2015 Bajaj Pulsar AS 150
After sensing some fierce competition from its rivals in the Indian two wheeler market such as Honda, Yamaha and Suzuki, Bajaj intends to utilize the full potential of its successful ‘Pulsar’ nameplate in the entry level performance segments of motorcycles. The ‘Pulsar’ has already created records and passed several milestones of success in the form of different variants ranging between 135cc to 220cc.
Even though all the variants of the Bajaj Pulsar have been putting up successful sales numbers in every consecutive month, but it was not a hidden fact that the entire lineup (barring the Pulsar 200 NS) was becoming too long in the tooth. Bajaj too feels that the right time has come to refurbish all those variants and launch more contemporary avatars of them. Which is why the company has launched three all new Pulsars in a span of one month – Pulsar RS 200, Pulsar AS 200 and Pulsar AS 150.
Out of these three new motorcycles, the Pulsar AS 150 is the smallest, but most important motorcycle in terms of sales numbers. The motorcycle has been positioned in the segment of 150cc sport tourers. Here’s a quick look on the Bajaj’s latest and most powerful onslaught in the 150cc motorcycle space, the Pulsar AS 150.
With the Pulsar AS 150, Bajaj has tried to create an altogether different segment of ‘Adventure Sports’, by amalgamating the practical credentials of a 150cc motorcycle with those of bigger sport tourers positioned one-two segments above. The motorcycle is based on its bigger sibling, the Pulsar AS 200, and shares many components with it.
The Pulsar AS 150 gets a semi-fairing at the front, which incorporates a projector headlamp assembly – first in a 150cc motorcycle. The headlamp unit also engulfs pilot lamps at both of its upper corners. A tall and transparent windscreen above the headlamp unit completes the front face of the motorcycle.
The semi-fairing further stretches back and fuses with the fuel tank of the motorcycle, which has been shared with the Pulsar 200 NS. Not only the fuel tank, but other parts such as front fender, side body cowls, rear side body panels, rear view mirrors, underbelly exhaust, clip-on handlebars, split pillion grab rails, split seats and LED tail lamps have been borrowed from the Pulsar 200 NS. Though the bike gets a proper and very functional full fender at the rear, which comes handy especially during monsoons.
The instrument console too has been shared with the other big new-generation Pulsars. The part digital unit has a busy design and consists of a centrally mounted tachometer, which is flanked with an LCD panel to its right and other basic tell tale lamps on its left. The LCD panel provides digital displays for speedometer, odometer, trip meters, clock and fuel gauge. The bike also gets blue backlit switchgear, which is quite a unique feature in its segment.
an all new four stroke, single cylinder, air cooled, four valve, 149.5cc DTS-i engine. This stressed unit pumps out a very impressive 17 PS of maximum power and 13 Nm of maximum torque, and is coupled to a five speed gearbox.
Going by the specs of the engine, the Pulsar AS 150 does create new benchmarks in the 150cc motorcycle space, and rivals even some of the other high-performance motorcycles positioned much above it. The engine is a gem for the riding conditions of both the in-city traffic as well as highways, as the engine has enough punch in the mid range as well as top end of the rev range.
RIDE AND HANDLING
The Pulsar AS 150 comes with a perimeter frame under its skin, which makes it the cheapest motorcycle to have a perimeter frame. This translates into an excellent proficiency in the aspect of dynamics, making it quite a good motorcycle on that front. The AS 150 also gets hydraulic telescopic forks at the front and a Nitrox gas-charged monoshock absorber with rectangular swingarm at the rear.
The 10-spoke 17-inch alloy wheels at both the ends have tubeless tyres wrapped over them, though the tyres look a bit skinny going by the overall dimensions of the motorcycle. The bike does get a 240mm disc brake at the front, but at the rear, it has been provided a 130mm drum brake, with no option of rear disc brake on offer.
Bajaj is always known for the tradition of providing stupendous price to package ratio for its motorcycles, and the Pulsar AS 150 too follows the lineage. Bajaj has priced the Pulsar AS 150 at a very tempting price tag of Rs. 79,000, thus making it a highly value for money product.
The motorcycle is available in three monotone shades of red, black and blue, and unlike the other variants of Pulsar on sale, the Pulsar AS 150, in all these three colors, is devoid of body graphics.
As said before, the Pulsar AS 150 is positioned in the upper segment of premium 150cc motorcycles, but undercuts its competitors in terms of pricing. The closest competitor which truly gives it a very tough fight is the Suzuki’s flagship motorcycle in the mass market segment, the Gixxer SF.
Unlike the Pulsar AS 150, the Gixxer SF is a fully faired motorcycle, which is based on its naked counterpart, the 155cc Gixxer. In terms of styling, the Gixxer SF leads the race with a slight margin, by offering a front full fairing, 1-into-2 exhaust pipe, fairing mounted rear view mirrors and beefier body panels. Both the motorcycles are kitted appropriately as per the price on which they are being offered.
The Suzuki Gixxer SF is powered by a four stroke, single cylinder, air cooled, 155cc engine, which pumps 14.8 bhp of power and 14 Nm of torque. Though the Pulsar AS 150 feels more powerful than the Gixxer SF in the higher rev range, the Suzuki is a more refined and more torque-rich motorcycle, especially in the mid range as well as lower revs. With fatter front forks and meatier tyres on offer, the ride quality as well as dynamics of the Gixxer SF are also better in comparison.
The Bajaj Pulsar AS 150 does make its entry in a highly competitive segment of 150cc motorcycles, but it certainly puts a strong case for itself. The tag of ‘Adventure Sport’ is a little misleading one, as it doesn’t get any proper equipment of an adventure motorcycle. However, it does score some strong brownie points for being an impeccable sport tourer, with a proportional design and spot-on ergonomics on offer.
The technically advanced engine which powers the Pulsar AS 150 definitely sets up new benchmarks in the 150cc segment, in terms of performance outputs, making it one of the most powerful machines in this space. With a number of interesting features such as backlit switchgear and perimeter frame, it feels a top notch and special motorcycle for the segment to which it belongs. Indeed, the Pulsar AS 150 provides you the most value for money in the 150cc category of motorcycles.
- * Styling
- * Powerful Engine
- * Features
- * Skinny Rear tyres
- * No Rear Disc brakes