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Bajaj Pulsar 220F DTSi Ownership Review @ 22000kms/22 months

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by , 12-29-2013 at 05:33 PM (45740 Views)
Delivery

I had booked my bike with Bajaj Pro-Biking Showroom of Kolkata at J.L.Nehru Road. I had taken the roller test drive of the 220 a year back at this showroom only. Though it was the showroom, their delivery point was a km away. After clearing all paper works, I headed to the delivery point. I actually wanted the complete blue colour one. But by this time, single colour blue was phased out and dual tone series had started. I somehow didnt like the dual tone decals and hence darted on the Midnight Black option. I was given half a dozen black 220s to choose from. With the best of my knowledge, I chose one and got it delivered. Finally I was a proud owner of the 220F DTSi.

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10 Features that stole my heart


  1. The double barrel 55W headlamp with projector for the low beam
  2. Body coloured clip on handle bars and grab rails
  3. Self-cancelling turn indicators
  4. The mighty muscular silencer
  5. The font styling of the instrument console
  6. Dual Disc Brake with Bybre Kit
  7. The silver coloured crank case
  8. The camels hump-large fuel tank can pack upto 17 Litres of gasoline to go on for miles
  9. The weight of the bike which gave a solid feeling of reassurance
  10. Finally the aggressive pricing INR 89,848.00 (On-Road Kolkata as on 30.01.2012)


Now let me straight forward get on to my experience with my ride.

The Power Mill

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The single cylinder 220 cc DTSi mill is capable of producing 21.05 PS of raw power and 19.12 Nm of torque. Not to be forgotten, the 220F had adorned the Fastest Indian title for a long time.

Just after cranking the engine, I would know that my baby is ready to take on anything that come its way. The vocal chords of this engine is entirely different from the rest of its siblings. It has a certain baritone in its voice which is something that I like a lot. Rev it and it growls firmer but not louder. Thats only the beginning of the Definitely Male character. Be it a cold morning/hot morning, the 220F doesnt have any problem in starting. Thanks to its Auto-Choke feature that automatically comes into play during winters and monsoons and warms up itself before the actual run.

Well in terms of refinement, it may not be the smoothest one in town but then males are meant to be a bit roughisnt it? Yet with proper treatment during the run-in/break-in period and with proper selection of engine oils, my unit has been smoother than what people proclaim Bajaj mills to be. My advice: During the run-in period, dont go by the speed limits. Rather go by the engine rpm. The first 1000kms, ensure gear shift at 4000-4500 rpm. Dont rev more than it. Thereafter slowly go on increasing the rev limit in the top gear by 1000 rpms for every 500 kms. By 2500 kms the bike will be butter smooth. And also use a good engine oil. Dont use the Bajaj DTSi 10000. Its not engine oil. It is water. In my case I used Motul 3000 4T Plus (Mineral Oil) for the first 5000 kms. The next 5000 kms I used Motul 5100 4T (Semi-Synthetic). And after 10000kms it has been one and only one Motul 300V Factory Line (Fully Synthetic).

Suspension

I must say that the front telescopic suspension with anti-friction bush does a very good job. First I thought that the suspensions were the same throughout the pulsar range but on close observation, I realized 180 onwards things are different. The front shockers are quite broad. The rear 5-way adjustable Nitrox shock absorber also does a good job but is not upto the mark. I dont know if that 5-way adjustment makes any difference at all. I have moved it to the next adjacent slot after 10000 kms. A rear mono-shocks would have been a great thing on this bike. The suspension takes on potholes quite nicely except for some big ones where the double stand gets banged.

Wheels/Tyres and Brakes

The 17 inch rims along with the MRF Zapper rubber does a very good job. The 90/90 front section tyres seem a bit thin for the broad shoulder at the front. The 120/80 rear section tyres do a fantastic job. Zapper-C is known to be made of soft compound but then still it is not upto the mark on wet roads. I have experienced fish-tailing with this Zapper C.

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The rear tyre gave in at about 22000 kms with only on-road riding and very little off-roading. This time I researched a lot about tyres and finally considering all points bought the MRF revz-S 130/70 Radial Tubeless. This is the stock fitting of Yamaha R15 v2.0. Having a question in the mind if that broader tyre can fit the pulsar rim. Dont worry at all. It fits absolutely well and looks meaner than ever before. And the tyre in itself is a fantastic product from the house of MRF. The rubber sticks to the tarmac like fevicol. Gives you cornering confidence at meaner lean angles than ever before. And brakingit just stops the moment you want it to. No fish-tailing, no skids and squeals. It cost me INR 3500 here in Kolkata.

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The brakes in my model consists of the bybre brake kit assembly unlike the KBX assembly in the older models. The 260 mm front disc has got a good bite. Whereas the rear unit is a tad weaker. But surprisingly till date I have replaced my rear disc pads twice whereas the front is still running the factory fit pads. I could not figure out any logic behind this.

But I must say after fitting those revz-s, my rear brake performance has gone up considerably. It now works upto the expected level.

Electricals & Instrumentation

12 Volt Full DC is what the user manual says. And yes it is. It has got the best headlight that any Indian bike could sport till date. It has got a 55W projector lamp for the low beam and a 55W ellipsoidal lamp for the hi-beam. Equipped with such strong illumination prowess, travelling on the dark highways at night is a breeze.
The nicely backlit switches is a good feature. Just that it looks nice. No utility as such.

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The speedo console is also different from the other pulsars in terms of the font used for the Tachometer markings. It has got an adrenaline rush even in the font. The orange backlit speedo looks pleasant to the eyes unlike the blue and white ones of its competitors.

The bike comes with a factory fit Exide Freedom battery which they claim to be maintenance free. But that is totally a false statement. It is also a basic lead-acid battery which requires regular checking and water top-ups.

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Recently my battery gave up and this time I fit Amaron Pro Bike Rider dry cell battery. This is actually a maintenance free battery. There is no breather tube/water filling slots. Just fit it and forget it.

Handling and Ride Comfort

With 21 horses to be tamed, it is no childs play to handle a 220. Added to that, its quarter fairing would also make daily traffic commuting a bit cumbersome. I still remember in those initial days I would be calculating before criss-crossing at traffic snarls. Moreover the 220 handle bar feels very light especially if you have graduated from a non-fairing bike. Especially because in the non-fairing bikes, the weight of the headlamp cluster and all electrical wirings are laden onto the front fork thereby increasing the weight on the handle bar.

From the very beginning, 220 was not known to be a cornering machine. But then it is a matter of habit. I have mastered cornering with my 220 after 1 year of riding. Due to its long wheelbase and heavy weight, every attempt to cornering felt like a leap of faith in the beginning. But when all the leaps of faith turned out successful, I was ensured that its no leap of faith. Its just practice makes a man perfect thing.

Features that I feel could have been included in the package


  1. A Kick Starter
  2. Better rear view mirrors (RVMs).
  3. Petal discs for the brake assembly
  4. A digital clock in the cockpit
  5. Higher positioning of the double stand
  6. A storage compartment for storing tools and documents
  7. Hook for helmets
  8. Seat ejection from the outside using the key like the ones in HH Hunk.


But then no one is perfect. These are not very major issues and doesnt affect your biking experience by an inch.

Parts replaced in these many kms:

  1. Chain kit - INR 1300 (after 20000 kms)
  2. Rear Brake Pads - 2 Sets - INR 200 per set
  3. Left switch panel - Warranty Claim (The back lit had failed for turn indicator)
  4. Fairing skeleton/frame - Warranty Claim (The structure for supporting mirrors had fractured due to jerking)
  5. Low Beam Head Lamp - INR 200 (Halonix)
  6. Speedometer Console - Warranty Claim (Needle deflected towards negative)
  7. Battery - INR 1100 (after 20000 kms)
  8. Rear Tyre - INR 3500 for MRF revz-s (after 22000 kms)

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