It’s a clever strategy followed by the manufacturers/film makers to familiarize their experiments (except the core) among common man before their big release. The interesting gain in this strategy is it also fetches the much needed hype. Bajaj has done the same for the pulsar 220cc DTSi FI – except the fuel injection and the rear disc brake other features such as tubeless tyres, oil cooled engine, digital console with amber back light, self canceling indicators, twin seats, split grab rail, exposed drive chain and no kick lever have become familiar through pulsar 200cc, discover 135cc also through media. Nearly after a year from the test run, Bajaj decides to launch the pulsar 220cc DTS-FI nation wide. Earlier, Bajaj periodically opened limited bookings in pune and tested the bike. It is believed that Bajaj has sorted out some issues associated with fuel injection, rear disc brake and front forks from the customers feedback and now the bike is despatched to the dealers for nation wide sale. Bajaj expects to sell 2000 units a month of pulsar 220cc DTS-FI and it has reworked the famous ‘hamara bajaj’ campaign with this bike. The hype has made pulsar 220cc already a hit among bike enthusiast but can it maintain the momentum after the launch. Let’s drive the powerful machine and find it!
Engine and powertrain:
The 220cc oil cooled, Digital Twin Spark Fuel Injection (DTS FI) engine produces an awesome power of 20PS at 8500rpm (though not comparable, pulsar 220cc is more powerful than thunderbird) and an incredible torque of 19.12Nm at 6500rpm. . Bajaj’s well proven exhausTEC (to beef up low-down power) features in pulsar 220cc too. Pulsar 220cc features the standard five speed gearbox with one down and four up pattern. Oil cooler placed just below the fuel tank helps in further cooling of engine lubricant and keep this high performance engine cool. A six speed gearbox like other international bikes could have been better. Thanks to the fuel injection for the gentle release of power which enables smoother acceleration also minimal power loss while shifting gears. Pulsar DTS-Fi can reach 60kph in 4.4 seconds and can past 110kph in 18.8sec. Pulsar 220cc can reach a top speed of 131kph. But not alone this top speed is impressive; you can easily maintain the pulsar 220cc in 100 -115kph. Though the fuel efficiency/mileage depends on riding behavior you can expect anything more than 35kpl from pulsar 220cc DTS FI. Bajaj is offering impeccable warranty for its pulsar 220cc – the DTS FI engine has been given 5yrs warranty in addition to the 2yrs or 30000km vehicle warranty.
Styling and Engineering:
Pulsar 220cc is the most stylish bike available in India. Though it resembles its siblings in most sense the voluminous front fairing and the fairing mounted mirrors distinct the pulsar 220cc from others. Surely another eyecatcher from bajaj through pulsar 220cc with six spoke alloy wheels, stylish body panels, clear lens indicators, exposed chain and the diff. Like its family members, pulsar 220cc is equipped with highly digitized –Except for the tachometer, everything else including fuel gauge, speedometer, odo and two trip meters finds place in the orange glow of the digital read. Pulsar 220ccDTS FI features “health” indicators – a choked air fuel indicator, high oil temperature indicator, low battery voltage indicator, low engine oil level indicator and engine malfunction indicator. The pulsar 220cc DTS-Fi features car-like self-cancelling turn-signals and backlit switches. Similar to its sibling just launched Pulsar 200cc, the pulsar 220cc DTS FI bike throws away the kick lever and makes you to crank the engine only with your thumb. However starting the bike when the battery is dead it can be done by push-start method. A battery-saving feature trips a circuit when the self-starter is engaged for too long and the headlamp shuts by default when the starter engages. Pulsar 220cc DTS FI also features a low maintenance battery i.e. battery level top up/voltage check requires once in a year only. Pulsar 220cc employs twin 55W headlamp – high beam is a parabolic lamp and low beam is an ellipsoidal projector lamp. Additional advantage as it is powered by direct current there is no fluctuation and thus constant illumination at all conditions. The stepped seat is adequately padded for both rider and pillion and ends in a smart two-piece grab bar. Pulsar 220cc DTS FI offers a little under-seat storage cubby that can be unlocked via a cable release located under its lockable side panel. A massive stainless steel and alloy silencer adds a zing to the pulsar 220 along with the generous use of alloy for its rims, steering head, footrest-mounts and fuel-filler lid.
Ride and handling:
The wheelbase has been lengthened to 1,350 mm from 1,330 of the older Pulsar, along with a new swingarm. Pulsar 220cc DTS-Fi uses telescopic forks at the front and Gas-charged twin shocks are used at the rear. A twin-member tubular frame and an elliptical swingarm mounted on needle roller bearings. This combination gives a good blend of stiffness and flick ability for the bike though pulsar 220 weighs 150kg. MRF tubeless tyres —90/90 x 17 inches at the front and 120/80 x 17 inches at the rear provide good support and traction control for pulsar 220cc DTS Fi. This high performance bike is the india’s first bike to have a rear disc brake although this will help for the effective control, safety in Indian conditions is yet to be seemed.
Price and colour:
Pulsar 220cc DTS FI is offered in silver, blue and red. Pulsar 220cc DTS FI is priced differently for each of its limited bookings. Finally it is priced Rs81,280(ex-showroom price) in delhi. I believe Bajaj plans to sell 2000 units a month and if pulsar 220cc goes well as bajaj expects it will increase the price by few thousands. So if you planned one it’s the right time to get one. Pulsar 220cc is better priced, highly featured, superbly powered and controlled excellently. Pulsar 220cc DTS FI doesn’t have any serious competitor actually. It is damn sure that Bajaj’s pulsar 220cc DTS FI will set a new tone to Indian motorcycle industry. Although pulsar 220 will satisfy the long lasting hard core enthusiast’s aspiration it is to be seen whether this kind of bike is suitable for India conditions. When queried about Yamaha’s performance bikes in India YMI CEO replied performance bike can build the brand only the commuter bike can bring volume. But Bajaj continues to work on performance bikes whereas its arch rival Hero Honda is following a complete different strategy it continues to offer commuter bikes. Who has the better understanding of the Indian customers? Whether Bajaj can fool everyone’s suspicion? For answers we should wait!