How I Chose My First Bike – Bajaj Pulsar 150cc

Choosing your first bike is never easy. It’s the most daunting job but fruitful as well. I was planning to take a bike which belongs to 150 cc segment or more with average of 45kmpl+. The selection of my bike took around a month doing spadework and test riding the bikes.

First of all I went through the various blogs/websites to shortlist few bikes that would ideally suit me and the area where I stay. I mean to say that I stay in hills so not every bike does well here. So the final bike list contained the following bikes: Unicorn, Hunk, CBZ extreme, Apache RTR 160, Fz-s/16 and Pulsar 150/180.

Stunner: I went to the Honda’s showroom to take the test drive of Unicorn as it has gained many appreciations from the owners. But to my surprise I was more fascinated towards Stunner than to the now-old looking Unicorn. So there was an immediate amendment in my list replacing unicorn with stunner. I rode the bike, downhill it was good but the bike was just not performing well climbing up the slope with a pillion rider. The bike was hence discarded.

Hunk/ CBZ Xtreme: Hero Honda is using the same engine of Honda in 2 bikes with different bodies.I decide to test ride the hunk. The bike was quite smooth and had a great sitting positon. Moreover it had a great stability even at high speeds and I was very comfy riding the beast. Though it only lacked some goodies like split grab rails, led tail lights, digi-console (but even its analogue console attracted me) On the other hand CBZ extreme does have the split grab rails, pilot lamps but its console is kind of unsymmetrical. And I didn’t like it personally. So Hunk was selected as one of the finalists.

Apache RTR 160: Its a great bike from TVS with all the goodies every one like to have say split grab rails, LED tail lights, digi-console, clip on handles, aluminium foot pegs etc.TVS has done a good job in designing the bike and providing it a segment in between 150-180cc to confuse the consumers.I hadn’t heard much about this bike nor seen many riding around here . But to my surprise this bike is a mini-monster. You give some throttle and there it goes vrooommm. Braking is simply awesome. The turning radius is small and hence it easily turns sharp curves.But the vibration factor is still there.

Apache vibrates between 65 to 75km speed. It was said by the showroom owner that the vibration was present only when the bike is new and gradually gets reduced with time. Though Apache has good pickup, it lacks power when riding uphill with a pillion rider. Moreover I was not really satisfied with the grip of the tyres.Even for person of height around 5’10’’ the bike looks like a toy ride.After so many –ives regarding bike I finalized it due to its speed, pickup, goodies and looks.

Fz-16/S: Yamaha is always good rather excellent in bike making. So I had to take the test drive of the newly launched bike. What I liked about the bike is the looks, engine and tubeless radial tyres. The bike is good in every aspect say technical or looks.The monocross suspension is great which helps on negotiating turns very easily. But what I didn’t like was the over decorated digital consol with too many colours and absence of disc brakes for the rear tires. Moreover I think at the price of FZ-16/s you may easily get any bike in 180 cc segment. This bike couldn’t make it to my list of final bikes.

Pulsar -150/180: I have been always attracted to Pulsar. May be the name itself does the trick. Anyways 150 cc segment is incomplete without Bajaj Pulsar. With the launch of UG4 this year the bike gets more sporty look.

Talking of the P-150 first it has every damn thing you want. The only problem with the pulsar is that its maintainence cost after a span of 4-5 years is very high. Looking at the pulsar 180 ug4 in the showroom I was totally attracted to it ,wanted it to take it home right away. Anyways the only –ive about P-180 is the absence of kick in it. No matter what the company says that the battery is maintainence free but at the temp of around 2-30 Celsius in the winters here ,the exclusive self-start option is not ideal for long term use.The weight of P-180 is more and turning radius is large. Not very ideal for the hills turning. Also the P-180 wouldn’t be able to satisfy my mileage criteria in hills. So out of the two bikes Idiced to go for Pulsar -150 as it has looks identical to Pulsar -180 but at the same time has better average with kick + self start option.

After long exahausting research on the bikes ,my list came down to 2 bikes in 150 cc segment. Hunk and Pulsar-150. So I again went to the showrooms to take a long test drive through the skinny streets and broad highway. I’ll like to thank the showroom guyz for allowing me for the same. The result of the test drive was that the confusion in me just amplified. So now I changed my criteria from core biking to looks and extra goodies and there it was PULSAR 150 was the clear winner. Now the question arouse regarding the choice of colours. The showroom owner said that he had around 100+ black, 50 blue, 20 red and two silvers…I went to the showroom once again to view the colours and finalized the misty grey silver. I changed the grab rails to split ones, like in P-180, and pasted a tank pad just to decor the bike.

Anyways I am very-very satisfied with my decision. Hoping that this information may be a source of help to you in any kind.

Final verdict for guys opting for a bike in 150-180 cc segment:

  • Cost factor – Hunk
  • Overall package – Pulsar 150/Apache RTR 160
  • Core biking + looks – FZ 16/s
  • Racing factor – Pulsar 180/Apache RTR 180

Sumant Sharma