The Bajaj Pulsar AS 150 and AS 200 (AS stood for Adventure Sports) were the only Pulsar variants that fell short of expectations (both the company’s and audience’s). The idea of adventure tourer on the Pulsar platform is certainly interesting but the end result was a product which was neither a full-fledged dual-purpose motorcycle nor a typical Pulsar.
So, the Pulsar AS series can be best described as a missed opportunity but have we seen the last of the AS moniker? The answer is no! Rushlane has learnt that Bajaj Auto went straight back to the drawing board after the failure of Pulsar AS in an attempt to get the concept right.
In its new avatar, the Bajaj Pulsar AS will be a quarter-liter motorcycle which would do justice to its adventure tourer classification. Unlike the original version which was essentially a semi-faired version of the Pulsar NS, the new generation model will adopt a completely fresh styling.
In a nutshell, it will be a new product in its own right rather than a mere variant extension and that means raised suspension and dual-purpose tyres to ensure proper off-roading experience. It remains to be seen if the new Bajaj Pulsar AS 250 will offer spoke wheels or alloy units.
The 250 cc liquid-cooled single-cylinder engine will be borrowed from the KTM Duke 250 but the engine and gearbox combo would be tweaked to suit adventure touring application (read better low-end torque). On board the Duke, the motor pumps out 30 hp and 24 Nm of torque.
It is reasonable to assume that the new Bajaj Pulsar AS 250 to come equipped with fully digital instrument cluster, front and rear disc brakes with standard single-channel ABS with rear lift protection, clip-on handle bar, semi-fairing, LED head and taillights, and so on.
The Hero Impulse was the first motorcycle to take a shot at the affordable off-roader niche but its modest 150 cc engine lacked the grunt to satisfy enthusiasts. Hero Motocorp has now come back with the Xpulse 200 and 200T in a bid to address what the predecessor lacked. However, given that most of the prospective audience progressed up the market during the intervening years, Xpulse’s 18.4 hp and 17.1 Nm of torque may still fall short of expectations.
With significantly more powerful engine and proper off-road hardware, the new Bajaj Pulsar AS 250 could just be the adventure tourer the enthusiasts have been waiting for.