Usually, brands grow bigger with time. But things are slightly different for the Bajaj Pulsar. How? Well, it’s 2019, and Bajaj has decided to go a size smaller with the latest Pulsar. This year, the company has launched its smallest Pulsar yet – the Pulsar 125. On the surface, this sounds like going back in time because, even at the time of its market launch in 2001, the Pulsar series was offered with a 150cc motor. So, why go smaller?
Bajaj says that the sole reason for doing this was to bring the ‘thrill’ of the Pulsar brand to the commuter segment. Consequently, everything on the 125 is identical to the Pulsar 150 Neon – the body panels, suspension, tyres, and brakes, everything comes from its bigger brother’s parts bin.
In fact, even the engine architecture is the same. It’s just that the 125 has a shorter stroke of 50.5mm, versus 60.7mm in the 150 (bore is identical at 56mm), which means that the cubic capacity stands at 124.4cc. Like the 150, this is a super-refined motor and delivers power in a linear fashion. However, with only 11.8bhp and 11Nm on offer, it does run out of juice after 6,000rpm.
The Pulsar 125 is the most powerful bike in its segment, but it’s also the heaviest, at 140kgs. And this means that the performance isn’t anywhere close to being ‘thrilling.’ Similarly, the new Pulsar suffers in the handling department. On the track, it’s very easy to upset the chassis, and the rear lightens up when pushed hard. This bike is best enjoyed within the closed confines of the city and not on twisty sections, or even on the highway for that matter.
The biggest problem with the Pulsar 125 is its bigger brother! For about ₹6,000 more, you get a bigger motor, ABS (the Pulsar 125 has CBS), and an overall a better package. And, on top of all this, the design of the bike is more than a decade old – meaning it won’t set you apart from the crowd, even with that Pulsar tag.