2015 Bajaj Pulsar 180
Bajaj recreated the Indian motorcycling scenario with the launch of two Pulsars. While both the versions of the motorcycle were launched with the intention of laying down the foundation of performance motorcycling in India, the character of both the motorcycles were quite different. The Pulsar 150 was on the perfect balance of performance and fuel economy, whereas the Pulsar 180 was the motorcycle to bring out the delirious side of the rider.
With a bigger engine on the board over the Pulsar 150, the Pulsar 180 clearly became the new favorite of motorcycling enthusiasts, as there was nothing in the market at that time which could overpass the Pulsar 180 in terms of displacement and performance. Over the years, the Pulsar 180 has been given a series of cosmetic and mechanical advancements, in parallel to the Pulsar 150.
The latest version of the Pulsar 180 is more or less the same model which has been doing its duty since last eight years. However, there are a couple of visual changes as well as a minute upgrade in powertrain, which have managed to retain the spark in this motorcycle. Here’s a brief review of one of the most synonymous names in the history of Indian motorcycling scenario, the Bajaj Pulsar 180.
The current avatar of the Pulsar 180 hasn’t changed much over the previous versions of the motorcycle since 2007, when the motorcycle received a complete overhaul in terms of design. However, there are some changes which differentiate the present model from its erstwhile versions. At the front, the motorcycle still has that unmistakable wolf-eyed headlamp, which basically comprises of the main headlamp unit with twin pilot lamps enclosed in a smart bikini fairing, which is now as recognizable as a coconut tree in Kerala. Though the face now sees the introduction of short and sleek decals on both the sides of it.
From the sides too, the classic silhouette of the Pulsar 180 hasn’t changed a bit. However, the fuel tank, side body cowls and the rear side body panels get all new body graphics which enhance the racy and sporty appeal of the motorcycle. The split pillion grab rails have now been flipped from their previous position, but as before, they don’t offer too much in terms of usability.
For a while, the Pulsar 180 was the cheapest motorcycle in India to feature the split seats and clip-on handlebars, which over the course of time, became a common feature in lesser positioned bikes. Both the aforementioned features are still there as they were, and so are the dual vertical LED tail lamps. The six-spoke alloy wheels are finished in black, while the engine is now painted in a fine shade of golden.
The part-digital instrument console of the Pulsar which was a rage at the time of its arrival on the Pulsar 180 few years ago, still exists on the current model proudly. The unit incorporates an analog tachometer with white background and an LCD panel which displays speedometer, odometer, trip meters and fuel gauge. But in the wake of more comprehensive instrument consoles in lower-spec 150cc motorcycles, the unit on the Pulsar 180 now feels dated.
The Bajaj Pulsar 180 has been featuring a single cylinder, air cooled, DTS-i, 178.6cc engine since 2007. The unit still remains largely unchanged in the current generation model, but now pumps out a higher power output of 17.02 PS and torque output of 14.22 Nm.
This 180cc engine on the Pulsar 180 has always been praised for the sheer amount of power in the lower revs as well as in the midrange. The motorcycle still has the ability to surprise you with immense acceleration, and thankfully, now with more levels of refinement and controlled NVH levels. This engine comes paired to a 5-speed gearbox, but considering the amount of power it packs in, the need of a sixth gear is felt sometimes.
RIDE AND HANDLING
The Pulsar 180 features a set of hydraulic telescopic forks at the front and NitroX gas charged adjustable hydraulic coil springs at the rear. With a gross weight of 145 kg, the agility of the Pulsar 180 around corners do not complement fully with the amount of performance its engine has in its store. The bike still continues to have a 260mm disc brake at the front and a 130mm drum brake at the rear. Like the absence of a sixth gear, the absence of a rear disc brake is also badly felt in this motorcycle.
Almost all the motorcycle aficionados know how Bajaj has been the champion in pricing their motorcycles effectively in the Indian market, especially the ones which have the focus on performance. The current iteration of the Pulsar 180 has been priced by Bajaj at Rs. 73,971, thus offering you a superior performance at the price of a premium 150cc streetfighter.
Unlike the previous versions of the Pulsar 180, this newest model can be fetched by one in dual tone color options, the list of which includes Pearl Metallic White, Sapphire Blue and Cocktail Wine Red. A monotone shade of Ebony Black is also on the offer.
Out of all the motorcycles of the 150cc-200cc bracket, the motorcycle which challenges the credentials of the Pulsar 180 head-on is the TVS Apache RTR 180. The Apache RTR 180 was launched as a direct rival the Pulsar 180 few years back, and while the Pulsar 180 is still the same motorcycle as the one which was launched eight years ago, the current TVS Apache RTR 180 was launched as a facelift over the previous generation model in 2012. And needless to say, the Apache RTR 180 looks sharper and fresher than the Pulsar 180.
The TVS Apache RTR is powered by a single cylinder, air cooled, 177.4cc engine, which pumps out 17.1 PS of power and 15.5 Nm of torque. The RTR 180’s engine is more rev hungry in comparison, which results in a meatier top end grunt. While the suspension components and set-up of both the motorcycles are similar, the Apache RTR 180 does feature a standard rear disc brake and an optional ABS, both of which aren’t available on the Pulsar 180 even as an option.
The Bajaj Pulsar 180 is a motorcycle which can be best said as a ‘too long in the tooth’ model, but the specifications of the motorcycle clearly say that there is still much life span left for it. While the design of the motorcycle is a bit too dated in comparison to more contemporary rivals, it still looks purposeful and styled to appeal everyone.
The 180cc engine is punchy and has enough power to put some higher-positioned motorcycles in shame. The equipment levels are acceptable, and so are the overall ride quality and dynamics. With a package of 180cc motorcycle in the price of a premium 150cc offering from other rivals, the Pulsar 180 screams the best value at the price point at which it is available, only if you can digest the period of its existence in the Indian motoring scene.
- * Power
- * Ride Quality
- * Price
- * Dated Design
- * No rear disc brakes
- * Handling