I shouldn’t say it was a long wait for the Next Generation Pulsar to be launched. Rather I should mention we all have waited on and on and on and looks like God has finally answered all our long – standing prayers. Mr. Bajaj had given life to his words. He had mentioned sometime back that the next generation of Pulsars will be based on a whole new platform and will be the first bike to incorporate a few technologies. That is what exactly Bajaj Auto has done for the Pulsar.
The launch of the 2012 Pulsar took place in Mumbai for a change and the venue was ITC Grand Central this time. There weren’t much of fanfare created in the hotel premises by placing posters or bill – boards here and there. The launch was scheduled at 2 PM and the rooms of the ball room opened right then.
There was an unexpected surprise waiting for us as all the Pulsar models right from its inception in the year 2001 was kept on display. The first Classy looking Pulsar with round headlamp made me stare at her for quite sometime as this is my favourite Pulsars ever. Next to that in the queue was the DTS-i variant and you know the history of Pulsars very well. The Pulsar 135 and the ‘Speed Lines’ variant of the 220 were formed the closing of this long line. There was a small board kept beside every bike displaying their year of launch and their special features, of course.
There was a video played which featured all the commercials of Pulsar till date from the very first commercial which emphasized its tagline ‘Definitely Male’. I really had a nice time watching all these TVCs. I t instilled a sense of Nostalgia within me. Then as an end note of this video was played the 10th anniversary video of Pulsar which we’d posted a long time back in BikeAdvice.
With this ended the hypes that surrounded the bike to be launched. The launch ceremony then begun with an inaugural speech of Mr. K Srinivas, President, Two Wheelers, Bajaj Auto. He said, “Pulsar as a brand is moving front and forward.” He said that he wanted to explain the question ‘What makes Pulsar a legendary bike?’
Here are the points he mentioned:
- “When you see one, you recognize one.” Think about the sentence he said and then you’ll understand that every ‘PulsarManiac’ in the country would happily rejoice. He said that the characteristics of Pulsar which includes the fuel tank, the LED lamps, wolf eyes and the speedo are all unique only to Pulsars.
- “Pulsar satisfies the burning desire and not the need.” In the year 2001 when first Pulsar was launched for the Indian market, the entire market was dominated entirely by commuter bikes and Bajaj daringly ventured into the Sport – Bike segment.
- Thrill of riding is now affordable because of Pulsars. Ina market when ‘Fill it, Shut it and Forget it’ was what drove the minds of Indians, it needs a lot of guts to come up with a bike like Pulsar. (I didn’t tell this. He told!)
- Today, around 1 Mn Pulsars are sold worldwide in around 25 countries which includes Philippines and Columbia to name a few.
- Pulsar has become a part of culture and then he added that Pulsar is viral as well.
Then came to stage Mr. Mr. Rajiv Bajaj, Managing Director, Bajaj Auto to talk a few words about the Pulsar brand of bikes. He marked the beginning of his speech by telling, “When we first made the Pulsar, we didn’t make it for any of the reasons. We simply made it because that was US. ”
In order to explain his quote further he used Dr. Porsche’s famous words ‘I couldn’t find the car I want. Si, I decided to make it.’ Similarly he said the country didn’t have the kinda bike that he’d imagined and so they decided to make their own one by coming up with the Pulsar. He thwen added, “We’re more excited to see the bike and in fact you all would have only half the excitement as us.”
Then started the interesting part of his speech. He referred Pulsar as ‘A Three Layered Animal’. The following are the 3 layers mentioned by him.
- Pulsar As A Product – He referred to the best in class functionalities that Pulsar boasts of when one talk about Pulsar as a product from the stable of Bajaj.
- Pulsar As A Brand – He claimed that Pulsar is nothing less than the most profitable bike on Planet Earth. Bajaj currently works on an operating profit margin of 20 per cent for Pulsars and them he generalized it for all the Bajaj products. He said, “If a Brand is not profitable and cannot produce better business results and lacks pricing power, then it cannot be claimed as a Brand at all.”
- Pulsar As A Strategy – 40 years before the launch of Pulsar, the entire strategy of Bajaj goes in one word – Chetak. People visualized Chetak as a value for money, family vehicle, low cost, durable and a reliable product. He was indeed right. India cannot forget Chetak so easily.
He said the company’s ascent is to make a better and better Pulsar every passing day. He added, “Earlier, Chetak was Bajaj’s centre of gravity and now Pulsar is Bajaj’s centre of gravity. “
He had some interesting points about the Discover brand too. He claims, “Discover is nothing but the commuterized version of Pulsar.” “Even KTM comes from the learnings of Pulsar though both are entirely different products.” Here is the statement which will make every PulsarManiac roam around with his collars up atleast for the next couple of days. He said, “If Pulsar goes wrong, the entire strategy of Bajaj goes wrong. If Pulsar gets it right, so does Bajaj.”
Though the first Pulsar was launched only in the year 2001, the background work for it begun as early as 1998.
Then the dais was taken over by Mr. Abraham Joseph, Chief Technology Officer, Bajaj Auto. He handles brilliantly the features and the engineering aspects f the Pulsar 200 NS. He compared all the aspects with the P220 so as to get a better clarity. He said, P220 is the benchmark for performance bikes till now.
The moment finally came when a guy in racing attire brought the Pulsar 200 NS to the stage from backdrop. That’s when we really gotta take a first glimpse of the 2012 Pulsar 200NS. The first look was just great and was more stunning to know that this time it was a naked bike. I’ve posted all the details of this bike in a separate post titled ‘Insights of Pulsar 200NS’.
So, this is what exactly happened in the venue of the bike’s launch which was indeed much awaited. The bike will most probably be hitting the showrooms in the month of April. The price as I’d mentioned in other posts is less than a lakh and we don’t know the exact price till now. We’ll update it soon in the blog as soon as we get to know about it.