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Old 25th July 2012, 16:13   #1
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Post Long term ownership report - Pulsar 220 DTSi

I have been meaning to do this for a long long time. It started with wanting to share a post when I got the Pulsar 220 DTSi and then one after owning it for a year; have not been able to either of them because of sheer laziness . It’s a relatively light day in office so I thought I will pen down my experience with my bike over the last two and a half years.

To start with, it’s a blue December 2009 Pulsar 220 DTSi which I bought after selling my trusty 2000 Suzuki Fireo. I had the Fiero for nine years and realised that it was time to change my ride as I wanted something a little more powerful. I also considered the TVS Apache 180 before buying the Pulsar. A couple of things that went in the Pulsar’s favour were 1) marginally more expensive compared to the Apache but with a bucket load of power and 2) a shorter waiting period because I was getting the 2009 model. I was in one of those mind frames where I had to have to bike as of yesterday.

Over the last two and a half years I have used to bike solely to commute to work. There have been many long trips planned but they have always fallen by the wayside. The result has been that Odo has only 9,912 kms on it (I even had time to go to the basement and check this ). I also get an average of 35 kmpl.

I picked up the bike in early January 2010 and the first reaction was how then hell will I get used to the gears and the second thought was that hope the disc brakes don’t hurt me much . Mind you, I had never ridden a bike with disc brakes before and had heard several unpleasant stories about the effects of sudden braking.

Having ridden the bike almost every day for the last thirty months I have to say that it has been a rather pleasant experience. It’s a good bike, though not a great one. I never went “Whoa!!!” when I first rode it nor did the experience of owning something with over 20 bhp make me smile like a three year old opening a birthday present. The one reason I attribute to this feeling is that I have never ridden the bike more than 30 kms and always at speeds ranging from 20-60 kmph. The odd 90 kmph runs never lasted more than 30 seconds.

So obviously I will not talk about the sheer pleasure of riding a 220 cc machine on the highway and milking use all the power that it offers, but what I will share are some of the facets of the bike which I experience on a daily basis.

What I definitely like about the bike is the seating position; it can get a little uncomfortable in stop and go traffic but on the whole I feel secure while riding it. The front brakes and the headlights are definitely two other things that have me rooting for the bike. I had initially thought that there would be issues with turning in the night with the light following me when I made sharp turns, but the spread of the beam practically illuminates everything on the road. I have only recently started feeling that the beam is a little high but it does not affect me as much and correcting it is a matter of a few minutes.

The engine while not very refined is definitely powerful enough to ensure that I quickly move when the light goes green or when I want to overtake the huge buses on Bangalore’s narrow roads. The tyres have sufficient grip and the bike does feel light enough to squeeze your way through traffic.
When there are positives there have to be a few things the set the balance right. So here goes... I truly hate the auto indicator, the damn thing switches off even before I have started to turn. A small adjustment of the handle makes the bike think that I have completed the turn. I often find myself switching the indicator on while I am turning just to ensure that I am not hit from behind. Talking of behind, I can’t see it! The rear view mirrors are absolutely useless, I can barely see anything. If I am wearing a jacket then all I can see are my arms. Another pain point with the bike is that the engine switches off often making the starter button an absolute boon. Most mornings I need to start the bike at least 3 times before it idles properly.

The bike has been regularly serviced and always comes back feeling like new but before each service I have the same complaint – shifting up from first to second is always problematic and there is some problem with the display. Overtime the chain slackens and makes shifting a problem and similarly you need to jiggle the key around a bit before the display shows correctly.

On the whole the riding experience so far has been consistent and while I am not blown away by the bike, I am content. I have never had any major mechanical or electrical issues; in fact the tool kit is still sealed in the plastic cover it came in.

What is definitely on the cards is a longish trip for me to truly enjoy the bike. Might just go down to Mysore considering it is not so far away and I know the road pretty well.

Will post a few pictures once I get home.

Parik
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Old 25th July 2012, 16:20   #2
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Default Re: Long term ownership report - Pulsar 220 DTSi

Please add a few pictures of your machine soon.
P220 is a good ride, amongst the fastest bike you can get for under one lakh. I have an avenger which shares the engine with the P. Yes it is a little rough but of late I have started to enjoy the slightly gruff engine note. Not to mention the power on tap.

I thought bajaj had come a long way with the P220 and now its gone further with the 200 NS.
Enjoy your ride and wishing you many more happy miles on it.

Cheers

Ride safe
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Old 25th July 2012, 19:56   #3
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Default Re: Long term ownership report - Pulsar 220 DTSi

Congratulations for your ride.
Your one is Fi or carburetor one? Really 9912 Kms is not good enough for a long term review. Your continuous up dates of thread will be helpful for other owners.

Last edited by (Alok) : 25th July 2012 at 19:58. Reason: Sentence completion
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Old 25th July 2012, 21:59   #4
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Hey Alok, my bike is the carb version. I do agree that 9000 odd km is not enough but thats how much I have been able to do considering I use it only to get to work and back. For everything else I use my car.

The idea is to regularly update this thread for sure. Other 220 owners can definitely pitch in as I really dont see myself racking up the miles anytime in the near future .

Parik
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Old 25th July 2012, 22:41   #5
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Default Re: Long term ownership report - Pulsar 220 DTSi

Congrats on your purchase and a good and honest review from a commuter's point of view. The p220 is a really great bike and no wonder that its the highest selling bike in its price/power range

Quote:
Originally Posted by parik_ind View Post
Having ridden the bike almost every day for the last thirty months I have to say that it has been a rather pleasant experience. It’s a good bike, though not a great one. I never went “Whoa!!!” when I first rode it nor did the experience of owning something with over 20 bhp make me smile like a three year old opening a birthday present. The one reason I attribute to this feeling is that I have never ridden the bike more than 30 kms and always at speeds ranging from 20-60 kmph. The odd 90 kmph runs never lasted more than 30 seconds.

The reason which you think that doesn't make you smile is absolutely correct. The p220 is not a bike that one should buy for only commuting, it offers a lot more than that. Its a wild beast that begs the owner to utilize its raw power, and when its in its powerband then it sure does bring a smile. Take the beast to the highway and you would be amazed by what it can do. Straight line stability is excellent and it can overtake any competition in its class with ease. Also its an excellent tourer with good seating position and it can eat up miles without giving you any back ache. So hit the highway sometime soon.



Quote:
Originally Posted by parik_ind View Post
I truly hate the auto indicator, the damn thing switches off even before I have started to turn. A small adjustment of the handle makes the bike think that I have completed the turn. I often find myself switching the indicator on while I am turning just to ensure that I am not hit from behind.
The turn indicator has nothing to do with the handle, once activated it goes off automatically after 30 secs. I find it quite useful. Only issue is, after activating it if you get stuck in a jam then you have to turn it on again. Mostly all turns are completed within 30 secs, so


Quote:
Originally Posted by parik_ind View Post
Talking of behind, I can’t see it! The rear view mirrors are absolutely useless, I can barely see anything. If I am wearing a jacket then all I can see are my arms.
True, RVMs are not that useful, they are more of a cosmetic thing. Still try to adjust them as per your body.


Quote:
Originally Posted by parik_ind View Post
Another pain point with the bike is that the engine switches off often making the starter button an absolute boon. Most mornings I need to start the bike at least 3 times before it idles properly.
Yours is the carb version, I suppose. When starting for the first time in morning, after the auto choke does its duty let the bike idle for some time. The p220's engine needs a certain temp to run smoothly. That should work for you, else you can slightly increase the idling.

Quote:
Originally Posted by parik_ind View Post
The bike has been regularly serviced and always comes back feeling like new but before each service I have the same complaint – shifting up from first to second is always problematic
2 and half years and only 9k kms is very less, I believe the bike's run in period didn't go well. Regarding smoothness here is what you can do.

1) Change the engine oil to motul full synthetic oil
2) You can change the air filter and install the K&N filter that comes specifically for bajaj
3) Always fill premium petrol

I have changed the first 2 things in my p220 and always follow the third. The engine is as smooth as butter and has become very free revving.
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Old 26th July 2012, 00:15   #6
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Default Re: Long term ownership report - Pulsar 220 DTSi

Congratulations on your purchase. The pulsar 220 is one of my favorites in the Indian two-wheeler market. The power delivery of the engine all along the rpm range is the best in class IMO and its ability to cruise at high speeds for long hours without any stress is simply superb.

This thread surely needs some great pics of the beast. Congratulations once again.

Take care and Drive Safe!

Last edited by dZired : 26th July 2012 at 00:16.
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Old 26th July 2012, 10:52   #7
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Default Re: Long term ownership report - Pulsar 220 DTSi

Thanks for your inputs Ravi. The bike is due for service next week, I will definitely check on the engine oil. Will I get the K&N filter at Bajaj or will I have to find another reseller? Any idea on the costs?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ravi_23 View Post
The turn indicator has nothing to do with the handle, once activated it goes off automatically after 30 secs. I find it quite useful. Only issue is, after activating it if you get stuck in a jam then you have to turn it on again. Mostly all turns are completed within 30 secs, so
The turn indicator lasts for a minute actually and is deactivated by turning the handle or when the minute is up, which ever is earlier. I have checked this several times. Is there a way to decrease the sensitivity of the indicator? If that cannot be done I am considering changing to a manual turn switch.

Regarding the running in period - I don't think I deviated from the instructions given till I crossed 1000 kms. There might have been a couple of occasions when I would have opened up the throttle while on the ring road. I cant think of anything else. But what does running in period have to do with the chain slackening and the speedo display acting funny?

Like I mentioned, I will be sending the bike for service later in the month and will instruct the people at Bajaj to do a thorough check up.

Parik
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Old 26th July 2012, 10:56   #8
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Default Re: Long term ownership report - Pulsar 220 DTSi

@deZired I will definitely put up some pictures over the weekend. In fact I was planning to send the bike for service next week, but I think I will do it tomorrow itself so I can click pictures of a clean bike .
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Old 26th July 2012, 11:46   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by parik_ind View Post

What is definitely on the cards is a longish trip for me to truly enjoy the bike. Might just go down to Mysore considering it is not so far away and I know the road pretty well.

Parik
May I suggest a trip to Hogganekal. Its just past border and in TN. Its about 70 - 80 Kms from Bangalore. Two possible routes. One through kanakapura road. This is single lane roads and pure bliss for fast and precision riding. And on the way back you can use the L&T expressway. The second part will give you a chance to test its touring capabilities. One word of advice though. You need to get the center stand removed to enjoy this bike properly. Else its just a waste of time.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ravi_23 View Post
1) Change the engine oil to motul full synthetic oil
2) You can change the air filter and install the K&N filter that comes specifically for bajaj
Hello,
Can you please provide the specifications of the oil you used and also the price and the source and details of the filter?
Thank you for your help!!

Last edited by rangakishen : 26th July 2012 at 11:51.
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Old 26th July 2012, 12:17   #10
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Default Re: Long term ownership report - Pulsar 220 DTSi

A very honest and to the point review. I too had a 2009 P220 for a short while and have done quite a bit of touring on it. Very comfortable for both rider and pillion on the long rides. Awesome stability and really good brakes. But like you say, it was not a pleasure to ride it in the city. In fact the bulkiness of the front was actually a pain parking in tight spots. Nevertheless its a very comfortable tourer and capable mile muncher.
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Old 26th July 2012, 12:38   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rangakishen View Post
May I suggest a trip to Hogganekal. Its just past border and in TN. Its about 70 - 80 Kms from Bangalore. Two possible routes. One through kanakapura road. This is single lane roads and pure bliss for fast and precision riding. And on the way back you can use the L&T expressway. The second part will give you a chance to test its touring capabilities.
Hey thanks, that's a good suggestion.

Anyone planning a trip soon? Not specifically to Hogganekal as other options can be considered as well.

Parik
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Old 26th July 2012, 13:26   #12
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Default Re: Long term ownership report - Pulsar 220 DTSi

Quote:
Originally Posted by parik_ind View Post
Thanks for your inputs Ravi. The bike is due for service next week, I will definitely check on the engine oil. Will I get the K&N filter at Bajaj or will I have to find another reseller? Any idea on the costs?
Quote:
Originally Posted by rangakishen View Post
Hello,
Can you please provide the specifications of the oil you used and also the price and the source and details of the filter?
Thank you for your help!!
I got the K&N filter from JC Road, model no is BA-2201 which is specifically designed for p220 and its just plug and play. Costed me 2600 INR.

The synthetic oil that I use in my bike is motul 300V full synthetic oil, will cost you around 950 INR for 1L bottle.

Trust me guys, after these 2 changes your bikes will be super smooth. Also since our bikes are oil cooled, there will be less heating probs once your bike runs on motul 300v
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Old 26th July 2012, 13:38   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ravi_23 View Post
I got the K&N filter from JC Road, model no is BA-2201 which is specifically designed for p220 and its just plug and play. Costed me 2600 INR.
Which shop did you pick it up from and did they install it for you as well? Also, did you have also disconnect and reconnect the battery as I have read on the forum that the air filter indicator flashes every now and then on some of the bikes that have replaced the filter.

Parik
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Old 26th July 2012, 13:43   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by parik_ind View Post
Which shop did you pick it up from and did they install it for you as well? Also, did you have also disconnect and reconnect the battery as I have read on the forum that the air filter indicator flashes every now and then on some of the bikes that have replaced the filter.

Parik
Hello!! Just wanted to know if you plan to make this change as well. If so may be we could share the third can of oil as the bike needs 1.3lts of oil. What say?
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Old 26th July 2012, 13:59   #15
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Default Re: Long term ownership report - Pulsar 220 DTSi

I purchased it from one of the shops opposite the bmc paid parking building. They will fit it for you, barely takes 5 mins. Regarding the air filter icon flashing, yes it will start blinking after you change the filter. But thats not an issue, I am used to it. If you want to stop that from blinking then you can disconnect the wires that connect to the sensor. Thats a simple thing too, but I would suggest you not to fiddle with the wires and get used to the flashing air filter icon


Also nice point there by rangakishen, if both of you are interested then you guys can share the third can and save some $
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