The pocket streetfighter rises on the horizon.

In the past fifteen years, the ‘Pulsar’ nameplate has become one of the most versatile brands in the field of motorcycles. The name has spawned a variety of bikes, ranging from 135cc to 200cc naked streetfighters, a 220cc semi-faired sports tourer and recently, a 200cc fully faired supersport motorcycle. Talking about the current range, it was the Pulsar NS 200 which turned out to be the model which opened up doors for an all new generation platform, engineering and design philosophy. It was this bike that came with new underpinnings rather than being based on the first generation Pulsar 150, upon which all the other Pulsar models were built before its arrival.

After the arrival of the Pulsar NS 200 on the block, Bajaj came up with few more all new generation offerings, which included Pulsar RS 200, Pulsar AS 200 and Pulsar AS 150. Now, to make its range even more elaborated, Bajaj has added one more version of the Pulsar in the form of Pulsar NS 150. Now, the Pulsar NS 150 is to Pulsar AS 150, what the Pulsar NS 200 is to Pulsar AS 200, and by that we mean to say, that it is, more or less, a naked version of the already existing Pulsar NS 150, which is already selling in good numbers for Bajaj in India. The model has already gone on sale in some of the international markets, with an Indian launch scheduled this year. Here’s our comprehensive review of the all new Pulsar NS 150:-

  • 2017 Bajaj Pulsar NS 150
  • Year:
    2017
  • Make:
  • Model:
  • Engine:
    inline-1
  • Displacement:
    149.5 cc
  • Top Speed:
    87 mph (Est.)
  • Price:
    INR 74000 (Est.)
  • Price:
  • Overall:
    8.2/10

STYLING

With the Pulsar NS 150, Bajaj has added one more feature to the very much acclaimed NS nameplate, which stands for ‘Naked Sport’ and was introduced in India with the Pulsar NS 200. The motorcycle is based on its bigger sibling, the Pulsar NS 200, and shares many components with it.

The Pulsar NS 150 gets the same busy but attractive headlamp with sharply styled bikini fairing at the front, which has been lifted off from the Pulsar NS 200. The headlamp unit also engulfs pilot lamps at its bottom. At the top of the headlamp sits a petite plastic visor, which though is useless in deflecting wind speeds, adds some character to the front face of the motorcycle.

On viewing from the side, the Pulsar NS 150 comes fitted with the same large fuel tank which is there on 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 too have been borrowed from the Pulsar NS 200. Also lifted off is the short aluminium number plate holder below the tail section at the rear, which makes the bike look sporty and minimalist from the rear. Though, it misses out on the rear tyre hugger as seen on the Pulsar NS 200.

Also in the list of shared components, this bike gets the Pulsar AS 150’s part-digital instrument console, which has an analogue tachometer at the centre and a small LCD panel to its right, displaying a digital speedometer, odometer, trip meters, clock and fuel gauge. The basic telltale lamps, which also include service reminder and side stand indicator, are placed on the left side of the tachometer.

Build quality and fit and finish is top notch and the best in any Pulsar made till date. All in all, just like the Pulsar NS 200, the design of the Pulsar NS 150 is proportional and attractive from every angle, with an air of Italian flair to it.

Overall Dimension

Make Model 2017 Bajaj Pulsar NS 150 Honda CB Hornet 160 R Suzuki Gixxer
Length 2070mm 2041mm 2050mm
Width 804mm 783mm 785mm
Height 1205mm 1067mm 1030mm
Wheelbase 1363mm 1345mm 1330mm
Seat height 800mm 790mm 780mm
Wet weight 140kg 142kg 135kg

POWERTRAIN

2017 Bajaj Pulsar NS 150 Exterior
- image 526715

This is the most groundbreaking aspect of the Pulsar NS 150, as the motorcycle is powered by the same new generation four stroke, single cylinder, air cooled, four valves, 149.5cc DTS-i engine, which powers the Pulsar AS 150. This stressed unit pumps out a very impressive 17 bhp of maximum power and 13 Nm of maximum torque and is coupled to a five-speed gearbox.

Now, we have already seen this engine on the Pulsar AS 150, however, with a lower kerb weight than the Pulsar AS 150, the Pulsar NS 150 has a better power-to-weight ratio on board, which makes it an even more impressive machine to ride. Going by the specs of the engine, the Pulsar NS 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 the top end of the rev range.

Engine Specification

Make Model 2017 Bajaj Pulsar NS 150 Honda CB Hornet 160 R Suzuki Gixxer
Capacity cc 149.5 162.7 154.9
Bore/ Stroke mm 57/63 57.3/63.09 56/62.9
Output 17 bhp @ 9500 rpm 16 Bhp @ 8500 rpm 15 bhp @ 8000 rpm
Torque 13 Nm @ 8000 rpm 15 Nm @ 6500 rpm 14 Nm @ 6000 rpm
Type Single cylinder, 4 stroke, SOHC 4valve, Air cooled, DTSi Air Cooled, 4 Stroke, SI Engine 4-stroke, 1-cylinder, Air-cooled, SOHC, 2 Valve
Clutch type Wet- Multiplate Wet- Multiplate Wet- Multiplate
Transmission 5-speed 5-speed 5-speed

RIDE AND HANDLING

The Pulsar NS 150 comes with the same perimeter frame under its skin as the Pulsar AS 150, 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 NS 150 also gets hydraulic telescopic forks at the front and a Nitrox gas-charged mono shock absorber with rectangular swingarm at the rear, which again is lifted off from the Pulsar AS 150, and is tuned on a slightly stiffer side to make the motorcycle a more involving machine around taut corners.

The 10-spoke 17-inch alloy wheels at both the ends have tubeless tyres wrapped around them. Though the tyres look a bit skinny going by the overall dimensions of the motorcycle, especially when viewed from the rear. The bike does get a 240mm disc brake at the front, but at the rear, it has been provided with a 130mm drum brake, with no option of rear disc brake.

Chassis Specifications

Make Model 2017 Bajaj Pulsar NS 150 Honda CB Hornet 160 R Suzuki Gixxer
Suspension / Front Telescopic with anti friction bush Telescopic fork Telescopic fork
Suspension / Rear Nitrox mono shock absorber with Canister Spring loaded Monoshock Nitrox mono shock
Brakes / Front 240mm Petal Disc with Floating Caliper 276mm petal-type disc with 2-piston hydraulic calliper 240mm with 2-piston hydraulic calliper
Brakes / Rear 130 mm Drum 220mm hydraulic disc with C-ABS 220mm disc with 1-piston hydraulic calliper
Tyres / Front 80/100 R17 46P 100/80 R17 100/80 R17
Tyres / Rear 100/90 R17 55P 140/70 R17 140/60 R17

PRICE

2017 Bajaj Pulsar NS 150 Exterior
- image 526718

Bajaj is always known for the tradition of providing stupendous price to package ratio for its motorcycles, and the Pulsar NS 150 too is expected to follow the lineage. Bajaj has surprisingly launched the motorcycle first in international markets before launching it here in India. Though, the motorcycle will soon be arriving in the Indian market and will be positioned below the Pulsar AS 150, with an expected price point of ₹ 75,000-76,000.

As on the international version, the Pulsar NS 150 will be launched in India with four colour options on offer – Black, Black with Red, Black with Blue and Black with White.

COMPETITON

As said before, the Pulsar NS 150 is positioned in the upper segment of premium 150cc commuter motorcycles but undercuts its competitors in terms of pricing. The closest competitor which truly gives it a very tough fight is the Honda CB Hornet 160 R and the Suzuki’s flagship commuter motorcycle in the mass market segment, the Gixxer.

Honda CB Hornet 160 R

2016 Honda CB Hornet 160R Special Edition Exterior
- image 523187

The CB-Hornet 160 R definitely looks muscular and the massive and brawny rear wheels and the muscular tank speaks for itself. The CB Hornet 160 R gets a striking new edgy design, which is far more appealing than all the 150cc Hondas which we have seen to date. The CX-01 concept inspired front face, chiselled fuel tank, lean side body panels, multi-spoke alloy wheels, petal disc brakes and an X-shaped rear LED tail lamp to lend quite an indigenous design to the CB Hornet 160R, which matches up to the level of the competition.

The CB Hornet 160R shares its four stroke, single cylinder, air cooled, carbureted, 162.7cc engine with the CB Unicorn 160, which pumps out 15.9 PS of power and 14.76 Nm of torque. These figures do make it the best performer both on paper as well as real world conditions. Apart from having the biggest engine in the segment, the CB Hornet 160R also benefits from having a taller gearing, which makes the best use of the thrust available, thus resulting in a healthy mid-range as well as top end grunt.Automatic word wrap

Suzuki Gixxer

2016 Suzuki Gixxer SP Exterior
- image 523428

In terms of styling, the Gixxer, with its muscular stance, big bike inspired looks, fully digital instrument console, fatter tyres and twin exhausts leads the race against the Pulsar NS 150, which is basically and completely based on the 5-year old design of the Pulsar NS 200, which though still manages to look fresh. Both the motorcycles are kitted appropriately as per the price on which they are being offered, though the Gixxer edges ahead in terms of features with a slight margin.

The Suzuki Gixxer 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 NS 150 feels more powerful than the Gixxer 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 riding dynamics of the Gixxer, is also better in comparison.

VERDICT

2017 Bajaj Pulsar NS 150 Exterior
- image 526719

Bajaj clearly understands that no matter how hard it tries to keep the previous generation Pulsar 150 alive with minor cosmetic upgrades, it still lags behind in the race amid the much fresher competition from the Japanese rivals. The Pulsar NS 150, in that case, tends to be perfect reply to the Japanese trio of Yamaha FZ, Suzuki Gixxer and Honda CB Hornet 160R, with some European flair in its design, adequate levels of features, the most powerful engine in its class and improved riding dynamics over the Pulsar 150.

Adding to it, the killer pricing strategy of Bajaj Auto is expected to shower its blessings on the Pulsar NS 150 as well, with a hope of undercutting its rivals in terms of pricing, making it a terrific value for money option to go for. So, if true blue budget performance is what all you ask for, the Pulsar NS 150 is all set to change up the benchmarks.

  • Leave it
    • * No change in design over Pulsar NS 200
    • * Skinny rear tyre
    • * Slightly stiff ride quality
Sagar Patil
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