2017 Bajaj Pulsar 135 LS
The baby Pulsar too joins the updated Bajaj Motorcycle lineup
As odd it may sound, the segment of 135cc motorcycles has always been one unique category of motorcycles which may have seen a very limited number of motorcycles belonging to it, but then, each and every motorcycle which has existed in this space has gone unnoticed for most of the times, despite of the sheer value they command. It all started with the Hero Honda Ambition, which was soon followed up by Bajaj Auto, which launched a couple of motorcycles with this engine configuration, one of which is the Pulsar 135 LS.
Currently existing as the only 135cc motorcycle in the Indian two wheeler market, the Pulsar 135 LS makes a strong case for itself by being the most affordable motorcycle which sports the Pulsar moniker. When it was launched way back almost half a decade ago, it screamed a lot of value for offering edgy styling and premium features at a price of a premium 125cc motorcycle. After existing in the market in an almost unchanged manner, the Pulsar 135 LS has recently received its first proper facelift, bringing it back in the game of sports oriented commuters. Here’s our comprehensive review of the all new Bajaj Pulsar 135 LS:-
The Pulsar 135 LS has always remained one lean but sharp looking motorcycle which despite its age, still manages to look fresh owing to its edgy panels. However, in this current iteration of the motorcycle, while the motorcycle retains most of its design, it now sports some very interesting changes which, though, tend to tone down the overall sporty appeal of the motorcycle, thus making it more of a commuter than sportsbike.
Take for instance, the frontal view of the motorcycle. While the design of the headlamp with twin pilot lamps incorporated within its upper corners as well as the bikini fairing surrounding it have been retained in this new version of the motorcycle, the upper black visor sitting atop the headlamp has grown bigger in size, which makes the overall front fascia of the motorcycle a bit squarish. Interestingly, the arrow shaped clear lens blinkers have been retained here as well.
Moving to the sides, the changes between the new version of the Pulsar 135 LS as well as its previous version become more apparent. The fuel tank, edgy tank extensions, side body cowls and rear side body panels have been borrowed on from the previous version as well, however, they do now sport all new dual tone body decals which have freshened the overall appeal of the motorcycle. The engine and upswept exhaust are finished in gun metal black layout, and so are the alloy wheels, which now come with body decal matching pin striping job too. The other changes introduced to the motorcycle as compared to previous iteration are heel and toe gear shifter (in place of only toe shifter), single piece grab rail (in place of split pillion grab rails), single piece seat (in place of split seats) and minimal changes of decals within the instrument console, which however have made the bike look less sportier than the previous model.
Talking about the instrument console, Bajaj has retained the design of the part digital meters, which come with an analog tachometer and a digital LCD screen, which shows data of speedometer, fuel gauge, odometer, trip meters and clock. The other simple tell tale lamps are placed besides the screen in the same way as they were before. Apart from this thing, even the backlit switchgear, clip on handlebars, rear tyre hugger, alloy number plate holder at the rear and rear view mirrors are exactly the same as they were previously.
Bajaj has not made much change to the uniquely specified four stroke, single cylinder, air cooled, 4-valve, 134.6cc DTS-I engine, except for the fact that it is now complaint to BS-IV norms. The performance numbers out of this engine haven’t changed as well, as it still continues to pump out 13.56 PS of power and 11.4 Nm of torque at max, making it a tough competitor to even many of the 150cc motorcycles available in the market right now.
As with all the other Pulsars, the Pulsar 135 LS’ engine too feels peppy and torquey in its mid range. Refinement has improved a bit than before, however, it still has a way to go to match that of its Japanese rivals. The 5-speed gearbox with long ratios is a bit on the clunky side, but then, it makes the maximum use of power available.
RIDE AND HANDLING
With its lean stance and good mechanical setup, the Pulsar 135 LS has always been regarded as good machine to handle, which thankfully, hasn’t been tempered in this new iteration. It still comes fitted with the same telescopic hydraulic forks at the front and gas charged coil springs at the rear, which imparts a comfortable ride quality, while at the same time, the overall riding dynamics are spot on due to its lean stance and low kerb weight.
For bringing the motorcycle to a halt, Bajaj has fitted it with a 240mm disc brake at the front, while a 130mm drum brake is placed at the rear.
Though there is not a single 135cc motorcycle which offers a direct competition to the Pulsar 135 LS, there are several entry level 150cc motorcycles which pumps out similar power figures to the Bajaj’s unique offering. One such motorcycle is the all new Hero Achiever, which too was recently given a fresh makeover, which now feels much fresher and visually bigger than the previous Achiver. In terms of looks, though the overall design of the Achiever is newer than that of the Pulsar 135 LS, however, the latter looks sportier, edgier and flashier in comparison, owing to a sharper design and better set of features on board.
In comparison to the 135cc engine of the Pulsar 135 LS, the Hero Achiever does come with a bigger heart – a single cylinder, air cooled, 149.6cc engine, which produces 13.5 PS of maximum power and 12.8 Nm of maximum torque. While the Achiever does offer a better bottom end grunt, the mid range of the Pulsar 135 LS feels slightly stronger in comparison. Also, with a lighter kerb weight, clip-on handlebars and gas charged rear shockers, the overall agility of the motorcycle feels more stable in comparison.
PRICE AND COLOURS
Pulsars are always known for their brilliant performance to price ratio, and the Pulsar 135 LS follows this tradition as well. The new iteration of the motorcycle, however, has become a bit dearer and now carries a price tag of Rs. 60,187, which still makes it as affordable as owing a 125cc motorcycle.
This time around, the Pulsar 135 LS is being offered in two new color options – Laser Blue (blue with chrome graphics) and Sapphire Black (black with red graphics).
The Pulsar 135 LS must have received a limited number of changes, but then, even with these changes, it has managed to come back from ashes, as it was almost existing as a forgotten motorcycle in Bajaj’s lineup. While the styling still remains edgy, the slight changes have made the motorcycle a bit more modest rather than sportier, which may disappoint most of the buyers out there, but then, these changes are more practical than the previous bits. The performance out of the 134.5cc engine has not changed drastically, but then, it manages to bring the thrills on board which are missing on all the 125cc motorcycles, thus bringing it closer to the 150cc offerings. And with an amazing chassis setup, it handles quite well for a premium commuter too. All in all, the Pulsar 135 LS is one amazing value for money proposition for all the prospective buyers of 125cc motorcycles which do wish for a slightly more power comparable to a 150cc motorcycle, without dishing out too much from their pockets.
- * Edgy styling
- * performance
- * handling
- * Clunky gearbox
- * changes make it more modest in looking
- * limited changes