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Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Pulsar 220 - Finally

Day : October 5th, 2008
Occasion : Payeng's Birthday
Place : Payeng's house
Time : around 5:30 PM
The words : me in conversation with Payeng - "well you know what dude.... I still haven't ridden a Pulsar 220!!"

..... and Payeng, the gem of a person he is, readily offered me a ride on his bike.

The Man..... The Machine - Payeng on his Pulsar 220

So we all set out on the Gurgaon-Faridabad Highway, with Payeng riding my Pulsar 200 and I riding Payeng's Pulsar 220. Meenakshi was also riding with me so I was trying to control my nerves as much as possible and not do anything adventurous. So here goes the riding impression.....

The Engine to start with
With a little notch of the thumb, the engine banged into life quickly settled down into a gentle life beating at around 1K rpm. The feel of the engine was absolutely smooth and silent. So, I engaged the first gear and slowly moved forward. One thing that I thought I would be doing is that at any gear I would be going at least up to 6K rpm before engaging the next gear. So, in the first gear, by the time the bike reached 6K rpm, it was already arround 27kmph. For me this is an excellent number. I really didn't require to engage the 2nd gear for the time we were maneuvering our way out of the Apartment complex, but I went to the 2nd gear just to set my left palm free. We reached the open roads and in a couple of seconds it was time to wack the bike.

On the open Roads
I asked Meenakshi to sit tight and not to panic. Amazingly enough she said that she could feel the confidence in the bike and me riding the bike. That was completely unexpected!!! So, in 2nd gear I again whacked the bike up to 6k rpm and the bike easily made it to 40kmph. This easily showed how well the engine is behaving and above all how well the Fuel-Injection system is complementing the engine rpm and it's throughput. I engaged the 3rd and the 4th gear pretty much quickly to get ahead of the traffic and in the 4th gear I was somewhere in the 65kmph mark at around 5.5k rpm (which again shows that it's a high revving bike). Then finally I engaged the 5th gear and the bike cruising at a smooth 75kmph. The bike was absolutely smooth and plush. No signs of vibes what so ever. When cruising along in 5th gear and at 75kmph, the engine was revving at around 5k rpm mark. All this while I was constantly talk me out of trying something, but I failed my self. I found myself too weak in front of a provocation engine. I asked Meenakshi to hang on and I BLIPPED THE THROTTLE. I know that was something dangerous with the most important pineal rider, but I could not control my self. I applied the rear break to let the speed fall below 75kmph, with the rpm hovering around 4k, quickly downshifted let the rpm rise past 6k and then quickly up shifted. The bike literally blasted off past 85kmph!!

The rest of the ride, though quickly over, but was fun!!


  • There was no sign of any vibrations up till around 6K rpm mark. But at 7K rpm and above, vibes slow started making their presence felt. But again, this observation can be somewhat false because I was blipping the throttle when I reached the 7K rpm mark.

  • It has been said by many pundits and in different forums, that the bike lacks performance. For me the word performance is very relative and the perception of performance differs from person to person. With the modest experience I have, I can say that you can't ask for a better performance from a 220cc, single cylinder, two valve SOHC Fuel Injected engine. After riding the bike, and thinking about it now I really do feel that Bajaj should have done something revolutionary with the bike by introducing a twin cylinder, 8 valve DOHC Fuel Injected engine, with power easily crossing the 20ps mark at 8.5K rpm. I know it would have a radical change in the engine architecture of the Pulsar engines, but I guess it would have been worth.

  • Again many bike pundits have slashed it's rear disk brake. For me it was just perfect. We should always keep in mind that the Indian road conditions and traffic condition is something which cannot be played with. In the absence of a slipper clutch, a powerful rear disk brake can easily have the rear wheel loose traction and inflict havoc specially while negotiating turns. The bite of the rear disk brake is absolutely perfect for me.


So finally it was time to switch bikes and thank Payeng for letting me have this awesome experience.

Image courtesy : Payeng

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  1. Hi Sajal..

    Thanks for the write up on my bike.. by the way today (Oct 9'th) is the first anniversary of me and my bike..!! Its been exactly one year since I bought my P220.

    Give Bajaj Auto some time.. they started making the Pulsar only in 2001.. I am sure that very soon they would become a serious world player.

    And yes, Happy Dassehra and Durga Puja Dude..!!

  2. Payeng Dude!!
    Thanks and same to you bud!!.

    Well in just 7 years, Bajaj is able to go from a small 150cc engine to a Fuel Injected 220cc engine. I'm really positive that very soon Bajaj would be actually able come up with an engine architechture that would be able to make it's presence felt in the world picture of sport/performance biking


Item Reviewed: Pulsar 220 - Finally Description: Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Sajal
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