kgs. However, the motorcycle misses out on other essentials such as ABS, digital console and a rear disc brake setup.
COMFORT AND HANDLING
Even with a dual-purpose styling in mind, the XR190L is designed very ergonomically so that it isn’t stressful on the rider for long runs. The motorcycle features a long and wide seat that ensures comfort; the seat might seem a little hard at first but the spaciousness covers up for that. There is plenty of space to move around and the tank is well sculpted to support off road ride-ability. Honda has even made sure that this motorcycle can fit everybody. Even with having a high ground clearance, the motorcycle has a low seat height to accommodate shorter riders, ensuring full control over the motorcycle.
Not only in terms of engine refinement, but Honda has made sure that the handling of the XR is effortless. And that it is, the XR is without a doubt a very flickable motorcycle. The light body and handle bars make sure that the motorcycle can be easily managed in all sorts of terrain. Even in rough terrains, the motorcycle feels really planted and even if you lose balance, the motorcycle is so light that you can just put your foot down and regain full control of it. The dual-purpose tires are also another plus point giving the rider all the needed confidence to go in corners without the fear of slipping out of control.
ENGINE AND PERFORMANCE
It is without a doubt that Honda has made a name for itself in terms of engine refinement, and it is made evident with the XR190L. As soon as you set your legs across the XR and rev it up, the motorcycle is as smooth as butter. The XR feels like a 125cc motorcycle in terms of engine refinement and smoothness but at times it does feel a little under-powered for a 190cc. The motorcycle comes fitted with a 184.4cc air cooled single cylinder with SOHC and PGM-FI that creates maximum power of 15.6hp @ 8,500rpm and maximum torque of 15.7NM @ 6,000rpm. The engine on the XR is mated to a 5-speed gearbox. All of this coupled with a light body weight of 123kgs (dry weight) makes it a treat to ride.
The performance of the XR is something that can be defined as best of both worlds and something that makes it a very capable dual-purpose motorcycle. Even though the numbers seem pretty low on the specifications, the XR has a grit of its own with the way the motorcycle pulls up on any kind of obstacle. The motorcycle, on highways, can easily cruise at a speed of 80kmph in the 5th gear and even on dirt, the mid-range grunt that the XR has is very enjoyable, giving the rider enough confidence and power to slide through off-roads. More so, the motorcycle feels really well balanced in terms of power to weight ratio, that doing swift maneuvers on the motorcycle feel like a walk in the park for the rider.
BRAKING AND SUSPENSION
The stopping power on the XR190L comes from a 240mm Hydraulic Disc with dual piston caliper at the front and 110mm leading/trailing drum at the rear. Even though it has the braking department covered, it could have been better with some more linear feel to the brakes rather than the more progressive one that can be felt on the bike. The front brakes are very subtle and feel light but it could use a little bit more bite. And as for the rear brake setup, we think that it could’ve been better off using a disc setup rather than a drum setup.
The suspension on the XR is quite the rider friendly one, making the ride so much more enjoyable. The motorcycle gets telescopic front forks with 161mm of travel and a monoshock setup with 151mm of travel. The long travel of the suspension coupled with the high ground clearance of 245mm is what has made this bike a proper companion for streets of Nepal, at the same time making sure that there aren’t much jolts and thumps while going on patchy roads. The suspension setup makes you want to take the bike to places where you couldn’t think of taking any other bikes and has helped the bike deal with undulations of rough terrains. Honda could’ve used fatter forks up front for more beefier feel but the present ones do just fine as well.
The Honda XR190L is a perfect companion that will not let you down. It is an all-round performer for all your need and we have to say that the XR can be a perfect motorcycle if we take into context the road conditions of Nepal. It can even be an entry level motorcycle for anyone that’s looking to get into motocross or enduro riding. Overall, the motorcycle is indeed a very friendly and peppy one that goes along with the brand image of Honda. However, the price tag of Rs. 5,69,000/- is something to consider for some but still that is with the reliability of a Honda.