The Japanese are known for making the best in-line four engines. The Europeans (mostly Italians) strive hard to make V-Twin and V4 engines better and better. Then there is Triumph, they have unparalleled knowledge and skill in making parallel three-cylinder engines (sorry for the rhyming, it was necessary). Coming to parallel twin engines, those too are best shaped by the Japanese. Markets are changing. Yamaha has made an in-line triple and twin and Europeans have started making in-line fours too.
Yet again, Japanese made single-cylinder engines and it’s been more than 20 years since the making. The crummy air-cooled, 2-valve engines ranging from 99cc to 150cc, when it comes to Indian prospect. Let’s consider the fact that we are all enthusiasts here and we look for something exciting and with character, despite the character may end up good or bad, we need something to thrill us. When Bajaj Auto came in the market with motorcycles, the very first engine was the 150cc motor, which spawned the 180 with a slightly bigger bore. The engine character is what according to us captivated the hearts and minds of biking enthusiasts in the country. Till date and its been 12 years, people swear by the machine and now its christened as the “Classic”.
Time passed and Bajaj kept on going and gave the best and the most amusing engines we had ever witnessed. Yea sure they were not that great when it comes to making engines last long, but over time that was solved by a surplus extent, there is no denying that now. All this pretty much started with the new series of engines Bajaj made which were seen on the Pulsar 200 and 220. The 200 was the peppiest engine of the lot and a real star in the lineup. The one which took the limelight was the faired and fuel injected 220 which had more power too. Obviously it was bound to steal the show.
However, Bajaj made a strong move and discontinued both and came up with a one man army, the carbureted Pulsar 220. High lift cam, revised gearing, eye opening goodies and oodles of top end torque made it earn the tag of the “fastest” too, short lived terminology, but totally working till date when it comes to sales. Yea yea, we know there was always the Hero Karizma and later on the Yamaha R15. Both machines had a purpose (Karizma = sports tourer, R15 = track scorcher) but the Pulsar had none, because it had and has to do it all for the aam junta, that is being everything they need when they need it.
With time comes money and for sustaining it, you need technology. Bajaj yet again made a motorcycle which was small, yet totally the best in class offering above class performance. The 4-valve, 13.5 PS, 122 kgs, Pulsar 135 LS. Underrated at the time of launch and till date, the motorcycle is best when it comes to dynamics and engine package from Bajaj’s stable. A motorcycle that smoked its elder sibling and competition as well. This forced Bajaj to up the game with more power for the Pulsar 150. The Pulsar 135 LS showcased other 150cc motorcycles that you don’t need displacement to kill your opponent.
Bajaj took the technology and the ladder down to the basement and created the brand new Discover platform with this technology used as the root. The Discover 100 and 125 have the right balance of power and fuel economy which is pretty much visible through by just looking at the specifications. The 100T is by far the most potent 100cc engine in the market today. Fuel economy as usual with twin-spark, 4-valve engine is been on the top. No compromise seems to be the mantra here. In Bajaj ideology we think it’s called the new “satya” now.
Don’t worry we are coming to the KTM part. It’s pretty much the reason you are here reading this. The Duke 125, 200, 390 need no introduction. Worldwide acclaimed technology and quality with jaw dropping performance all through single-cylinder motors is just scintillating when you consider the cost benefits to both the customer and manufacturer. The Duke 390 has ignited so much passion that the motorcycle can’t even burn so much fuel in its life time period when compared. Now KTM has helped Bajaj create another platform on which the new generation Pulsars are based on. The Pulsar 200 NS is something which changed everything when it comes to biking in the Indian scenario and we don’t need to tell what the motorcycle is all about.
Arch rivals you may think of? Royal Enfield guys don’t get angry, you are in a class of your own. TVS? It seems they are doing something but who knows when they are going to come up with something exciting because its TVS who is close to Bajaj when it comes to product supremacy. What’s next then? Pulsar 375/400 is what’s on Bajaj Auto’s mind. Faired 200 NS is next as well. What about the future you may start to wonder. Well, as with the case with the Pune based manufacturer, who knows what comes out next!