Hero is stepping away from its historic partner, Honda, in a big way. The Indian company has nothing to prove in terms of its ability to produce a solid, reliable machine- but can it design its own bike? Hero won’t have to answer that question, because it’s teamed up with Erik Buell. Hero hopes to combine its manufacturing know-how with Erik Buell’s massive design credentials to build respectable motorcycles that can stand on their own, starting with this one: the Hero HXR 250R.
The new Hero HXR 250R (called the HX250R on some outlets) is a a 250 cc sport bike that puts out 31 hp at just 9000 RPM. Packing about the same amount of peak power as a Harley-Davidson Street 500 model but weighing a few hundred pounds less, the new Hero seems like it would be a good bike for first-time-riders, and one that they won’t quickly out-grow. In addition to the liquid-cooled engine, the Hero HXR 250R uses conventional telescoping forks up front and a 5-step adjustable mono-shock setup at the rear. Disk brakes front and rear reign in the speed, while a promised ABS option should help to keep scary lockups to a minimum.
With specs like those, it’s obvious Hero is trying to out-Honda its former partners- the new Hero 250 is aimed squarely at Honda’s own CBR250R.
Will Buell’s name and know-how help Hero sell the bike in the US, or is Hero trying to punch to far above its weight class? Take a look at some photos of the new Hero HXR 250R, below, then let us know what you think of Hero’s chances against its old partners in the comments section at the bottom of the page.