Monday, 1 February 2010

Ride Report Pulsar 220 DTSi

This is going to be a detailed report of what I feel about the bike. Its abilities, short comings etc. Lets Start with the basic Stuff. In my later posts, I will talk about its usability and practicality.
Performance: Having ridden it for 8000 Kms now, I feel the performance of the bike is a benchmark for a bike at this prize and engine capacity. As one starts of the first gear, the pick up smooth and quick coupled with a rocking exhaust note. However this bike is different from the Pulsar 180 Dtsi I had owned previously. There is no sudden surge of power, its one smooth flow and RPM climbs up as the traffic around you become small specs in the rear view mirror. THe mid range is smooth and very drivable. Its very easy to do 100 kmph without stressing the engine at all because the engine is below 7000 number. However, there is still power left as peak power and torque come at 7,500. However for sudden over takings, one has to downshift when in fifth gear as fourth gear is pretty tall. Its a trade-off. While the power delivery has become smooth, it has affected the roll on figures. Even with that, the performance surpasses any bike I have ridden so far, including ZMR.
Exhaust Note: The exhaust note of a Pulsar is not a melodious love song but a hit rock song, the harder you ride, the rock song turns from a soft rock to metal and thats the beauty of it. As Bon Jovi says "This ain't song for the broken hearted" , similarily, the sound is not for a guy in pink shirt and Dolce Gabbana Jeans. Its music to the guy in a torn up jeans, black T shirt and someone who likes to head bang. Call it wild because this what it exactly is.
Gearing: This is something not too great to write home about. 3rd and 4th gear are very practical. Once in fifth gear, the bike cruises pretty well and goes past 130 kmph when the bike was fully loaded with luggage. Though its not great for slow traffic. One stays in 2nd and 3rd gear but they are pretty tall.
Ride Quality: This is something which gets five stars. First the ride position is very comfortable. Body position is up right. The seat being large, one can change position from sporty position , leaned in to a comfortable, up right sitting for highways and long distances. The cushioning is great and I did not get any butt sores as I did in previous bikes (Ninja and Pulsar 180) in 500 km+ ride in a day. The pillion seat is pretty wide too. On a recent trip to Mc Leod Ganj, I had a pillion and she had a large rucksack with her and she was still pretty comfortable. The front suspension travels long, the bike eats pot holes for breakfast. On highways, the bike is rock steady.
Handling: This is a tall bike and long one at that. Even then, it feels great on curves. Remember, this is a bike which requires some experience. One can not be sitting in the seat like an arm chair and lean the bike thinking you will touch your knee. You have to follow the rules of riding on a corner. Just follow some steps (I am not asking you to hang out completely), just shift weight to the toes, ease on the arms and lo-belold, you can go around curves at great speeds. However, biggest issue is the main stand. Lean the bike on a banked road it will hit the road. You can feel the rear suspension compressing. I need to get it adjusted though as it is on the soft side.
These were the attributes. In my next post, I will talk about how these attributes translate into usability.