first_imgMention the term Pulsar to any auto enthusiast in the country and all of them recall a fond memory of either owning one or having ridden one. The brand, in itself, created history for Bajaj back in 2001 by practically redefining what we thought of value-for-money sportbikes. From a streetfight, to a naked sport, faired sport and adventure sport, the Pulsar name has been endowed to a variety of motorcycle body types with a host of engines available to power them. However, with the introduction of the BS-IV compliant NS200 earlier this year, there was left a gaping hole in Bajaj’s line-up representing the coveted premium 160cc segment. That is, until now. Having sold the bike in International markets like Brazil for a while now, the company has decided to now introduce the NS160 to the Indian market as well. Design wise, the bike remains distinctly similar to its bigger NS200 sibling. Which isn’t exactly a bad thing, either. The 200 has the ability to turn a lot of heads and the NS160 takes home similar honours as well. It is an absolute looker! Take a closer look and the only way to make out between the two is the bold, flashy graphic on the tank extension. The one on the NS160, shouting out ‘160’ to whoever wants to know. What won’t be turning heads anytime soon though, would be the basic-looking instrument cluster and the quality of switchgear taken from Bajaj’s parts bin. While the 160 even shares the same capable perimeter frame with the 200, what has changed between them basically, is the unsprung mass. Mainly, the swingarm, suspension, tyres and brakes. The swingarm is slightly shorter, the suspension set up for more comfort, endowed with skinnier 80-section front and 110-section rear tyres, along with 240mm front disc and 130mm rear drum brakes. Clearly, Bajaj was more interested in the go than the show. And to compliment all the go, the bike gets its power from a re-worked 150cc engine derived from the AS150. The displacement has been bumped up to 160.3cc, putting out a healthy 15.5bhp and 14.6Nm of peak torque. Transmitting all that power from the motor to the wheels is a 5-speed synchromesh gearbox.advertisement Swing a leg over and you’ll notice that the NS160 is a tad shorter than the 200, by 15mm for a total height of 1060mm shorter. Still, riders below the 5’7 foot mark will find it a little hard to completely rest their feet on the ground. Start moving and the bike starts showing you it’s true potential. In my opinion, it is happier running errands in the city than spending time in the ghats with an over-enthusiastic college student aboard. But that certainly doesn’t mean it can’t. It is light, easily flick-able and with a power-to-weight ratio of 107.6bhp/ton gets off the mark swiftly as well. The suspension is soft enough to easily waft over potholes yet, taut enough to dance happily around the twisties with hints of flex and twists. The power from the bike was, for most part, evenly concentrated. Holding city speeds or coming up to highway speeds, the engine performance felt brisk, linear and never stressed. Once beyond that, the engine can still hold 110kmph-115kmph on the odo for kilometres on end, as long as you’re ready to deal with slight vibrations through the bars. In terms of refinement, the motor is not as good as one from a Japanese maker but is certainly better than other home-grown competition. Overall, the new NS160 leans more towards the commuter segment than naked sport. Yet, given features like oil-cooling, styling like the NS200’s stellar sculpture, power to trump all its competition on paper and a delectable price tag of Rs 78,368 (ex-showroom, New Delhi), the Pulsar is taking the fight right to the top guns of the premium 160cc segment. If fuel-efficiency, a sub-Rs 80k pricing and jet fighter looks are your top priority, walk straight through the doors of your nearest Bajaj dealership. On the other hand, if corners, straight line speeds and quality of materials/fit/finish are your top concern, you may want to look elsewhere. Also Read:Bajaj introduces new variants for CT100 and Platinalast_img

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