New Bajaj Dominar 250: What is the Logic..?

Bajaj Dominar 250 price tag puts it bang in the middle of the range. We discuss why Bajaj thought of introducing it in the market when the 400 was already present. It also reveals why Bajaj increased prices of the 400 by whooping 40 percent…

Let me tell you that before the launch of the Dominar 400, everyone expected it to be priced at Rs 1.60 Lakh or thereabouts. But Bajaj shocked the nation by announcing an unbelievable tag of 1.36 Lakh for the entry variant (launch story) towards the end of 2016. Never did India see such a hefty featured motorcycle costing this low! The reason was that Bajaj thought it could nick a 10,000 units per month brand, which was an impossible feat, actually!

Far from that target, Dominar at best could go to 2000-2500 units a month (which has fallen to triple digits in the last few months because of BS6 transition). After this response (which is pretty decent in isolation), Bajaj changed its strategy with the motorcycle and it is now being presented as a ‘premium’ offering and to back its targeting, Bajaj equipped it with many interesting features in 2019, like upside down front forks, dual barrel exhaust, dual instrument cluster, bump in power, etc.

It also intentionally took the motorcycle higher up the pedestal and the Dominar 400 now costs over Rs 1.90 Lakh ex-showroom in its BS6 avatar. That is a conscious and a whopping placement increment of over 40 percent on the entry price of the motorcycle, all in a matter of three years.

Now this gave Bajaj an opportunity to sneak in another motorcycle just under the 400 to enhance its base. A lower spec 400 would not have made any kind of sense and would have gone against the strategy. The next step would have been to look for a smaller motor and the 250cc KTM engine platform is already at Bajaj’s disposal.

The established 200 platform would have been tad too underpowered (specially for a motorcycle of this weight). Moreover, it appears that Bajaj has, internally, decided that its Pulsar brand will play in motorcycles ranging from 125 cc uptil 220 cc (or thereabouts) and its quarter liters (emanating from the KTM’s 250cc engine) and higher capacity motorcycles will sport the premium Dominar branding.

Bajaj Dominar 250 Price & Placement

So, this is what, I believe, the thought process was for the Dominar 250. Here is a quick analysis of its price tag.

The costliest Pulsar – the RS200 is priced at around Rs 1.45 Lakh. The 250 Duke, on the other hand costs Rs 2.0 Lakh and the mid-way 250cc Husqvarnas come at an introductory price tag of Rs 1.80 Lakh.

Bajaj Dominar 250 price
Apart from the engine and power, there are many feature differences between the 400 and the 250

Husqvarna 250s Beat 250 Duke in March Sales

This presented Bajaj with a very sweet spot between Rs 1.50-1.80 Lakh to place its Dominar 250 in. Now, to keep sufficient space with both Pulsar and Huskys, the quarter liter sports cruiser has been pitted at the 1.60 Lakh mark.

Opinion: Will Triumph’s 2 Lakh Bike Be a Direct Royal Enfield Rival?

At that tag, it is still more than Rs 30,000 cheaper than the Dominar 400 (gap will be higher on the on-road price) – which will be a sensibly significant difference for buyers to consider it and expand the overall market share of the brand Dominar. We have already seen higher number of Dominar 250s being shipped in the initial month, than Dominar 400.

How Dominar + RC390 + 390 Duke Sales Slid in Last 2 Years…

That quarter liter engine also immediately brings it into contention with many new rivals like the Yamaha’s FZ25 range, Suzuki’s Gixxers and others…