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Old 31st January 2017, 01:19   #31
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Default Re: Ridden: Bajaj Dominar 400

I have on few other instances requested the mod team for bike reviews, and now that an officially review is out, I'm glad they chose you IronH4Wk. I'm sure there are no reviews of the Dominar 400 that have such attention to detail, while being totally unbiased. The very same qualities that define our car reviews will be highly appreciated in the world of two wheels as well. Hope this is only the start, as we have very interesting launches coming in - the BMW 310 twins, the upcoming Ninja 650 etc.

You have truly set the standards sky high. Just can't believe it's a one man effort. I'm sure people would be amazed to see the camera gear you carried, to get such a quality work done, alone.

Coming to the bike -

I've always wondered how Bajaj would play the CS400 game, with the KTM twins around. They lost the plot with the Pulsar NS200, and it was only going to get even more difficult with the 400.

But, got to admit that they chose wisely by avoiding the Duke audience altogether. Reading the review, it becomes evident that the two bikes are very different in character to ensure minimal cross shopping. Even in price! But like you said, the quality doesnt seem to have been compromised as the only cheap looking part seems to be that rear brake lever! Bajaj has always been pioneering the affordable performance segment with the Pulsars, and now the KTM - Dominar combination has truly taken the game forward.

And it's already selling. There is one in my apartment and the LED lights are just wow even in the daytime. Haven't seen it at night, but saw some websites expressing concerns on the spread, specially when cornering. What do you feel?

Last edited by CrAzY dRiVeR : 31st January 2017 at 01:23.
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Old 31st January 2017, 08:27   #32
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Default Re: Ridden: Bajaj Dominar 400

Absolutely fantastic review. Day before I had sold my 5 year old Honda Unicorn with 42000 kms on ODO. The vehicle's engine was overhauled at 32000 kms and the performance was never the same again. Now, the big question is regarding the new bike to be purchased. I am contemplating to buy C350, but after reading your review of D400, I am in two minds.
My daily commute involves 100 kms of ride to and fro and 25% of the ride is on city corporation road, 25% on SH and remaining on NH. Please advise.
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Old 31st January 2017, 09:16   #33
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Default Re: Ridden: Bajaj Dominar 400

Wonderful review. Good job IRONH4WK

We all know of how good your eyes are. By the way, I was surprised that there was no TBHP sticker on the Mobike like we have on some of the new car reviews.
And because it was you, I want to know if you spotted any TBHP stickers during the review ride

Coming to the bike, I feel Bajaj have done a very good job overall with this bike. There are some cost cutting evident as you have pointed out like the switch gear, tank pad and others. But with this price tag people will buy this in good numbers.

I liked the attention to detail in the design of this. Especially the way in which the 'D' design on the alloy wheel matches the 'D' in the name/logo of the Bike

Ridden: Bajaj Dominar 400-untitled.jpg

Last edited by hemanth.anand : 31st January 2017 at 09:17.
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Old 31st January 2017, 09:43   #34
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Default Re: Ridden: Bajaj Dominar 400

Very well written IronH4WK .

As I had mentioned you last month when we met up, I was considering buying a pre-owned Karizma or similar, as I wish to start with biking. Then when the FZ25 was released, I was really happy (being a long time Yamaha fan) and was looking forward to buy it. It was purely a decision of heart, as I had not considered any other bike.

Now, with this review, you have put me a real tuff situation making my decision complex. Now, I have to put my head (say, Dominar) and heart (say, FZ25) to fight and make a choice . If not for this review, I would not have considered D400 at all. Thanks for the review and off-line discussions.

KK
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Old 31st January 2017, 09:49   #35
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Default Re: Ridden: Bajaj Dominar 400

Fantastic detailed review and covers every inch of the bike.

Bajaj have really outdone themselves and striking the right chords with the consumer. I really like how the wheels have been done and that in itself deserves an applause. Dual channel ABS as an option makes the bike really appealing at the price point. Duke 390 has 8 bhp on top of the Dominar's 35 bhp but would you really miss the 8 horses on the Indian road/traffic conditions? I really doubt unless you are on a track.

That said the 2 above said bikes have different utilities. This is a fantastic effort from Bajaj and the domestic players are really upping the game. This makes the motoring scene in India very close to the redline!
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Old 31st January 2017, 10:46   #36
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Default Re: Ridden: Bajaj Dominar 400

Brilliant review accompanied by drool worthy pics.
Now can't wait for fz25 review whenever it is launched.

How is engine breaking with aggressive downshifts now that it has slipper clutch?
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Old 31st January 2017, 11:05   #37
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Default Re: Ridden: Bajaj Dominar 400

Beautifully written, detailed review of my bike.

Some of the points I hadn't observed as well.

5 Stars!
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Old 31st January 2017, 11:06   #38
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Default Re: Ridden: Bajaj Dominar 400

Quote:
Originally Posted by hemanth.anand View Post
We all know of how good your eyes are.
Quote:
Originally Posted by hemanth.anand View Post
I liked the attention to detail in the design of this. Especially the way in which the 'D' design on the alloy wheel matches the 'D' in the name/logo of the Bike
Pretty sure this time, it's your eyes that have caught something that mostly even the hawk eyes also would have missed!

I would have never thought of this ever!

Quote:
Originally Posted by KK_HakunaMatata View Post
Now, I have to put my head (say, Dominar) and heart (say, FZ25) to fight and make a choice .
Shouldn't it be heart (Dominar 400) v/s head (FZ250)?

Afterall - Dominar has got 35 bhp, 35 Nm torque, slipper clutch and a 6 speed gearbox. Dominar also offers an ABS option.

Whereas - the Yamaha FZ250 is nowhere near with the 20.69bhp, 20Nm and a 5 speed gearbox. But its a reliable and safe choice due to the brand as compared to Bajaj.
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Old 31st January 2017, 11:18   #39
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Default Re: Ridden: Bajaj Dominar 400

Quote:
Originally Posted by CrAzY dRiVeR View Post
Shouldn't it be heart (Dominar 400) v/s head (FZ250)?

Afterall - Dominar has got 35 bhp, 35 Nm torque, slipper clutch and a 6 speed gearbox. Dominar also offers an ABS option.

Whereas - the Yamaha FZ250 is nowhere near with the 20.69bhp, 20Nm and a 5 speed gearbox. But its a reliable and safe choice due to the brand as compared to Bajaj.
Yeah, that seems the logical way, but my case is not so

I have been a Yamaha fan from my school days and wanted to get a RX135, but did not materialize for various reasons and after seeing the FZ25, my love for Yamaha's rekindled, so a heart decision. Other side, Dominar is a next segment bike which is available at a small incremental amount to FZ25, which makes it a head decision.

I will test ride both once FZ25 arrived at dealers, hopefully that should give me some way out.

KK
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Old 31st January 2017, 13:53   #40
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Default Re: Ridden: Bajaj Dominar 400

Quote:
Originally Posted by landcruiser123 View Post
Is the gearing tall for the highway unlike the 200NS?
I haven't ridden a NS200, so I wouldn't be able to give a comparison. However, the gearing is not very tall; it's kind of a middle ground. You could comfortably cruise on the highways on the 6th and still get a punch to overtake when you wring the throttle.

Quote:
Originally Posted by landcruiser123 View Post
Also, were there any accessories on display? I'm specially interested to know whether there's a windscreen as an official accessory.
No there were no accessories on display. However, I've seen posts on Facebook about custom touring accessories for the Dominar.

Quote:
Originally Posted by amit_snk View Post
Although a good product, I feel at 182kgs its a little heavy
Let me tell you a story. When I bought my Ninja 650, it felt like a car (I had upgraded from a Hero Honda CBZ). It felt heavy, big turning circle and with the fairing, I couldn't see where my front wheel was going (I used to put both my feet down while executing a U-turn).

After riding it around for a while I got used to the bike and I started riding it like a bike (duh!), could take U-turns without taking my feet off the foot pegs and have taken it where a Ninja 650 usually wouldn't go.

I would say, don't go by the specifications sheet, ride the bike and find out. Nine out of ten times a rider has that connect with the bike the first time he sits on it.

Honestly, the Dominar felt pretty light to me, like my CBZ. To give you a reference, I'm 5'9" and all of 80kgs

Quote:
Originally Posted by rvd8732 View Post
Would you throw some comparison between Dominar and D390 in terms of acceleration?
The Dominar, although heavier than the Duke 390, accelerates pretty fast. You could go throttle wide open and shift quickly through the gears and reach cruising speeds pretty quick. The Duke will pull ahead, but the Dominar wouldn't be far behind.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MDED View Post
Now, the big question is regarding the new bike to be purchased. I am contemplating to buy C350, but after reading your review of D400, I am in two minds.
My daily commute involves 100 kms of ride to and fro and 25% of the ride is on city corporation road, 25% on SH and remaining on NH. Please advise.
From my experience, the decision to buy a Royal Enfield has been more from the heart than from the mind. It carries an emotional attachment - people have grown up seeing these bikes, their parents, uncles or cousins had these bikes and when they grow up, they want to own one of these legends.

If you look from a practical point of view, if you need a bike that does it all, it ain't the Royal Enfield (this is my personal opinion from riding the Standard 350, Classic 500, Thunderbird 350/ 500, Continental GT and the Himalayan). These are good bikes, no doubt.

However, if I had to choose between the Classic 350 and the Dominar 400 to run errands, ride to the office (through really bad traffic and long distance) and on the weekends head out on to the open roads - the Dominar wins my vote hands down.

Mind you, during the test ride I was lugging around a backpack filled with cameras and camera equipment weighing almost 8kgs+ and also I was in full riding gear. After the 120kms+ ride back to Pune, I wasn't feeling fatigued at all.

Quote:
Originally Posted by hemanth.anand View Post
I liked the attention to detail in the design of this. Especially the way in which the 'D' design on the alloy wheel matches the 'D' in the name/logo of the Bike
Honestly, I didn't notice that!

Quote:
Originally Posted by skyliner34 View Post
How is engine breaking with aggressive downshifts now that it has slipper clutch?
Going uphill, couple of times I downshifted (deliberately) while entering the apex of a turn, on a lean and not once did I lose the rear. Let me give you a real world scenario - it's raining and you're heading into a turn and you've to downshift. Slipper clutch is the difference between you kissing the asphalt versus you pulling out clean through the corner.

That being said, one would normally do aggressive downshifts on a track, while entering a corner carrying high speed.

Quote:
Originally Posted by KK_HakunaMatata View Post
Now, with this review, you have put me a real tuff situation making my decision complex. Now, I have to put my head (say, Dominar) and heart (say, FZ25) to fight and make a choice . If not for this review, I would not have considered D400 at all. Thanks for the review and off-line discussions.
I would suggest you test ride both the bikes and get a feel for them. Head or heart, one of them will certainly appeal to you.

Last edited by Rudra Sen : 31st January 2017 at 15:34. Reason: Typo
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Old 31st January 2017, 14:04   #41
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Default Re: Ridden: Bajaj Dominar 400

I personally did not enjoy the bike at all. The only thing i did like about it was its quick and comfy (not the pillion). But does it appeal to my heart like a KTM or a Bullet does? Nope.
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Old 31st January 2017, 17:10   #42
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Default Re: Ridden: Bajaj Dominar 400

Great review IronH4WK!

The D400 is a steal for the money. However, I feel Bajaj should still work on the after sales service. The Pulsar 200NS/AS threads on Xbhp are full of haunting stories of coolant mixup with engine oil, which in most cases are unsolved mysteries. The 200NS by itself is a complicated engine for which a mechanic has to have a good experience along with the theoretical working knowledge of additional valves and spark plugs. And going by the history, I would be forced to consider the D400 as a 'use for 2 years and upgrade later kind of bike'.

My perspective, lesser the complications in an engine, lesser the tantrums(Though, the same does not apply for RE's, R15 & CBR250).

Can we expect a review of the FZ25 on the similar lines?
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Old 1st February 2017, 12:26   #43
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Default Re: Ridden: Bajaj Dominar 400

One of the best TBHP reviews I have seen on a two wheeler. This thread is packed with finer details and covered some of the important points that a prospective buyer needs to know.
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Old 1st February 2017, 15:26   #44
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Default Re: Ridden: Bajaj Dominar 400

A very detailed review and to the point, interesting to see Indian bikes slowly upping the ante to compete with international brands. And what a plum pricing! I think this would be a super value for money for someone who is looking at a daily commuter that can do a bit of weekend touring also.

Thanks for sharing.
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Old 1st February 2017, 16:48   #45
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Default Re: Ridden: Bajaj Dominar 400

Quote:
Originally Posted by jetsetgo08 View Post
Great review IronH4WK!

...
The Pulsar 200NS/AS threads on Xbhp are full of haunting stories of coolant mixup with engine oil, which in most cases are unsolved mysteries. The 200NS by itself is a complicated engine for which a mechanic has to have a good experience along with the theoretical working knowledge of additional valves and spark plugs. And going by the history, I would be forced to consider the D400 as a 'use for 2 years and upgrade later kind of bike'.

...
The problem of coolant mixing with oil has happened to KTM Duke too, in India and abroad. When there is no obvious leakage, the theory is that the engine is overheating and causing the cylinder head to warp and allow coolant to leak through. When the engine cools down, the seal is re-established. KTM technicians seem to attribute this issue to a lack of flatness of the sealing surfaces and or incorrectly tightened head bolts. This does not appear to be a common problem. There are other less serious problems that seem to occur more frequently. A look at the Duke 390 thread here will give you an idea of what those are.

I have owned two pulsars with the current one being a 200 ns. I have not faced any problems so far and the bike has been reliable in the 3 years that I've owned it. However I have had problems with the first gen Pulsar - engine, clutch, gears, valves, etc.

My inference from what I have experienced and observed is that the Dominar is likely to be a reliable bike because the underlying technology is from KTM and Bajaj now has a few years of experience dealing with problems and solving them.

I disagree with you that the Dominar is a "use for 2 years then change" then change your of bike. No bike these days, even little commuter bikes, deteriorate so fast that their effective viable life is only 2 years. For the average person, a normally used and properly maintained bike will last at least 5 years before needing major repairs. There will certainly be exceptions to this and I'm sure that someone here will disagree with me, but on the whole, I do believe that my opinion is reflective of reality.

Ultimately, the Dominar is a great deal - the performance and features to price ratio is excellent. That coupled with the overall package makes the Dominar very hard to ignore.
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