Pulsar 135 LS: First Ride review

 

When times got tough, Bajaj came up with a whole new interpretation of the term ‘downsizing’ and it turned out to be a resounding success. Here comes the second salvo.

I just happened to mention the two words, new & Pulsar in the same breath and all of a sudden, my friends who have never previously shown any interest in bikes, bikers or biking wanted to know all about this new bike. As soon as they heard the numeric, one-three-five cc bit, their brows arched with a tinge of doubt. Does it feel like a real Pulsar, they asked. So, for all of you who have the same doubt, let me assure you that this one too is ‘definitely male’ as its brethren. But instead of raising such doubts among its buyers, Bajaj could have just skipped the numerology altogether and just called it the Pulsar ‘Lite’. Sounds nice, doesn’t it? Like one of those zippy, simple versions of a software. Infact keeping the cc ambiguous has famously worked to the advantage of … ahem… one of its competitors.

The new bike shows a quantum leap for Pulsar brand in terms of design as well as engineering. The bike looks as fabulous in flesh as it does in the photos. Bajaj got so fed up with everyone pointing out how similar all the Pulsars looked that they changed all the bits on the Pulsar 135. Right from the switchgear to the foot-pegs everything is new. Henceforth, every Pulsar will get its own distinctive design. However there are some bits that seem like overkill, like the clip-on ‘style’ handlebars. Firstly, they are not adjustable for reach like normal handlebars and I can’t fathom a reason why the Pulsar needs them especially when bikes like the CB1000R do just fine without them. Even the grab rail, it might be a looker, but that does not compensate for the lack of usability of a single piece unit. But minor follies apart, the piece de resistance of the bike has to be those gorgeous aluminum brackets that hold the rear blinkers and the number-plate in place.

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