It has been 2 years 5 months 4 days long, rode about 40000 kms (approx) the Bajaj Pulsar 220. Frankly Speaking, the motive behind reviewing it so late is only to participate (ok, try to win) the Ownership Review Contest No.11.
I am not very good at English – but good enough to communicate my thoughts. So please ignore the grammatical errors and just see what I have to say about my bike.
I have always in love with automobiles, whether it is a bike, car, bus, truck or even a tractor. Always curious to know more about them from its history to modern day specs. Previously owned a classic pulsar and HH Glamour in school time, although these are inherited from my elder brother, who stops using them after switching to cars.
As soon as I enter in the college, need of a new vehicle raised (you know why-girls, image, style, etc). At that time there are only three bikes in my mind-P220, Yamaha r15 and a Bullet. The vehicle I am choosing will be definitely used for daily commuting of about 45-50 km, so bullet in everyday cannot be chosen, and due to my height – 5’11 riding a R15 is a totally pain, so the best left out option is P220.
The bike is delivered to me on 19th September 2009 around 12 noon and then after some rituals and shopping of some gears and a new helmet, I am ready to experience to new thrust.
First 1000 kms
In this period, I kept it very silent, never gone over 60kmph, ride alone, and don’t give it to my friends even. First free service and change of oil recommended in this have been successful. The bike remain quite smooth, gearshift and handling is really impressive, and no problem is been observed. The mileage is marvelous and around 38-40 kmpl. The only thing is noticed is Turning radius, which is really large, but you will learn how to decrease that.
In this period, I started to loose control, raised it to 10k rpm, and reached to 120-130 kmph occasionally. The bike is quite impressive in handling and power delivery. Free and Paid service are done on time, and still no problem whatsoever rises expect a small scratch made by some idiot in the parking causing me to put stickers on it which I really hate to do.
The thing I noticed while riding that if you grip the handle bar hard, your hand will definitely be screaming loud, also if you a pillion for more than 10-20 kms you will be intensively tired. The rear view mirrors are piece of sh**, so I started to ride without using them.
Believe me in this period I really pushed the machine to its limit, 12k rpm is a joke, reaching 140 kmph is magical, triple riding is a common thing for it, accidents and slipping become a headache to me. In these fairings, sprockets, chain set, air filters, pilot lamps, and some other minutes pieces replaced. The engine sound is changed and became louder. Riding Quality decreased but handling remains the highlight. The mileage is fluctuating in this era, high as up to 38 to as low as to 28 kmpl. Braking of P220 terrifies me, whenever I brake hard, it always tends to slip away and fall.
In this period, I have done small touring of about 300-350km per day, and really I was quite amazed how this 19Nm torque machine goes and passes each & every vehicle that comes in his way.
This period involves lots of changes in the attitude of the bike. It was the time when I am doing my summer training from Haridwar, and commuting of 100-120 km is regular. In this period, I switched to Pirelli tires and believe me the ride quality and griping is awesome especially when I ride in hills. Braking also improve due to better tires. I have invested a lot in the bike maintenance during this time causing me minimum errors and problem expects the battery down and replacement. The bike still has the character and provided me a good efficient mileage of around 30-35 kmpl overall. Nuts and bolts are loosened and a new fairing start to give vibrations even on 6-7k rpm, cold morning starting problem happened to me few times but the auto choke is really useful.
An old problem which was even in the classic pulsar also comes with this i.e. if bike is been parked under the hot sunny day, the bike refused to start up. Although it has simple solution, by opening the tank cap for few secs and try starting after few mins.
This period is involves down of everything expect the engine sound which is grown really spectacular, I love that sound when I take the bike to its limit. The bike really downs on mileage 25-32 kmpl, vibrations are high, cold morning start is everyday problem, Maintenance requirement is highest. But few things which is still makes me happy are its power delivery, handling, strong built character, and tubeless tires which always provide you to go anywhere ability without having fear of punctures.
I have kept this section separate specially, believe me P220 has the best headlights when compare to any other Indian bike, especially the projector lamp which is just awesome. Even at high speed, the headlamps make you feel confident.
220 is still the best VFM bike in the country. Expect few notches and problem; it is best affordable product for any Indian in terms of power and overall performance. The bike is really an outstanding machine for me, I always feel proud of having it. A simple tip to maintain it is to provide regular service with engine oil change definitely; it will give you maximum efficiency with minimum errors.
Thank you for reading it.
Appreciate your comments and suggestions.
And always wear Helmet.
– Madhur Choudhary