Bajaj’s history is dotted with several interesting products. Now, let us admit that it is Bajaj which has taken the game ahead in the motorcycles that matter (the 150 cc and higher segments). Had Bajaj not offered technology and fun of Pulsars (and later on KTMs) at affordable prices, we would probably still be stuck at neon green 125 cc Glamour ‘superfast’ edition with 9 hp of power!
After taking the country by storm with its Pulsars back in 2001, Bajaj is set to repeat the feat with the most powerful motorcycle from its stable – Dominar 400! Why it holds so much of significance in today’s scenario is because it is expected to re-write history and possibly become the cheapest per horsepower motorcycle and the first sports cruiser in India (in the affordable range).
Dominar 400 – Timeline
A day before its launch, we talk about its journey from Pulsar CS400 to Dominar in a short historical timeline to relook at what has happened so far.
- February 2014: It all began with the surprise unveil of the bike in concept form at the Auto Expo; ‘surprise’ because nobody saw it coming. Back then it was called as the Pulsar CS400. Getting rave reviews from the public as well as the critics, the Cruiser Sport 400 was surely the motorcycle everybody was looking out for…
- April 2016: As expected Bajaj was pretty mum about the bike. Their absence from the 2016 Auto Expo also did not help. And after twenty six months, in early April this year, first ever spyshots of the bike came up on the internet. Report here
- May 2016: Clearer spyshots surfaced with the test mule sporting ABS rings. The front suspension too was confirmed to be regular telescopic units, in order to save costs. The concept model sported upside down forks. Towards the end of the month, President of Business Development at Bajaj, Mr S Ravikumar revealed that the new top end Pulsar will be launched in between the months of July and September 2016.
- July 2016: The Bajaj supremo, Mr Rajiv Bajaj spoke to television media and confirmed that the new Pulsar 400 will be get launched in August. He also emphatically claimed that the bike will disrupt the market! (Read story)
- August 4: Thanks to a video which came up, we got to hear the exhaust note of the bike for the first time and it is better than that of the KTM 390s. So, no more auto-wala sound… 😛 (Hear it up here)
- August 17: This was a big day as a leaked filing data sheet at ARAI revealed the power figures of the bike along with a new name VS400. The document revealed that Bajaj had detuned the engine in favour of fuel efficiency to produce 35PS of maximum power. (Read story)
- August 24: Uncamouflaged spyshots of the bike cropped up for the first time when the bike was possibly out for an ad shoot in Ladakh. (story here)
- September 5: Mr Ravikumar reveals that the VS400 (without naming it obviously) has been delayed as Bajaj wants to focus on the upcoming festive rush. (Read his quote here)
- September 22: Rajiv Bajaj confirms that the upcoming Royal Enfield challenger, VS400, will not be a Pulsar! In fact it will be a new brand altogether to gun for the Royal Enfield brand. Clearly, it appeared to be a last minute change! (Story)
- September 27: Another name Kratos came up.
- November 18: Bajaj, for the first time, officially releases pics of the motorcycle also announcing its commencement of production. Still doesn’t name it! (Pics & announcement story)
- November: We do a quick price analysis to see how and where could Bajaj’s most powerful motorcycle fit in. And everybody would be surprised if this goes true. (Analysis here)
- November 30: Bajaj officially announces ‘DOMINAR 400‘ as the brand name of the motorcycle along with its launch date. Some were disappointed, some said – nice ploy not to carry Pulsar brand name. (Poll + story here)
- December 12: First spy pics of the production motorcycle (in dual tone white) surface most probably from a dealership yard. Sets the pulses racing… (Check them here)
- December 14: Close-up pics of a blue motorcycle come up. We do a pictorial preview sharing all details which we can extract. (Here)
- December 15 – the D-Day Tomorrow Bajaj will officially launch the motorcycle along with revealing its prices to the public. We will also webcast the launch event live at BikeAdvice. Do join us at around 12 noon then….