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Old 24th November 2009, 19:09   #1
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Default 2000 kms with the Fastest Indian!!!! (Pulsar 220 DTSi)

Yes!! 2000kms and 2 services up with the Fastest Indian. The bike has been used majority of the 2000 kms in the city barring one long ride to Coorg [500kms to and fro]. So read on to find more on the decision making and the experience so far with the Pulsar 220 DTS-i 09.

Decision:-
As soon as I got back to biking, the first decision to make was which bike to buy. Now with the fleet of 150, 160, 180, 200, 220 & 223 CC bikes it was not an easy decision. So sat down to devour reviews of all the bikes from the net. My choice was pretty clear. A sport tourer easy to ride in traffic and a pleasure to ride on highways. After going through the reviews it was pretty clear that the current breed of bikes upto the 180cc were not suitable for touring though they were pretty good tools for city usage.

I was only left with the Karizma ZMA-R and the Pulsar 220 DTS-i 09. The new Karizma ZMR with FI was not on my list as i was not willing to wait for so long for a bike which I had a feeling would not be a very good improvement over the current ZMA.

Checked out the ZMA-R in the Hero Honda showroom. The looks were antiquated what with the bike being nearly a decade old!! But still there was a kind of charm to it. I took the bike for a test ride and was quite impressed with the engine smoothness and the gearshift quality. But the downer for me was the price which I felt was not VFM. The front forks look very delicate as also the handle bars. But the seating position is spot on for every day city commute as well as long tours on the bike. I was still in a 50-50 state of mind with the ZMA-R. The on-road price was Rs.83,475/- in Sept 09.

Then went to check out the P220. Now let me tell you, I have owned the first gen DTSI Pulsar 150. I was totally unhappy with the bike and was very skeptical going to see the P220. But i did not let the head rule the heart and went ahead with the TD. The sitting position was comfortable and also the ride was pretty decent. The TD vehicle had only 6kms on the odo. But still it was quite good and liked the bike.

Comparison with the ZMA-R started and my points were as below:
1. Power - 17Bhp of Zma over the 21Bhp of P220
2. Features - Oil cooler, front and rear discs, projector type headlights, wider and softer compound rubber all missing from the ZMA
3. Price - To be honest, point 2 is what sealed the deal for the pulsar and the on road price was like an icing on the cake. I paid Rs. 81,750/- including teflon coat for 1 year for the P220.

Delivery:-
I chose the black color since it came with an all black outfit including the handle bar and grab rails which was not the case with the other colors. The color was readily available and the registration formalities were completed on the same day of paying the full cash. Hassle free!! Mighty impressed with the staff.
After the mechanic ran me thru the nitty gritties, gifted a small souvenir to the sales guy and left the show room for the customary pooja in the temple. Once done, went straight out for a ride with my wife pillion and finished the first 70kms on the day of delivery.
Not to forget, the showroom guys gave 1lt of petrol after which i filled it up for another 300 bucks.

Initial Impression and Ride experience:-
I had my masters exam in a remote location in bangalore [Itmadu for bangaloreans] which is close to 25 kms one way from my house in CV Raman Nagar. Now the obvious choice was the P220 since i wanted to finish the first 500kms as early as possible. Taking it out to ride in bumper to bumper traffic was horrific in the beginning for me as i had to get used to riding a bike again. Though i completed around 70kms on the first day, it was still not in peak traffic and in the quiet of the night. So after getting used to it for nearly 2 days of traveling in traffic, I got into the groove and started really enjoying the bike.
During the first 200kms the bike used to get very hot and the heat was unbearable near the legs. But i was aware that new bikes tend to get hot in stop and go traffic and did not panic much.
The balance of the bike was just amazing and it inspired lot of confidence. The bike was just raring to go and begging for more right hand treatment. But since the run-in was still on, i could not exceed 50kmph. It is very difficult to keep the bike in the 50kmph/4k RPM range. But somehow managed to do the same.
I have to mention at this point that the pulsar series has improved quite a lot from its initial DTS-i days. The engine vibes are quite reduced and is not felt in the handle bars but they are still present in the foot pegs. The gear shift is so precise and smooth that i cant believe its a pulsar that i am riding. Kudos to the clutch and gearbox provider who is supposed to be the same for honda as well!!
Everything was hunky dory and i was painfully completing the running in of the bike with the in city riding. Never once did i exceed the prescribed speed limits. So far happy with the bikes performance and the mileage in the first 500kms was a whopping 46kmpl! I did not get over excited since i knew that it was still in run-in and i was not doing more than 4k rpm.

Post 500 kms and First service:-
Touched the 500kms mark within a month of delivery and got the first service done at 515kms on the odo. The bike was given for service at 11:00 am on a weekday and it was promptly returned back at 4:00 pm the same day with the service completed and also a polishing done on the bike. Too good!! I ride the bike for a few kms and find that its smoother now and also the tolerance level of speed limits has gone past 65kmph to 75kmph till the 2000kms mark. But the niggles started at this point!!
1. After the service, the headlight beams were not positioned properly. Low beam was pointing to the trees and the high beam was pointing to the moon!!!
2. The suspension was not as it was before. It had become quite bumpy and also the balance was somewhat lacking which was there before the service.
3. Fairing vibes became so much that the RVM's became totally useless! Of course it is a different story that they are only 60% useful even without the vibes.
4. Not sure how to say this but the feel that was present before the service was lacking.

Take it back to the service center and the idiot there in an attempt to try a shortcut rather than removing the fairing to adjust the beams fuses my parking light. Ask the SA and he says that there is no stock of the parking light and asks me to come back on Monday for the same. Totally infuriated i gave my piece of mind before storming out.

Then get the parking light replaced on monday and also the beams focused back to their normal position. But they say that the other issues will be sorted in 2nd service.

Road trip to Coorg:-
I had the pleasure of going on a road trip to coorg in the P220 and boy!! it was an amazing ride. Though i could not cross 75kmph i occasionally did take it to 80kmph. The ride was totally trouble free from the bike and it brought out the true capabilities of this bike as a sports tourer. I was totally content with my decision to go for this bike after that trip.

2000kms and Second Service:-
Finished the 2000kms just yesterday and also completed the 2nd service of the bike. By the time i reached the 2000kms mark, i had worn out the engine oil completely and had started facing difficulties in gearshift.
The service center did the customary service and handed the bike back in 3 hours flat. They had not done a good job washing the bike but since i was present there for the whole 3 hours, i was privy of the fact that they had issues with water on that day and they stopped taking in vehicles for service due to this problem. But since i had arrived early, I was promised a free wash and polish on a later date by the SA who is a very nice chap. Once the service was done, all the issues mentioned above were addressed barring the fairing vibes issue. I had read on another forum that double sided tape in the right places should reduce the vibes but unable to pinpoint those "right" places. The pleasure is back and i am happy to have the bike back in shape. Gearshifts are back to their butter smooth ways and the bike revvs freely in all the gears.

I hope I have provided as much information as possible above albeit being a bit critical of the bike.
But let me sum up the experience so far. Every time i sit on the bike, there is a feeling of immense pleasure to ride it. There are instances where me and my wife have roamed aimlessly in the roads of Bangalore at 11 pm for nearly 50-60kms on a single night.
The fastest i have taken the bike upto so far is a speedo indicated 105kmph which was last night on the inner ring road after the 2000kms service. Trust me the rush was amazing and the bike was amazingly stable at 105.
There were no panic braking situations so far barring one on our road trip to coorg where we were caught unawares by an unmarked speed breaker. I was doing around 60kmph when we suddenly noticed the hump. Jammed both the brakes and the bike slowed down from 60 to 8kmph within a few seconds and we were not thrown off the speed breaker. Both of us were very pleased with the stopping power of the bike.
Lights are the best on any bike in India so far, period. There is no need for any aftermarket fitments and it lights up the road amazingly. Credit to the 55W bulbs in both the low and high beams.

If anyone is in the market for a sports tourer, this is the best VFM bike so far compared to any other manufacturer.
I would like to add that Bajaj has really evolved over the years and the new P220 is proof of the fact that Bajaj makes really good bikes. But the SVC screws up the bikes and gives the notion that Bajaj bikes are not good in general. The service center experience calls for totally new thread sometime later.

For the last 2000kms i have been getting a consistent mileage of 42-45kmpl when keeping it below 75kmph and anything above 75kmph, the mileage drops to 37-38kmpl.

I am totally happy with my investment on this bike and yes its not a perfect bike but everytime I ride the bike i gain a lot of pleasure and will be waiting for the next opportunity to ride it again.

If RTR made me the mad manic racer at the traffic light GP's, the P220 has made me a more mature rider who knows that there is always power available on tap and the bike has never let me down on this front!!

PS: I have forgotten how to directly upload photos to T-Bhp. Will go thru the tutorial and upload them in a short while. These are the pics from our road trip to Coorg by the way.

Cheers!
- Abhi

Last edited by abhinav.s : 24th November 2009 at 19:19.
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Old 24th November 2009, 19:29   #2
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Thanks a ton for this positive feedback. I needed this more than anybody right now.
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Old 24th November 2009, 19:35   #3
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Thats a wonderful Review Abhinav, thanks for sharing with us

So what other problems did you face other than vibrations in fairing & mis aligned headlight both of which look like issue after poor handling by service guys.

I am surprised to hear the gear lever becoming hard, engine oil will not wear out in 2000 kms. Get it checked & attended properly.

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Old 24th November 2009, 19:45   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Abbas View Post
Thanks a ton for this positive feedback. I needed this more than anybody right now.
Pleasure is mine mate!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Technocrat View Post
Thats a wonderful Review Abhinav, thanks for sharing with us

So what other problems did you face other than vibrations in fairing & mis aligned headlight both of which look like issue after poor handling by service guys.

I am surprised to hear the gear lever becoming hard, engine oil will not wear out in 2000 kms. Get it checked & attended properly.

Please Click here to view our simple help article on uploading pictures.
Thanks for the comments and the link Techno[for editing the title too ]

The only major problem i faced which I have missed out in the review below was with the CDI unit which was replaced under warranty a week back. In fact it was not a problem which I identified as well. The rest were all minor niggles which were resolved without much trouble.

The issue as explained by the SA was that Bajaj tried to change the starter clutch from the one which was on the DTS-Fi. But the pre August models of the DTS-i had problem with the starter clutch going kaput within a week or 2 of purchase of the bike by the customers. So they went back to the DTS-Fi starter clutch under warranty.
But there was another culprit as well which was the CDI unit. It was supplying more power than needed which was causing the starter clutch to go bust.
They called me and asked me to take it to the SVC at my convenience to get it changed. The work was completed in 25 minutes and they also verified that the starter clutch i have is of the right variety.

Last edited by abhinav.s : 24th November 2009 at 19:48.
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Old 24th November 2009, 20:34   #5
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Photos below as promised..!
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Old 25th November 2009, 10:46   #6
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abhinav i need to know how is the rear disk response in emergency braking situation?
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Old 25th November 2009, 12:18   #7
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Nice unbiased review. One suggestion on the hardening gear-shift. Before every long ride, ensure you top up oil. We do it almost by default on the bullet cause bullets are known to guzzle not just petrol but oil too. Tho reliable, make it a practice on your 220 as well. Makes a lot of difference in the long run.

Happy riding!
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Old 25th November 2009, 15:06   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Abbas View Post
abhinav i need to know how is the rear disk response in emergency braking situation?
To be very frank mate, in the one emergency braking situation i encountered on the long ride, i was not able to make out the response as i jammed the rear immediately followed by the front in that split second i had to make the decision. The bike stopped really well or i can say retarded the speed very well and did not make me panic or feel out of control.

In city riding conditions till now i have not felt a very great difference in the rear drum vs rear disc brake. But yes, the front discs are almost at par if not better than the apache petal discs.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nilesh5417 View Post
Nice unbiased review. One suggestion on the hardening gear-shift. Before every long ride, ensure you top up oil. We do it almost by default on the bullet cause bullets are known to guzzle not just petrol but oil too. Tho reliable, make it a practice on your 220 as well. Makes a lot of difference in the long run.

Happy riding!
Thanks for the tip bro..! will keep this in mind.
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Old 25th November 2009, 15:10   #9
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Congratulations on the 220 Abhinav. Nice review, though I didnt exactly fall for this line -
"If RTR made me the mad manic racer at the traffic light GP's, the P220 has made me a more mature rider who knows that there is always power available on tap and the bike has never let me down on this front!!" lol, I own an RTR 180 . Not all RTR riders are crazy bro, hell I havent even completed my run in since 4 months hee hee.
Kiddin. I know what you mean. Though the CDI conking off is a little disappointing, its nice to see Bajaj taking care of it quickly.

I stay in CV Raman Nagar too, hope to bump into you sometime. Ride safe and have fun.
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Old 25th November 2009, 15:53   #10
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Originally Posted by sammyboy View Post
Congratulations on the 220 Abhinav. Nice review, though I didnt exactly fall for this line -
"If RTR made me the mad manic racer at the traffic light GP's, the P220 has made me a more mature rider who knows that there is always power available on tap and the bike has never let me down on this front!!" lol, I own an RTR 180 . Not all RTR riders are crazy bro, hell I havent even completed my run in since 4 months hee hee.
Kiddin. I know what you mean. Though the CDI conking off is a little disappointing, its nice to see Bajaj taking care of it quickly.

I stay in CV Raman Nagar too, hope to bump into you sometime. Ride safe and have fun.
Ha ha ha..! Good one Sammyboy.. you almost had me going there for a while.

The CDI did not conk off on my bike and i was not even aware until the pro-biking guys called up and then i had a chat with the SA regarding the reason why its being replaced.

And yes it would be good to meet you too nearby our place!!
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Old 25th November 2009, 17:04   #11
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The CDI did not conk off on my bike and i was not even aware until the pro-biking guys called up and then i had a chat with the SA regarding the reason why its being replaced.
Wow, then thats even better. Seems like Bajaj folks are really working to keep their customers happy.
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Old 25th November 2009, 17:19   #12
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Wow, then thats even better. Seems like Bajaj folks are really working to keep their customers happy.
Well yes.. I think they are clearly going in the right direction at least with the probiking customers. They had called 2 other customers for the replacement on the same day.
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Old 25th November 2009, 17:35   #13
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Guys pardon my ignorance, but what are you guys discussing, what is this CDI???
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Old 25th November 2009, 19:20   #14
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Guys pardon my ignorance, but what are you guys discussing, what is this CDI???
From the wiki - Capacitor discharge ignition (CDI) or thyristor ignition is a type of automotive electronic ignition system which is widely used in motorcycles, lawn mowers, chain saws, small engines, turbine powered aircraft, and some cars.
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Old 25th November 2009, 19:46   #15
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Guys pardon my ignorance, but what are you guys discussing, what is this CDI???
We have a comprehensive list of Technical Jargons with explanations posted Here on the forum - A Guide On Technical Jargons - Motorbikes

Last edited by Technocrat : 25th November 2009 at 19:48.
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