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Friday, August 21, 2009

Bajaj Pulsar 220 DTS-i Test Ride

It's been quite a while since I posted something on the blog and all this while I felt that I was not doing something that I love doing.
So, finally got some breath of fresh air from the ultra hectic office schedule, and I quickly decided for my next post - the Bajaj Pulsar 220 DTS-i Test ride!!

The new Pulsar 220 was easily one of the most awaited and talked about bike releases in the Indian market and post it's release, the bike has recieved good response. Bajaj is also leaving no stone unturned to promote it... be it's aggressive TVC or it's stands at various Bajaj Probikings.

So, here's what how I found the fastest Indian.

Look and Feel, Fit and Finish

No doubt Bajaj has given a lot thought behind the packaging of the product. The finishing of the product is top notch, right from the paint finish, to switch quality to instrumentation. As soon as I sat on the test bike, I got that new Pulsar smell....... Just loved it!! Took me down for a visit to the memory lane, when I took my babe out for her first spin.
The Tacho Dial, seating, rearsets, handle positioning are smilar to the other big Pulsar siblings (the Pulsar 200 and the Pulsar 220 Fi). The black version comes in an all black theme including the split grab rails and the clip-on handle bars, which adds a lot of masculine character to the bike along with the "F" decal. Really, an all Black Pulsar 220 DTSi is a real eye candy and gives you that big bike feeling.

Ride and Feel

I've ridden Payeng's Pulsar 220 DTS-Fi, which came to Gurgaon all the way from Bangalore on road ridden by his younger brother (man... what a ride that might have been!!). I still remember the chill the ride catapult through my spine when I rode the bike. So, with those wonderfull memories in my mind, I sat on the the saddle of this spanking new Blue Bajaj Pulsar 220 DTSi, keyed in, and pushed the ignition and BANG!! The 220cc mill came to life in a fraction of a second. So, here are my first observations -

1) The DC electricals, as with all the 2009 versions of Pulsar have made engine crank really very precise and the engine startup sound is SWEET!! Very much similar to what we hear in SBKs!!

2) As soon as the engine starts up, after the initial rev, it's quick to settle down to a 1K idelling rmpm and the engine sound is hardly audible as compared to my Pulsar 200.

3) A twist of the right wrist is what makes you feel that that the engine is in life ;)

4) I observed that the Rear View Mirrors were vibrating at idelling too and that was certainly what I was prepared to see. We've had TBs of discussion over various Internet forums as how irritating those RVMs vibes are, but looks like Bajaj forgot to heed any suggestions in this department.

So, with a little bit of bad tast for the RVMs, it was time to engage into a frezy!!

Before going to further details, I note over here.... just before I was given the bike, the Speedo meter was disengaged. Normally I've seen the Odo meter being disengaged, but in this case it was the Speedo!! Well we'll get back to the Speedo later.

A slight notch of the right toe downwards engaged the 1st gear which was quite smooth and precise. Without moving forward, I tried going back to the Neutral and WHOALAAAA.... I found the Neutral whithout that usual blip I'm accustumed to on my bike. So, I again, went back to the 1st first gear and off we went...........

1) The 1st gear is quite short and is literally for just bringig the bike to motion. If somebody is expecting the new 220 to show it's character right from the 1st gear itself, then it's not the case.

2) Since the speedo was disengaged, I could not determine at what RPM range, the bike was at what speed, but with the sense of speed, here's what I felt-

  • 2nd gear - ~35kmph @ 6.5k rpm
  • 3rd gear - ~45kmph @ 6.5k rpm
  • 4th gear - ~55kmph @ 6.5k rpm

4) But the story all of a sudden changes, when I engaged the 5th gear. In it's 5th clog, the bike was building speeds much progressively and with a lot of enthusiasm which was some what missing in the previous gear ratios. In the 2nd, 3rd, 4th gears it felt that I was riding my own Pulsar 200 with new fit and finish. But in the 5th gear, the bike made me felt how wrong I was. One one hand in the previous gears the bike was making an advance of roughly 10kmph, but in 5th gear I felt that the bike well on the lines of 72-74kmph @ 6.5k rpm.

5) On a rain water wet and muddy tarmac the soft compound radial encouraged a lot of confidence which made manuverability a lot easily in that stupid traffic.

I was offered a good 2-3 km ride in which apart from blipping the throttle I tried almost everything which the traffice could allow me and which allowed me to get a feel of the bike. So, after the test ride was done, here are the positives and negetives of the bike.

Positives

1) The TALL 5th gear really allows the bike to build speeds progressively and confidently. The big Venturi carburettor makes it's presence felt.

2) The bike is really quick off the block once you engage the 2nd gear and really blasts off in that 5th gear.

3) The soft compound tubless front and rear tyres are really a superb addition to the package. I really felt that instead of the MRF Zappers, Bajaj should have opted for Michilen's which would have reduced the kerb weight by a good percentage.

4) DC lighting allows hassel free startups. But one has be cautious of switching off the lights once the bike turns off else the pilot lamp remains luminated. One sane thinking Bajaj has done is the behaviour of the Head Lamp. If you turn off the bike and the head lamp is on, the head lamp remains on, but if you turn it off, then it won't get on unless you start the bike.


Negetives

1) The RVM vibrate a lot and the positioning of the RVM really render them useless.
The visibility window is really quite small and once you have your riding gear on, forget about seeing the RVM.

2) Vibrations crept it at arround 6K rpms. This can be debatable as I was riding a Test bike which are generally very badly abused.

3) The rear brake simply lacked bike, I didn't for a single moment felt that I've disk brake working on the rear.

4) Why did Bajaj opted for such a punny sounding horn on a bike of this character?? Totally confused me so I preffered not to blow the horns as it made me feel awkward.

5) The biggest impact of omission of Fuel Injection from the assembly has fell on the Low End Torque and that's very visible.

6) As suggested by Bike India's current issue, the bike has oodles of speedo error of realy 5-9 kmph which is quite high and that might explain as to why the Speedo was disengaged just before the test ride.

Finally

So, overall I found the new Pulsar 220 DTSi a good package overall and with the price range it is placed it's a great value for money. The point that the bike is capable of making a 140kmph can be debated. But here we should not forget as to how many times in a day, we get a chance to give our machines a full whack. All we want is a fun fill ride and not being the Fastest Indian and the New Bajaj Pulsar 220 DTSi is FUN TILL IT'S LAST BOLT.

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4 comments:

  1. Detailed review there bro.. nice.

    Yes, the RVM's needs to be more functional on the P220.


    About the DC lighting and headlamp.. actually all 2009 Edition Pulsars (P150/P180 and P220 DTS-i) have an Auto Cut-Off feature that shuts off the DC battery connected Head lamps "after 5-6 secs" once the engine is switched off (to protect accidental battery drainage).. this feature was present in the P220 DTS-Fi and is now present in the 2009 Pulsars.

    ReplyDelete
  2. @Payeng Dude
    Thanks man!! your words are always an encouragement.

    Yup, the DC battery cut off is a sane move from Bajaj.... after all the P220s are the only Indian bikes which have projector head lamps!! Bajaj needed to be touchy with them :)

    ReplyDelete
  3. And not to mention, having no kick starter also means that the battery has to be protected from accidental drainage.. yep its a thoughtful touch

    ReplyDelete
  4. @Payeng Dude
    :)

    So, howz your P220 doing in Pune??

    ReplyDelete

Item Reviewed: Bajaj Pulsar 220 DTS-i Test Ride Description: Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Sajal Chakraborty
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