Tanmoy has submitted this review in our Ownership Review Contest No 13, ensuring himself an assured prize. The contest also offers a chance to win Riding Jacket, Helmet and more…Here are all the details.
Hello all readers, this is Tanmoy Sengupta from the place of Bikaji bhujia, Bikaner, Rajasthan. I am a pure bike enthusiast by heart. Many people know me by my first review at BikeAdvice.in. With the help of BikeAdvice, I am here to share my 3 years and 60,000 kms long experience with my Bajaj Pulsar 135LS.
I think 60,000 km is more then enough to know completely about a bike. So I want to share everything, like my all sweet and sour experiences with my bike, pros and cons and maintenance tips with you. Hope my experience will help you to choose correct ride for you or maintain your current one.
Like all other things, different bikes have their different way to handle. Some of them need more care or some need less. The pulsar 135LS is rough and tough bike and you can use this machine with ease.
In next points I am going to describe about all parts and sections of pulsar 135LS in detail. Please note that all views are based on my personal experience.
My bike is a September 2010 model. On 2010 I needed a new ride for me. My criteria was power and fuel economy both. And this can be delivered only by 125cc or 150cc machines. So I started short-listing bikes available that time in the market. Honda Stunner, Yamaha SZ, Yamaha gladiator and Bajaj pulsar 150 DTSi are the bikes which really impressed me. But there are some reasons to refuse all above bikes.
Honda Stunner – This is good 125cc bike by Honda. I really like this bike due to its sporty stance and smooth engine. But the main problem was its fairing. After some times its fairing tends to looses and start vibrations and noise. And one more important thing, its engine looses its refinement after sometime. Absence of kick lever is also a reason to drop this.
Yamaha SZ – Good bike in all aspects. This is big, bold machine with strong 150cc engine. But absence if disc brake that time made me disappointed.
Yamaha Gladiator – Skinny tires and high rise handle bar is not good in this. Power figure is also low compared to other 125cc bikes.
Bajaj Pulsar 150 DTSi – I just love this machine. This is miles ahead with its competitors technologically. Design is also good. But this bike is common on road so I cant be stable on my decision.
After comparing several machines I decided finally to go for Bajaj Pulsar 150 DTSi. All was set for Pulsar 150, me and my mind. On shiny day of 22 September 2010 me, my mom and my younger brother went to showroom for my dream machine. When I make my entry on showroom I saw a dazzling black Pulsar 135 DTS-i is welcoming customers. Its striking new design is really impressive. It looks more sporty then Pulsar 150.
Now I am completely hypnotized by Pulsar 135. After collecting general inquiries from showroom and after test ride my mind was set for this new member from Pulsar family. On same day I owned this beast. This bike is made to fill the gap between 125cc and 150cc, and yes, it set in this place beautifully. 3 years and 60,000 km has been passed from that day and my baby pulsar running same as new. Now I am going to describe you its pros and cons, all about Pulsar 135LS.
Design is the most unique factor of this bike. Its design carries razor sharp looks from head lamp to tail. Each and every part of this bike carries sporty DNA. Many of people think that its design is inspired by XCD 135 or this is renamed XCD 135, but let me clear guys this is not true. Design is totally new and futuristic. New Pulsar 200NS is also based on Pulsar 135’s design. Like all Pulsars this is designed like an muscular human arm. I love its design and it is true to its name LS (Light Sports). Seating posture is sporty but comfortable. It is slightly inclined because of its clip-on handle bars. Clip-ons handle bars are identity of sport bikes. It plays important role during tight turning.
Head light’s dimension is small because this is naked styled bike. Bajaj calls it bikini fairing. Sounds vulgar, but it is beautifully crafted and fitted between its tank flaps.
Fuel tank is nicely curved and designed wisely. Knee can be easily fit between its curves. It helps you to hold bike with your thigh on high speeds. It provide more on-seat stability. The main drawback of its fuel tank is it is small. It can hold only 8 liters of fuel with 2.5 liters reserve. With small capacity design of fuel tank is bulky. It not looks tiny from any angle. Tank flaps mounted on front makes it more muscular and aerodynamic. Red colored 4VALVE sticker on flaps make it more eye catchy. Fuel tank cap is aircraft style which is looks good.
According to its sporty character it comes up with twin split seats. Seats have enough space to hold your middle section but it is bit uncomfortable because it is rock strong. Rider seat is ok but pillion seat is not good. Long journey is really very tough job for rider and pillion. I add 6” extra cushion for more comfort and yes, it works. With extra cushion seat is far far more user friendly now. Although, seat is very spacious and it can hold two people easily.
Foot pegs are soft and foldable. It is rubber mounted so it can absorb vibrations for smooth riding.
Tail section of this bike carries over its razor sharp looks. LED tail light and alloy license plate holder looks superb. And it is enough strong too. It can easily handle small collisions which is common in India.
Two piece rear tire hugger is neatly designed. It is first type of rear mud guard in India. It can be easily removed for more style. But this is not so useful during monsoons. Rear section of bike is very similar to its elder brother 200NS.
Muffler is short and high mounted. That’s why it can submerged and run easily on deep water. Its chrome plated heat shield works good. Muffler is powder coated black color which is looks good.
Meter console is analog and digital. It provides all essential data to rider. It contains big analog rev counter, digital speedo, two trip computers, fuel gauge and some indicators (turn signal, high beam, low battery, reserve and neutral). Speedo’s digits are big and bold. It is easy to read in full sun light or in high speeds. Backlit color is orange which is cool and eye soothing. Like all Pulsars switches also illuminated which is looks uber cool. It helps new rider during night. Quality of switches is very crisp and it is very smooth to use.
Positive Points :-
- Quality is fair enough according to its price.
- Bike’s overall build quality is very good. Specially paint job and materials.
- Designed well and wisely.
- Seating posture is comfortable and sporty.
Negative Points :-
- Fuel tank capacity is very small. It can be at least 12 or 14 liters.
- Seats are very hard.
- Fuel gauge is not accurate.
- It lacks side stand indicator and self cancelled turn indicator.
- Foot rest can be more rear seated for more aggressive seating position.
- Rear mud guard is not very effective during monsoons.
Engine specifications, performance & gearbox:
Now that’s the point where maximum questions starts and ends. The numerical figures on paper about its engine looks pretty impressive. Is it..? The answer is yes, it serves well. This engine is gem. The power figure, 4 valve, microprocessor controlled ignition system makes it above all others.
Pulsars are made for power and performence. And this 135LS does the same. Heart of this bike is mounted on single tube type frame for weight reduction. This engine is developed on totally new platform. This air cooled engine’s cubic capacity is 134.66 cc, in round figures it is 135cc. This is first 4valve power plant from Bajaj. Its 4 valve head is with much larger intake area which allows to more air to come in for better pick up and acceleration.
It can roar up to electronically controlled 10500 rpm maximum. 4 valves allow this bike to rev up very quickly and freely between low to high gears. It can go 0 to 60 kmph only in 5.1 sec (whooping faster then pulsar 150) due to its 4 valve head. Like all other Pulsars it also uses two spark plugs for more power and for more kilometers per liter. With the power of 13.5 bhp at 9000 rpm this mill is really very capable of. It can produce maximum torque of 11.4 Nm at 7500 rpm. Power to weight ratio is also excellent, it is 110.7ps/ton. All this power transmitted to rear wheel through ‘O’ ring sealed chain.
So what is the good thing about its engine..? This engine is very rev happy. Yes, push it as hard as you can, it will deliver you more & more & more power. And what is bad thing about this engine..? This is not smooth as Yamahas & Hondas. But it delivers raw power which make this bike more highway friendly & traffic cutter machine.
The another bad thing which I realize in its engine is vibrations. Vibrations are hilarious in this light weight machine. The most vibrating part is 6000 to 7000 rpm. Before 6000 rpm and past 7000 rpm it runs smooth like breeze. It can go upto 10500 rpm and top speed is 124km/h achieved by me. It can touch 110 km/h mark with so ease that it is hard to believe this is 135cc mill. Just pull up the clutch, engage first gear, rev it up and you can easily feel power of 13.5 horses between your thighs. The longest journey is covered by me with this bike is 140 km with just 10minutes brake. Average speed was 80-90 kmph. So you can easily judge its potential.
This bike is good city commuter also due to its exhausTEC system. With the help of exhusTEC it can run 25km/h at 5th gear with pillion without knocking. That means lesser gear shifts in traffic, hence less hesitation. The main problem I found in its engine is its low quality piston & timing chain. In my bike I replaced piston once at 50,000 km and timing chain twice at 30,000 km and 50,000 km. But performance is still sweet.
Gear box of this bike is mated with 5 speed. Pattern is universal, 1 down & 4 up with single gear lever. Many people complained that Pulsars gears are notchy, finding neutral is not easy, but I respectfully disagree. Mine was 60,000 km old its still butter smooth. Gear ratios are short for instant pickup. But its clutch is not enough smooth. It needs regular adjustments for smoother gear shifts.
Positive Points :-
- Raw power delivery, near range of 150cc bikes.
- Instant pick up is awesome.
- Highway friendly machine.
- Stress less at high speeds.
- Good rev range.
Negative Points :-
- Piston and timing chain’s quality is not upto the mark.
- Vibrates between 6000 to 7000 rpm.
- Clutch needs regular adjustments for smooth gear shifts.
Drivability, suspension, brakes & tires
The pulsar 135LS is good from all dimensions. It is big, it is long and most important, it is light weight. Weight of this bike is just 122KG which make it traffic cutter. Weight is very less but this is very stable and inspiring confidence at tight corners due to its swing arm & long wheelbase of 1325mm. this is 5mm more then pulsar 150. It can zoom on corners like sports bike. You cannot lean like Rossi on corners but you can try to do so. This ability makes it more fun to ride.
The only problem I faced on tight corners is its center stand. It is too low sated and touch the tarmac easily on corners or big speed breakers. With ground clearance of 170mm you can call this SUV of two wheelers. This ground clearance is more then enough for Indian roads.
You can take on potholes without any tension with its telescopic front suspension and Nitrox assisted 5 step adjustable rear suspension. Its suspension is very strong, it can handle big jerks with so ease you cant imagine. It is very stable on corners and works properly with its frame for accurate cornering. One thing I feel that its front suspension’s stroke is not enough. It is just 130mm. otherwise all is seated good. This suspension make this bike ultra comfortable and vibe free.
A good bike always needs good brakes. Speed and power are useless without good braking power so this bike have hydraulic operated 240mm front single disc brake and 130mm rear drum brake. Front brake is more then enough sharp. It works properly at high speeds. If you are a good rider you don’t need ABS on this brake. Front brake saves my life several times. Rear brake is also good bud not good as front brake. Drum brake is not ok for alloy wheels. P135’s rear brake is just serves its purpose. It is not sharp but with combination of front brake it works marvellous.
Now the turn of most dangerous topic has come. Its tires. I received my bike with Eurogrip tires. Size and design of tire is awesome. Front one is 2.75 X 17” and rear’s size is 100/90 X 17”. It behaves good on dry tarmac but when it come contact with wet surface suddenly it became slippery. This condition is very dangerous when you are on high speed and your Eurogrip tire met with wet surface. But these Eurogrip tires are very long lasting and sturdy. I’m still running with its factory fitted Eurogrip boots. Otherwise Eurogrip tires are good, but MRF zapper is best.
Positive Points :-
- Awesome handling on highways, as well as in city due to light weight.
- Very good on corners.
- Brakes are very impressive, especially the front brake.
- Ground clearance is good.
- Strong suspension to take on big potholes.
Negative Points :-
- Rear drum brakes are weak, it is good only when applied with front brake.
- Center stand is positioned too low.
- Eurogrip tires are not ok for this bike.
- Front suspension travel is not enough. It could be more according to Indian roads.
Electricals & Electronics
Electronics are also good in this bike. DC electricals make this bike one of the safest machine in roads at nights. All electrical system is 12V DC, powered by 12 V 5Ah battery. Its DC circuit ensure constant light from headlight at low speeds which make night journey safe. Head light is powered by 35/35w halogen bulb. Beam and spared of headlight crystal clear. It is perfect for highway cruising at night. It have two pilot lamps of 5W each. Tail lamp is not regular bulb type, it is LED.
LED consumes less power and provide better illumination. Side indicators comesup with crystal clear lance. It is so clear that it can be seen during sunlight easily. Like other Pulsars its horn is also very sharp and loud. It uses 12V DC 2 Nos. of cut-out. When I press its horn people can easily recognize that Pulsar is coming. I want to describe one last but most important electrical part, its auto choke system. It helps to start bike in any weather condition with one kick or one little effort of thumb. It works on 48 degree temperature, even on -3 degree temperature. I still not face any starting problem in this bike.
Positive Points :-
- Headlight beam is focused and bright.
- Side indicators are clear.
- Horn is very loud.
- Battery is very stable. It is Exide and I am still using it without any problem.
- Auto choke system is boon. I am fan of this feature.
Negative Points :-
• I still didn’t find any fault in its electricals and electronics.
Parts changed by me
- Piston and clutch plate at 50000 km.
- Timing chain at 30000 km and 50000 km.
- Front brake pad and rear brake shoe at regular intervals.
- Front brake master cylinder and brake oil at 40000 km.
- Front chain sprocket at 25000 km.
- Two times clutch wire and one time accelerator wire is replaced. Don’t remember at how many kilometers.
This is the list of parts which I replaced during 3 years and 60,000 kms. This shows that Pulsar 135LS is very strong and sturdy bike for Indian roads. This bike is answer from Bajaj to those people who always criticize that Indian brands are not good.
Tips for good care
Before owning machine we must know how to maintain it. It help us to build more emotional attachment towards our bike. Many of tips is easy and we can do it easily at home. Just clean your bike’s spark plug or change its oil with your own hands and feel the emotion.
- First of all maintain strictly run-in period.
- Servicing at regular intervals is must.
- Always use good quality petrol.
- Always ensure correct engine oil level. Without this engine can decay and loose smoothness.
- Change engine oil at every 4000km. use 20W50 grade oil for good engine life. I recommend Castrol power for this bike.
- Remove carbon regularly from both spark plugs and clean its air filter regularly for good economy and smooth riding.
- Change front brake pad at 15000km and rear brake shoe at 10000km. changing brake pad at regular intervals is good for front brake pistons and rear brake drum.
- If possible change oil filter every time after changing oil.
- Start your bike by kick on the first time starting every day. It is good for starter motor and battery’s health.
- Do not accelerate hard on mornings. Just start your machine and let it warm up for a minute.
- Ride slowly your bike for first 2-3 kms in starting. It helps to spread oil in all engine parts and gain proper operating temperature.
- Always ensure correct water level on battery. Top it up in every 3 months.
- Ensure correct air pressure of bike’s tire. Front tire’s ideal pressure is 25 psi and rear tire’s is 32psi.
- Lubricate chain at every 500 km. do not allow chain to run dry. Use chain spray for better results.
- And most important, always wear helmet while riding. Because your safety is first.
I really love this machine in all aspects like power, economy, looks and durability. I want to ride my bike 60,000 km more. This is my dream to roam all over India with this bike.
And at the end of this review there is big question of every Indian, iska mileage kitna hai..?
This bike returns me near about 60kmpl on mixed driving condition (city & highway). That means power of 150cc and economy of 125cc bike. Anyways, good fusion. And I think this is enough for this kind of pocket rocket.
All suggestions and complaints are most welcome. You can contact me by using Facebook or by Gmail. My mail id is ‘firstname.lastname@example.org’.