It was in 2001 when Bajaj Bikes had launched, what went on to become, one of the most popular motorcycles among buyers looking for a sporty bike. The ‘Pulsar’ brand is an iconic one, and has been renowned for its good performance and sporty looks, attached to an affordable price tag. The Pulsar was an unconventional offering at one time; it was a dream for most budding riding enthusiasts and riders alike. And thanks to all that clever marketing, top-notch advertising and promotions through various events, the Pulsar took off like an aircraft heading for the skies. It was considered an entry-level ‘sports bike’ for our market. However, over the years, a multitude of motorcycles have entered various engine-capacity segments. But the Pulsar remained a favourite for quite some time, and till today, sells in India as the recently updated Bajaj Pulsar Neon. We tell you if, what was once known, as “The Fastest Indian”, still has what it takes to be loved, once again.
The details matter
The design, largely, remains untouched. It continues to sport a slender design with sharp lines, but the ‘Neon’ model carries certain new elements that’ll help you differentiate from the old bike. It gets neon highlights, and there is no belly pan or tank shroud either. Even the frame, brakes and suspension remain the same. Even its 125cc equivalent receives a lot of its components, while it looks and handles in the same manner too. The switchgear and semi-digital instrument cluster you see is also shared among both siblings, and although too long in the tooth – it all functions well.
The Bajaj Pulsar 150 is powered by a 149cc, air-cooled, single-cylinder engine that develops 13bhp at 8,000rpm and 13.4Nm of torque at 6,000rpm, linked to a 5-speed transmission. Up-front, it features a 240mm disc and 130mm drum brakes at the rear. The nature of the engine is very likable, thanks to the good top-end performance. It delivers power in a linear fashion, and at high rpms, never feels like it’s running out of breath, unlike most of the other bikes in this segment. The bike manages to reach close to 110kph, but that’s only if you really begin to push it. To ensure costs are kept in check, Bajaj hasn’t offered ABS on this bike.
Bajaj bikes also clearly states that this isn’t just a commuter, and retains its original image. The Pulsar 150 is a hoot to ride every day, for it offers a smooth ride, and the rider and pillion seated astride have a good saddle to find themselves comfortable on, and weighs close to 145kgs. However, this hasn’t had a negative impact on low-speed manoeuvrability and handling. And while it may not be among the lightest its segment, it’s certainly one of the easiest bikes to ride – and we’d suggest it anyone just starting off, learning how to ride a bike.
The one we rode was equipped with a disc brake, and the brakes seem to perform a lot better than the ones found on other bikes in this segment. The Pulsar 150 is also sold in a drum brake variant, but we wouldn’t recommend this particular one, since disc brakes match the performance better. The bike is shod with Eurogrip tyres, which didn’t feel up to the mark, as the rider doesn’t feel particularly confident when tackling a corner. But you also have the option of getting MRF Nylogrips fitted on instead, which happen to offer more grip.
Still a legend?
We still think the Bajaj Pulsar 150 delivers on what it was made to do in the first place. We think it still feels powerful enough to lure young buyers in this segment, particularly for its sporty appeal. It is also priced very competitively among its rivals, at a price tag of ₹ 64,998 (ex-showroom, Delhi). The Pulsar 150 is now sold in two new refreshing variants: the 150 Neon and 150 Classic – all available in new colours. The 150 Neon is sold in Neon Yellow, Neon Silver and Neon Red – and all colours feature neon accents, around the headlights, grab rail and badges. And the Neon Yellow edition gets matte finish. This is a bike that will matter to someone looking at a combination of affordability, good performance, neat looks and practicality as well. Also, grab the latest info on the upcoming bikes in India, only at autoX.