The Bike that Got the Pulse of India’s going faster. – The Mighty Pulsar
Weirdly Pulsar was the 1st. This segment was actually kick-started by the Hero Honda CBZ that came out in 1999 which was a 156.9 cc bike. Though taking this as a sign for progress, Bajaj couldn’t be far behind.
Pulsar was launched 20 years back. (What was I doing two decades ago?), With the 150 cc Round head lamp model back in 2001, I was in School cycling to places. This bike produced 13bhp which was quite substantial for that time, and yes Single spark plug. Nothing like the Pulsars that we have now. They even said it would give a mileage of 77 kmpl despite the power and displacement.
The whole notion of THE PULSAR was that it was Definitely Male. Ad stated that it’s a boy. This ad would be hounded by feminists in current times. But this boosted the Pulsar sales and men and boys alike, all they could talk about was the Pulsars.
Soon they launched the Pulsar 180cc producing 15bhp. This was all I could hear about on my journey to college and back as that was the only thing that got my friend excited and all and only thing he used to talk about. Later came an electric start still along with the kick start. And finally in 2003 we got the 180 DTS-I with a colored headlamp. And 2 spark plugs. The guy I mentioned above got the 180 dts-i and I remember myself screaming like one of those girls who are about to die in horror movies while sitting pillion with Him on that bike. That is one of the bikes I learnt to ride on and the mods it had during the course of its existence with him.
In 2005 finally came the alloy model. Like a yearly update, Twin Strip tail lights arrived in 2006 with new tank cowls.
And In 2007 we got to see the fastest Indian. Pulsar 220F.
I remember having a Bajaj pro-biking outlet beside my residence and I used to enjoy the 19.3 bhp on the dyno. Yes, I wasn’t allowed to have a bike. So this was my escape. Thanks to the manager of the showroom who is a close friend now. I eventually did pick the Duke 390 from the same place. Thank you for your patience with this annoying Kid. Damn how did I forget. We also got the 200. And later we got the Fi (Fuel Injection). And in 2009 the 150 and 180 also got the same body styling as the 200.
Finally Bajaj Pulled the plug on the 200 within a year due to lack of sales. As people would either buy the 180 to save some money or spend that little bit more and get the 220.
Buuuuuuuuuuuut at the same time Bajaj got the 135 LS for the more commuter-focused market.
And that was a big statement. The focus was on people who don’t want to spend much but still want some excitement to spice up their life. If I’m not wrong this is one of those bikes revving all the way up to 10k rpm. Wow again. Then in 2010 almost a decade later they launched the 220 without the fairing to fill the gap of the 200 and called it the 220S . I guess MY Bro in law has this.
Finally, thanks to the collaboration with KTM, Bajaj got the Pulsar NS200 in 2012. This was the beginning of a new Era for Bajaj. My colleague bought this bike and the mango yellow was soooooooo Flashy. And Pulsar finally had a triple spark plug system. Producing 23 bhp. Yes that was more than 220. ( New fastest Indian?)This bike still rules hearts even today. Image being pulled off the market and then brought back due to public demand and being on sale now almost 9 years later and doing decent numbers. At the same time they pulled the plug on the 220S. So their portfolio consisted of only 5 bikes.
Very Strangely Bajaj again pulled the plug on the NS 200 in 2015 to introduce two new models. AS (Adventure Sport) 200 and 150. And RS 200.
Finally in 2016 Pulsar Tag was no longer the premium name for Bajaj. To create a niche segment for Bajaj launched a new 400 cc segment and it was called the Dominar – Not a Pulsar end of story for this. I loved their ads poking fun at Royal Enfield.
In 2017 NS came back due to Public Demand. And the AS both models were scrapped.
And we also got he NS160. I used to work for a review firm and had gone for the launch. Weirdly I took in somewhere in the jungles of pune and man what a bike. Road or no road bike was pretty comfortable and unlimited fun.
In 2018 Pulsar 150 got Dinchak updates for paint schemes. Also pulling the plug on the 220f and getting the 180F with the 220 body. #Kapdebadlo. And unplugged the 135 LS and introduced the Pulsar 125. 150 body with the 125 cc engine.
Finally in 2021 we have the whole new pulsars. The 250F and 250S.
The pulsar maniacs are all excited and geared up to try these new fastest Indians. Lets wait and watch what the reviews are from the experts. Pulsar is a market leader in Mexico, El Salvador, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Colombia, Peru, Argentina, So much so that there is a guy who biked from Colombia to Pune. Pulsars have sold over 10 million in India and overseas. The 1st time a Pulsar was exported was to Peru. (Source Powerdrift).
Pulsars are so Iconic that MTV had a show where participants had to do stunts on Pulsars called Stunt Mania in 2009. The Winner got a Gold decaled Pulsar 220. I guess only one of a kind was made.
That is the Pulsar for you.
A big thank you to my Bro, Dhanil Vira for taking me through the timeline of The Mighty Pulsar of this Universe.