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Bajaj Pulsar N250 review: 8 observations after 1 month of ownership

The TVS Apache RTR 200 is more nimble, flickable and has more features, but lacks the grunt of the Pulsar N250.

BHPian Thamps recently shared this with other enthusiasts.

I bought the Pulsar N250 last month and completed its first service last week. From my limited knowledge of owning and riding a few motorcycles, and the short period for which I have used the motorcycle, some of the main factors which stand out to me are listed below. Though some of it may seem trivial, I think it ought to be stated for the sake of anyone who is planning to buy the 250.

  1. The Large Turning Radius(TR): It is understandable that the TR cannot be compared to the likes of 125s and 150s which have close to lock-to-lock turning radius, but the fact is that the TR of the 250 is worse when compared to even larger capacity bikes like the Duke's. Being a motorcycle targeted predominantly as an urban street bike, this definitely sticks out as a sore point. Be it pulling out of a parking lot or taking a U-turn on the narrow streets, one will definitely notice the lack of manoeuvrability in tight spaces.
  2. Flighty at higher speeds: Some of the reviews by journalists had pointed out the same for the naked 250. I didn't understand the statements at the time, but once I tried to attain those speeds (120-30ISH), I understood exactly what they meant. It is understandable that one does not travel at 130+ on a regular basis on our roads, but at those speeds, the front feels too light and light bumps easily upset the bike. The front also chatters on slight undulations of the road at such speeds. In essence, the N250 is a nervous handler near its top end. This may be useful for people planning to buy one with occasional track days in mind. However, all the reviews state that the faired version is more stable due to the additional weight at the front. I can't comment on the same since I have not ridden a F250 at those speeds.
  3. The riding position is a mixed bag, the upper half a bit more leaned forward and sporty and the lower half is kind of a sporty commuter position. The seat height feels lower than its competitors like RTR 200, FZ 250 etc. Again, the faired version of the 250 has a more upright seating position, though it is the one with the Clip-on handlebars. Go Figure. The pillion footrest is a different story. It is the lowest among all its competitors, and lower than most of the 160s even. This will make climbing onto the seat easy for pillions. The seat is soft and the pillion seat is long and has ample space.
  4. The bike is punchy and has more than enough grunts in the city. The bottom end torque is amazing and one can putter along with minimum gear changes. I felt the gear ratios are on the shorter side. Also, there is not much heat transfer to the legs even in bumper to bumper traffic.
  5. The engine is smooth even at higher RPMs. The bike does not vibrate much at the handlebars or pegs when revved hard. Ride quality is plush and it soaks up bumps and gutters efficiently.
  6. The brakes are from a new brand, Gremica and I felt the brakes to be sharp and have to feel at the levers. The rear brakes do feel wooden at times though. The clutch is light and therefore a boon in city traffic. The mirrors offer good coverage and do not vibrate while running. The gearshifts are slick and smooth.
  7. The stock MRF Zappers are grippy enough at moderate lean angles and braking. I also didn't feel any lack of grip in the wet.
  8. Though it is not the most nimble 250, it does not feel heavy or sluggish while riding. However, it is not as eager to turn into a corner as an RTR or Duke. I felt the exhaust note is similar to the Dominar.

This is my short ownership review. I think that rest of the things like the cluster, features etc are covered in YouTube reviews. As requested, comparing D390 and P250 would be futile as both are motorcycles in different segments. P250 is half the price of a D390 and even if one ignores the price, the P250 does not stand even a tiny chance against the Duke in terms of performance and handling. However, the 250 beats Duke by a huge margin in case of ride quality, smoothness and city traceability.

The RTR 200 is more nimble and flickable and has more features, but lacks the grunt of the P250. It is cheaper too. FZ25 is in a similar price bracket, but can't comment on the same since I have not ridden one. Duke 250 even though more expensive, is a much better handler and has superior performance too. The Gixxer 250 and Husq twins are also much more expensive.

I think the 250 beats its competitors in a similar price bracket in terms of pure acceleration, power figures and pillion comfort.

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

I bought the Dominar 250 a month ago. I took a test drive of the N250 before that and found it to be quite easy to ride especially considering I used to ride the Platina 100 before this.

The Bajaj salesperson was pushing hard for the N250 and I was also seriously considering the new 250s as I was on a tight budget.

But I ultimately decided to go for the Dominar because of two main reasons:

  • I had always loved the looks of the Dominar I believe it just looks magnificent(and the new stickering on the 2022 models ruined that). The Pulsars looked just "alright".
  • While I found the performance of the N250 to be good, it felt like it was just too easy. I test rode the Dominar after the N250 and the difference was huge. D250 just has a much more exciting power delivery.

Riding the N250 my thoughts were "This is nice". On the Dominar as soon as I opened the throttle it was "OK That's it. This is the one"

The Pulsar 250s are something that I very much wanted to like. But after riding them I feel that Bajaj has made 250cc commuters and I believe most people aren't looking for that in this segment.

Here's what BHPian Sudarshan42 had to say on the matter:

Thanks for the review and the unique points, Thamps!

I have a hypothesis, after mostly going mad over obsessing over buying the right bike; humour me by confirming or dismissing it Since you own both a Pulsar 250 and a D390 which lie at the opposing ends of the price range that I'm considering, does it make sense to stick to the extreme ends alone and not consider anything in between? Reason- when you buy something in the 2-3L range, you can't help but think 'What if I'd spent a bit more to get a vastly better bike?' or 'What if I'd saved a bit more to get something that was equivalent to this for the most part anyway?'.

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

Actually, this is something I in my limited bike experience, have found to be the case with all the naked bikes I have ridden. I actually found the front end to be twitchy and not confidence-inspiring in Duke 390 and Himalayan as I drove them along with my R15v3 back to back in a ride at high speeds. The story was similar in Thunderbird and Classic 500 too but the vibrations were way too high and the speeds were lower to form a firm opinion on them.

There was a night and day difference between them and my bike, my bike would stay absolutely firmly planted and arrow-straight till its maximum speed with hardly any issues, but the punchy Duke for example would reach those speeds much quickly but at the speeds you mentioned would feel scary and unnerving, it would suddenly change directions(not by a lot obviously)/feel feather-light or overreact to the road conditions below giving me mini heart attacks and forcing to slow down immediately. It frankly felt like a deal-breaker to me, to the point of feeling better about my bike's painful riding position and being happy with what I have.

I don't know why the difference was this huge, was it because of Yamaha's better chassis, better suspension tuning, fairings, riding position with more weight on the front wheel or a combination of all these, but the end result was like I explained.

More experienced riders on TeamBHP can elaborate further or disagree with my statements but this is been my experience so far, admittedly my experience in bikes is not even a fraction of what it is in cars so I'm much more open to all kinds of opinions.

Check out BHPian comments for more insights and information.

 
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