Bajaj Pulsar 220 DTSi (2009 Edition) Review

Here we go again. Bajaj does a ‘classic’ again. It all seems that the 2001 era is back. We have seen it, now experience the exhilarating performance biking in the form of carbureted Pulsar 220.With the launch of this bike Bajaj has made it clear that they would not bow down to any better known manufacturers (read Yamahas). A few months back Yamaha did it with a technical supremacy in the name of R15, now Bajaj follows with some ‘never-seen-before-on-Indian-bikes’ performance figures. With this launch Bajaj has showcased their brilliant engineering prowess which can give tremors to any bigger known Japanese makers.

Bajaj Pulsar 220 DTSi

If we date back a few years; November 2001 was the month which probably would go down in the Indian history which marked the entry of ‘affordable performance’ bikes in India with the launch of classic Pulsars. Performance and technology doesn’t mean anything if they are not affordable. Bajaj has always been proactive in giving tremors to competitors and here comes a bigger one! Enter the new 2009 edition Pulsar 220 DTSi. Bajaj today launched the much hyped and probably the most awaited and an all important launch of this year-The biggest Pulsar from its stables, the Pulsar 220. This bike is much more than just a non-Fuel Injected version of the Pulsar 220 DTS-Fi. Read on for all the changes made to this bike which take it to a different league altogether.

Changes In The New Model:

  1. Carbureted: In a lovely attempt to provide performance to masses (by reducing costs) yet keeping mandatory things in mind, Bajaj has dispensed off with the Fuel Injector of Pulsar 220 DTS-Fi. Now the bike comes loaded with Indias biggest 32mm Ucal UCD 32 venturi carburetor in place of the Delphi-supplied throttle body type fuel injection system in the Pulsar 220 DTS-Fi.
  2. Power Output: The power output of the bike has risen from 20 Ps (@8500 rpm) of the DTS-Fi to a whooping 21.04 PS at the same rpm figures, a full horsepower more than the fuel injected mill in turn breaking the 20 bhp jinx which we were stuck to for quite a long time. Torque figures remain the same at 19.12 Nm but the carbureted Pulsar does it in 7000 rpm which is 500 rpms more than the fuel injected version. This also ensures the revvy nature of the engine with abundant torque available all through the curve.
  3. New Piston: Keeping the cylinder dimensions same at 67 * 62.4 mm, the piston now comes in a new screen printed graphite based Malycote material which helps in reducing friction between the piston and the cylinder walls and also improves upon the engine’s anti-seizure traits.
  4. Oval Pent Roof Combustion Chamber: The bike also gets an oval shaped roof combustion chamber which enables to maximize the charge density of the flame propagation path which ensures maximum combustion even with leaner air-fuel ratios.
  5. Larger Air Cooler: The engine remains air-cooled as in DTS-Fi but needs to maintain a steady cool temperature now gets a larger air-cooler on this bike with 33 percent more cooling area which ensures that the bike runs cool even under high temperatures.
  6. All New Ignition System: The bike also incorporates an all new ignition system with engine temperature sensors built into the cylinder head to aid a rider in a perfect ride without any loss of torque or any flat spots.
  7. All New Auto Choke: With this version Bajaj has to ensure that the user doesn’t suffer from cold starting problems with the bike, now a carbureted version. To counter this possible issue, this bike comes loaded with an auto-choke which enables the bike to start in coldest of environments with ease.
  8. All New Clutch Assembly: The biggest issue with the earlier iterations of the Pulsar series was the lack of clutch responsiveness and the lack of feel from the clutch under slightest of loads. Seems like Bajaj has paid a special attention on this front and the bike sports an all completely enclosed clutch supplied by FCC Riko. The bike has a reported slick and much better feel than the earlier iterations which makes the bike even better to ride.
  9. All New Gearbox Internals: Adding to the new clutch system, Bajaj has ensured that all the known issues are rectified. This gearbox, which is one of the biggest problems for Bajaj, has been overhauled with some major component changes. The bike is reported to slickest Pulsar till date.
  10. All-Black Theme: The bike gets an all-black theme with black alloys, engine, swingarm and forks from other iterations of the same stable and makes the bike look a killer.
  11. Soft Compound Tyres: The bike comes loaded with the R15 reminiscent soft compound tubeless tyres which make the bike a dream to handle while on corners and also makes sure the bike is planted under extreme or harsh braking. The tyres remain the same size with the front being 90/90 * 17 and rear being a meaty 120/80 * 17 which also aids to the overall killer looks of the bike.
  12. New Designed Logo: The bike also gets a metallic protruded Pulsar logo reminiscent to the new Pulsar 180 2009 edition. It also gets a revamped clip-on handle bar along with a redesigned console background.
  13. Catalytic Converter: The bike, now, with the exclusion of Fuel injector, incorporates a catalytic converter to absorb the harmful gases from the exhaust and in turn making sure that the bike meets the soon to be enforced Bharat Stage 4 Pollution Norms.


Here we are talking about the most talked about feature of the bike, its performance. Bajaj calls this bike ‘The Fastest India’ and the bike’s traits lead us to believe every bit of it. Zero to sixty dash comes in lesser than 4 seconds! It is a huge more than half a second faster than its fuel injected sibling. Zero to hundred is achieved in around 11.5 seconds and this is a whooping two seconds faster to the DTS-Fi. Add to this the true top speed of the bike is reported at close to 140 kmph with the Speedo reading in excess of 145kmph. Now that’s fast by any standards and furious in Indian standards.

The bike lives upto its claim of being the fastest bike in the country and with a great margin, the brilliant tech-laden R15 included! Roll on times reported for DTSi are a tad slower than DTS-Fi, thanks to the latter’s more emphasis on low and mid range torque but flip the throttle and here you go astride the fastest Indian bike in production today in the country on the DTSi. With some scorching figures like this, not much is expected out of the mileage figures of this bike, but wait……! There is more to it than what seems evident. Expect the bike to return a handsome mileage of something in the range of 35-40 kmpl on real road conditons and this by any means are great figures. The engine roar has also been made gruntier and the self starter note also has a sweet muscular note to start with.

Along with all the above listings the bike gets all the typical pulsar goodies like the Exhaustec, lovely power and torque at all rpms, cheaper spare parts, projector headlamps, a 12W 9Ah maintenance free battery, dual horns, Wolf-eyed front semi fairing, rear Nitrox shock absorbers which do their job with near perfection.

With this bike, Bajaj has again produced a winner, more so with keeping the bike in direct competition to a newly-born Apache RTR 180, Yamaha YZF R15, Yamaha FZ series, Hero Honda Karizma. For sure, all the mentioned bikes will face the heat with the aggressive launch of this bike. This bike is set sure for turning the fortunes of Bajaj. Great move Bajaj! Let’s see how this bike fares in the market. If you are looking at a screaming performer at an affordable price, than there is no bike in the market which could match the practicality and “Value for Money –ness” of this bike. Go get this bike and burn the roads!

– Saad Khan

Source: ZigWheels