Friday, May 4, 2012

Bajaj Pulsar 220F Review by Abhishek


Hello everyone, this is Abhishek from Pune and today I am writing a ownership review of my Pulsar 220F. Sorry for coming directly to the point. The reason is its the last date of the submission of review and so I need to be quick.
I will part the review in a few basic Sections which will make it easy for me write down my experience. For my friends who directly want to the technical aspects, please go the third section directly as the first two sections are the struggle at home and the sheer excitement on the delivery day.

Before Purchase

My parents were always against the thought of me having a bike as they knew about my craving for power and speed. the reason behind this was the accidents I had on my friends bike in the city premised itself. I was a kid then, going to junior college and speed was everything I knew. I got my bones fractured and it added to the weight of their opposition.
After entering into engineering, I really wanted a bike but asking for it was a taboo. So I promised my parents that I would take ultimate care while riding the bike and I would give them no reason to worry. So finally in August 2010 they agreed on the thought of it. Their initial condition was a bike with moderate power levels and top end.
But I really wanted a one time bike. I was always crazy for Hero Karizma since its the initial launch. So without letting them know I went to get the quotation of the bike. But what shocked me was the bike delivery would take at least 6 months. I was very depressed and tensed as I dint want to miss this opportunity of having a bike before my dad’s mind changed.
Visited almost 8 showrooms in Pune but to no vail. Finally decided to move on to some other bike and P220F and R15 were the only options left. Budget not being the problem, I decided to go for R15 but it seemed too short for the guy of my height. Plus found it too wide, compared to my Activa, in the same week I went for the test ride of the P220F and somehow it seemed to the right choice among all bikes.

Why so was because

The guy promised me the delivery of bike in 4 working days (that was the most important thing for me). The price rage was moderate, plus the name Pulsar was very common, so for my dad, me having a Pulsar was not a very big deal. The power and torque distribution was better than the bikes I test rode (less gear shifts)
Finally told my dad about the idea of having a one time bike. He went through the specs and was flattered. Asking me no more questions, for a few more days he started showing me cut-outs from the news papers of the news about the two wheeler accidents. Tried his best to convince me why a 150cc was the most ideal bike for me as it dint have too much power but I was stuck to the thought of having the beast now.
So there was this cold war between him and me about the bike. Daily he used to show me some news of bike accidents and I used to try convince him. My mom always used to suffer in between and after getting fed up of trying to make both ends meet, she moved back. But then finally on 5th September he agreed to buy me the beast.
I couldnt sleep for the whole night and I was so excited about having that cheque in my hand which would end up with the beast next to me. ‘Got the cheque on 6th and booked it on the same day, the next 4 days were the most longest days for me. I did almost everything my mom and dad wanted me to for those 4 days.

The Day

Woke up at 6, full ready. Left the house at 830 telling my mom I am going to the college and then in the evening to the showroom but I know you guys can guess what it did. Went straight way to the showroom and got the delivery after waiting for almost 2 hours. But those two hours were so much filled with fun and excitement. I was almost day dreaming about every possible thing I could.
Took the bike and went to the college. A new bike in the college, that too mine. My goodness. Sends shocks though my spine even today, that was the best feeling till date. I was talking to myself and couldnt control my smile. That level of happiness was like stalled for almost 6 hours when my dad called me and said he is coming with me to get the delivery.
I dint know what to do. On the single day before even letting my parents know my bike had done 76kms and it showed on the board. Mud everywhere as it rained that day. I called my friends told them the thing and we, team of 7 started cleaning the bike with out hankies and water bottles.
I called my dad and told him I would get the delivery tomorrow, mean while, one of my friend was turning the front wheel anti-clockwise to turn that 76 into 0 but that never happened. I dint know what to tell my dad. So called him at 6PM and told him I got a call from the showroom and they told me I should collect the bike in 15 mins. Thankfully, he asked me to go alone and fetch the bike and come home.
I was again the most happiest. I reached home at around 7PM and my mom was waiting with the pooja thali. I did the pooja and begged my bike forgiveness for riding it that much without the pooja.

After delivery

My first problem

From the next day I started taking the bike to college. Along with me being happy, everyone else was happy as if its them who got a new bike. Everyone wanted a test ride and that was the most difficult phase for me. Not letting friends to test ride it. So to not to do for too many days, I unked the college for 2 days and finished the initial running in period upto the first service and got it serviced in the first week itself.

My dad saw the reading and was really pissed off but he dint want to spoil my happiness so said nothing. The days started passing by and the bike getting old. And one thing that started to bother me was that the bike wont start sometimes. I mean even after you thumbed the starter, nothing happened. This happened for 1 of 5 initially but in some more time, it started to happen for 5 of 5 times.
I had to dhakka start my bike almost everytime for 2 days when I took my brand new bike to the service station. They helped me out with some wiring stuff and it worked, but for only 3 days. again the same thing. Now I really asked myself if I dint give it enough thought. I was actually against having a P220 when there was no thought of having any bike but when the thought of having a one time bike came, I went for a P220.
I wondered why and how this happened. I was real frustrated with the Bajaj people for they never really helped me for next 2 weeks when I directly shoot a phone call to the Bajaj After Sales manager for Pune region. He seemed helpful and fixed a meeting at Bal Gandharva on some saturday. On that day too dhakka started the bike and reached the guy.
Checked something and the guy immediately called the person whom I had contacted before. Some baffle and he came with with a thought of leaving the bike for 1 hour there. I went to him after 1 hour and yes, he had fixed it. he said there was some minor error in the relay but still he changed it. And then the bike was back to normal.
I was again happy. After losing all the faith and trust, the bike helped me regain it and then after it never really embarrassed me. started with a single thumb always.

General Exploration

The bike was all good again and that was when I started to explore it. I had never handled this much power before so it was quite a new feel for me. The bike was very heavy than activa and so steering in the city was actually a task for initial some days. Plus the tank caused pains in my thighs as Activa did not have any tank in between my legs.
But this bike gave me a real superior feeling. The road was same for both activa and my newbie. But the feel was all new. All the pits and breakers that required me to slow down my Activa to 30kmph were taken by the bike very easily. The next thing was the sound of the bike. I liked it a lot and it was music to my ears since then. I used to be more focused on the tone of the bike at different driving conditions, say the engine speed, the gear, the road and say my mood.
Life was all brand new. I could go anywhere with confidence. Plus the bike helped me know myself more. Before the purchase I was just okay with the design of the bike in first few days, I had actually started liking it. And then I started loving it. I felt like I was newly married and I took utmost care of the bike, during the day and during the night too. Like I need the blanket, I gave my bike its own bike cover. Kept it more safe by roping a chain in between the bike and my house.

Technical Experience

Lets gets technical now, instead of quoting the figures and numbers related to the bike, what I will do is let you guys know how it affected my day to day riding experience and hence my life, as for the bikers, ” riding bhala to sabh bhala”
  • As we all know the bike has 21PS power and 19Nm torque which is more than enough a normal person would need during his on/off-road sessions. You dont anything more than this until you get your thoughts grey with the bike. Me being new to this, I am very much satisfied with this. I have gone to Lavasa n number of times and the bike never let me lose that surge of adrenaline. It will keep you happy, where ever you take it. Took it on the barren land and on the barren mountain once. Yes it does feel heavy then but still then it could do very well over too.
  • Secondly the bike has awesome headlights. You would scare the ghosts off when you take it onto the darkest dark roads. the range of view is far far better than any other bike. So its like driving in the day even when you its 2AM on the no moon night.
  • Thirdly, the bike has got very good brakes. All you need to know is how to use them and the bike will stop under any circumstances. It took me 10,000 kms to actually learn to use them and now I am confident enough to stop anywhere at any point of time.
  • Some people find this bike heavy but what I think is the weight adds to the stability factor of the bike. Take it on rough roads and still being above 80kmph, you would be stable. That adds to the confidence and in the end, you can shell out more fun and thrill and the adventure feeling.
  • I know the bike has got OIL cooling which is way no better than Liquid cooling, but in my journey on 22,000 kms not even once have I felt that I am over heating the engine. I have ridden it for 270 kms in one go at above 90kmph on average and almost 400kms on a single day with only 3 breaks of 10-15 mins in between. So now you get an idea of my riding pattern and still then the bike was always ready for more.
  • The shock absorbers really do what they day. Though the rear once crib sometimes, they give you a thud feeling when you hit a pot hole unknowingly, but that has to be accepted considering the positive points. The front ones do their work very well and the rear brothers still need to grow up.
  • The top end my bike gave me is 152kmph at 5 early morning from Nigadi to Nashik Phata and I guess thats more than enough what we guys need. The average speed allowance in the city traffic is 60 but if you know how to really zoom it, you can take it to 80 even in the city.
  • Talking about the mileage, my bike gave me the top figure of 54kmpl under little lean tuning on strict riding conditions which were No Brakes at all, Speed always in between 55-64kmph, Plain road and less traffic. So if this is what your city gives you, you can satisfy not only the need for speed but also the mileage.
  • The bike can easily carry a 50kg luggage tied on the pillion seat and take you where ever you want to go. I have done a 350km ride with my friend with one back pack each and it made no difference in the performance.
  • From what I have observed, my bike gives me a very silent note when I am in the range of 60′s so when you are on long rides, the bikes sound wont tire you.
  • Maneuvering the bike in the city is easy once you are done with the size and weight issues and it really gives you a sporty and racing feel once you learn that.
So in all, my bike now is a perfect package of power, speed, sound and capacity. Everything it gives me back is more than my daily needs. Say the power, I definitely dont need 21ps power to commute into the city nor such a high torque. The speed it can give me is in multiples on what I need in the city. All in all, a perfect city cum highway machine.

Maintenance of the bike

Bajaj bikes are known for their need of heavy maintenance and thats the black spot on the white moon, following is my experience about my bike,
  • As far as my bike is concerned, my bike gave me the maintenance issues only during its first month when I had to replace the relay finally. But that was done under the term of warranty so I dint have to shell anything out.
  • I had to replace the cone set on the bike twice in last 22000 kms and rest of the things were okay.
  • Had a nasty fall from 110kmph when a truck changed its lane in a fraction of second and I crashed into that truck from behind. I was wearing two thick jackets one on other as it was winter season so escaped with some dirty deep cuts. My helmet saved me. But the only thing that broke was the right hand side indicator and the right hand side engine guard got bent. So I dont really have any reason to complain about the bikes build quality. The fairing got a crack sideways but that cannot be noticed.
  • Oil leakge from the engine seal, but I got it repaired from Bajaj so thats no more a issue.
Thats all I have done till date. Moral of the story, the bike has always been good to me and there for me whenever I have needed it. But thats all cuz of the prime care I take of my bike.
Following is what I have done to keep my bike in good condition,
  • I have developed a good rapo with the people working into the Bajaj service station, I know their names and they know my name. So they dont look at me only as a customer. I let them know how much I love my bike and I let them know how much important they are to my bike.
  • I list down my queries and go to them only when they are free with prior communication. This helps me in lot many ways, it gives my bike more time per query. I give my bike to the same guy in the service station whenever I go there as he knows everything about the bike and hence takes proper care. As we say one handed bike lives long, one handed serviced bike stays healthy.
  • I ask them question about other bikes they have repaired so it gives me an idea of the probable reasons and causes of the problems even before they occur. And most importantly, I Respect Them For They Are My Bike’s Doctors.
  • I keep it clean as far as I can. Plus I keep the chain clean and hence avoid any dust on it. For that I use Motul or SAE90 oil.
  • I keep the air filter of the bike clean so as to help the bikes heart be clean always.
  • I refuel the bike only at selected fuel stations. Constant variations in the fuel quality might effect into the performance of the bike.

In Short

By bike is a priceless gift given to me by my parents. no other super bike can take its position and hence its my responsibility to take proper care of it for it to live more and stay healthy. Its not just a bike but a precious friend for me, imagine your life without your bike.
My bike give me an optimum figure of 42kmpl under normal driving. I dont always speed up for the 150kmph tag line but my more normal speeds are in between 80-100kmph. I also take my bikes feed back into consideration when I want to speed up as you all know, Pulsars are very intuitive. So bike bikes tells me about an accident almost 80% prior to it and after failing to take it for 2 times, I know it really does it.
My bikes helps me stay in competition with all those bikers around me and it makes me proud when it does what I say. I thank my parents for getting me this friend and I thank those 7 friends of mine who helped me clean it that day with their hankies and water bottles. God’s grace, they dint ask me for the replacement of their hankies.!
Thats all I had to say about my bike my friends. I thank my biker friends who finished it from start to end.

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