Jun 23, 2007

6 Bajaj 180 Dtsi Vs Bajaj 200 DTSi Review/Test Ride

I take a the Pulsar 180 and 200 DTSi twins for a Test Ride.. and compare them

"The Pulsar is not a bike to carry around your wife, its a bike meant for you and your Girlfriend..!!"

Stephen from Khivraj Motors, Kasturba Road Bangalore


>> If you are ready with a little bit of extra cash and want the Perfect Pulsar Ever Made. Think no further and go for the Pulsar DTSi 200.

>> If you are expecting too much from the Pulsar 200, then I sugest you to wait for the Pulsar 220 to be released

>> Bajaj finaly has solved its problems on the clutch of the Pulsar..!!

After the demise of the Two Stoke Yamaha RX100 and TVS-Suzuki Shogun in the mid 1990's, it was the Pulsar 150 which was responsible for reviving the performance segment among Indian Two Wheelers.

While the Pulsar 150 sold like hot cakes and subsequently scripted a remarkable comeback of Bajaj Auto (which saw its decades of scooter dominance vanish due to changing customer perference), the Pulsar 180 was slow to move out of the showrooms.



The Pulsar DTSi 180:

    The Pulsar 180 was more powerful than the Pulsar 150 but it also managed to give around 10 km less per litre of petrol compared to the 150. This along with the fact that the 180 looked almost the same with the 150 did not help bikers to pay a slight premium and go for the 180...


    Bajaj Pulsar DTSi 180
    Bajaj then hit upon a simple but brilliant idea to differentiate the Pulsar DTSi 180 from the 150 with an "All Black" paint theme. Backed by an advertising campaign with the "Fear the Black" theme, the new "All Black" Pulsar 180 started moving out of the Bajaj Probiking Showrooms in more numbers.

    Bajaj DTSi 180: Tech Specs

    • Four stroke, Natural air cooled/oil cooled.

    • Single Cylinder, Engine displacement 178 cc

    • Maximum net power 16.5 Bhp/12.28Kw

    • Maximum net torque 15.22 Nm

    • Starting Kick/Electric Start only

    • Transmission: 5 speed constant mesh.

    • Suspension: Front- Telescopic, Rear- Gas assisted hydraulic shock absorbers

    • Tyres: Front- 90x90 X 17, Rear-100x90 X17

    • Fuel tank capacity:15 litres

    • Vehicle kerb weight: 143 Kg


The Pulsar DTSi 200:

    The Pulsar 200 was a pleasant surprise from Bajaj Auto. While the biking community was waiting eagerly for Bajaj to release its Fuel Injected Pulsar DTSF-i 220 (showcased in Jan 2006 at the New Delhi Auto Expo), Bajaj silently launched the Pulsar DTSi 200. It was a brilliant move which caught its competitors with surprise and which delighted the bike enthusiasts.

    Bajaj Pulsar DTSi 200
    Although the Pulsar 180 and the 200 share the body panels/tank and instrumentations, the 200 borrows a few additional parts from its soon to be released bigger 220 C.C, Fuel Injected Pulsar. These addtional body parts included the Split Seats, the Wide 120 section rear, split grab rails, the Oil Cooler and addtional plastic cowls on the tank of the 200 which does the twin roles of encasing the Oil Cooler and also give the 200 a sharp and sculpted appearance. Both the bikes have a black paint scheme on its engine covers and alloys. The Pulsar 200 has its front forks and its rear suspension painted in black too. The Pulsar 200 has an exposed half chain cover and its silencer has an aluminium finish to it.



    Bajaj DTSi 200: Tech Specs

    • Four stroke, Natural air cooled/oil cooled.

    • Single Cylinder, Engine displacement 198.8 cc

    • Maximum net power 18 Ps/13.25Kw

    • Maximum net torque 17.17 Nm/1.75kg

    • Starting Electric Start only

    • Transmission: 5 speed constant mesh.

    • Suspension: Front- Telescopic, Rear- Gas assisted hydraulic shock absorbers

    • Tyres: Front- 90x90 X 17, Rear-120x90 X17 [Tubeless]

    • Fuel tank capacity:15 litres

    • Vehicle kerb weight: 145 Kg



Pricing:

    The pricing of the Pulsar 180/200 will delight the consumer and will make the competitors of Bajaj scratch the heads. Since the Pulsars (150/180/200) shares most of its body parts, Bajaj has managed to aggressively price the Pulsar 180 and the 200. Making it further difficult for its competitors to enter this segment. In fact right now there are no other competitors in the 180 and 200 segment apart from Bajaj Auto.

    But inspite of the absense of any competitors Bajaj has priced the 180 and the 200 very close to the Pulsar 150. The following are the prices of the Pulsar 150/180/200 in Bangalore (On Road).



  • Pulsar DTSi 150:Rs. 66,147

  • Pulsar DTSi 180:Rs. 67,932

  • Pulsar DTSi 200:Around Rs. 74,500 (approximately)



The showroom:

    I finally decided to take the Pulsar 180 and the 200 for test rides. Since the Pulsar 200 is available only in Probiking showrooms, I went to Khivraj Motors (Kasturba Road) Bangalore. The Showroom is situated strategically in the heart of Bangalore City with the Chinnaswami Cricket Stadium nearby.

    Khivraj Motors, Kasturba Road Bangalore
    On reaching the showroom, I saw that along with the other models, the Pulsar DTSi 180 and 200 were prominently displayed in front of its entrance along with a banner which prominently had "TEST RIDE" written on it. Just as I entered the neatly arranged showroom, I was approached by a salesman. I told him that I wanted the test ride of the Pulsar DTSi 180 and the 200. The salesman asked me for my Driving Licence and then promptly took me towards the bikes. Both the 180 and 200 kept for the test rides were in Silver Color.

    The name of the person in charge of giving me the test ride was Stephen. One of the thing I liked about Stephen is that during the test ride, he had a helmet on him throughout.



Test Ride Experience: Pulsar DTSi 180

    The distance covered during the test ride wasn't too much. All I could get was a brief ride for about a kilometer around the Showroom area. Also Stephen was behind me all the time during the test ride. So I did not get to take the bike to its limit but I did get the taste as to what it would be riding the bikes in Bangalore Traffic with a pillion around.


    That's me on the Pulsar DTSi 180



    Styling/Biuld: According to me the latest Pulsars are one of the best looking bikes around. Inclusion of features like LED tail lamps, Digital Speedometers have only increased the desirability of the handsome bike. The backlit switches that glow in the dark looks superb. Though I don't think the have any practical use. The pulsars have very good build quality. A few years back it would have been impossible to believe that this was not a Japanese but an Indian product. Kudos to Bajaj for making such rapid strides.

    Clutch Feel: First it was the Pulsar 180 that we tried out. The bike thumb started with a soft exhaust note and quickly settled down to a smooth idle. I engaged the first gear and slowly released the clutch with my left hand. Due to my previous experience with older generation Pulsars, I expected a sudden jerk from the bike (first generation pulsars had a jerky clutch). But to my surprise the clutch release was smooth and progressive. The clutch feel was PERFECT. Bajaj finaly has solved its problems on the clutch of the Pulsar..!!

    Gearbox: When on the move I slotted into higher gears. And here I was a bit dissappointed. The Pulsar Gearbox still isn't perfect. Though I did not miss a gear and there were no false neutrals during the test ride, the gearbox lacked feeling. Finding the neutral was a little bit difficult. But I am sure with time and a little practice, the owner will definitely get used to it.

    Engine/Performance: Even though I ran out of road to test the engine and its performance, the Pulsar 180 felt smooth. Even when the engine was revved occassionally, it retained its smooth nature. The 180 pulled effortlessly in any gear even with two persons on the bike. The pick was crisp and nice. I had been riding primarily on 150 C.C's so far. So the extra power and torque of the 180 was quite gratifying.

    Switches: The Self Cancelling Turn Indicators on the Pulsar works and works quite well..!! I was initially apprehensive about how this feature would work on the Pulsar. But it actually operates quite well. The indicators cancells itself after coming out of a turn. There is no push to cancell option on the new Pulsars. So what do you do to cancell the indicators when you accidently push put the turn signal when you are not going in to a turn..?? Simple... push the switch in the opposite direction, the indicator bulbs will stop blinking.



Test Ride Experience: Pulsar DTSi 200

    After the 180, I got on the 200. After watching the "Free Biking" Ads on TV, I expected a lot from the 200. Perhaps a little bit too much. The 200 felt almost like the 180 at slow speeds. The Clutch feel, the engine smoothness, the torque almost felt the same. But I did find the gearbox on the 200 slightly better than the 180. It was only when riding at high speeds that one can feel the extra grunt of the 200. But that grunt is not that marked at during bumper to bumper traffic. Nevertheless, I enjoyed riding the 200 more than the 180.


That's my Firend Siva on the Pulsar DTSi 200



Riding Position

    There is a marked difference in the way the rider sits on both the 180 and the 200. On the 180 (on the left in the picture below) the riding position is definitely sporty compared to a few other 150 C.C's around. The handlebar is flat and positioned low and the footrests of the rider are slightly rearset. Giving that slightly sporty feeling while riding the bike.


    But it is the riding position of the 200 (on the right in the picture above) that is overtly inclined towards being sporty. No other bike in the country has the front footrests that are so rearset. On riding the bike I felt that I was riding a mini race replica. I just loved the Riding Position. Even for a small guy like me (5.5 ft), both the Pulsar 180 and the 200 was quite comfortable to ride.

    The sitting position for the pillion rider is different in both bikes. The pillion on the 200 finds his/her legs positioned higher compared to when sitting behind the 180. It isn't exactly uncomfortable but it does feel a bit awkward. On telling Stephen about this he said with his tongue in cheek that the "Pulsar is not a bike to carry around your wife, its a bike meant for you and your Girlfriend..!!" We all had a laugh over Stephen's Comment.



Ride and Handling:

    Both the Pulsar 180 and the 200 has one of the plushest and comfortable rides in the country. The well balanced front forks and the gas filled rear shocks abosorb the uneven roads quite well. The handling of the Pulsars were very good too. Not even once during the test ride did I feel any nervousness while flicking the bikes around. The ride and handling in short is exceptional.



Braking/Stability/Maneuverability

    No Complaints regarding the braking, the front disc brakes had good bite and did a good job of stopping the 180 and the 200. The Stability of both the bikes was also very good. Even with a pillion around the bike felt under control. The Maneuverability of both the bikes was also good. Thought the 200 wasn't as flickable in traffic as a small 100 C.C bike, still it wasn't much of a chore to ride in the traffic.



A few likes/dislikes:

    The split grab rail on the Pulsar 200 (the one on the right in the picture below) looks pretty but it is virtually useless. It is difficult to get a proper grip. Its difficult to get a proper grip both while pushing the bike around and as well as for the pillion to hold on. On the other hand the grab rail on the Pulsar 180 (the one on the left in the picture below) is quite nice to grip.



    The rear tyre of the Pulsar 200 (on on the left in the picture below)is massive compared to the Pulsar 180 (one on the right in the picture below)..!! The larger contact patch on the Pulsar 200 must have reduced a little bit of performance but neverthe less the fat rubber looks quite sexy to behold.



    I have seen the rear mudguard of the new Pulsar 150/180 shaking quite a lot while negotiating uneven surfaces. It is not exactly a pretty picture. Thankfully the Pulsar 200 doesn't have this problem.



Verdict:
  • If you really are on a tight budget right now but can live with 10 Km less per litre of petrol and want a bike with decent performance over the common 150 C.C's avaliable. Think no further but go for the Pulsar DTSi 180.


  • If you are ready with a little bit of extra cash and want the Perfect Pulsar Ever Made. Think no further and go for the Pulsar DTSi 200.


  • If you are expecting too much from the Pulsar 200, then I sugest you to wait for the Pulsar 220 to be released.


As me and my friend Siva returned from our test ride, the I remembered what Stephen told about the Pulsar. "The Pulsar is not a bike to carry around your wife, its a bike meant for you and your Girlfriend..!!" How true.. Is that the reason why it has sold considerably more in numbers than the Commuter Friendly Honda Unicorn..?? I guess Honda can learn some valuable lessons here.










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Disclaimer:

This is to remind that the Views or Opinions in the blog are entirely mine unless explicitly stated. The Views and Opinions published in this blog should in no way be related to any other person or organization associated -- directly or indirectly -- with me.




6 Comments:

Anonymous said...

Hi,
Just wanted to ask you..Can the p200 seat be fitted onto the new pulsar 180??

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the review. I have an 'old' Pulsar 180 and it was only today that I got to try out the new 180. If it wasn't for my rear wheel balance problems, the obvious gear box and chain issues as well as the vibration thing ... I'd never think of selling it. I've had it with me for 4 years now. Am seriously contemplating going for a P220. Wish I could retain my 'old' round headlights though .. love the classic bike look that they give out... something that the new 180's do not offer. Would appreciate your reviews or comments on the P220 ..

simranjeet said...

hi,
i m simran
i hve pulsar180 nd i wnt convert it into 2oo. i hve alredy change its oil tank nd removes d chain cover also change its stickers of 180 to 200. also change its rear tyre. d main problem is its seat, tank flaps,nd also silencer. how cn it changes. i do this only 4 my satisfaction bcoz its my first bike. i love it . i dont want to sell it. so i do this modifications. whn i purchased this bike that of time pulsar 200 was not launch. it launched after 15 days wn i had purchased d bike...i luve d look of 200. so i do this. plz help me 2 convert my 180 to 200. thanks
all of uuuuuuuuuuuuu.
mail-- jeetsimran34@yahoo.com

Gaurav said...

Thnx man.U did a great job.Carry on further 4 new reviews.
Aww Stephen u got it right man Pulsar is meant 4 our galfrnds yeah.cheers.

Vinu said...

Actually i'm curious to know what are the impacts of fixing 220 silencer to my pulsar 180... please advise.

S.P - Biker Next Door said...

Vinu,

That according to me would not be a wise move. Exhaust systems are tuned according to the engine's output.

Swaping 220's silencer to a 180 engine would mess up with the factory settings.. which might lead to deterioration of performance rather than enhacing it.

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