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Saturday, March 29, 2008

Comparative review of the Pulsar 200 &180 with the GF Laser



Having spent considerable time testing the new bikes from Bajaj primarily the Pulsar 180 and also the Pulsar 200, I can now safely pen down my thoughts and observations about the same. The new Pulsar 180 DTSi is a far-cry from the 1st generation of 180s in terms of both good and bad. It's now more refined and powerful at 16.5bhp it's the leader in it's segment and almost matches the Zma in terms of specs., atleast on paper. Bajaj has considerably improved ride quality, handling characteristics, plastics and it's beyond doubt the best looking Pulsar ever. Having completed the initial running in period I took the bike to the highway to get an idea of what the bike was indeed capable of offering. Although, I didn't clock the timings but 0-60 was pretty fast through the 1st couple of gears. The bike does 63kmph at 5000rpm and at 6000rpm it does 74kmph. I pushed the bike all the way till 123kmph after which acceleration was sluggish so I didn't push it any further. One of the things that I was surprised to see that NVH levels were almost non-existent at such high speeds. One of the areas where the bike did fail to convince me was the inconvenience of shifting gears. The gearbox makes a lot of noise while shifting down from higher gears and trying to find the neutral is an "art" one has to learn. The 2 valve motor was designed for the city with very good initial torque and initial acceleration but it manages to give you good company till around 8000rpm where it attains max power. Max torque is achieved at 6000 rpm and you can feel it best when your on the 3rd gear, the bike behaves like an arrow. Ridden at 4000-6000rpm without too much stress on the motor the bike returned a decent 46km/ltr mileage in the city with ample usage of clutch. Ridden to the fullest and with sharp acceleration she returned around 40km/ltr.
Coming to the Pulsar 200 I must say all that I have written above is true for this bike but this bike is beyond all that atleast in terms of the goodies and changes it comes with. I don't remember now but one day I was comparing the 200 with the 180 and found out twenty new changes Bajaj made on this bike over the 180cc. There isn't much difference between the two bikes as far as specs is concerned apart from the fact that the 200 is liquid cooled has an engine which is 20cc larger and has about a couple of bhps more power. But there are two remarkable differences that I could notice between the two bikes:
i) The rear-set gear shifter doing duty on the Pulsar 200 are lightyears ahead of the ones that come with the 180cc. These have been newly designed by Bajaj for the 200 & 220 and are uniquely placed on the side subframe and hence give that rear set feel. Shifting gears is extremely smooth an operation on the 200 DTSi compared to the 180cc.
ii) The split seats that comes on the 200 aren't just to enhance the looks of the bike infact after riding the 200 I felt that the split seats were ergonomically designed to give the most comfortable riding position with the rear-set shifters something one could only think about in a CBZ (older version) or a Zma.
Finally, coming to the GF170 Laser I must admit that it's an older generation bike and lacks heavily in terms of refinement. This bike was always infamous for high NVH levels in the riding rpm band of 4k to 6k. But, then again there was always a difference between the these bikes and the GF170 it's a typical 4-valver hence the motor was expected to behave well after 6000rpm and it always did. It was a magical change to see all the NVH disappear once you go beyond 7500rpm on the GF. The motor redlined at 9500rpm possibly the only Indian made bike to do so bike was meant for high rpms with 14.6bhp being developed at around 8000rpm from a 165.12 mill was like a rocket science back in 2003 but was completed ignored by the Indian market. City riding wasnt that bad unless and untill you wanted to do a quarter mile drag with a RX135 5 speed. Like the typical 4 valver the initial acceleration was although way better than the 100-150cc bikes of that time but was no where to compete with the likes of the Zma. The motor was never good in terms of fuel efficiency but the bike certainly had it's share of niggling problems. I warranted regular attention and maintainance which is not required in modern day bikes.

7 comments:

Abby said...

well d gear shifting problem is true.. i hv faced tht.. even i faced problems with clutch plates..
i must say lots of effort given to write d whole stuff..
:)

Unknown said...

Thanks a lot for the encouraging words Abhishek

Anonymous said...

cos of four valve technical construction of engine,at lower rpm range 1500-2000 in slow moving traffic u ll have rev harder to pull the bike and sometime bike feels like that it is running out of breath.ya its ture at lower rpm there is high level of nvh.but reliability is not the cup of tea this bike.regular clutch adjustment,frequent valve tightening is headache.fe is most worst part of this bike my freinds bike used to give low FE in range between 25-30 kmpl in city.
these experience and problems are faced by me and my friend and i m writing on his behalf.

Unknown said...

cos of four valve technical construction of engine,at lower rpm range 1500-2000 in slow moving traffic u ll have rev harder to pull the bike and sometime bike feels like that it is running out of breath.ya its ture at lower rpm there is high level of nvh.but reliability is not the cup of tea this bike.regular clutch adjustment,frequent valve tightening is headache.fe is most worst part of this bike my freinds bike used to give low FE in range between 25-30 kmpl in city.
these experience and problems are faced by me and my friend and i m writing on his behalf.

Unknown said...

yes Chintoo very rightly put forward the main drawback of a for valve single cylinder motorcycle engine under city conditions especially congested Indian cities and towns one would definitely find initial acceleration to be very sluggish.

Unknown said...

Pulsar 180cc has a wheelbase of 145 mm, 25 mm longer than the previous bikes and the new bike pulsar 200 200cc engine and oil cooler, which is a self-adjustable one- it adjusts the viscosity of the lubricant oil so the overall performance of the bike is enhanced.Good blog and review is discussed here.
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