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Old 17th July 2022, 18:00   #1
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Default Bajaj Pulsar N160 Review

2022 Bajaj Pulsar N160 Review


Bajaj Pulsar N160 Pros



Smooth and refined engine offers good power and fuel efficiency
Excellent braking especially in very wet condition thanks to the dual channel ABS
Comfortable riding position
Extremely light clutch is a boon in urban traffic
Looks similar to the more powerful Bajaj Pulsar F250
Bajaj's pan-India presence and solid service network

Bajaj Pulsar N160 Cons



Gearbox is prone to false shifts, especially between neutral and second
Low end torque is irritating in heavy traffic
No smart phone connectivity
Priced higher than some more powerful options
Competing in an over-crowded segment with not just bikes from other manufacturers, but Bajaj itself



Introduction



Towards the end of 2001, Bajaj unleashed the Pulsar twins (150cc & 180cc) in the Indian market. Within two years they launched the second generation Pulsars with Digital Twin Spark Ignition (DTSi). This technology has been patented by Bajaj and has been crucial in the bikes getting more power without sacrificing fuel economy. It's a matter of pride for all Indians that not only does the Pulsar sell very well in India, but it's even illegally cloned and sold by manufacturers in other countries.

The Pulsar has been a very reliable first bike for a lot of people. However, Bajaj has slowly been pushed down to the fourth position in market share (related thread).

The 150cc to 200cc market for bikes is extremely competitive and price conscious. Not only is the price of the motorcycle a critical determinant of its success, but other factors like fuel economy also play a crucial role. The new N160 will not only compete against the TVS Apache RTR 160 and Suzuki Gixxer, but also against its own siblings like the Pulsar 150 and NS160. With an price of Rs. 1.23 - 1.28 lakh (ex-showroom Delhi), the N160 is cheaper than less powerful Suzuki Gixxer, but more expensive than the Honda XBlade and at par with the more powerful Apache RTR 160 4V.

The Bajaj NS150 will continue to sell alongside the Bajaj N160. Whether buyers chose the slightly less powerful and more expensive N160, is something only time will tell. To its credit the N160 gets the dual channel ABS and a bigger petrol tank with slightly better fuel economy.

Last edited by Aditya : 17th July 2022 at 18:01.
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Old 17th July 2022, 18:00   #2
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Design, Styling and Features


The Bajaj Pulsar N160 is very similar in looks to the 2020 Bajaj Pulsar F250. It's a bike that will suit a young first time biker - someone who is in college or just starting work. With a claimed mileage of almost 50 km/l, it will not burn the bank and still be a stylish commuter.

Visually, the only differences between the N160 and F250 are the front cowls and the silencers. The F250 has a visor at the front, while the N160 has a much shorter silencer. The indicators are completely different. But everything else is very similar and to the untrained eye, it can be difficult to tell them apart. This may end up creating confusion among potential buyers.

The N160 looks good. The black colour complemented by the red and white streaks is neither garish nor distracting. The styling borrowed from the more expensive F250 works well:


F250 with its Visor and indicators placed below the handlebar:


N160 without the visor and much higher set indicators:


The front end is a bit controversial. It looks like a one-eyed Mahindra Mojo. The indicators are moved way up to be almost at the same height as the handles:


Headlight is bright. Since I was only riding in the rain during daytime, I found myself a nearby mall with underground parking, took the bike into the dark parking lot and checked the effectiveness. There will be no need for auxiliary lights on this bike:


Rear view mirrors are big:


They work well on an open road and provide a good view of the traffic behind, but I found things a little difficult when navigating through stopped cars at a traffic light:


Radiator for the oil-cooled engine is smartly tucked in and looks safe from physical damage:




Crashguard has a simple and non-intrusive design. All the wiring is packed beautifully. There are no sharp edges or difficult to access parts. This bike will be very easy to clean:


17" alloy wheel at the front shod with an MRF 100/80 section tyre. Fork get orange reflectors on both sides:


Big 300 mm brake disc at the front with stickering to indicate the precence of a dual channel ABS setup:


A close look at the detailing on the side:


164.82cc single-cylinder engine churns out 15.78 bhp @ 8,750 rpm and 14.65 Nm @ 6,750 rpm:


Equipped with DTS-i system:


Cute silencer does not intrude into the pillion leg area:


Footpegs force you to adopt a knee bent position:


Main stand is sturdy and can be deployed quite easily by a rider without getting off the bike:


Big rubber stopper has been provided on the main stand:


N160 stickering on the rear panel:


Saree guard is functional. It's mandated by law, but I have no idea what its use is with alloy wheels:


Rear wheel is also a 17" alloy unit. It comes with a 130/70 section tyre. Rear brake is a 230 mm disc:


No protection for the rear disc brake oil sump. But its placement makes me feel that someone will have to be very unlucky to damage it after a fall:


The single rear shock absorber is adequate and my weight was not an issue for it. So, I am guessing two college kids will be more than comfortable on this bike:


Tail-lamps are nice and bright:


Solid grab handles at the rear look great. At 154 kg, this is a heavy bike. I have a little test I always like to perform on new bikes. Stand next to the bike, hold the grab handle, lift the rear wheel and try to push the rear away by a couple of inches. This is something anyone who has parked on crowded city roads needs to master. This bike is quite well balanced and passed my completely unscientific but useful test:


Sleek rear turn-indicators:


Instrument cluster is quite barebones. It lights up with all the myriad indicators and then settles down within a few seconds. The tachometer takes up most of the real estate. The numbers were a little difficult to read in the heavy rain conditions. There are no smart connect features. Just the usual battery, CEL, speed, rpms, time and the gear indicator:


Standard ignition and key:




The clutch is super light to use - a blessing when stuck in traffic jams:


Controls on both sides are placed in a standardized manner. So, there wil be no issues in finding whichever button you need:


Quality of switchgear is acceptable and similar to what we have seen on other Pulsars:


USB charging port is a new feature and very useful in our increasingly smartphone driven world:


Fuel cap lock is protected under a cover:


The seat is comfortable and though the rear seat is a little higher, it's not the weird type that makes a pillion look like Betaal sitting on King Vikramaditya's shoulders. Saddle height is 795 mm:

Last edited by Aditya : 17th July 2022 at 18:01.
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Old 17th July 2022, 18:00   #3
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Riding the Pulsar N160


The entire test-ride happened in heavy rains on a mix of the Mumbai-Pune Highway and some side roads.

Bikes are scary. A bike that you have never ridden before is literally the worst thing to ride in heavy rain, especially on unknown roads. But the Pulsar has that familiarity to it since it's been around for over two decades. Right from the word go, the bike felt comfortable. The seat is wide but could have been a little wider. The foot pegs are comfortably placed. While riding, I did need to stand up once while easing off over a particularly nasty pothole.

The Pulsar N160 is powered by a 164.82cc single-cylinder engine that puts out 15.78 BHP and 14.65 Nm. It's a bike that weighs over 150 kilos and is not exactly a power monster. The first thing you notice is that the low-end torque is poor. From standstill, for my 95 kilo body, it was almost mandatory to come down to the first gear. Off the red light, the N160 will not win any prizes, but it won't be too far behind more aggressive bikes in the segment. Once on the move you can easily putter around in the 40's and 50's in top gear. But anytime you need to overtake, it's necessary to drop a gear or two and get the engine in the mid-range, where there is some power available. Shift down a gear and there is adequate acceleration available.

Since it was raining heavily and I was on unfamiliar roads, it was not possible for me to go faster without endangering my life or that of others. I wish the roads were dry and I was not blinded by the heavy downpour as this seriously restricted my ability to test the bike at a slightly faster pace.

The clutch is super-light, which makes the process of shifting gears easier. The transmission, however, is prone to false shifts, especially between neutral and second gear.

Coming to NVH, there are no irritating vibrations felt on switching on the engine. Engine noise is muted while riding at low rpms. It's only on hard acceleration that the engine gets noisy. Overall, the bike sounds very similar to other bikes in the segment.

The ride of the Pulsar N160 is adequately comfortable. The bike took most of the potholes and speed breakers easily. But this segment hardly has any bike, which does not do the same.

Again, as it was raining heavily and my speeds were restricted, it is not possible to comment on the straight line stability at higher speeds. While, the handling is predictable at city speeds, how the bike handles at high speeds remains to be seen.

The N160 has very good brakes. After a couple of stops, I had enough confidence in the brakes. I was able to slam them without the fear of a skid. Despite the flooded roads, the bike did not display any nervousness while braking. It held its line really well. I have not ridden the single channel variant, but as there is a better option available, I request everyone to buy this dual channel ABS version over the cheaper alternative.

Some images from the test-ride:








A big thanks to fellow mod libranof1987 for being my guide on the roads of Pune in the heavy rains.


Disclaimer: Bajaj Auto invited Team-BHP for the Pulsar N160 test-ride. They covered all the travel expenses for this riding event.

Last edited by Aditya : 17th July 2022 at 21:16.
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Old 17th July 2022, 18:00   #4
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Default Re: Bajaj Pulsar N160 Review

Thread moved out from the Assembly Line. Thanks for sharing!

Last edited by Aditya : 17th July 2022 at 18:02.
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Old 17th July 2022, 18:31   #5
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Default Re: Bajaj Pulsar N160 Review

Interesting review, would love to see more bike reviews on the forum!
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Old 17th July 2022, 19:12   #6
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Default Re: Bajaj Pulsar N160 Review

Thank you so much for the detailed review; seeing motorcycles on team bhp is always lovely!

I, too, visited a Bajaj showroom to check out the pulsar N250 as a probable candidate for my first bike. Aesthetically the bike looks nice for a pulsar, but the old design is just not doing it anymore for first-time buyers like me; the old design looked nothing short of a heartthrob to me in the pulsar 180/200 guise with that limited-time orange and black, when it was launched, I was just in school, that bike still is a rare sight to behold. Anyways, N250 looks excellent for the most part, except for the rear tyre that looks a bit tad too thin for my taste; it should've been at least 140 section if not the 150; it might serve the purpose, but visual appeal is a big thing when you're a first-time buyer!

Just as I sat on the bike, everything fell in place, from the handlebar position to levers and brake pedal and the gear shifter, and even the seat height, and that seems to be the problem for me; I am looking for a slightly sporty motorcycle that can keep me happy for my everyday fun rides, no commutes, and weekend highway trips which I'm not used to. The Pulsar N250 does everything correctly; it just works! But nothing too exciting or exhilarating, or maybe it was my over-the-roof expectations. Given the price it targets, it is a great option. Still, sadly to me, it felt like a good commuter that can do almost everything you want without much fuss but within its limits. On the very same day, I tried hero pulse 200 4v and KTM duke 250/390, all of which felt very exciting and would constantly take you out of the comfort levels you're used to, but pulsar would do great too. I want to keep you comfortable while doing it all 7/10 for N250 from me, nothing too serious, nothing too lazy either.

Mod Note - Please proofread before posting. There are too many errors in your post. Please go through Posting Etiquettes before making any further new post.

Last edited by Sheel : 18th July 2022 at 08:08. Reason: too many corrections!
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Old 17th July 2022, 19:21   #7
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Default Re: Bajaj Pulsar N160 Review

Didn't expect this at all! An official review of a motorcycle on team BHP is unheard of let alone a review of a product which is differentiated on the basis of 10 or 15 cc(nasty habit of Bajaj auto. to dilute segments). Looking forward to more bike reviews as they are sold the most in India.
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Old 17th July 2022, 19:48   #8
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Default Re: Bajaj Pulsar N160 Review

A very comprehensive review. Wish to see more motorcycle reviews on Team BHP, because in the motorcycle scenario its hard to come across unbiased reviews for obvious reasons and its time motorcycle enthusiasts will look to Team BHP as car owners have done for two decades.
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Old 17th July 2022, 20:08   #9
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Default Re: Bajaj Pulsar N160 Review

Excellent review as always. Though a capable bike, I think Pulsar brand has lost its differentiation & desirability factor over time. They now just don't get your heart racing the way it used to happen with Pulsar 220F, even NS200 in 2012.

Was checking their website & saw so many bikes from 125 to 250 CC with Pulsar moniker. I think they should move these 125 CCs & old Pulsars to another brand name & discontinue some of them (don't understand having a NS160 still on sale) & only keep the Pulsar name for the new ones to further reduce brand dilution.
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Old 17th July 2022, 21:08   #10
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Default Re: Bajaj Pulsar N160 Review

Quote:
Originally Posted by DriverNo.420 View Post
Didn't expect this at all! An official review of a motorcycle on team BHP is unheard of let alone a review of a product which is differentiated on the basis of 10 or 15 cc(nasty habit of Bajaj auto. to dilute segments). Looking forward to more bike reviews as they are sold the most in India.
I think the Interceptor 650 has an official review.
Link:https://www.team-bhp.com/forum/motor...-650-twin.html (Ridden: Royal Enfield Interceptor 650 & Continental GT 650 Twin)
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Old 17th July 2022, 21:30   #11
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Default Re: Bajaj Pulsar N160 Review

Quote:
Originally Posted by bblost View Post

Bajaj Pulsar N160 Cons



• Low end torque is irritating in heavy traffic
You mean too much torque or too little ?

TBHP bike review, this one is a nice surprise. I hope more reviews to follow in the future.
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Old 17th July 2022, 21:51   #12
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Default Re: Bajaj Pulsar N160 Review

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Originally Posted by amvj View Post
You mean too much torque or too little ?

TBHP bike review, this one is a nice surprise. I hope more reviews to follow in the future.
Too little. I write about this in more detail in the review.

From standstill, the second gear is just too damn lethargic for me. I hit this issue multiple times as I was riding in heavy traffic.
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Old 17th July 2022, 21:53   #13
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Default Re: Bajaj Pulsar N160 Review

Thank you for a wonderfully detailed review! It's great to see this new addition based on feedback from team-bhpains!

On another note, and sorry if it may be a little off topic, but I need to get it out of my head.

Could this review have been done when the weather conditions were a little more conducive for such extensive and comprehensive review?
Riding a bike in itself is a quite risky on our roads. Given the amount of rains and water on the road made it only more dangerous.
Not taking away from everyone involved in coming up with such a great review, however my honest and humble request, utmost respectfully - do share such reviews, but when the conditions are more normal and conductive.
Thank you!
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Old 17th July 2022, 21:54   #14
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Default Re: Bajaj Pulsar N160 Review

Bajaj has had a Pulsar 160 for some time now. How does the N160 compare with the old 160 ?
Quote:
Originally Posted by bblost View Post
From standstill, the second gear is just too damn lethargic for me.
So if one starts in first, and then moves thru the gears it should not be a problem ?

Last edited by condor : 17th July 2022 at 21:57.
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Old 17th July 2022, 21:59   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by condor View Post
So if one starts in first, and then moves thru the gears it should not be a problem ?
Yes and I will be honest about my extreme bias on this due to my riding RE for so many years.

A rider needs to always be in the appropriate gear in this bike before attempting any take off or speeding up.
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