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Old 15th September 2011, 21:23   #1
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Default Motormania’s Pulsar 220 DTS-i – Initial impressions and long term ownership review

Hello all,

I am starting this thread to share my experience and initial impressions of a Bajaj Pulsar 220 DTS-i which I have had for more than a year now.

After having sold off my previous bike, a Bajaj Pulsar 200, I was again in the market in search of my next bike. There was a wide array of options in different segments starting from 100cc to 250cc motorcycles.

Requirements :-

1) Good low and mid range torque. I am not interested with the top speed of any bike that I get for myself.
2) Decent FE and competitively priced spare parts and easy availability of the same.
3) Wasn’t really bothered much with the after sales service as I happen to know a couple of good mechanics who will solve the purpose.
4) Easy to service and DIY stuff.

Options :-

Having owned a P200 before the options now in front of me were :-

1) Hero Honda Karizma R
2) Bajaj Pulsar 220 DTS-i
3) Yamaha FZ 16
4) Royal Enfield Thunderbird TS

Final Selection :-

After having extensively ridden the above bikes, it finally came down to just 2 bikes – HH Karizma and the Pulsar 220. The Karizma was as usual a proven bike and was a strong contender till the last moment. But eventually I settled down with the newly launched Bajaj Pulsar 220 DTS-i. The Karizma is no doubt a very impressive motorcycle and I absolutely love that bike but then HH have failed to update the bike and give it few more features. The main reasons for going in for the P220 were the standard features on offer viz., tubeless tyres, projector 55W headlamps, cheaper spares and few important warning indicators like air filter choked sign, high engine temp, high oil temp, battery warning indicator. These small features add up to the whole experience and makes life easier.

Buying experience :-

I had bought my last bike P200 from the same Bajaj Probiking showroom in Park Street and had gone there on several other occasions with my friends for their new bikes too. The whole buying process was smooth and hassle-free. Deposited all the required papers and the cheque on 5th March, 2010 and got the delivery on 9th March, Tuesday. Went along with a couple of friends to do the PDI and select my bike from a choice of 3 similar bikes in stock. PDI over in an hour, final selection made, got the free petrol, the delivery chalan and we were off with the bike for the customary puja.

On-road price, Kolkata—Rs 82,990/-

Ownership Experience & Impressions

The P200 and P220(carb) are quite similar in terms of maintenance, riding feel and overall ownership experience. In this report I will invariably be comparing the P220 with my previous bike,P200. The new P220 DTS-i does feel quite different from its FI version and to me it personally feels like a grown up P200. Once astride the saddle, the rider is welcomed by the similar digital speedo console along with an analogue tachometer. The speedo though quite boring is actually quite functional with the host of essential warning signs like an air filter choked indicator, low battery charge signal etc. This new crop of P220 shuns the fuel injection and goes back to the good ol’ carburetor for doing the fuelling duties. It comes with a bigger 32mm venturi carb and helps in giving that additional punch. Bajaj has made few small changes to the older version like the use of molycoat piston, new tacho background, use of bigger catalytic convertor, slightly stiffer suspension setup, taller gearing ratios, bigger internal dia front forks, softer compound tyres, reduced fairing vibrations( though only relatively) etc. The resultant bike now makes an extra PS of power. The bike has become slightly more rev-happier and sounds louder at higher rpms but has lost that crispness and smoothness of the FI version. The engine now redlines at 10,000rpm and is an absolute joy to rev the nuts off the bike and hear the engine scream all the way. The bike comes with a 260mm front disc brake and 230mm rear disk brake setup coupled with steel braided brake lines up front. The rear disk brake tends to pick up dirt easily and is prone to squeals. The only solution is the use of good brake cleaners. The 55W projector headlamps along with ellipsoidal high beam has been carried forward in the same half fairing of the previous version and has a slight bluish tint to it. The bike now sports an all-black theme with the engine, swingarm, forks and wheels all blacked out. Visually it’s a love-it or hate-it kinda design and depends on person to person.

It has now been 1 year 6 months since I got the bike and have ridden more than 15000kms till now. The bike has been performing just as I wanted it to. The regular servicing was done at the authorized Probiking service centre in due time. Apart from the regular servicing, the bike does need additional care to run in top condition. I make it a point to clean the air filter, clean and lubricate the o-ring chain twice a month along with the necessary oil changes as and when required. The suspension definitely feels harder than that of my previous bike and the rider will get thrown around on bumpers and on broken roads but the positive side to this is that the handling has marginally improved and the bike holds on to its line much better in a corner and feels planted on high speed highway runs. The stock headlamps are the best in the business and takes care of highway as well as city riding comfortably with enough illumination. The fairing as of now hasn’t started vibrating like most other Pulsars but owners will have to keep a tab on this issue and they may have to use double-sided tapes to reduce the same.. The design of the RVMs was disliked by all and Bajaj has done nothing to rectify the design flaw. It still is good for nothing except may be take a look at the rider’s elbows. Repeated folding and adjusting of the mirrors will result in inducing fairing vibrations pretty soon. The gear shifts have improved over the previous version and they slot in much better. All in all, it has been a satisfying experience owning this bike as of now and I hope that it remains so for many more miles to come.

Engine oil changes @ 200kms, 600kms, 1200kms, 1900kms, 3300kms

Engine oil used—Motul 30004T 15W50 mineral oil @ Rs 230/ltr and Motul 5100 15W50 @ Rs. 450/ltr (post running-in)

Running-in of the new motorcycle:-

A lot has been said and discussed about various methods of doing the running-in of a brand new motorcycle. Some like to take manufacturer’s advice and stick to 40-50 kmph limit while some others follow the Motoman’s guide to break-in. I usually prefer following the Motoman’s way coupled with timely oil changes. The P220 was also subjected to the Motoman running-in with oil changes at regular and correct intervals. New engines invariably heat up a lot and its important to keep a tab on the engine oil, change it more often and give the engine enough time to cool down after every 30 minutes or so of riding. I followed the same and the bike is running like a dream with a perfect combination of good performance and decent fuel efficiency figures.

PS:- I will update the thread after a few days with a detailed service history, after sales experience, issues faced, upgrades, tips etc within a few days.

PPS:- I have hardly clicked any pictures yet. Will have to resize and upload, which i will do over the weekend.

Regards,
Anurag
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Old 15th September 2011, 22:42   #2
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Default Re: Motormania’s Pulsar 220 DTS-i – Initial impressions and long term ownership revie

Very well written review. If it does not derail the thread can you please give a short note on the break-in procedure(s). I read a wiki article on it and am confused whether to follow light load way or heavy load way or even not bother about breaking-inthe engine since the article mentions that modern engines are pre-run-in.
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Old 15th September 2011, 23:07   #3
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Default Re: Motormania’s Pulsar 220 DTS-i – Initial impressions and long term ownership revie

Quote:
Originally Posted by shubhamAT View Post
Very well written review. If it does not derail the thread can you please give a short note on the break-in procedure(s). I read a wiki article on it and am confused whether to follow light load way or heavy load way or even not bother about breaking-inthe engine since the article mentions that modern engines are pre-run-in.
Hi Shubham,

As you know break-in is a highly controversial topic and this debate will never end. I did follow Motoman's method but with a little "twist" of my own thrown into the mix . I avoided hard acceleration at all cost. Rode normally as the traffic demanded in the city and followed the remaining guidelines on the highway. I just made sure i did the following religiously :-

1) Avoid hard acceleration
2) Go easy on the brakes and judiciously use engine braking. In fact i started downshifting gears to get more engine braking during the running-in itself.
3) Let the bike cool down after every 20-30 mins of continuos riding.
4) Warm up the engine for around 5 mins everytime i switched it on.
5) Change engine oil more frequently.
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Old 16th September 2011, 08:32   #4
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Default Re: Motormania’s Pulsar 220 DTS-i – Initial impressions and long term ownership revie

Thanks for putting it up. I guess the safest way to break-in then is to ride it normally without putting stress on any component be it engines or brakes.

As for
Quote:
Change engine oil more frequently.
I cannot agree more. This will be my practice even when the bike is older since i had a near death experience due to engine seizure of the Blaze i used to own.
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Old 16th September 2011, 09:51   #5
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Default Re: Motormania’s Pulsar 220 DTS-i – Initial impressions and long term ownership revie

Welcome to Tbhp

Quote:
Originally Posted by Motormania View Post
Bajaj has made few small changes to the older version like the use of molycoat piston, new tacho background, use of bigger catalytic convertor, slightly stiffer suspension setup, taller gearing ratios, bigger internal dia front forks, softer compound tyres, reduced fairing vibrations( though only relatively) etc.
Just a small correction here, the older 220 Fi did not come with a catalytic convertor.

And, I personally don't think the tyres are any softer than the previous version. Since I don't have any quantified data for this, I've mentioned that its a personal opinion! But on an average the tyres about the same on the Dts-i as much as it lasted on the Fi.

Last edited by praful : 16th September 2011 at 09:52.
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Old 16th September 2011, 11:59   #6
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Default Re: Motormania’s Pulsar 220 DTS-i – Initial impressions and long term ownership revie

Thanks for the report! How long did you hold on to the P200, and why did u sell it off? I had read it was one of the nicer of the Pulsars made by Bajaj, with a very stable suspension..

Also, any vibes in the bike?
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Old 16th September 2011, 12:34   #7
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Default Re: Motormania’s Pulsar 220 DTS-i – Initial impressions and long term ownership revie

Nice unbiased report and agree with most of the things you have said. Now waiting for the pics.

Was your headlight beam adjusted correctly during delivery? When i owned it in 2009, the low beam was pointing at the trees and high beam was searching for the moon!!

Since you have good mechs to take care of the bike, its good. Probiking service in Khivraj was pathetic. I have said this time and again. Bajaj makes good bikes at the factory. Its the service technicians who screw up a perfectly good bike.
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Old 16th September 2011, 21:36   #8
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Default Re: Motormania’s Pulsar 220 DTS-i – Initial impressions and long term ownership revie

Quote:
Originally Posted by praful View Post

Just a small correction here, the older 220 Fi did not come with a catalytic convertor.

And, I personally don't think the tyres are any softer than the previous version. Since I don't have any quantified data for this, I've mentioned that its a personal opinion! But on an average the tyres about the same on the Dts-i as much as it lasted on the Fi.
Are you sure about it, dint know about that. Comes as a surprise to me. Thanks for pointing that out.
Regarding the tyres, I actually did find a difference between the current ones and the ones on the P200 and my brother's 220Fi. Dry grip seems to be better and my current set of tyres are due for a replacement now at 15000kms . In exactly similar riding conditions/habits, the P200 & 220 Fi tyres lasted longer for us. I may be wrong but this is what i noted.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cayman360 View Post
Thanks for the report! How long did you hold on to the P200, and why did u sell it off? I had read it was one of the nicer of the Pulsars made by Bajaj, with a very stable suspension..

Also, any vibes in the bike?
Thanks for appreciating. I had the P200 for about a year and clocked approximately 25,000 kms. I had to shift base and hence sold it off in a hurry without thinking too much. Still regret that decision though
It indeed was a nice bike and was perfect for the cities for me.

Quote:
Originally Posted by abhinav.s View Post
Nice unbiased report and agree with most of the things you have said. Now waiting for the pics.

Was your headlight beam adjusted correctly during delivery? When i owned it in 2009, the low beam was pointing at the trees and high beam was searching for the moon!!

Since you have good mechs to take care of the bike, its good. Probiking service in Khivraj was pathetic. I have said this time and again. Bajaj makes good bikes at the factory. Its the service technicians who screw up a perfectly good bike.
Thanks mate. Less said about the headlamp setting, the better. Highbeam was more of "sky"beam, pointing exactly at the first floor of buildings.

Kolkata Probiking has a couple of good mechanics but the centre is way too crowded. Being the only probiking outlet, they have a lot of work pressure. However, there is one particular mechanic there who has been working on my bike and i am satisfied with his work.

I will update the thread with few more details and the issues faced over the weekend.
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Old 16th September 2011, 23:52   #9
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Default Re: Motormania’s Pulsar 220 DTS-i – Initial impressions and long term ownership revie

Quote:
Originally Posted by praful View Post

Just a small correction here, the older 220 Fi did not come with a catalytic convertor.

And, I personally don't think the tyres are any softer than the previous version. Since I don't have any quantified data for this, I've mentioned that its a personal opinion! But on an average the tyres about the same on the Dts-i as much as it lasted on the Fi.
Are you sure about it, dint know about that. Comes as a surprise to me. Thanks for pointing that out.
Regarding the tyres, I actually did find a difference between the current ones and the ones on the P200 and my brother's 220Fi. Dry grip seems to be better and my current set of tyres are due for a replacement now at 15000kms. In exactly similar riding conditions/habits, the P200 & 220 Fi tyres lasted longer for us. I may be wrong but this is what i noted.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cayman360 View Post
Thanks for the report! How long did you hold on to the P200, and why did u sell it off? I had read it was one of the nicer of the Pulsars made by Bajaj, with a very stable suspension..

Also, any vibes in the bike?
Thanks for appreciating. I had the P200 for about a year and clocked approximately 25,000 kms. I had to shift base and hence sold it off in a hurry without thinking too much. Still regret that decision though
It indeed was a nice bike and was perfect for the cities for me.
Surprisingly I havent had any real problems with vibes. Once my RVM had come loose and had started dancing around. The number plate holder had started rattling a little after a horrific spell of riding over lunar surface. Both were fixed in a jiffy.

Quote:
Originally Posted by abhinav.s View Post
Nice unbiased report and agree with most of the things you have said. Now waiting for the pics.

Was your headlight beam adjusted correctly during delivery? When i owned it in 2009, the low beam was pointing at the trees and high beam was searching for the moon!!

Since you have good mechs to take care of the bike, its good. Probiking service in Khivraj was pathetic. I have said this time and again. Bajaj makes good bikes at the factory. Its the service technicians who screw up a perfectly good bike.
Thanks mate. Less said about the headlamp setting, the better. Highbeam was more of "sky"beam, pointing exactly at the first floor of buildings.

Kolkata Probiking has a couple of good mechanics but the centre is way too crowded. Being the only probiking outlet, they have a lot of work pressure. However, there is one particular mechanic there who has been working on my bike and i am satisfied with his work.

I will update the thread with few more details and the issues faced over the weekend.
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Old 27th October 2011, 22:33   #10
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Default Re: Motormania’s Pulsar 220 DTS-i – Initial impressions and long term ownership revie

Brilliant Thread Anurag.
How Amazing Sounding your FFE is only I know!:P
Please post some pictures of your Bike.
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Old 11th May 2016, 17:13   #11
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Default Re: Motormania’s Pulsar 220 DTS-i – Initial impressions and long term ownership review

I own a pulsar220f and have been using it from the past 4 and half years. I followed proper maintenance schedules, time to time engine oil change, air filter cleaning and change, oil filter change, tyres, chain lubrication.

Issues that I have observed till date
1. Chain sprocket - have to change it very often.
2. Fairing vibrations - Have tried sealing the fairing with double tape yet I
feel a lot of vibrations especially post 3000 rpm and majorly near the
foot pegs and fairing.
3. Brakes - brakes pads are worn out. I use my bikes brakes a lot. I feel
now they are not that reliable so I rely on engine braking and controlled
acceleration
4. Suspension - I travel on rough roads a lot, even after very controlled
riding my bike's suspension oil seal especially of the front end brake.
5. Foot pegs. Rubber portion of the rear foot pegs tend to wear off very
often (several reasons)
I can ignore all but the breaks bug me a lot. But I got used to them now.
The brakes worked good for about an year or so but later the condition deteriorated

Coming onto the plus points
1. Rev friendly engine even after 70000 kms
2. Satisfactory fuel economy - around 34-35 kmpl
3. Clutch - Very reliable and long lasting
4. Head lamps - The low beam is magnificent, High beam tends to hit above
the road but after a few settings done to it by my mechanic it now hits on
the road.
5. Acceleration - accelerates very quickly and high torque post 3000
rpm
Future plans:
1. Change of brake callipers (Do not feel reliable)
2. Chain sprocket- Looking to find a suitable, more reliable chain
sprocket and chain kit other than the OEM manufactured one.
3. Clutch replacement- clutch kit and cable

Present Equipment :
1. Tyres - front- MRF Zapper tubeless
rear- Michelin Pilot Sport
2. HID Lighting Kit - High beam only
3. Led - Parking lamps
4. Engine Oil - Motul 300v , synthetic
The bike performs great even now after several years of use. Good care and Safe riding have to ensured for longer life of bike.

Ride safe. Do not forget your riding gear.
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