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Bajaj Pulsar! It is one of the biggest names or brands in the automotive world across the globe, being sold in around 70 countries. Millions of Pulsars have been sold across the world and there are many variants and models under the Pulsar brand. The beginning however was with a humble motorcycle that aimed for the stars.
It was exactly 20 years ago that a revolution began in the Indian motorcycle industry. It was in October 2001 that the very first Pulsar was launched. It literally changed the perception towards motorcycling and introduced performance motorcycling to the masses. It was only befitting that Bajaj should launch the much-awaited next-generation Pulsar on the 20th anniversary of the OG.
On 28 October 2021, the all-new Bajaj Pulsar 250 motorcycles were launched. Called the N250 and F250, they are the biggest Pulsars yet. They also promise a new level of motorcycling thrill while still building on the Pulsar character that we have grown familiar with over the years.
So, what is the all-new Pulsar N250 about? How does it ride? Does it still carry the Pulsar genes while still being modern and ‘new'? We rode the Pulsar N250 on the outskirts of Pune, starting off from the Bajaj plant at Chakan. Read on to know more.
Bajaj Pulsar N250 Design & Style
Designing the Pulsar N250 and F250 must have been a hell of a task. The new motorcycles would have to keep the Pulsar character lines intact while still being all-new. Having said this, we must now mention that the designers have done a fabulous job at this difficult task.
The muscular character line that runs along the side of the motorcycle from the fuel tank to the rear has been a standard feature on all Pulsar models since the very beginning. Then in 2006, Bajaj introduced the twin vertical stack LED tail lamps and this has been a feature on all Pulsar models since then.
These two intrinsic design characteristics have been retained on the Pulsar N250 and F250 as well. However, these elements too have seen some changes on the new 250s. The muscular line extends until the front of the motorcycle on the headlamp unit. The vertical tail lamp now features a slight curve towards the upper end.
Setting aside these two design elements, the rest of the motorcycle is brand-new. The Pulsar N250 certainly seems to have taken some inspiration from the Pulsar NS200 for its design. However, it looks so much sportier and a lot more attractive.
Up front is a sharp and stylish headlamp unit. Taking centre stage in the headlamp cluster is an exposed LED projector and it is flanked by LED DRLs placed at an angle. Right above the headlamp unit is the analogue-digital instrument cluster.
The Pulsar N250 features a single-piece bar handle and the switchgear too is brand-new. As aforementioned, design lines on the Pulsar N250 are sharp and aggressive. The sharp and angular design lines continue at the rear too.
The Pulsar N250 features a split-seat and the seats add to the overall design and style of the motorcycle thanks to its shape. The engine casing is finished in a dark Gold shade and under the engine is a super stylish engine cowling, finished in the body colour. The motorcycle also features simple, yet classy Red and White graphics.
Yet another element that adds to the overall design of the motorcycle is the short and stubby exhaust unit. The twin-port exhaust end-can gets a Silver-coloured cover and this becomes a contrasting element for the rest of the motorcycle.
On the whole, it is, without doubt, an extremely stylish motorcycle and buyers in the segment will be very attracted to the Pulsar N250.
Bajaj Pulsar N250 Features
The Bajaj Pulsar N250, like all its predecessors, comes with an adequate number of features. In other words, what the Pulsar N250 comes with are the bare basics. As aforementioned, it does get an analogue-digital instrument cluster.
The only analogue bit is the tachometer, which again has been one of the signature traits of Pulsar models for several years now. On the N250, the tachometer is placed in the middle and is flanked by tell-tale lights to the left and an LCD screen to the right.
The screen displays a lot of information including the speedometer, odometer, trip meters, fuel level, instantaneous fuel efficiency, distance-to-empty, etc. You even get an average fuel efficiency (AFE) number and this is where Bajaj engineers have implemented a really useful feature - the motorcycle measures AFE differently for the two trip meters.
The switchgear is brand-new and gets a backlight, just like all other Pulsars. They feel tactile and Bajaj certainly hasn't compromised with the quality when it comes to the switches. Other important features include the single-channel ABS and the USB slot to charge up your mobile phone.
However, there is an important feature that has been omitted. In today's time and age, Bluetooth connectivity is a necessity and some entry-level motorcycles also are equipped with smartphone connectivity. However, the N250 does not get connectivity options.
Bajaj Pulsar N250 Engine Performance & Riding Impressions
Pulsar motorcycles have always been about their performance and most riders have always preferred the Pulsar over other motorcycles for the raw feel that only a Pulsar offers. Do the new Pulsars offer the same feel?
The engine, for starters, is all-new. It is an air and oil-cooled, 249cc, single-cylinder engine with a maximum power output of 24.1bhp at 8,750rpm and a peak torque output of 21.5Nm at 6,500rpm. A 5-speed gearbox drives the rear wheel via a slip and assist clutch.
Thumb the starter and you are greeted by a bassy rumble when the engine is at idle. It isn't very loud, nor is it quiet. It simply possesses the right balance. When you get on the throttle though, things change and the sound turns into the grunty note that we have grown used to on the Pulsar 220. It sounds like a quicker version of the Pulsar 220.
That brings us to the performance of the new Pulsar N250. On paper, the 24.1bhp power output and 5-speed gearbox combo don't seem like much. However, the way the power and torque is put down to the road makes a world of a difference.
Below 3,000rpm, the engine does shudder and there is a fair bit of knocking. Post 3,000rpm though, things change. It feels pretty torquey in all the gears and the midrange is where it feels the sweetest. The sweet spot of this engine is when you keep it between 5,000 and 8,000rpm.
The engine feels smooth and there isn't a lot of vibrations. Over 8,000rpm, the engine does sound a little stressed, but other than that there's nothing really that one can complain about. Post 100km/h, you do start feeling the need for a 6th gear and this is where Bajaj could have won over more buyers as well.
In terms of handling, the Pulsar N250 is pretty well-balanced. It has an aggressive riding position despite having a single-piece bar handle. This translates to some brilliant handling traits that set it apart from the competition in the segment. The MRF Zapper tyres provide good levels of grip and you do feel pretty confident going into corners and pushing the N250 closer to its limits.
How about ride quality? Well, it turns out that the Pulsar N250 is pretty comfortable. Suspension duties are handled by a 37mm telescopic fork up front and a monoshock at the rear that is adjustable for preload. The suspension is set up a little towards the stiffer side to aid handling. However, this hasn't affected the ride quality in a negative manner and it remains a nice motorcycle to ride.
Braking duties are handled by a 300mm disc up front and a 230mm disc at the rear. This is an area in which there is a huge shift from Bajaj. For several years now, Bajaj used Bybre brakes on Pulsar motorcycles. Now, with the new Pulsar 250, Bajaj has moved to Grimeca brakes. Braking is excellent and gives the rider immense confidence.
Bajaj Pulsar N250 Colour Options, Price & Competition
The Bajaj Pulsar N250 is available in just two colour options: Racing Red & Techno Gray. Both colours look very attractive on the motorcycle, but the Techno Gray looks much better and more attractive. The Bajaj Pulsar N250 is priced at Rs 1.38 lakh, ex-showroom. What this simply means is that it is one of the least expensive motorcycles in the segment.
This brings us to the other motorcycles in the segment. The Pulsar N250 competes directly with the Yamaha FZ25 and Suzuki Gixxer 250. Some other motorcycles in the quarter-litre segment include the Bajaj Dominar 250, KTM 250 Duke, etc.
In terms of design and styling, the Pulsar N250 clearly emerges as the winner when compared to the competition. When it was launched, many were seen complaining about how Bajaj should have given it liquid-cooling and a sixth gear, etc. However, one must consider that this motorcycle isn't a replacement for the NS200.
It is an all-new motorcycle and the next-generation of Pulsars will be based on it. It is the spiritual successor to the Pulsar 220S. Anyone remember the 220S? When this is taken into consideration, you will realise that the N250 is indeed an awesome motorcycle. If you are curious about the Pulsar F250, do check out our detailed review of the F250.