Since '02 xBhp is different things to different people. From a close knit national community of bikers to India's only motorcycling lifestyle magazine and a place to make like-minded biker friends. Join us
xBhp was born more than 16 years ago and since then we've had a chance to ride or drive hundreds of machines running on two wheels or four wheels, and sometimes even three wheels. We are not done yet, and this list is still growing. In these pages, we take a deep dive in the treasure trove of our ride experiences and bring you all that we have ridden or driven.
Bajaj is taking its new Pulsar platform and the success they have had with it quite seriously. What started with the new Pulsar 250s led to a Pulsar N160 and now the new Pulsar P150. While the nomenclature and the displacement of the N160 and P150 seem close enough for some friendly fire, there are significant differences between the two. We have already ridden the N160 (Read our review here). Here, we’ll take a look at the new Bajaj Pulsar P150 and what it brings to the table.
Let us start with the design first. It is quite similar to the N160 but the bulk and the muscle have been somewhat tapered. It is in line with the philosophy of the two motorcycles. While the Pulsar N160 is a sportier offering, the Pulsar P150 aims to better the practical-Pulsar idea that the old Pulsar 150 carried.
That said, the Pulsar P150 still looks a fair bit sporty thanks to the new design language despite being more commuter-friendly. The headlamp design is slightly different from the N160 but the Pulsar P150 gets an LED projector headlamp which is a nice addition. Then there’s an ‘infinity console’, more or less in line with the N160 and N250. Overall, Pulsar P150 looks pretty good and its looks are further accentuated by the build quality and finish levels.
The most significant improvement that the Pulsar P150 brings over the older Pulsar 150 is weight; or the lack of it. That is saying something since we loved the engine on the Pulsar P150, but more on that later. Tipping the scales at 140 kg (141 kg for the dual-disc variant), the Pulsar P150 saves 9 kg over the old Pulsar 150 and almost 15 kg compared to the N160. The significant weight cut has helped the Pulsar P150 in nearly every dynamic aspect, from handling to acceleration.
The Pulsar P150 feels light and agile on the move and yet, despite the lack of heft, it never feels nervous or flighty. In the city, it is a boon as the manoeuvrability is excellent. It also feels much better in the corners. Though not as sporty as its larger siblings, the Pulsar P150 is good enough to make everyday commutes a bit more exciting than usual. The underbelly exhaust that helps keep the CoG low also helps matters in this regard. Braking is adequate for a motorcycle in this class.
The suspension is plush and the Pulsar P150 deals with bad roads like a pro absorbing all but the nastiest of potholes. This makes it a Pulsar that is easier to live with than nearly any other Pulsar out there. One interesting bit can be found in the variants. The dual-disc variant that gets a split seat as well comes with sportier clip-ons and fairly rear-set pegs. This is slightly strange as the Pulsar P150 is aimed squarely at comfort and commutes and the overall setup is also in that direction.
The second variant with a single-piece seat gets a nice flat single-piece handlebar which is upright but this variant gets drum brakes at the rear and a slimmer rear tyre too, 100-section as compared to the 110-section for the dual-disc variant. We found this to be slightly strange but it’s good that one has a choice to either go comfy or a tad bit sportier.
The next department where the low weight helps is performance. But the credit for that goes to the fantastic engine too. The new power plant has the same bore/stroke ratio as the old Pulsar 150 but the innards are new. It gets the same internal treatment as the N160 and that results in unforeseen refinement levels. It won’t be a stretch to say that this might not only be the smoothest Pulsar 150 ever but also the best in class when it comes to refinement.
It isn’t just the smoothness either. The engine is good for 14.5 PS of power and 13.5 Nm of torque. The numbers may be in line with the older Pulsar bit with the weight-reduction and refinement, the performance is drastically better. It pulls better, the torque is spread throughout the low to midrange and the tractability is something to appreciate. On long highway jaunts, you may be left wanting a bit more but then, that is not where it aims to excel. In the city, it is a joy and you have to love it for that.
Finally, with ABS, a standard USB port, a decent console with a gear indicator, and an LED projector headlamp, the Pulsar P150 offers a decent bit in terms of features. At INR 1.17 Lakh (Ex-Showroom) for the single-disc variant and INR 1.20 Lakh (Ex-Showroom) for the dual-disc variant, the Pulsar P150 offers a lot for the price. An excellent city motorcycle for smooth and sporty commuting; what more can you ask for?