Bajaj Pulsar AS150 review: Adventure Sport to commute
Research, surveying existing and potential customers revealed that many two wheeler buyers are looking for that ultimate motorcycle which is offers both – comfort of a commuter motorcyle during the week, and thrill of an adventure bike during the weekend. Bajaj Auto claims they have finally made a motorcycle which will cater to both these needs. Let’s find out how accurate their claim is in our Bajaj Pulsar AS150 review.
What Is It? A brand new Pulsar, targeting a new segment of buyers. Called Adventure Sport, Bajaj offers this new series of theirs in two variants, 150 cc and 200 cc. This is the second new Pulsar segment Bajaj has launched this year, first being their flagship RS200.
Design: Just like every other Pulsar till date, where they have been promoted as being male (remember Its A Boy TVC?), this one too follows the same path. The AS150 design is what Bajaj calls ‘Alpha-Male Styling’.
Featuring a half-fairing in the front (with almost the same proportions as that seen on P220), the design looks strikingly new, as compared to what we have seen in the segment. At the same time, Bajaj has kept in mind that this is a Pulsar, so basics remain same.
What’s new on-board the P150AS as compared to the regular P150 (apart from the front fairing and extended visor), it gets projector halogen headlamp with twin pilot LEDs, new alloys (similar to more expensive Pulsars – RS200, AS200 and NS200), split seats, under belly exhaust, perimeter frame, new instrument cluster, nitrox monoshock rear suspension, new pillion grab bars, clip-on handlebars, larger tyres (front 80/100/17, rear 110/80/17), new fuel tank with 12l capacity (as against 15l on board P150), a different Pulsar logo on tank, steel footrests, new rear view mirrors and turn indicators.
The biggest advantage, (and AS200’s biggest disadvantage) is that the AS150 looks exactly same as the more expensive and powerful AS200. The only features that differentiate the AS150 with AS200 are wider tyres and rear discs.
Dimensions and Weight: The dimensions both AS200 and AS150 are same. These new Pulsar’s are 2070 mm long, 804 mm wide and 1205 mm tall with 1363 mm of wheelbase. The difference is in the ground clearance, AS150 has 170 mm ground clearance, 3 mm more than AS200.
Only bike in its class to feature a perimeter frame and projector headlamps, Pulsar AS150 weighs 143 kgs, a good 10 kgs lighter than the AS 200.
Engine and Mileage: Power to the new Bajaj Pulsar AS150 comes from via an updated 149.5 cc single cylinder engine. This air cooled 4 stroke mill produces 17 PS at 9500 rpm and 13 Nm torque at 7000 rpm. The Pulsar 150 has a 149 cc mill, that delivers 15.06 PS at 9000 rpm and 12.5 Nm torque at 6500 rpm. Engine is smooth,
Below is a detailed tech spec comparison of Pulsar AS 150 with rivals Suzuki Gixxer and Yamaha Fazer 2.0.
Speaking about fuel efficiency of Pulsar AS 150, Bajaj has not revealed official mileage figures, but expect the bike to deliver about 45-55 kmpl, depending on your riding style, and terrain.
Seating and Suspensions: With raised handle bar position, new fuel tank and a softer seat cushion, the P150 offers a comfortable riding stance for commuting as well as long rides over the weekend. Suspensions are on the softer side, to take in all the potholes and bumps; passing minimum jerks to the rider. The new rear monoshock suspension makes the ride even more comfortable for the pillion.
How is it to Ride: More powerful engine means better top speed and acceleration. So how does the Pulsar AS150 handle this added power? Thanks to perimeter frame and rear monoshock suspension, it not only does the job well, but also sets a new benchmark for Pulsar 150 series.
Featuring a five speed gear box in 1 down 4 up format, engine and gear shifts are very smooth. Being an adventure bike, pick-up is not where it shows its true potential, but its the mid-range. The engine functions best when used in the range of 6000-9000 rpm, even though you can redlines at 11,000 (without a sweat). Vibrations are minimal, and so is the engine sound. Exhaust note is not that impressive at lower rpm’s, but the higher you rev, the sweeter it gets.
Top speed we achieved on speedo was 119 kmph, while 0-60 was achieved in about 4 seconds, while 0-100 kmph is achieved in 15 seconds.
These specs are good enough on a straight line. What about when you are ready to take on curves? Here too the P150AS does not disappoint. The new MRF rubber offers excellent grips, while the perimeter frame and monoshock suspension makes sure that the bike is easy to manoeuvre and delivers good handling on those curves.
Based on the response these get from the market, they will decide on launching more variants under the AS tag.
The new rubber also makes sure that the same 240mm front disc and 130mm rear drum perform much better on board the Pulsar AS150, as against the regular P150. Even under heavy braking, the front remains stable, and does not give any hint of slipping. Rear tends to lock easily, so need to be a bit careful with that. Also, the performance of tyres deteriorates on wet surface.
Taking the Pulsar AS 150 off road is also not a problem. The 170 mm ground clearance makes sure that it tackles almost any kind of flat surface. You will enjoy taking those roads which you earlier thought were back breaking on a motorcycle, with much more ease on the AS.
Verdict: With the new Adventure Sport series, Bajaj Auto is diversifying the Pulsar brand to a new segment. Not only are they offering a value for money proposition in the 150 cc segment, but are also giving a new purpose to their consumers.
Bajaj wants to inculcate the spirit of adventure motorcycling in the country, this is also one of the reason behind such an aggressive price tag.
Pulsar AS150 is not only the most powerful motorcycle in its class, but also the most value for money 150cc in the market. Priced at Rs 79,000 (ex-showroom, Delhi), the P150AS is only Rs 8,250 more expensive than a regular Pulsar 150. This sum of money is next to nothing when you consider the amount of refinement and new features on board the Pulsar AS 150.