Pulsar NS400 – A Lesser Talked About Aspect

If you were thinking it is curtains for the Bajaj’s 373cc engine, and all near-400s will move to the bigger 398cc mill for economies of scale, here is how it will pan out…

Back around 2013 Bajaj unleashed the KTM 390 Duke in the Indian market at a shocker of a price tag of Rs 1.80 Lakh. Very quickly that motorcycle earned the tag of the performance queen – that too at very affordable prices.

It was powered by the 373cc single cylinder engine that was simply insane in terms of power delivery and acceleration – specially the first iteration. Gradually, many motorcycles were born out of the same motor – in fact, the complete 390 line-up that included the naked Duke, full faired RC and the Adventure adorned the same motor.

Around the end of 2016, Bajaj modified this very engine, plonked it on the perimeter frame and Dominar 400 – Bajaj’s biggest motorcycle was launched. After creating a big benchmark in the segment, KTM thought of bettering its offerings and recently the new generation 390 Duke received a bigger 398cc engine – that is also much better in terms of tractability – a trait that was missing on the 373cc motor. The same motor also went to the new Husqvarna Svartpilen 401 that is also available here.

Numerous spottings of remaining KTM models – RC as well as the Adventure suggests that there are big updates of these models in the pipeline – and they will obviously receive the bigger motor in the months to come. Though the current gen RC and Adventure are still using that 373cc motor, there is a clear indication that KTM is moving away from this engine.

bajaj's 373cc engine
The new Svartpilen 401 as well as the 390 Duke have moved to the bigger 398cc engine…

This strategy had everybody thinking about the future of the 373cc motor and there were rumors that KTM/Bajaj may altogether ditch this engine and move to the bigger 398cc version for economies of scale. However, the introduction of the Pulsar NS400 has cleared all the confusion. Finally,

  • All KTM 390s will move to the new 398cc engine.
  • All Huskies will also use this bigger motor.
  • However, Bajaj will continue to use this 373cc engine on its 400s at least for the foreseeable future. Currently it is offered on the Dominar 400 as well as the new Pulsar NS400.
bajaj's 373cc engine
The Adventure as well as the RC will also graduate to this new 398cc motor in the months to come…

Which means that this 373cc engine is here to live for the coming many years and there is a proper demarcation now – Triumps will use their 398cc motor, KTMs will use theirs and Bajajs will continue with the 373cc version. So yes, Bajaj will have to manage as many as three different, near 400cc engines for the mid-capacity motorcycles it is making and selling under different monikers.

Pulsar NS400 TOP SPEED Attempt [Video]

Here are three reasons why Bajaj did not use this 398cc engine on its Pulsar NS400…

To know how different has Bajaj tuned this motor you can check out my detailed first ride review of the Pulsar NS400 below – that discusses performance, top speed, tractability, etc..