Bajaj Pulsar 150 Review
Best 150cc Bike in IndiaTuesday, October 22, 2013
Design and Style
The ever-popular and highly successful Pulsar series receives a new addition with the release of Bajaj’s revamped Pulsar 150, a performance commuter motorcycle that has been fully updated to compete with new rivals such as Honda’s CBF Stunner and Suzuki’s GS150R. It was one of the first 150cc bikes to be released to the Indian market, so does this new version break new ground or simply reinforce the market position of the 150?
Design and Style
The new Pulsar 150 model is designed with the all-black design theme of the elder Pulsar sibling – including the shock absorbers, alloy wheels and engines – but overall it bears a striking similarity to its sibling, the Bajaj Pulsar 180. There are plenty of stylish touches, including the smartened heel and toe levers and the bike’s newly refined tail. Its updated razor-sharp taillight is unique and distinctive – perhaps the best part of the updated design. Overall, the bike’s exterior is stylish and sleek, an improvement on the previous version. However, it’s unfortunate that Bajaj didn’t choose to update the Pulsar 150 to feature the same split seat configuration as the Pulsar Bajaj 180.
Bajaj Pulsar series has been steadily upgraded to feature digital instrument consoles. It is also equipped with the digital console, including digital speedometer, odometer, low-fuel warning and fuel gauge.
Engine and Gearbox
Bajaj Pulsar 150 is powered 150cc engine which develops maximum power of 14.9 Bhp at 9000 rpm with maximum torque of 12.5 Nm at 6500 rpm. The bike is fitted with a five-speed manual transmission gear box.
Acceleration and Top Speed
The major flaw with the previous Pulsar 150 was its acceleration and gear shifts – many drivers complained that gear shifts were awkward and noisy, and that the bike’s power felt underwhelming. Thankfully, Bajaj seem to have fully addressed the issue with the new version of the Pulsar 150. The 150 is now equipped with a 1-up, 4-down configuration, much alike that of the Pulsar 180. In addition, the Pulsar 150 has Bajaj’s patented ExhausTEC (Torque Expansion Chamber) technology, improving the engine’s torque when operating at low revs, giving the bike improved pick up and acceleration. The bike can make the jump from 0 to 60 kmph in an impressive 5.6 seconds, putting it at the top of its class. It has a maximum speed of 115 kmph. The bike gives excellent pick-up in any gear, and the linear acceleration is generally strong, although there is a noticeable drop at around 95 kmph.
Under test conditions, the Pulsar 150 returns an average fuel mileage of 40-50 km/kmpl on city roads, and an average of up to 62 km/kmpl on highways. Bajaj’s performance motorcycles have always suffered from high fuel consumption and unfortunately the Pulsar 150, like the other Pulsar models, guzzles fuels at a pretty high rate, which pushes up the cost of running the bike – particularly if you’re a regular city commuter. Its petrol tank has a capacity of 15 litres, with a reserve capacity of 2 litres.
Comfort While Driving
Due to its staunch shock absorbers, the Pulsar 150 is a high quality ride. Its suspension is clearly designed to provide an insulated ride on city roads. The bike’s seat is wide and comfortable, although some drivers will wish for the updated split seat setup seen on the other Pulsar models. On the 150, the pillion’s seat is slightly elevated above the driver’s, which some may find unsettling.
Bajaj Pulsar 150 is equipped with a powerful front headlamp – 12 volts, full DC with 2 35/35 W pilot lamps - for improved illumination during night time rides. Its front disc brake provides superior performance and greatly reduces the bike’s stopping distance to prevent accidents and collisions. Wide leg guards help to protect the driver in the event of a fall.
The bike does not feature any on-board storage space, as is typical of performance motorcycles of this type.
Suspension and Brakes
It is equipped with telescopic 135mm stroke suspension at the front, and at the rear is triple-rated spring, five-way adjustable suspension with 105mm travel nitrox shock absorbers. The suspension does a decent job of absorbing potholes and bumpy roads, but is sadly not up to challenging road surfaces – riders should certainly stick to well-maintained city roads to avoid the jolts and vibrations.
The Pulsar 150 is equipped with 240mm disc brakes at the front and 130mm drum brakes at the back. The large, powerful front brakes make all the difference here – smaller drum brakes would not be an equal match for its capable engine, but the sized-up disc brakes are suited to the challenge. When applied, the brakes bring the bike to a quick and stable stop, with a braking distance from 60 to 0 kmph on 16.33 meters, which puts it equal with other Pulsar models and ahead of many of the competition.
Ride and Handling
Compared to other bikes in the 150cc class, the Pulsar’s handling is athletic and nimble. Thanks to the patented ExhausTEC system, the bike is highly manoeuvrable in city traffic and built-up areas. However, at low speeds the Pulsar 150 can lack responsiveness and agility. The bike is a decent all-rounder – it doesn’t excel in any particular area, but ticks all the boxes for a commuter motorcycle.
At the front, the It has a 90/90 x 17 tubeless tyre; and at the back a 100/90 x 17 tubeless tyre. The wheels are 17-inch alloys. In general, the tyres perform well, giving a stable and comfortable ride on a variety of road surfaces, and cope well with wet and slippery conditions.
The bike is available in three shades: Plasma Blue, Cocktail Wine Red and Midnight Black. Bajaj India has introduced new speed line shades for Pulsar range comprising of Pulsar 135, Pulsar 150, Pulsar 180 and Pulsar 220. The new shades are blue with combination of black, red with combination of black and all-black shade. The new shades have given a fresh lease to life to the Pulsar models and have further enhanced the overall looks of the bikes.
There are few accessories included with the standard bike – no doubt in an attempt to keep the price down – but extras can be purchased on top, including seat covers and bike covers.
The Bajaj Pulsar 150 comes in a single standard variant.
Reasons to Buy and Value for money
Bajaj Pulsar 150’s power is the primary reason to recommend it: the gearbox, acceleration and top speed are all vastly improved over the previous model. The bike itself is very good value for money, pitched at the lower end of the kind of prices you’ll see in the 150cc segment. However, it’s low to average fuel economy pushes up the running costs.
With a nice eye-catching design and greatly enhanced performance, the Pulsar 150 is a superb ride for inner city commuters who don’t require too many additional features.