2015 Bajaj Pulsar 220F
When Bajaj launched the Pulsar 220 for the very first time in 2007, it showcased the best of what Indian engineering on two wheels had to show at that time. Debuting many features for the very first time, such as clip-on handlebars, rear disc brake, fuel injection, tubeless tyres, oil cooling and projector headlamps, the Pulsar 220 became the benchmark of performance motorcycles which were entirely designed and engineered in India.
Since then, the Pulsar 220 has proven itself as one of the best sellers for its parent manufacturer, and has stayed as the flagship model of the brand ‘Pulsar’, until recently when the Pulsar RS 200 came into the picture. In the meanwhile, the motorcycle has ditched the fuel injection system for a more simplified carburetor, resulting in less-complicated maintenance and reduction in its price by a substantial margin.
The Pulsar 220F, as it is called now, is now proving to be too long in the tooth, and is now being overshadowed by a more potent stable mate, the Pulsar AS 200. Still, Bajaj thinks that there is still a huge hope for the motorcycle in the market, which is why it has refreshed the motorcycle by noticeable cosmetic changes. Here’s a brief look on the updated Bajaj Pulsar 220F.
The Pulsar 220F still retains the same proportional and boisterous design which premiered with the original fuel injected Pulsar 220 in 2007. The semi-faired motorcycle, which borrows the profile and body panels from the lower positioned Pulsars, Pulsar 150 and Pulsar 180, looks neat and stylish even after existing for almost 8 years without any substantial design change.
At the front, the semi fairing incorporates a twin headlamp setup, one amongst of which is a projector unit for low beam. The headlamps, along with twin pilot lamps, are enclosed in a Y-shaped housing, which comes flanked with fake air ducts. The fairing also comes with rear view mirrors mounted on it, which somehow are ill-positioned and provides low rear visibility when the ergonomics are taken into account. The fairing comes with two more air scoops, one each on both of its sides.
Beyond the fairing, the entire bike is exactly the same as Pulsar 180, sharing the fuel tank, side body cowls, rear side body panels, split seats, split pillion grab rails, and LED tail lamps. However, the biggest change in this latest model of Pulsar 220 when compared to its predecessor is the addition of dual tone paint scheme, with minuscule graphics on fuel tank and side fairing. The engine has a golden finish which debuted on the Pulsar 200 NS, whereas the 6-spoke alloy wheels come painted in black.
The instrument console is the same old part digital unit which was seen for the first time in the updated Pulsar 150 in 2006. The unit has an analog tachometer and an LCD panel for digital readouts of speedometer, fuel gauge, odometer and trip meter. The clip-on handlebars and backlit switchgear continue to be as they were earlier.
At one stage of time, the Pulsar 220F was billed as ‘the fastest Indian’, the credits for which were owed to its powerful 220cc engine. Though it no longer retains that glorious title, but what it still has is that same four stroke, single cylinder, oil cooled, 220cc engine, which delivers 21.05 PS of maximum power and 19.12 Nm of torque.
This engine, which comes paired to a five speed gearbox as before, has always been known for the shear surge of power beyond 3000-3500 rpm, which makes this motorcycle an excellent companion for fast stretches and curves of tarmac. Being a torquey mill, it also is a great bike to ride around city traffic, requiring minimal gearshifts.
RIDE AND HANDLING
Other than the engine, this new Pulsar 220F also retains the chassis, suspension and brakes of its previous model. The motorcycle comes with a pair of hydraulic telescopic forks at the front and Nitrox gas-charged 5-way adjustable coil springs at the rear, which are set on a stiffer side for enhanced dynamics.
The braking combination continues to be a 260mm disc brake at the front and a 230mm disc brake at the rear, which offer fantastic levels of bite on application. The seats are a letdown, which provide less cushioning and can prove to be wooden on longer jaunts. The MRF tyres offer brilliant levels of grip and feedback to the rider, even when ridden hard.
The Bajaj Pulsar 220F has always been a shockingly good value for money product, when it comes to packaging of the product in the sub-1 lakh price bracket. Offering a gazillion of equipment along with a punchy engine under its skin in this price range is certainly a good feat for the motorcycle. The latest avatar of the Pulsar 220F has been priced by Bajaj at Rs. 86,699 (Ex-showroom, Delhi).
This new Bajaj Pulsar 220F is now available in dual tone shades of Pearl Metallic White, Sapphire Blue and Cocktail Wine Red, along with a monotone color option of Ebony Black.
At the price point at which the Pulsar 220F is available, there is no other bike which can challenge the abilities of the Pulsar 220F for being a 200cc+ motorcycle below 1-lakh mark. However, the one motorcycle which tries to match the credentials of the Pulsar 220F is the Hero Karizma.
Unlike the Bajaj Pulsar 220F which underwent just a couple of minute changes, the Karizma got a huge makeover in terms of design in 2014, which though have robbed the charm of its predecessor’s design. The new Karizma looks weird and disproportionate, but looks a proper big bike with huge dimensions. In terms of features, the Karizma too gets twin headlamps (but no projector), front daytime LED lamps, LED tail lamp, split seats, split pillion grab rails, fairing mounted mirrors and clip-on handlebars.
The Hero Karizma is powered by a single cylinder, air cooled, 223cc engine, which puts out 19.4 PS of power and 19.3 Nm of torque. The engine is equally refined and torquey when compared to the Pulsar 220. The suspension setup is almost similar on both the bikes, which result in equally good ride quality, but with a rear disc brake on offer, the Pulsar 220F serves a better braking experience over Karizma.
After existing for a long period of eight years and the arrival of Pulsar AS 200 into the scene, one may feel about the Pulsar 220 as a dated and a bit pointless affair. However, the bike still continues to be a strong value to price proposition, as the motorcycle offers a smashing performance along with a host of features. The overall design of the motorcycle is beginning to show its age, but nevertheless, is still bold and charming. The minor sticker job and reduced NVH levels of its engine have surely enhanced the feel of the Pulsar 220F, but not by a big margin.
- * Performance
- * Features
- * Price
- * Dated design
- * hard seats
- * stiff suspension