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Old 8th April 2013, 09:33   #1
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Question Pulsar 180 - Unpredictably rough <-> smooth engine behaviour

My Pulsar 180 UG3 has done 50K kms . I have observed a fluctuating change in engine smoothness.This observation is over a long period of time say nearly 35K kms. Here is what i observe.

Engine smoothness, meaning- revvablility,gear slotting,gear shifts are never consistent on my bike. Sometimes it is so smooth - the throttle response is crisp, the gear slots beautifully, the engine does not feel harsh, there is no jerk when i give throttle input. But the other times(read most of the time) the bike seems to have a totally different mind of its own. The throttle response is jerky, the gears slot with a 'clunk' sound , neutral finding is difficult and the engine note is bit harsh.

Most of the time this change in behavior is not predictable.To give you an example-Yesterday morning, when i was riding the bike, the bike was pretty harsh with all the characteristics i mentioned above. But on my return journey, the bike became so smooth that i started to wonder what is it that changed over the past 6 hours? I have told about this problem many times during service and always the SA laughs off saying its all in my mind!

Looking forward to hear from fellow bikers about the cause and solutions for this behavior.
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Old 8th April 2013, 09:43   #2
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Default re: Pulsar 180 - Unpredictably rough <-> smooth engine behaviour

Sorry. No solutions. Its a Pulsar. This is its characteristic.

Believe me I have tried!

The only that seems to work on my bike are long hard highway runs.
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Old 8th April 2013, 10:57   #3
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Default re: Pulsar 180 - Unpredictably rough <-> smooth engine behaviour

What they usually follow here in Aurangabad is - fill in 20 ml of engine oil with 5L of petrol in every 10K kms. It retains the smoothness.
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Old 8th April 2013, 11:28   #4
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Default re: Pulsar 180 - Unpredictably rough <-> smooth engine behaviour

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What they usually follow here in Aurangabad is - fill in 20 ml of engine oil with 5L of petrol in every 10K kms. It retains the smoothness.
Wow this will burn your valves mate, not at all recommendable for a 4 Strokers. I can understand if you wanna do it for 2 Strokers which come with Oil Pump but a definite No-No for 4 Stroker.
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Old 8th April 2013, 12:21   #5
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Default re: Pulsar 180 - Unpredictably rough <-> smooth engine behaviour

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Originally Posted by sagarpadaki View Post
Looking forward to hear from fellow bikers about the cause and solutions for this behavior.
On a more serious note,

You could do the following :-

1. Change to a better engine oil, something like a Motul 5100(Semi-synth) or Motul 7100(Full Synth)
2. Try and stick to as less different fuel bunks as possible. Once in a while fill in premium fuel.
3. Shift to better spark plugs, I personally have not used the stock Champion plugs ever since the bike was 2.5K Kms old. I use NGK iridium plugs (they are not value for money and they don't offer any gain in performance). If you don't want to spend too much you could look at NGK G-Power plugs.
4. Have your tank and fuel lines checked, if the bike is old its possible the top part of the tank has corroded a little with the petrol fumes.
5. Get your carb overhauled
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Old 8th April 2013, 12:52   #6
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Default re: Pulsar 180 - Unpredictably rough <-> smooth engine behaviour

I face the same issue, but only with the gear shifts. Some times the gear slots in very well.
Other times it just wont co-operate. Sometimes the gears tend to not slot and slip.
I noticed that warming the engine up for about a minute in the morning gives better response from both the engine and the gears.

The gear-shift is the big problem. When i checked with Bajaj service about changing engine oil to synthetic ones, they advice not to do so.
So I am confused.
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Old 8th April 2013, 12:58   #7
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Default re: Pulsar 180 - Unpredictably rough <-> smooth engine behaviour

Quote:
Originally Posted by praful View Post
On a more serious note,

You could do the following :-

1. Change to a better engine oil, something like a Motul 5100(Semi-synth) or Motul 7100(Full Synth)
2. Try and stick to as less different fuel bunks as possible. Once in a while fill in premium fuel.
3. Shift to better spark plugs, I personally have not used the stock Champion plugs ever since the bike was 2.5K Kms old. I use NGK iridium plugs (they are not value for money and they don't offer any gain in performance). If you don't want to spend too much you could look at NGK G-Power plugs.
4. Have your tank and fuel lines checked, if the bike is old its possible the top part of the tank has corroded a little with the petrol fumes.
5. Get your carb overhauled
1. I used 300v from 2500 kms till 27000 kms . Had to discontinue due to sheer increase in price. Later shifted to Motul 5100. Then to Motul 3100. Did not feel much difference between 5100 and 3100 so stuck to 3100 for ~ 10K kms. Now running on Valvoline 20W50.

2.Yes, i stick to a single pump. And now have shifted to shell.

3. Spark plugs can be an option. Can you share the price of the iridium plugs and the model for pulsar 180?

4.Tank was cleaned 5K kms back. But the problem is present since a long long time

5.Umm...what does carb overhauling involve?

Also do you have any idea why the bike jerks when throttle is given?Its not a smooth motion. And this jerk does not happen when the engine is in good mood.
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Old 8th April 2013, 13:05   #8
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Default re: Pulsar 180 - Unpredictably rough <-> smooth engine behaviour

Your bike is running super lean, check the plugs what they says about jetting, you are running 4 stroke hence safe otherwise a 2 stroke bike dies very fast if they run on lean mode. Better plug will not help over here, get your carb tuned by qualified person, best would be change the jets.
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Old 8th April 2013, 14:17   #9
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Default re: Pulsar 180 - Unpredictably rough <-> smooth engine behaviour

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Your bike is running super lean, check the plugs what they says about jetting, you are running 4 stroke hence safe otherwise a 2 stroke bike dies very fast if they run on lean mode. Better plug will not help over here, get your carb tuned by qualified person, best would be change the jets.
I am running on stock jets. You mean to say i replace the jets with new one and then get the carb retuned? Or you meant to upsize the jets?

How to infer from the plugs to know if i am running rich or lean?
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Old 8th April 2013, 14:28   #10
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Default re: Pulsar 180 - Unpredictably rough <-> smooth engine behaviour

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Originally Posted by sagarpadaki View Post
How to infer from the plugs to know if i am running rich or lean?
Super clean and whitish grey plugs = Lean
Sooty & blackish plugs = Rich
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Old 8th April 2013, 14:55   #11
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Default re: Pulsar 180 - Unpredictably rough <-> smooth engine behaviour

abhinav.s is right, just change the jets as they tends to get clogged, up jet if you don't mind loosing mileage, but it will increase the power and engine life as well.
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Old 9th April 2013, 10:25   #12
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Default re: Pulsar 180 - Unpredictably rough <-> smooth engine behaviour

You can upsize to old P200 jets or the P220 jets for your P180. I have a 8 month old P180 and believe me I am facing the same music since it was 1 month old.

But yes, redlining it a few times or long ride does open up the engine in a very good way and improves the throttle response. It may be the same harsh story the next day but instantly you get a smoother better performing engine. The downside is, P180's FE is exponentially related to throttle input. Redlining might drop the FE to an extent.


Over and above these points, do get your chain checked for slack/dryness as it is also responsible for a smooth pickup/ride. Pulsar chain needs regular attention.
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Old 9th April 2013, 11:04   #13
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Default re: Pulsar 180 - Unpredictably rough <-> smooth engine behaviour

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Originally Posted by ku69rd View Post
Wow this will burn your valves mate, not at all recommendable for a 4 Strokers. I can understand if you wanna do it for 2 Strokers which come with Oil Pump but a definite No-No for 4 Stroker.
Yeah - to your words and have the same mindset - its the people here who follow this routine and keep saying 'Bajaj hai - chalta hai' and will repeat that there was always a need to tilt the Bajaj scooters to start them - I wish they read this threat and stop this practice - definitely they are ruining the engine in long term.
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Old 9th April 2013, 11:11   #14
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Even my FNG in Bhubaneswar used to put copious amount of old burnt engine oil in silencer pipe to keep it smooth and free flowing. But later i got to know its bad and might ruin the pipe.
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Old 9th April 2013, 11:46   #15
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Default re: Pulsar 180 - Unpredictably rough <-> smooth engine behaviour

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Originally Posted by sagarpadaki View Post
I am running on stock jets. You mean to say i replace the jets with new one and then get the carb retuned? Or you meant to upsize the jets?

How to infer from the plugs to know if i am running rich or lean?
I really doubt its a tuning issue, since your bike's behavior is erratic. That said, jetting may solve your issue now. But then you *may* have issues with change in climate and altitude.

Since the company setup is optimized to run across a broad spectrum of conditions, with jetting you may run amazing in Bangalore summers but can face issues in winters or for that matter you might have issue once you ride at sea level, since BLR is 3000 ft above sea level.

That said, you can definitely experiment with jetting.

When you are checking the state of tune by reading your plugs, also get your compression checked.
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