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Advice needed: Replacement for my Pulsar 220F between 1-5L

I've been sitting on this blasted question of 'What bike?' for about 2 years now, without any real need or reason to buy one.

BHPian Sudarshan42 recently shared this with other enthusiasts.

Did the headline grab your attention? Did it make you wonder what sort of scatter-brained fellow would have such a wide range of needs, budget and consideration set? Well look no further- welcome to my idle musings on what my next motorcycle should be; musings so idle that my mind has well and truly become the devil's workshop.

Speaking of the devil, the epic poem Inferno by Dante Alighieri divides hell into 9 concentric circles, each home to those guilty of a particular sin. The first circle is where I do some of my best work, and it's aptly titled Limbo. I've been sitting on this blasted question of 'What bike?' for about 2 years now, without any real need or reason to buy one. Yet I can't seem to dispel it from my mind for one reason or another. After all, the souls in Limbo are not punished directly, but are condemned to "suffer harm through living in desire"; their punishment is to be left desirous of salvation.

Ok, enough of all that. Now let's talk about bikes.

I currently ride a Pulsar 220F, and have owned 2 Thunderbirds in the past. All of these bikes have been hand-me-downs of sorts, with the 2 T'birds passed on to me by dad. The Pulsar 220 I ended up owning because of a misunderstanding with my cousin- you see, my indecision extends back to 2017, when I borrowed his bike for a few weeks just to try it out and see if it works for me. During which time, said cousin in a typically impulsive move went and bought himself a Classic 350 from a friend. My dad misconstrued that as "Oh my son has basically stolen that other boy's bike, let me pay him for his troubles."- and ended up transferring twice the amount of what one would pay  So I ended up stuck with that one unintentionally. Mind you, that bike is no slouch- I have loved riding it. I'm so hard-pressed to find a replacement with that exact combination of soft cushy suspension, decent mid and low end grunt, looks that aren't exactly 'to die for' but aren't half bad either, and that fill-it-shut-it-forget-it ownership experience.

Here's what BHPian comfortablynumb had to say on the matter:

If you could mention the purpose for which the bike would be used (city only, highway only, mixed usage), people can give better suggestions. Based on the text quoted above, my recommendations are Apache 200 4v, Gixxer 250, Honda CB 350.

Meanwhile, here are some existing threads for you to go through:

Buying advice: Hero Xpulse vs TVS Apache RTR 200 vs Honda Highness vs Others

Looking for a faithful companion for the next 2 years | Which motorcycle should I buy?

What bike at 40? What do you call this urge at this age?

Which motorcycle for a short person?

Which commuter bike for city rides?

The Usual Bike Dilemma: Interceptor vs CB350 vs G310R

Need a comfortable commuter with great ride quality | Is Unicorn still worth buying?

What comfortable middleweight bike for 500 km/day trips (once a month) and city commutes?

Here's what BHPian am1m had to say on the matter:

Test ride, test ride, test ride. Comparisons online, opinions from others and Excel sheet comparisons can go on forever and are fun in their own way, but a bike that 'ticks all the boxes' on paper may not "do it" for you when you actually ride it and a bike that seems not-suitable theoretically might just end up being a whole lot of fun when you take it for a spin. More than most cars, bikes have a way of defying the specs. So have fun and take a lot of test rides of all the bikes you are considering.

And do pen down your impressions of them, head-to-head comparos are pretty rare. In particular, I'd be very interested in your FZ25 vs. Gixxer 250 impressions.

Here's what BHPian drt_rdr had to say on the matter:

Pulsar 250 seems to be a great bike. The riding position is a bit forward set for comfort but easily manageable for the city. I personally wouldn't let the lack of dual channel ABS stop me from buying it. Dual channel ABS is a great thing to have. But it's overrated for such low capacity machines. In my eyes, it's all the better that Bajaj has cut costs with single channel ABS while providing practically more valuable stuff like the slipper clutch. I mean, if I'm commuting in the city, I'd much prefer my clutch to be effortless (which I'd be constantly using throughout the journey 5 days a week), than be covered for the possibility of the rear locking up once in a blue moon. Wish the other 250s and 300s provided the option for single channel ABS so that I don't have to pay for stuff I don't need. I'd anyway take the fuse out.

Don't get me wrong. ABS on the front wheel can be a very useful thing to have. But on the rear wheel, not so much. Front slides can possibly turn the handlebar and take control away from you in a second, they're dangerous. But rear slides are much easier to manage since the rear wheel's freedom of movement is more limited and the slides are more predictable.

I recently had a crash offroad thanks to the front locking up. It's not my first crash this way and it still scared the shit out of me because I was thrown off the bike before I knew what was going on. But the rear locking up is a ho-hum event and throughout all these years of riding, only once have I fallen due to a rear lockup, and that was because I was riding over rocks and couldn't find good footing to recover from the slide.

On the road, slides are a less common occurance. Unless you're one of those who uses the rear brake more than the front, chances of the rear locking up are low. Dual channel ABS only comes in very handy during the rainy season or if you're a particularly inexperienced or careless rider.

All said, I'm not trying to persuade you to think "single channel ABS good". Just giving information based on my personal experiences and observations.

Also, if you're dilly dallying on buying a bike of the same class as you 220, I'd say keep your 220 and just get a Yamaha Aerox instead. Seems like it makes more sense to have a scooter. I mean, it scratches your itch for something new, while also scratching your itch for decent performance, and all the while, also being easily usable by your other family members. You also get variety for your commutes. Does the morning feel spirited? Take the 220 out. Are you having a lazy morning? Take the scooter out. Etc.

Read BHPian comments for more insights and information.

 
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