praveen.selvam

When the Man meets the Machine - P220

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Pulsar 220 Review (9/10)

Looks: 9/10

Power: 9/10

Handling: 9/10

Comfort: 7/10

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I write this practical review having in mind Indian road conditions and Indian biking standards. So please look at them with the same perspective.

After my first ride from the showroom to my home, the bike gave me nothing but satisfaction. It has not let me down on any of my expectations. Now, straight to the point...

Looks: 9/10

Pulsar 220 is a cracker on the road. No doubt it turns heads for sure. But there are very few people who are still not satisfied with the sleek rear of the bike.

Engine: 9/10

The engine is real powerful and smooth. It has the capacity to deliver power, irrespective of the RPM. The distribution is appreciable. It helps us ride at higher speeds on lower gears and at lower speeds on higher gears. Both are possible and the engine behaves well. There is enough traction on the tires to get it going with the delivered power. Thus, even with varied riding styles of riders, the bike will continue to perform well.

Gears: 8/10

Frankly speaking, I think the gearbox tuning was a little exaggerated. Bajajs trademark of the the notable gear transmission remains. It was talked as if Bajaj has eliminated the feel of the gear change and you feel the slightest of the transmission amongst all available bikes. To me, it is not a migration from worse to excellent, but from worse to good. It is highly appreciative after all the technical improvements Bajaj has made.

Headlamps: 10/10

The headlamps are a boon to the bike. These are the first in the list of positive aspects. They are powerful and show constant emission. Absolutely no complaints. Its just surprises.

Console: 9/10

With a digital console, you have sensors for a lot of new things in Indian biking. The self canceling indicators are very impressive. I know these are now available in all the pulsars, but yet it was stolen from here for a few reasons. So its justice to place the points in the review.

Braking: 8/10

The front discs show quick response and provide good control too. The rears can be supportive but they dont provide as much confidence as the drum brakes did. They heat up faster than the front. I guess the reason could also be the riding conditions. The tires are very supportive and provide excellent traction. Together, they STOP. period

Comfort: 7/10

Pillion riders have no complaints. Its the rider. The bike expects us to be on the move all the time. Thats when you are the most comfortable with the bike. You stop every signal, then all you do is slip a little to the front. The change is notable as you ride a few kms. You need to position yourself properly to avoid the hassles. But if you learn to strike the balance, youre really on the move.

Fuel Economy: (8/10)

Who cares about fuel economy on a Pulsar 220? Yet, we have to. This is India. The bike is pretty much economical with the amount of power it delivers. Anything above 35 can be expected from the bike based on the rider. With normal conditions, it would be around 40.

Custom jobs: 2/10

Custom jobs are a strict No No to the bike. You touch something, the warranty is void. I love changing the looks of my bike. But now, the showroom take back their commitment, once you meddle with these.

PROS:

HID Headlamps

Smooth & Powerful Engine

Gearbox power delivery

Progressive clutch

Nitrous shocks

Tires

Digital console

CONS:

Gear transmission

Large turning radius

Mileage

Partially uncomfortable seats

No No to custom jobs

Pulsar 220 vs Karizma

To be frank, it is justice to compare the Karizma with the Pulsar 200 and not the 220. Yet, I have some points to add:

Seating is better with the Karizma. They dont look sexy, but yet, it is comfortable. On the other hand, you face more wind on the Karizma. The 220 gives the rider, a position that is comparatively aerodynamic.

Power distribution in the Karizma is not as good as in the 220. There seems to be a concentration around the 6000 mark, but otherwise, you are at normal acceleration.

If youre in for buying the Pulsar 220, do go in for it without a second thought. Its a great value for money.

PRAVEEN SELVAM

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..... If youre in for buying the Pulsar 220, do go in for it without a second thought. Its a great value for money.

PRAVEEN SELVAM
[/quote']

 

 

Not to mention that with a handful few Pulsar 220s on road in India..   its the easiest way to attain celebrity status..!!

 

I bet you must be getting admiring startes at EVERY Traffic Signal you stop..!!

 

 

 

 

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Folks,

Thank you for your appreciations.

I have also been noticing that the fuel indicator is pretty confused. You can never judge exactly how much fuel you have. When you start the bike and ride it for about 5 minutes, you notice the indicator has a point added to it. Sometimes, two.

Also the side mirrors, they are not so friendly. The most of what you see is your shoulders. And when you are wearing your jacket, man you better be careful. If there is someone snugging just behind the bike, you cant notice them. Even if it is a car.

Praveen Selvam

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Folks,
I have also been noticing that the fuel indicator is pretty confused. You can never judge exactly how much fuel you have. When you start the bike and ride it for about 5 minutes, you notice the indicator has a point added to it. Sometimes, two.
[/quote']

 

I noticed the same thing on the Karizma as well. The fuel indicator can be confusing at times.

 

FRG

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Hi Praveen Boss..

 
Howz you bike doing..?? 

Do post a few of your experiences..[/quote']

Payeng,

Thanks for the interest. There has been no significant experiences so

far. Ive been riding 80 kms a day on an average. My ride is due for

its first service tomorrow.

So far, the gearbox is a disappointment to

me. I wasnt surprised with respect to that. A probable

reason could be that my old bike, a classic Pulsar, was pretty well

maintained that it never showed up serious gearbox issues. And so,

maybe that I dont find a drastic improvement. That is how I base my point.

In fact, it rained pretty heavy yesterday and the night was cold. Today morning, when I started the bike, though I left it idling for about a minute, I could find a comparatively hard shift into gear one. This is some embarrassment for all the development that went on for so long. Im not sure whats wrong, but with all the expectations that arose, based on the quotes in the forums, I expected something more. I can still feel Bajaj in the gearbox. Anyway, my previous bike did have some issue like this. But it vanished after the running in period. I hope something like that happens here too.

Also guys, please note... The gearbox is NOT bad nor does it under perform. Its good. Its just that its not excellent. Also on the other hand, the power delivery is wonderful and needs appreciation. The only issue I find is with the transmission.

Nothing is accurately predictable with a new bike. Its like a lion being tamed by its master. So Ill do what best I can.

Also, I feel proud when other bikes stick to my back for the powerful lights on the highway. I adore them.

A clock in the HUD would have been very good. Any suggestions guys?

Thats for now. Ill keep updating as and when I have something interesting.

Praveen Selvam

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The jackets are from DSG. There were a couple of models that were available. The one Ive bought is no more in stock I guess. So I couldnt get a picture of it. But its almost similar to the picture in the safety gear thread you had posted few days back.

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It costs about INR 4500. I think its worth it. You can wear it for longer drives where you are constantly in motion. Else, it sweats like hell. After a trip maybe, you have to detach the inner layer and rinse it or dry it well. So, it does need some maintenance. You also feel very secure during the ride.

Praveen Selvam

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...You can wear it for longer drives where you are constantly in motion. Else, it sweats like hell.

 

...You also feel very secure during the ride.

Praveen Selvam
[/quote']

 

 

Yes..  I know about the famous Chennai Humidity..   Had been there last year in May-June for my Summer Intership.. smiley1.gif

 

Thankfully Bangalore remains cool throughout the year.

 

I had put on a cramster jacket once..  yes, these Jackets does make you feel secure. Looks cool too. More like a true biker. 

 

 

 

 

By the way, how has been the ownership experience of your P220 so far..??

Any issues..??

 

 

 

 

 

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By the way, how has been the ownership experience of your P220 so far..??

Any issues..??[/quote']

No major issues with the bike. Some minor points are:

  • Small rear mirrors. (Major actually) smiley11.gif

  • The notable gear shifts.
  • Confused fuel guages, but Im getting used to it.
There are are so many plus points to make these unnoticed. smiley32.gif I hope theyve all been discussed many a times so far.

Praveen Selvam

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By the way' date=' how has been the ownership experience of your P220 so far..??

Any issues..??[/quote']
No major issues with the bike. Some minor points are:

  • Small rear mirrors. (Major actually) smiley11.gif

  • The notable gear shifts.

  • Confused fuel guages, but Im getting used to it.
There are are so many plus points to make these unnoticed. smiley32.gif I hope theyve all been discussed many a times so far.

Praveen Selvam

 

 

Those issues have been raised by almost every Pulsar 220 owner..

I expect them too.. smiley1.gif

 

We cant do anything about the Gearshifts and the Confused Fuel Gauges..

 

But here is what I intend to do..

  • Replace the fairing mounted inefective Rear View Mirrors and Put on the handlebar mounted ones found on the Pulsar 200/180/150

  • Replace the split rear grab rails (which are difficult to hold) with the Pulsar 180/150 ones.

The replacement might take off the show of the bike a little bit but at least the mirrors and the rear grab rail will be practical to use.

Also many P220 owners have complained about the rear disc brake making squeaking noises and not having enough bite while braking..   are you experiencing any trouble from your rear disc brakes..??

 

 

 

 

 

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Also many P220 owners have complained about the rear disc brake making squeaking noises and not having enough bite while braking..   are you experiencing any trouble from your rear disc brakes..??

[/quote']

The rear brakes are sluggish. They pretty much behave like the drum brakes. Bajaj has designed the bike having in mind Indian biking standards. A rear disc is not so popular and a sharp one could lead to many accidents. So, for bikers like us, I think we may have to tune it up. Somewhere in the forums, I read about a service center in Bangalore that fixes this issue and the engine over heating issue. I think you have access to it. But I must mention that along with the front disc and the beautiful tractable tires, the vehicle comes to a halt pretty well.

And as far as the engine heating it concerned, I think its not major. It will be fine in the course of time. Its a new engine, right? And also its in the hands of the rider. People who may not be patient in following the speed limits during the vehicle running in period will face issues such as this. Once the running in period is crossed, I think the engine must be ready to handle the stress. I have completed 1200 kms so far. The 800 will be over soon. If the engine heats up after that, maybe then I have to look into it. When I asked the Probiking guys, they said its pretty normal for it to heat up during over revs. So its up to us to maintain the speed limits.

Praveen Selvam

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