Bajaj Pulsar 250: A new improved version
The new Pulsar 250 offers good value for money while improving every aspect of the Pulsar 220
The Bajaj Pulsar is undoubtedly one of the most popular motorcycles in India and has a large number of fans. So, one can imagine the challenge Bajaj faced when it came time to develop and launch the all new Pulsar 250. The danger of ruining a proven formula was looming, but coming up with something new was just as important.
Previous Pulsars have always been seen as bikes that took the game forward by offering something unique to the segment. From injecting fuel into the 220 DTS-Fi to the liquid-cooled NS200, the Pulsars have been pioneers. The new Pulsar 250s do not continue in the same vein and instead focus on providing a more enjoyable ‘Pulsar’ experience. After all, they’re meant to take over from the Pulsar 220, not replace the NS200.
Starting with the style, it’s clear Bajaj wanted to play it safe and not do something drastic that would turn off his large Pulsar fan base. The Pulsar N250 and F250 are identical with regard to the fuel tank, side panels and rear part. The differences are in the F250’s sharper, semi-faired LED position lights and the high clip-on handlebars.
The overall design itself seems to be inspired by the Pulsars of yesteryear. This is evident in the beefy tank, semi-fairing shape, LED headlamps and iconic dual-strip LED taillights as well as the lightning bolt-shaped tail light and frosted lens effect on that. -this.
Looking at the bike from the rear angle, the 130 section tire looks narrow. Bajaj could have put on a wider tire, but that would have resulted in compromises in fuel mileage as well as modifications to the suspension setup to retain the current handling character.
Another inspiration from the old Pulsars can be found in the new analogue-digital instrument cluster. In an age dominated by motorcycles with fully digital clusters, watching the stroke of a proper tachometer needle is a refreshing change. For those wondering why Bajaj didn’t go the TVS route and offer Bluetooth connectivity, cost seems to be the only logical reason.
These fresh and youthful Pulsar 250 are available in a red or dark gray color option. Bajaj’s quality levels have also improved over previous Pulsars, whether in the shimmering paintwork, copper-colored crankcases, body fit and finish as well as the tactility of the new gear.
However, the rubber grips on the handlebars were shiny and felt low-end, while the exhaust liner could use a better finish. Bajaj says these quality grips are limited to pre-production bikes and we’ll have to wait and see how production bikes fare in that regard.
Bajaj nailed the ergonomics to the 250 with the pilot’s seat set at 795mm accessible. It’s also quite roomy, well-contoured, and offers good support, making it comfortable on a long trip. The handlebars of the F250 and N250 are placed at a similar height and have the same angle. This, together with the footrests set back slightly, results in a sporty but comfortable driving posture.
One of the main strengths of the Pulsar is the all-new 249.07cc SOHC, air-cooled and oil-cooled engine. In terms of displacement, this is the biggest engine the Pulsar lineup has ever seen. For a 250cc class motorcycle, it develops 24.5 hp, which is the same as the NS200, but peaks at 1,000 rpm, at 8,750 rpm. Maximum torque is 21.5Nm at 6,500rpm, which is higher than that of the 220F and NS200.
Turn it on and the sound of the exhausts has a deeper, more serious melody, rather than the gruff, thrashy note of the previous Pulsars. What is also immediately felt is that the engine is much more refined than that of the 220, but with a slight hum in the ankles and the seat at high revs. You won’t visit the Red Line often, however, as, in typical Pulsar fashion, the meat of potency is in the mid-range. Keep the revs between 4000-7000rpm and the engine will be the happiest and most responsive.
Although a few online keyboard experts criticized Bajaj for offering a 5-speed transmission, after riding the bike we didn’t feel the need for a sixth gear at all. The transmission ratios are perfectly spaced and in phase with the characteristics of the engine. You could go around town at 35 km / h in fourth position without the slightest protest from the engine. The slip clutch and assist also make shifting easier.
On the highway, fifth gear is high enough to allow the bike to go between 100 and 120 km / h without the engine feeling stressed. We managed to reach a top speed of 140 km / h in the long straight on the Bajaj test track.
Regarding fuel consumption, Bajaj reports that the Pulsar 250 generated 39 kpl during the ARAI test cycle. In the real world, this should translate to around 35 kpl. We will check this after giving it a suitable road test in the near future.
Experience of driving the Pulsar 220 in the past has shown it to be heavy up front and not particularly good when it comes to tackling corners. The Pulsar 250, however, are remarkably better than the predecessor in all respects.
Underneath the attractive body is an all-new tubular steel frame. It is not only 3 kg lighter than the perimeter frame of the NS200, but also more rigid in two of the three measurement axes. Then the wheels that weigh 0.5 kg less than the NS ‘at each end. This and the grippy MRFs combine to provide stable and precise handling.
The communicative front end, the weight distribution close to 50:50 and the narrow rear tire make it easier for the bike to pass through a chicane. We noticed that the N250 felt more agile and smoother than the F250, making it the nicest weapon to tackle city traffic. In contrast, the F250’s additional weight up front contributed to the slightly better feeling of stability.
The front fork is very flexible on hilly roads and does a great job of isolating potholes and craters. The mono shock has a slightly firm edge in comparison, but it is also well absorbent. That kind of ride quality, along with the stable handling and stress-free engine performance, is what we think will make the Pulsar 250 a capable touring machine.
The bike’s Grimeca brakes are made in India, after the Italian company was bought out by Endurance last year. These are pretty decent and while not sharp, you only need to press down firmly on the lever to stop the bike.
The only flaw may be the lack of dual-channel ABS, especially since it is easy to lock the rear wheel in the event of sudden braking.
To sum up, Bajaj has done a fantastic job with the new Pulsar 250. They deliver great value for money while improving every aspect of the Pulsar 220, which will see the end of the road at some point.
At ₹ 1.38 lakh, the Pulsar N250 is priced the same as the feature-packed Yamaha FZ25 / FZ25 S and TVS Apache RTR 200 4v. However, it does more power than both. The Pulsar F250 costs 2,000 more than the N250, but significantly less than the Suzuki Gixxer SF250 and the Bajaj Pulsar RS200.
The new Bajaj Pulsars have a lot to offer. While they might not bring any groundbreaking functionality to the table, they more than make up for it with the beautiful riding experience – an experience the typical Pulsar customer will likely enjoy after trying these bikes.