“Four wheels move the body, two wheels move the soul.” This is what makes motorcycles so special. India has seen a prominent demand for such machines from a very long time. The first-ever bike to reach our shores was the Royal Enfield Bullet 350. From then onwards, there are many companies that have made their presence felt. One such is the Bajaj Auto. And one of the most famous bikes from the company is the Bajaj Pulsar. The bike known as the fastest Indian has been for around 19 years. Let’s take a look at where it all started.
2001 – Where it all started
Hero Honda had a strong presence in the Indian market at that time. To make the things more inclined towards it, the company launched an entry-level 150cc bike, the CBZ. It became an instant hit. Bajaj being a competitor in the market had to bring its a-game into the arena. This is where the Bajaj Pulsar comes in.
The popularity of the bike is credited to the meanest machine Indian market had at that time in this 150cc segment. The bike had it all, a powerful engine which was capable of producing 13hp of power, front disc brakes (first time in the Indian motorcycles), side stand indicator, tachometer, a longer wheelbase and much more. And to add to the list, 1500 Pulsars were ordered by the Indian army, enough to prove the temperament of the Pulsar 150.
Along with the 150, Bajaj also launched a more powerful 180cc Pulsar. This engine could produce 15hp of power. The 180 had an electric starter as a standard. Both the engines came mated to a 5-speed manual transmission. The triumph on the Indian roads had begun.
2003 – Iconic Headlamps are introduced
Both the variants of the bikes became successful, though the 180cc was more powerful. In 2003, Bajaj decided to give them upgrades. First goes the round retro headlamps which were replaced by the twin headlamps.
But the major change was in the engine. It was equipped with the revolutionary DTSi technology which made it possible for the bikes to have more fuel efficiency. The 150cc variant could reach over 50kms in a single litre of fuel.
2005 – The 180 gets an all-black theme
Till now, the Pulsar 150 and 180 used to look the same. But Bajaj decided to give both of them a different look so that people are able to differentiate between both of the twins. The major visual cue was the blacked alloy wheels in the 180 which were still grey in the Pulsar 150. Both the bikes received the famous twin-led strip tail lights at the rear.
2007 – Bajaj 200Fi is introduced
The new Bajaj Pulsars, and the fastest ones till now arrived in 2007. The Pulsar 200 and Pulsar 220-Fi were launched.
The Pulsar 200 had a lot in common to the older pulsars in terms of design but what it varied was the powerful engine which was churning out 18hp of power.
But the Pulsar 220-Fi was a completely different game here. It had clip-on handlebars, projector headlamps, split seats, and the most powerful engine in the series yet. This engine was producing over 19hp of power. But being launched with fuel injection was not able to lure in the customers. So, later Bajaj relaunched the Pulsar 220 with a carburettor which became successful.
2009 – Bajaj Pulsar 135 LS Launched
With the increasing popularity of entry-level bikes, Bajaj decided to launch a more small engine powered Pulsar to give the stunt thrill to the ones who wanted a bike for everyday riding too. So the 135 LS was launched. The LS was the acronym for Light Sports. It became a good option for those requiring a bike for the daily commute and yet have a feel of a sports bike.
2012 – Bajaj Pulsar 200NS (Naked Sports) introduced
Bajaj by now had partnered with KTM thus something was brewing up in the factories for the customers. And this something came out to be the Bajaj Pulsar 200NS. The engine was capable of producing 23hp of power and 18Nm of torque. The bike had a mono-shock suspension and the styling was more of a naked, taking straight cues from the KTM tech.
2015 – Pulsar Adventure Sports (AS) introduced
There were three bikes added to the Pulsar lineup this year. One was the Pulsar AS200 which replaced the 220F as it was becoming outdated. The AS200 was basically the NS200 with a new front fascia. The AS in the name stands for Adventure Sports.
Another AS launched this year was the Pulsar AS150. But this particular bike was not able to carry the lineage of Pulsar and the NS200 was reinstated.
The major bike that came in was the Pulsar 200RS, the Race Sports (Thus RS) edition of the Pulsar. The bike looked as if it came straight out of a Transformers movie. Because, oh boy too much of bulky design and stickers all around the bike. It was the new fastest Indian in the town as it could touch high speeds of over 150kmph.
So this is how the Pulsar has come along with over almost 20 years of thrill. Recently the whole Bajaj Pulsar lineup was equipped with BS6 compliant engines.
With such mettle linked to the Pulsar brand, there seems to be no limit to the fastest Indian at present or in the near future. What are your thoughts about the Pulsars? Do you own one? Let us know in the comments section below.
For Prices: Bajaj Auto BS6 compliant bikes price list
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