Bajaj Pulsar P150 review: How is the most affordable new-gen Pulsar?
The first-generation Bajaj Pulsar 150 arrived way back in 2001 and it was a trendsetter. Competing against the Hero CBZ, it showed other manufacturers that there was a strong market for sporty commuter motorcycles in India. So, it is always a big day when a new Pulsar arrives. The brand transformation began in a top-down approach with the new 250 range, followed up with the Pulsar N160 earlier this year.
However, the most recent Pulsar to go on sale from Bajaj might be its most important yet, the Pulsar P150. It is the successor to the Pulsar 150, which has been around for well over 15 years and is still a strong seller. But with stronger rivals and an evolving customer base, the P150 is the modern-day answer to consumer needs. Does it live up to the legacy? We ride the new Bajaj Pulsar P150 to find.
Bajaj Pulsar P150: Design
The Pulsar P150 takes design hints from the Pulsar N160 and N250. The front headlamp is now a LED projector unit. It has a slightly different design from the N160. From the side, the P150 looks muscular because of the fuel tank and the tank shrouds. There is an underbelly exhaust, similar to the N160. At the rear, there is an LED tail lamp that is taken from the new-gen Pulsars. There are also new alloy wheels.
Bajaj Pulsar P150: Difference between variants
Bajaj is offering the Pulsar P150 in two variants - single-disc and twin-disc. As the name suggests, the twin-disc variant comes with a rear disc whereas the single-disc variant gets a drum brake at the rear. Moreover, the single-disc variant comes with a more upright stance with mid-set footpegs and a single-piece handlebar. The twin-disc variant has a slightly committed riding posture with clip-on handlebars, slightly rear-set foot pegs and a split seat setup. There is also a difference in the tyre size between both variants. The rear tyre of the twin-disc version gets a 110/80 section unit whereas the single-disc variant is a 100/90 section wheel.
Bajaj Pulsar P150: Ride and handling
The P150 uses telescopic forks in the front and a monoshock at the rear. The front has been finely tuned but I felt that the rear unit was slightly on the stiffer side. The handling has been improved over the outgoing Pulsar 150. The motorcycle stays composed through the corners. The reason behind this is the new chassis borrowed from the N160 and the overall weight, which has now gone down by 10 kg when compared to the outgoing Pulsar 150. The cradle frame now uses the engine as the stressed member.
We only got a chance to ride the twin-disc variant and the braking power on it is enough to make the P150 come to a halt quickly. The front feels nice and progressive whereas the rear disc has a strong initial bite. The P150 is equipped with only a single-channel ABS so the rear wheel will skid in case you stomp on the rear brake.
Bajaj Pulsar P150: Features
In terms of features, the Pulsar P150 comes with a semi-digital instrument cluster. It is the same infinity console that we have seen on the new-gen Pulsars. It is a semi-digital unit that gets an analogue tachometer. The digital unit does show the distance to empty readout, time, gear position indicator, odometer and twin trip meters. Bajaj is not offering hazard lights or any sort of Bluetooth connectivity. Having said that, Bajaj has added a USB port to charge mobile devices and it is placed neatly and thoughtfully.
Bajaj Pulsar P150: Engine specifications
Bajaj says that the engine is all-new, despite the bore and stroke being identical to the outgoing Pulsar 150. The engine puts out 14.3 bhp at 8,500 rpm and a peak torque output of 13.5 Nm at 6,000 rpm. It is important to note that the motorcycle no longer gets the DTS-i setup.
The manufacturer says that 90 per cent of torque is available across the usable rev range and comes across that way with ample usable torque available whenever the rider twists the throttle. One really does not need to change the gears a lot because the engine pulls cleanly from low revs in higher gears. Speaking of gearshifts, the gearbox is a 5-speed unit and is slick. I found myself getting into false neutrals twice or thrice during my short ride. The highlight of the engine is still the way it chases the red line after 6,000 rpm and that exhaust note which is surprisingly bassy.
Bajaj Pulsar P150: Top speed
Bajaj says that Pulsar P150 can hit a top speed of 108 kmph. Moreover, the manufacturer claims that the P150 can accelerate from 0 to 60 kmph in 5.2 seconds.
Bajaj Pulsar P150: Fuel efficiency
The ARAI-claimed fuel efficiency of the Bajaj Pulsar P150 is 49 kmpl. I am expecting it to deliver around 40 kmpl in real-world riding conditions. Having said that, because of a shortage of time, we could not test this claim.
Bajaj Pulsar P150: Smoothest Pulsar yet
What surprised me the most was how smooth the on-off throttle transitions were. The NVH levels have improved over the previous generation of Pulsars. There are slight vibrations on the footpegs in the mid-range and it is only at the top-end of the rev range when the vibrations start creeping onto the handlebar.
Bajaj Pulsar P150: Verdict
The Pulsar P150 is definitely an improvement over the outgoing Pulsar 150. It is currently the most affordable new-generation Pulsar that one can buy. Prices start at ₹1.17 lakh for the single-disc variant and the twin-disc variant is priced at ₹1.20 lakh (all prices, ex-showroom Delhi). At this price point, the P150 still offers a great price-to-performance ratio and it retains the characteristics of the original Pulsar 150. It will be going against the TVS Apache RTR 160 2V, Yamaha FZ-FI and the Hero Xtreme 160R in the Indian market.