Battle between the fastest bikes!. What’s more interesting for an youngster like me who want to push his limits in bike riding and find out which bike wins? So I took the new Pulsar 220 and the older pal Karizma R for a shoot out and was overwhelmed by both these macho bikes’ capabilities. My friend and me kept swapping our bikes to explore more and more of their characteristics. Read more and discover our insights and refreshes yourself about Karizma and Pulsar 220.
Styling and Design
Obviously, the Japan’s product has a unique styling signatures when compared to the more simple Indian bikes. But this image is shattered by the way Pulsar 220 has come out from Bajaj stable. The new Pulsar 220cc DTS-Fi has the half faring similar to Karizma but more mean and sexier than Karizma, especially the air mesh on both sides adds to the aggressive stance. Karizma altogether breeds the International macho sports bike stance, with its thicker and broader faring, taller visor and inbuilt orange indicators upfront. Karizma stands out of the crowd in its sporty yellow skin while Pulsar 220 is meaty in its dark blue skin. Lets start with Pulsar 220 first. Digital console with amber back lights is what makes it remember its Pulsar family. Automatic off embedded turn-indicators, split seats, split grab rail, naked chain set and absence of kick start lever available in Pulsar 220 DTS-Fi distinguishes itself from Karizma R. The safety indication for side stand on. The faring is a major turn head factor. It extends from the tank, enclosing the speedometer and the ignition key slot. On the other hand, the half – faring of Karizma is adjoining the tank and enclosing the handlebar, allowing free turns. Projector Head Lamp (55 W), Ellipsoidal Head Lamp (55 W) is very much high in illumining ahead of roads at night for the Pulsar 220 rider than the regular 35W multi reflector Head Lamp of Karizma R. The high positioned visor surely is an eye-turner on roads. The faring encompasses a tri-dial instrument, which is a combo of analog and digital clusters with useful information in an attractive all-new sporty yellow background red fonts theme. The stylish rear view mirrors of Pulsar 220cc stick out from the front faring, and covers much needed rear views. Pulsar 220ccDTS FI features choked air fuel indicator, high oil temperature indicator, low battery voltage indicator, low engine oil level indicator and engine malfunction indicator. Coming to Karizma’s instrument cluster, the tripod instrument consists of the tachometer; second one is a speedometer with a maximum speed of 180 and two round iconic Neutral and High beam indicators. The third dial is completely digital showing fuel level, clock, trip meter and odometer readings. The broader Karizma seats are not so attractive as the Pulsar 220′s split seat. The open chain set sculptured in Pulsar 220cc demands more maintenance than the fully covered chain set of Karizma. While Pulsar bears 3D logo on the sides, Karizma R bears only graphics. The tail LED lamps of Pulsar 220cc boast the typical pulsar trademark twin real LED lines, while the all silver exhaust is distinctly out of the bike’s rear chassis whereas, the high multirefelctions in the internally split tail lamp of Karizma scores more from me in terms of rear styling. While split grab rails of Pulsar 220cc has little usage value, Karizma R’s not so attractive grab rail is aptly positioned. In design aspect, Pulsar 220cc is lean and aggressive compared to Karizma’s broad and macho stance.
The 220cc oil cooled, Digital Twin Spark Fuel Injection (DTS FI) engine blasts out a more powerful of 20/8500 PS/rpm when compared to the 17PS of 223cc engine in Karizma R and an incredible torque of 19.12/6500 Nm/rpm than the Karizma’s 18.3/6000 Nm/rpm . In Karizma, the 66.2mm of stroke longer than its bore length which is 65.5mm, allows a neat pull even at lower rpm, a unique characteristics not found in Pulsar 220cc. On the other hand, Bajaj’s well proven exhausTEC (to beef up low-down power) and oil cooler placed just below the fuel tank helps in further cooling of engine lubricant and is very needy when you rev it harder and travel in three digits speed all the time, which is technically ahead of Karizma R. Bajaj Pulsar 220′s fuel injection provides uniform power output enhancing smoother acceleration and also minimal power loss while shifting gears. Pulsar DTS-Fi can reach 60kmph in 4.1 seconds and can go from 0 to 100 kmph in 12 sec, and I could reach up to 132 kmph top speed. Karizma R can cross 60kmph in 4.7 seconds and can go from 0 to 100 kmph in 14 sec and I could reach up to 124 kmph top speed.
Ride and Handling
When I took my friend’s Karizma R and he took Pulsar 220, we immediately went for the straight line drag test. As expected, due to the more bhp of Pulsar, it came first in the first 60, but reaching higher speeds was more uniform in Karizma but uneven in Pulsar 220. While gripping the Pulsar is better than Karizma, handling is better on Karizma than Pulsar 220. Its because, the weight of Karizma’s faring is heavier and evenly distributed not allowing to steer lose, whereas the lighter Pulsar 220 fibre feels lose at times. Shifting gears, turning corners, cutting through traffic, wheelies, burn out can be performed confidently on Karizma than a Pulsar 220cc according to me because the R&D of Honda team has spent more years on giving this bikes ergonomics character and has taken enough trials before it was made available in India, whereas the newer Pulsar 220cc was more of an increase in capacity of engine department and improved ergonomics, still falling a little short to the Japan bike makers’ rock solid quality. Honda’s refinement needs a mention at this juncture. The smooth delivery of power increases the judging power of the rider and helps in calculating ride well ahead avoiding mishaps. Pulsar 220cc behaves like a hooligan grunting out more odd sounds making me wonder whether it comes out of engine or some other part. While Pulsar 220cc chassis and engine still has needed refinement in fit and finish, the chassis and the engine compartment of Karizma fits like a perfect match, that no rattling is felt whenever you rip off the engine even when Karizma becomes older. Karizma R outscores the Pulsar 220 in mileage consistency. Well, riders of this segment do not ponder over much about mileage, its worth mention because, the Pulsar’s DTS-Fi, according to me is no better than Karizmas. Both bikes will return around 38 kmpl. Cornering in Karizma pushes your limit than in Pulsar 220 because the weight balanced characteristics is better in Karizma and wheelbase of Karizma is 5mm more than Pulsar 220, combined with the 18 inch alloys give solid feel in Karizma compared to the 17 inch alloys.Braking is where Pulsar 220cc outscores Karizma R. The rear and front discs of Pulsar 220, motivates you to more casual braking wherease Karizma’s rear drum brake doesn’t fit the bike’s rest of the macho characters. On bad roads, Karizma and Pulsar 220 provides almost similar floating suspensions.
It was pretty tough for both of us to comment on this verdict subtitle. If I favour Pulsar 220 for the more adrenalin pumping aspect, Karizma reminds me of a silent champ that behaves decently boasting its engine refinement. When I get excited telling my friends for the 130+ top speed attained in Pulsar 220, I also think of the more secured feel Karzma gives in 120+ speed. If I favour Karizma for the solid handling, Pulsar 220 feels more lighter allowing to push the rider’s limit. When I think of Pulsar’s rushing raw power below 100 kmph speed, Karizma’s brisky feel above 100 kmph comes to my mind. Its upto you to choose between the two able machines, but my choice is Karizma R for its consistent performance for longer years.