Bajaj Pulsar is a motorcycle brand owned by Bajaj Auto in India. The two wheeler was developed by the product engineering division of Bajaj Auto in association with Tokyo R&D and later with motorcycle designer Glynn Kerr. Currently there are four variants available -with engine capacities of 135 cc, 150 cc, 180 cc and 220 cc. Previously it was also offered with a 200 cc DTS-i oil cooled engine, which now has been discontinued. Instead a new version Pulsar 200NS was launched in 2012. With an average monthly sales of around 86,000 units in 2011, Pulsar has a market share of 47% in its segment. By April 2012,more than five million units of Pulsar were sold . It competes with the KTM Duke 200, the Kawasaki Ninja 250R, the Yamaha R15, the CBR250R. Price-wise, it also competes with the Royal Enfield Bullet.
Before the introduction of the Pulsar, the Indian motorcycle market trend was towards fuel efficient, small capacity motorcycles (that formed the 80–125 cc class). Bigger motorcycles with higher capacity virtually did not exist (except for Enfield Bullet). The launch and success of Hero Honda CBZ in 1999 showed that there was demand for performance bikes. Bajaj took the cue from there on and launched the Pulsar twins in India on 24 November 2001. Since the introduction and success of Bajaj Pulsar, Indian youth began expecting high power and other features from affordable motorcycles.
The project was faced with internal resistance, reservations by Mckinsey and doubts on its effects on Bajaj's relation with Kawasaki. The project required approximately 36 months for completion and costed Bajaj Rs 1 billion.
|Pulsar 135LS DTS-i||Pulsar 150 DTS-i||Pulsar 180 DTS-i||Pulsar 200 DTS-i||Pulsar 220 DTS-Fi||Pulsar 220F DTS-i||Pulsar 220S DTS-i||Pulsar 200NS|
|Top Speed (km/h)||115||125||136||138||142||136|
The original Pulsar came with a 150 cc air-cooled, single-cylinder, petrol, spark-ignited four-stroke engine which made 13 HP of maximum power. They featured a single spark plug to ignite the air-fuel mixture fed from a carburetor, simple spring shock absorbers, round headlamp dome and 1,265 mm wheelbase. Disc brakes as standard equipment was a novelty in Indian motorcycles of the early 2000s. Other standard features were parking lights and an aircraft-type fuel tank lid. The design of the motorcycle was inspired by a wide open muscular human arm.
The 180 cc version made 15 HP of maximum power and came with a twin-tone horn, which was optional equipment on the 150 cc version. Electric Start (ES) was offered as standard feature in the 180 cc model and optional on the 150 cc model.
The second generation Pulsars featured Bajaj Auto's newly developed DTSi technology, which increased the power rating of both versions by 1 hp (0.75 kW) each and also increased fuel economy. This model also introduce a new headlamp assembly, 1,320 mm wheelbase, and standard twin-tone horn and trip meter.
In 2005, Bajaj launched another upgrade of the Pulsar. The bike was offered with 17-inch (430 mm) alloy wheels as standard option, and the stance was also lowered by about 12 mm. It was the first time any bike maker in India had offered 17-inch (430 mm) profile wheels at the rear. The fuel tank now had a capacity of only 18 litres. The power output was now further increased to 13.5 hp (10.1 kW) @ 8500 rpm for the 150 while it increased to 16.5 hp (12.3 kW) @ 8500 rpm for the 180. The rear shock absorbers were now gas-filled Nitrox absorbers.
Bajaj introduced another version of Pulsar (UG III). New features included: pilot lamps separated from the main headlamp, turn indicators with clear lenses and amber bulb, self-cancelling turn indicator switch, flush LCD screen with digital read-out of key vehicle data, non-contact speed sensor, non-contact backlit switches, twin-stripe LED tail-light assembly and side panels altered for a sharp, tapering-towards-the-rear look. The engine had increased torque availability, reduced vibration and improved gear shift feel. cc variants.
In July 2007, Bajaj began selling the Bajaj Pulsar 220 DTS-Fi and Pulsar 200 DTS-i, the former featuring fuel injection and oil cooled engines, a digital dash, and modern styling. This bike has some features which are totally new to the Indian market, like the fuel injection itself, rear disc brake and clip-on handlebars (the first two only available in the 220 model).
The new Pulsar has many firsts to its credit. It comes equipped with an oil cooler, which helps control engine oil temperatures at sustained high speeds and rpms, thus ensuring more stable engine oil viscosity.
The new digital console is an advanced version of the latest Pulsar family. Apart from the Digital Odometer, Digital Speedo Meter, Digital Fuel Gauge and two Digital Trip Meters, the console on the 200 cc Pulsar DTS-I has indicators for the air filter condition, engine temperature, battery voltage and oil level.
Bajaj released the UG IV (fourth upgrade) versions of the Pulsar 150 and Pulsar 180 in April 2009. The upgrades for the Pulsar 150 included an all-black theme, tank scoops similar to those on the Pulsar 200, a 3D Pulsar logo, and a changed electrical system (full DC). Power also increased from 13.5 HP to 14.09 HP (at 8,500 rpm).
Electrical enhancements like auto head light switch-off after few seconds of turning the engine off to protect the battery, self cancelling turn signals, icon illumination (horn icon, indicator icon, engine cut off icon, etc.), side stand warning light, duel digital trip meter, low fuel warning light (which also flashes when the engine is revved too hard), and low battery indicator are common features among all the variants.
The Pulsar 180 received upgrades like wider tyres, split seat, tank scoops, clip-on handlebars, 3D Pulsar logo, swing arm suspension borrowed from Pulsar 200, and thicker forks. The power was increased to 17 PS.
Bajaj launched a carbureted version of Pulsar 220 on June 2009, tagging it as "the fastest bike in India". It also discontinued the production of Pulsar 200 on July 2009.
Bajaj also introduced a new Light Sports version of Pulsar named as Pulsar 135LS. It is the first bike in India to contain 4-valve DTS-i technology. It consists 4 smaller valves rather than 2 standard bigger valves, styling also is changed and looks become more aggressive. The bike is ARAI certified for 68.5 km/l and weights only 122 kg.
Bajaj released the UG 4.5 versions of the Pulsar 150. The upgrades for the Pulsar 150 included an clip-on handlebars like those in Pulsar 135LS. Power also increased from 14.09 HP to 15.06 HP (at 9,000 rpm).
A naked version of Pulsar 220 is also launched, named as Pulsar 220S (Street Fighter) which retains everything from Pulsar 220 except the front fairing. Front fairing is similar to Pulsar 180/150. Old Pulsar 220 is now named as Pulsar 220F.
Bajaj released Pulsar 135LS,150,180 and 220F.
2012 marked the entry of Bajaj's latest design, the Pulsar 200NS (NS standing for Naked-Sport). The bike has a revised 200 cc liquid cooled engine, which produces 23.17 bhp (17.28 kW) at 9,500 rpm and 18.3 N·m (13.5 lbf·ft) at 8,000 rpm. It has a new triple-spark design, along-with a new four-valve SOHC. The company claims a top speed of 136 km/h (85 mph). It does not have fuel injection like its predecessor, the Pulsar 220Fi. It has a petal disk brake on the front, a disk brake on the rear wheel, and a gas-charged monoshock. It is expected to be launched by mid-end April 2012. Claimed fuel economy is 58 kilometres per litre (140 mpg-US) when ridden under 60 km/h.
DTSi stands for Digital Twin Spark Ignition, a Bajaj Auto trademark. Bajaj Auto holds an Indian patent for the DTSi technology. The Alfa Romeo Twin-Spark engines, the BMW F650 Funduro which was sold in India from 1995 to 1997 also had a twin-spark plug technology, and the Rotax motorcycle engines, more recently Honda's iDSI Vehicle engines use a similar arrangement of two spark-plugs. However very few small capacity engines did eventually implement such a scheme in their production prototypes.
Patent infringement allegations
In September 2007, Bajaj Auto filed a claim accusing that the development of TVS Flame was in violation of their patent for DTS-I. TVS Motors countered by threatening to sue Bajaj Auto for libel. On February 2008, the Madras High Court in Chennai restrained TVS from launching it with the twin spark plug technology. TVS appealed against this decision, claiming that crucial evidence was not taken into account and in March 2008, launched the Flame with a modified engine containing one spark plug. The DTSi idea is a simple one to understand – it involved usage of two spark plugs (instead of one) per engine cylinder. On 16 September 2009 the Supreme Court of India permitted TVS Motors to manufacture and sell the 125 cc TVS Flame with Twin Spark Technology.
ExhausTEC stands for Exhaust Torque Expansion Chamber, a technology patented by Bajaj. The technology involves use of a small chamber connected to the exhaust pipe of the engine to modify the back-pressure and the swirl characteristics, with an aim to improve the low-end performance of the bikes. The ExhausTEC technology is claimed to be highly effective in improving the low- and mid-range torque.[
Corrosion in Exhaust System
Corrosion of Silencer is a commonly reported issue with the Pulsar. There are criticism that Bajaj is unable to fix the same despite producing a quality bike.
Copy of Pulsar brand motorcycles
There were several allegations of IPR infringement by Chinese manufacturers in Sri Lankan and South American markets. Pulsar clone versions are sold in Bangladesh also. The 'Tomahawk' motorcycle manufactured by Hong Kong based Giantco Limited, 'YB200' motorcycle manufactured by China based Taizhou City Kaitong Motorcycle Manufacture Co., Limited (the company which made a clone of Piaggio MP3), 'ZX200-7(G) and ZX200-7(II)' motorcycles manufactured by China based Jiangsu Zhongxing Motor Group Co., Limited, 'RT150-8' motorcycle manufactured by China based Chongqing Rato Power Co., Limited, 'SM150-GB’ motorcycle manufactured by China based Pantera Motorcycle Co.,Limited, 'HJ200-23' motorcycle manufactured by China based Guangzhou Panyu Haojian Motorcycle Industry Co.,Limited, 'VL150-30, VL150-28 & VL150-26' motorcycles manufactured by China based Veli Technology Industrial Co., Limited, 'SUM200 Pulsar' motorcycle manufactured by China based Chongqing Union Co., Limited, 'YG200-7A' motorcycle manufactured by China based Chongqing Yingang Sci.&Tech.(Group)Co.,Limited and 'YX150-CS' motorcycle manufactured by China based Chongqing YInxiang Motorcycle(Group) Co., Limited are some famous replica of Pulsar brand motorcycles.
The different variants of Pulsar have won the following awards.
2009 – 2010
- Viewer's Choice Bike of the Year – UTV Bloomberg – AutoCar (For Pulsar 135 DTS-i)
- Bike of the Year – UTV Bloomberg – AutoCar (For Pulsar 135 DTS-i)
- Technology of the Year – 4Valve – ET NOW – Zigwheels (For Pulsar 135 DTS-i)
- Bike of the Year – ET NOW – Zigwheels (For Pulsar 135 DTS-i)
- Less than 150 cc Bike of the Year – ET NOW – Zigwheels (For Pulsar 135 DTS-i)
2007 – 2008
- IMOTY Award – Indian Motorcycle of the Year 2008 – All Auto Mags – Overdrive, AutoCar, BS, Bike, Top Gear (For Pulsar 220 DTS-Fi)
- Bike of the Year 2008 – NDTV Profit Car India and Bike India Awards (For Pulsar 220 DTS-Fi)
- Bike of the Year 2008 – Overdrive (For Pulsar 220 DTS-Fi)
- Ranked First in ' TOP 30 AUTOMOBILE BRANDS OF INDIA ' 2008 – 4Ps Power Brand Awards
2006 – 2007
- Bike of the Year 2007 – CNBC – TV 18 AutoCar Auto Awards
2004 – 2005
- TNS Automotive Total Customer Satisfaction in Premium Segment – NFO Automotive
2003 – 2004
- Auto Tech of the year – ICICI Bank OVERDRIVE Awards 2004 (For DTS-i Technology)
- Bike of the Year – ICICI Bank OVERDRIVE Awards 2004
2002 – 2003
- BBC World Wheels Viewers Choice Two Wheeler of the Year 2003 – IBBC World Wheels (For Bajaj Pulsar 180 DTS-i)
- BBC World Wheels Award for Best Two Wheeler between Rs. 55,000 to Rs. 70,000 – IBBC World Wheels (For Bajaj Pulsar 180 DTS-i)
- Motorcycle Total Customer Satisfaction Study 2003 – NFO Automotive
- Bike of the Year 2003 – ICICI Bank OVERDRIVE Awards 2003
- Bike of the Year 2002 – Business Standard Motoring
- Most Exciting Bike of the Year 2003 – By OVERDRIVE