User Review Pulsar 180 (11 Months) by Abhishek; Ecstasy Redefined

by Saad on January 10, 2014

Abhishek has submitted this review in our Ownership Review Contest No 13, ensuring himself an assured prize. The contest also offers a chance to win Riding Jacket, Helmet and more.. You can submit your review to us as wellHere are all the details.

Let me introduce you myself first, I’m Abhishek from a busy scheduled city, Bangalore. Finally as desired earlier I’m almost through my debut of reviewing. Hope you guys enjoy reading this.

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HOW IT ALL STARTED:

Though I wasn’t interested in biking facts and all these stuff before,it all started with my friends.I never thought of getting one to support my riding desires.I used to ride my friends whenever I got a gap to get on with.This irritated me sometimes whenever I had to ask for it.As a result I made up my mind to propose my Dad about the bike.I knew he wouldn’t accept my request as even he wasn’t having one either for his purpose.

The consequence was, I was asked to wait for 2 long boring years to get my hands on with a beast that would unleash my adrenaline. In due time my job was just to dream about which one to opt for.I had 3 options in mind that I could guess I would be happy with,the rtr 180, Pulsar 180 and Karizma-R.The reason behind choosing only these 3 bikes is – I was put a budget barrier of around 80k.After all the relentless requests by me, Dad one fine day gave his confirmation for the bike.

Finally came the time after all my lifeless joy! I had opted to go for P180 ahead of all the test rides comparing each one with other.A simple reason for not choosing rtr180 or Karizma is, a friend who already owns an rtr and karizma is too tall with its saddles for me to get on with ease.I didn’t want to have 2 same bikes in a gang (now people shouldn’t blabber me for this).

Here comes the day whenI had to propose my black angel (book). The one sales executive I got on hold in Bajaj at the time booking is one piece of shit. A serious tight slap to him from my side. At leastI would be happy to take my revenge here. All the time he was only forcing me to go for p150 as there wasn’t any stock of black p180.I was given a waiting period of 20 days.For pulsar this is insane!! Day came when I was accepted to take on with my black beast, the delivery time!!

Here comes the AGRESSION,the rush that I had been waiting for……., PULSAR 180 MIDNIGHT BLACK EDITION!

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STYLING: Once a head turner always a head turner!

This shouldn’t at all be the section for negative words! I was just thinking of how Bajaj designed this thing with such an appealing title under its case “definitely male”! The styling just keeps you awake reminding you of your bike all time, it’s that handsome and yeah muscular too.

Bajaj has made the most of it to look highlighting. Bajaj imparts toe only shifter for quicker gear shifts. Here are the features which comes on with the existing model of P180.

  1. Fatter Tyres – The bike now gets the 120 rear section tyres which were 100/80 17 in the earlier version
  2. Split Seat – The new bike also gets the visually appealing split seats
  3. Tank Scoops – It also gets the dummy tank scoops and aids in the overall visual appeal of the bike
  4. Clip-on Handlebars – It also borrows clip-on handlebars direct from the eldest brother pulsar 220.
  5. Elliptical swing arm – Elliptical swingarm is one of the best fitments to this bike direct from the big brothers which aids to the better handling and cornering of this bike at high speeds and sharp speedy turn and for fun riding as well!
  6. Increased wheelbase – The wheelbase is also increased by 25mm to 1345mm in comparison to the earlier version
  7. 37mm forks – A welcome change is the 37mm front forks which make the bike look awesome and meaty with the bottom pipes coloured in black contrary to pulsar 220.

Rating- 9/10

BUILD QUALITY, FIT AND FINISH:

The bike with all that weight (147 kgs unladen condition) around feels fairly solid in terms of its build quality. The full duplex cradle frame is seemingly sturdy for a bike of this size, weight and performance. Fit and finish is one area where Bajaj needs to work out a lot. Side air filter and battery cover panels fail to have a flush fitting with respect to the fuel tank. Locking the panels into position is a pain as the rubber grommets fail to provide a decent grip on the cover lugs.

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Switchgear is good. It is as smooth as butter. One will never come to the know the gear clutching sound as you see in other bikes. The backlit non-contact type switches are pretty much functional. The self-cancelling turn indicators work brilliantly at all circumstances. Paint quality I feel is excellent. Mine is a Midnight Black and perhaps one of the most popular colours on Pulsar.

Rating- 8/10

ERGONOMICS/HANDLING:

The newer version of this bike comes with a sporty seating position as compared to the earlier upright position of p180 model. Riding position and posture is exactly the same as in the 220. The clip on handle bars and the slightly rear set foot pegs provide a sportier ride feel to the bike. It’s just good enough to ride with ease whether it be a city or highway rides. Being relaxed in character it gives you more comfort irrespective of any terrains.

Coming to the handling portion of the bike I personally feel the earlier version of this giant, the one with normal bars possess better handling capability than the newer ones. As the 2012 version incorporates fatter forks in the front it gives a brilliant straight line stability at higher speeds so you need not worry about this part especially on highways. The bike doesn’t let down your confidence level at high speeds.

In terms of cornering one has to work upon their efforts due to the larger wheelbase but once experienced this will be just amazing giving you an excellent control over the bike with fatter rear tyres supporting you in action. Sometimes the centre stand troubles you in the course of action which is negligible I guess.

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The 260mm BYBRE (by BREMBO) disc brake on the front wheel bites in strong and hard. The rear ones possess drum which I’m not satisfied enough in supporting the front brakes. Bajaj needs to rethink here for providing discs even at the rears. Though it lacks in discs at the rear the stopping capability is excellent and I really wonder how!! But I think that the rear disc brake setup from the 220F/220S is a direct fit on this bike.

Rating- 8.5/10

ENGINE:

The short stroke 178.6cc engine does not exactly make you leap forward as is the case with the 220. It feels like a well behaved engine for the bike which does perform well when pushed hard. This engine has seen a minor power increment of around 0.5HP from the previous UG3 edition that churned out 16.7BHP. I think it must have been done to improve upon the power density of the vehicle since the UG4.5 weighs a lot more due to its beefed up P220 frame and upgraded cycle parts.

The power distribution in this aspect is quite linear and the response feel quite the same in all the gears. The power and torque is felt superb in the range of 6000 to 8000 rpm band and beyond 8K you feel left only with speed as the response gets dull but that doesn’t let you down. This is what the naked street fighters should be characterised upon.

I kept speeds below 50km/h and revs below 4000 rpm during the initial run in stage for about 1500kms to ensure a good run in of the moving parts within the engine.

The P180 UG4.5 has a revised set of gear ratios in the 5 speed gearbox that is shared from the now phased out Pulsar 220. The toe shift with a 1 down 4 up shifting pattern feels sporty and the ratios are a bit too much on the shorter side to my liking. The low end torque is however good enough for city driving.

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Well I achieved a top speed of 140kmph on speedo somewhere around 10K rpm.I think that’s good enough personally. I believe that the P180 has the smoothest gear shifting quality in this segment.

Rating- 8.5/10

FUEL ECONOMY:

This is the section where every Indian would be waiting for their much beloved starring question ‘Kitni deti hai’!

Well a machine liable for 18 lts under its head and churning out a healthy raw performance under its crank I wouldn’t expect more than 40kmpl.
Yeah that’s true my bike manages to return me of around 45kmpl in cities and around 50kmpl on highways all in due respect to its rider.

Rating- 9.5/10

SERVICE & MAINTENANCE:

I have got my bike serviced only 2 times and the result is just next to crap! The service guys know only to clean, replace oil and wash.

The Bajaj’s genuine DTS-i oil is not good enough to keep your motor running with ease. Its fine for 1st 500kms but later one can feel the roughness and clicking sound during gear engages.

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FIRST THE BAD BITS:

  • No auto choke as in P220
  • The mirrors could have been still better
  • Problematic to drive in extremely tight traffic conditions due to the higher turning radius. ClearlyNOT a commuter bike
  • Too low mounted centre stands
  • Unreliable Bajaj Service, a blot on the image of a company that has an otherwise excellently engineered product range
  • could have replaced rear drums with discs
  • Quite a poor surface finished foot peg alloys

NOW THE GOOD BITS:

  • A head turner, one of the most handsome motorcycles of the segment. Brilliantly designed!
  • Punchy,rev happy performance of the engine
  • Slick 5 speed gearbox with excellent gearshift quality
  • Good handling in all sorts of terrains, thanks to the beefed up suspension setup
  • Good Fuel economy that remains fairly consistent throughout the driving conditions
  • The white on grey digital speedo console looks really upmarket, provides all the necessary information, adding to the sporty appeal of the bike
  • The low end torque from the engine helps out in city driving conditions
  • Excellent grip from the broad tyres aids in nimble handling and heavy duty cornering
  • Full DC electrical system with a 12V@9Ah Maintenance free battery is quite reliable especially during night time driving, the headlamp and other lights glow with a constant strength.

MY VERDICT:

This is the bike with a unique line of performance of its own. A good reliable product from Bajaj. Anyone looking out for an excellent bike with a much refined character along with an absolutely carved aggression in a budget of around 80K as it happened to me this could be the one you might be waiting for.
One could be assured of greater joy and happiness!

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OVERALL CONCLUSION:

This bike was the perfect choice for me. 11 months down the line since I bought it and there has not been a single day it has given me any sort of trouble. It’s a reliable beast and I hope it would continue to serve me trouble free for many more years to come.

I’m very satisfied with the product as a whole (except for the issues highlighted above).
Rating- 8.5/10

Thanking You For Reading
Abhishek

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{ 16 comments… read them below or add one }

kp January 10, 2014 at 5:23 pm

lack of top end and handling is not that good as RTR 180

Reply

Abhishek January 10, 2014 at 8:24 pm

lack of top end??! dude u should be kidding;i have no probs in dat segment… n i agree the handling isn dat gud as rtr.. one more thing i’m pretty sure u own an rtr180 rite?!

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kp January 15, 2014 at 9:00 pm

original top speed is 118 km/hr and rtr 180 does 124 on gps…infact dazzler and rtr 160 does 118 same as pulsar-180..its fact believe me or ask bike advice guys or any auto blog…i dont own rtr -180 and fz is my bike right now does it mean facts change?

Sangeeth January 10, 2014 at 8:25 pm

Like…. I too own a pulsar 180 red with speedlines. clicked 33500km in 2 years period. Had achived top speed of 123km in the crap roads of my state. KERALA… :) i had got the max fuel efficeincy of 65kmpl when in highways at a speed less than 50km and greater than 45km. I have no use with my rear brakes as it doesnt help in stopping the bike. I am satified with pulsar 180. my next choice of bike is Pulsar 220SF

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ravi January 11, 2014 at 12:45 am

140 on speedo in P180…U are really joking.. I own the same bike from 2011..Top end never cross more than 125..gear shifts become harder after 2 years .. Yet the bike accelerates like a horse…returns an excellent mileage..

Reply

Abhishek January 13, 2014 at 1:49 pm

dude top speeds comes in gud when gears are clocked in at rite rpms… try once keeping dis fact correct… n yeah acceleration is gud.. i have done 130+ kmph on speedo many a times.. it depends on how u maintain ur gears at respective speeds

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faisal January 13, 2014 at 6:06 pm

Lovely review with nice personal attention but pics could have been better.

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Abhishek January 14, 2014 at 7:00 pm

agreed

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Aditya January 13, 2014 at 8:50 pm

Nicely written review. But I would add a point here, 140 KMPH is just an illusion on a 180 cc bike, pulsar’s speedos haven’t been that reliable, they are enthusiastic, but not realistic. So as some one said, 120 would be believable.

“Its a reliable beast..” You are the first one I have heard this line from, hope I am wrong, but reliable? Pulsar? Really? Then Honda and Yamaha have to run for their money!!

Anyways happy cruising on your bike.

Reply

Abhishek January 14, 2014 at 6:43 pm

dude as far as my budget’s concerned i happily accept it as ‘a reliable beast’ from de bottom of my heart… however de name says it all in case of honda n yamaha… thnx

Reply

Abhishek January 14, 2014 at 6:47 pm

reliability was a major prob in earlier versions of dis bike but de newer models doesn carry de same… nothing worrying either

akhil January 14, 2014 at 11:44 am

every1 loves their bikes…but one sudn’t brag as u hve done..looks & acceleration agreed..but 140 kmph & reliable beast..lol

Reply

Abhishek January 14, 2014 at 6:58 pm

lol?? 140kmph on speedo pal chill..! for me its totally reliable till now but der r days to come to make sure it’s consistent… n dude every1 love their bike n each has their own way of expressing it n being a bike enthusiast n de pride i feel in having my bike to its fullest dis is my own way of ‘bragging’ it

Reply

Joyjeet Chakraborty January 16, 2014 at 10:28 pm

Its about 4+ years, I am riding this beast. Its really been a great experience. So far I haven’t faced any major problem.
The highest I have touched 131 kmph on the speedo and then put the accelerator down because, I realize I’m putting too much pressure on my lovely companion. So, I think it could reach roughly 132 – 133 kmph highest, although I haven’t tried. Though I ride these rough on very rear occasions.
As for mileage, I get 45 kmpl and this is average of city and highway roads.

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suman March 20, 2014 at 1:35 pm

it really beast dude………….i love the bike forever&ever…

Reply

siva April 5, 2014 at 9:54 pm

which bike i shld buy? pulsar 150 r 180cc and my clg is 26 km from my home…plz suggest me guys

Reply

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