Bajaj Pulsar 220 DTS-Fi was one of the most eagerly awaited motorcycles in India and you can probably guess how exited I was, when BCMTouring was invited to its official launch in Delhi on the 26th of June by Bajaj Auto (more about this here).
Even though on that day I did get to ride it on the dyno, I just couldnâ€™t get the feel of the bike. However all that changed yesterday when I got a chance to ride the swanking new Ebony Black Pulsar 220 DTS-Fi, which Eric has purchased on the 22nd of August (more on this here).
He has already clocked 450kms on the bike and according to him; he is getting a fantastic mileage of 55 kms to a liter of petrol! Now that mileage is due to the fact that Eric is being gentle with the bike, and is not riding beyond 65kmph for the time being. However I have a feeling that the mileage wouldnâ€™t drip below 40kmpl, even when he starts ripping her.
Now back to my riding experience, here is a list of things I loved about the Bajaj Pulsar 220 DTS-Fi:
Gear box: Any one who owns the older generations of Pulsars, knows how temperamental the gearbox can be at times; this is something that is completely missing from the 220. In fact the gear box is so smooth that the gear changes are almost telepathic!
Engine: This is the best part of the 220 and I have a feeling that Bajaj has got a winner in its hand; the engine is super smooth and vibration free. Also the intake growl and exhaust note is quite good as well, though not in the same league of the Pulsar 180 classic.
Torque: It has a fantastic torque spread due to fuel injection and the bike is eager to lunge forward with a thrust on the twist of the throttle in any gear! This ensures that the bike accelerates cleanly from as low as 35kmph in the fifth gear and its roll on is the fastest in its class.
Ergonomics: Ergonomically the Pulsar 220 DTS-Fi is fantastic, the wide yet firm seat ensures that while riding most of your butt is on the seat itself, instead of hanging from both sides. Clip-on position is good as well, though I am not quite sure how comfortable they will be for 12+ hour riding days that we normally do. As for seat â€“ foot peg position, well I am not really a fan of the Pulsar 220 in this aspect, but might become one after having ridden the bike for few hours, but some how I feel my Pulsar 180 is more comfortable in this aspect.
Headlight: I really commend Bajaj for once again doing their bid for rider safety and introducing the first parabolic headlights in India (In case you donâ€™t know, Bajaj caliber was the first bike to come up with 35/35w 12v headlight in India). The low beam spread is good and the high beam looks quite effective, though the real test would come on the highways.
Brakes: Contrary to popular belief in India, introducing rear disc brakes on Pulsar 220 has been a fantastic move by Bajaj. The rear 230mm disc is a progressive one and doesnâ€™t locks up under heavy braking, while the 260mm front disc works in the same manner as brakes on older Pulsars and provides good amount of bite to stop the bike in a jiffy.
Rearview mirrors: When I first saw the mirrors being mounted on the fairing, I thought they wouldnâ€™t offer as good a view as handlebar mounted rearview mirrors, but on the on contrary they offer a better view due to the fact your elbows arenâ€™t in the line of sight! They look good as well so most of the people will keep them on, which is good for the safety aspect.
Now here comes the list of things I didnâ€™t like:
Looks: I never quite liked the looks of the Bajaj Pulsar 220 DTS-Fi or for that matter newer generation pulsars. For starters I feel the rear is too sharp when compared with rest of the bikes, the big flat fairing doesnâ€™t helps in this aspect either! In fact I never quite liked the fairing; I would love to see Bajaj launching a naked version of the 220 with maybe a more classic styling. Though in Black color that bike didnâ€™t look as bad as it does in blue color.
Foot peg position: Like I said while mentioning about the ergonomics of the bike, I didnâ€™t quite like the seat â€“ foot peg position. Maybe it was due to the fact I am not used to that kind of riding position, but Bajaj could have slightly made it better.
Well thatâ€™s about it, I guess I might be able to come with a longer list of things I didnâ€™t liked if I had ridden the bike more extensively and had it not been in the running in phase.
The above mentioned Pulsar 220 DTS-Fi is going to Ladakh with us next month; in fact if we are right then this will be the first 220 to have done this trip. This is where the real powers and weaknesses of this bike will come to light and I will be there to document them. So keep watching this space for a full reviewâ€¦