2019 Bajaj Dominar 400 UG Test Ride Review

First launched in the year 2016, the Dominar 400 shone a new light on the Bajaj brand with its sheer excellence and performance. Both avid motorcyclists and first-time beginners flocked around this magnificent motorcycle in captivation. This motorcycle has penetrated the sub-400cc segment in our country and has given the indisputable KTM Duke 390, which it has been largely based on, a run for its money.

Through the different iterations over the years, Bajaj has relentlessly pursued their passion for the perfect machine in the form of major updates and tweaks to almost all aspects of the Dominar 400. Now, in 2021, this motorcycle has cemented its name in the Indian motorcycle scene as a reliable, powerful, and soulful machine. What is the secret of the Dominar’s legacy? What makes it so widely accepted across the country? Is it really a sports-tourer? Read on to find out all about the formidable highway machine, the Dominar 400!

Pros: Peppy Engine, Refined Motor, Impressive Top End, Comfortable Ride Quality

Cons: Slight Vibrations, Build Quality Could Have Been Better, Resembles Kawasaki Motorcycles

Bajaj Dominar 400 Design

The Dominar 400, at first glance, is a robust-looking motorcycle. It boasts a big-bike presence on the road that few other motorcycles in India can pull off. At the front, you are met with the aggressive stare of the LED headlight that looks solid and trendy, followed by – the chromed-out front suspension forks and the diamond-cut alloy wheel. The tank shrouds emulating from the metallic-finish fuel tank on either side looks very attractive. This motorcycle is quite sizable and menacing from the front.

At the back, the blacked-out side panels and double-barrel exhaust look awesome against the backdrop of the rear side panel (available in the colour of the motorcycle), pillion grab-rails, and the diamond-cut alloy wheel at the rear. Concluding the rear elegantly – is the signature Bajaj-style LED tail lamp. The Dominar 400 generously shares a plethora of design cues with its younger sibling, the Bajaj Dominar 250.

Bajaj Dominar 400 Features

The Dominar 400 gets a fully digital instrument cluster, LED headlights, sharp LED front and rear indicators, and sleek diamond-cut alloys. This motorcycle features a gear-position indicator, but, it’s placed on the fuel tank making it impractical to use. As far as mechanical features go, this motorcycle gets dual-channel ABS, slipper clutch and a liquid-cooled 373.2cc engine.

Bajaj Dominar 400 Engine Performance

The Bajaj Dominar 400 is the fastest Bajaj contribution to our motorcycle market so far. Helping accomplish the same is a 373.2cc, single-cylinder, liquid-cooled, fuel-injected, triple-spark engine mated to a six-speed gearbox producing 39.42 BHP at 8800 RPM and 35 Nm of torque at 6500 RPM. What do these numbers mean on the road? This means that the Dominar 400 is a blissful machine that’s agile and fast right through the RPM meter. The impeccable refinement on offer compels the rider to hit triple-digit speeds and rev the engine high. The top speed of close to 155 – 165 km/h further aids the reputation of this motorcycle on the highway.

The engine has been vastly derived from the KTM Duke 390 engine, meaning it offers all the frantic acceleration, but, in a linear-type manner resulting in a smooth and grounded riding experience. The Dominar 400 has also incorporated some of the dislikable traits from its KTM counterpart, the lower end of the RPM meter feels sluggish and uncertain. Everything changes once you reach the mid-range RPM, between 4000 – 6000 RPM is the sweet spot on this motorcycle. The Dominar 400 is at its smoothest and ensures an encouraging cruising speed of 90 – 110 km/h. Yes, the Dominar 400 is a fully-fledged sports tourer.

The name Dominar is derived from the word ‘Domineer’ meaning assertive and intimidating

Bajaj Dominar 400 Mileage (or Fuel Efficiency)

The Dominar 400 is not one to compromise on fuel efficiency. For a 373.2cc engine, this motorcycle returns a satisfactory number of 23 – 25 km/l in the city under economic riding conditions. On the highway, at a constant cruising speed of 90 – 110 km/h, the Dominar 400 returns around 25 – 30 km/l.

With a fuel tank of 13-litres and a riding range of up to 350 – 400 km, the Dominar 400 is a practical choice for long touring. The use of the sixth gear and adapting economic riding practices may increase the overall fuel efficiency of this motorcycle by quite a bit.

Bajaj Dominar 400 Handling (or Dynamics)

The Dominar 400 is a surefooted and stable machine that’s highly engaging to ride, on the road or off of it. Bajaj’s brilliance in this aspect has gone a long way in making the Dominar 400 what it is today, a hit. Contributing to the same is 43 mm front USD forks and a Nitrox Monoshock suspension at the rear. Combined with the ability of the beam perimeter frame and the kerb weight of 187 kg, the Dominar 400 is a highly responsive motorcycle even though it may not wholly look like one.

In extreme off-road situations, however, the Dominar 400 may not be easily manoeuvrable and may require additional effort. The wide-set handlebars contribute a good deal to the ideal handling and are also comfortable.

Bajaj Dominar 400 Comfort (or Ergonomics)

Arguably the most comfortable sub-400cc motorcycle on offer in India, the Dominar series is well-known for being a very rider-friendly motorcycle. What makes this motorcycle so easy to ride? The overall comfort of a motorcycle is a result of various aspects like handlebar placement and width, seating posture, foot-peg placement, quality and size of the seat, and weight of the motorcycle itself.
Dominar aces all the above criteria’s.

The handlebar is propped up at a respectable height and also fairly wide. This helps in stress-free handling and long tours. The seating posture and foot-peg placement for both the rider and the pillion are relaxed and complement comfort. The seat itself is in a split format and at an ideal balance between stiff and soft. Bajaj also offers a back-rest accessory that can be further installed for better pillion comfort. The seat height is at 800 mm meaning it can be safely labelled as practical for the majority of riders in India.

Bajaj Dominar 400 Safety (or Brakes)

The Dominar 400 has an efficient braking system, both at the rear and the front. What makes this motorcycle stop so well? The 320 mm front disc and the 230 mm rear disc offer ample bite and the assurance of dual-channel ABS is confidence-boosting as well.

The braking setup is directly borrowed, again, from the KTM Duke 390 and Duke 250. The tyres also provide sufficient road grip ensuring you are in control of your motorcycle at all times.

Bajaj Dominar 400 Service

Bajaj being a well-established motorcycle brand has stood the test of time and proved resilient in all its endeavours. They offer a wide range of authorised service centres and showrooms across the country where people can buy their motorcycles and get them promptly serviced, at an affordable cost. The average service interval for the Dominar 400 is anywhere between 4000 to 6000 km, this particular two-wheeler should cost you somewhere between Rs. 1000/- to Rs. 2500/- for its service.

Being a performance motorcycle, it helps to regularly clean and lubricate the chain for smoother throttle response and a clean chain drive. The recommended interval to lubricate the chain is around 300 – 500 km.

Bajaj Dominar 400 Price

Following is the price of the Dominar 400 (on-road, Mumbai) –

  • Bajaj Dominar 400 – Rs. 2,49,735/-

Bajaj Dominar 400 Resale Value

Bajaj is a brand that promises motorcycles that are easy to maintain, sturdy, and have a respectable build quality. The Dominar 400 should have a fairly adequate resale value depending on the mileage on the odometer, accidents(if any), and overall maintenance.

Bajaj Dominar 400 Colours

The Dominar 400 is available in the following colours:

  • Aurora Green
  • Vine Black

Bajaj Dominar 400 Specs

  • Engine: 373.2cc, liquid-cooled, DOHC
  • Power: 39.42 BHP at 8800 RPM
  • Torque: 35 Nm of torque at 6500 RPM
  • Transmission: 6-Speed With Slipper Clutch
  • Fuel Type: Petrol
  • Fuel Consumption: 23 – 30 km/l
  • Frame: Beam Perimeter frame
  • Tyres: 110/70/17 (front), 150/60/17 (rear), MRF Revz
  • Suspension: 43 mm USD forks (Front), Nitrox Monoshock (Rear)
  • Brakes: 320 mm Disc (Front), 230 mm Disc (Rear), Dual-Channel ABS

Bajaj Dominar 400 Dimensions

  • Length x Width x Height: 2156 mm x 836 mm x 1112 mm
  • Wheelbase: 1453 mm
  • Seat Height: 800 mm
  • Ground Clearance: 157 mm
  • Fuel Tank Capacity: 13-litres
  • Kerb weight: 187 kgs

Bajaj Dominar 400 Rating

We give the Dominar 400 a 4.5/5 rating.

Bajaj Dominar 400 vs KTM Duke 390

The KTM Duke 390 has pretty much owned the sub-400cc segment in our country since its arrival. This motorcycle is widely known for its incomparable performance, awesome design, unparalleled handling, and reliable build quality. Both the motorcycles share similar mechanical builds meaning they both come equipped with a single-cylinder, liquid-cooled, fuel-injected, and six-speed gearbox engine. Both the motorcycles also share dual-channel ABS in common.

The Dominar 400, seems rather underwhelming in front of its orange opponent, but, the Bajaj motorcycle possesses a character of its own, one that is more linear in acceleration and much more comfortable to ride. The Dominar 400 also inches ahead of the Duke 390 in terms of off-road stability. On the other hand, the Duke 390 is close to 20 kg lighter and handles better. The latter, though, is close to Rs. 75,000/- costlier than the Dominar 400. At the risk of repeating myself, I say, again – The KTM Duke 200 is a better motorcycle, but, the Dominar 400 is a better investment on any given day. What do you think?

Bajaj Dominar 400 vs Royal Enfield Himalayan

The Royal Enfield Himalayan is an able adversary to everything the Dominar 400 stands for. It handles well, it’s highly comfortable for both rider and pillion, it’s a fantastic off-roader has a high revving engine, and is also appropriately priced. The Himalayan is also a great highway machine that complements long tours, similar to the Dominar 400.

The finishing and overall build quality on the Himalayan are also not the best. The Dominar 400 is close to 10 kg lighter and around Rs. 5000/- costlier. Between the two, the Himalayan is a dedicated adventure machine that’s arguably the best at what it does, the Dominar 400 is a more complete package that offers a versatile riding experience.

Final Verdict

To sum up the Dominar 400, its reliable, fun, and highly engaging to own. The sea of after-market accessories available for this motorcycle can provide for some neat upgrades and enhancements. The only aspect to compromise on is fuel efficiency, which is understandable for a 373.2cc motorcycle. Bajaj could introduce additional colour schemes to increase customer appeal, but, we cannot complain about what is already on offer. For a motorcycle of its capacity, better quality tires will amplify the ride quality and cornering ability by a good bit. All things considered, the Dominar 400 is a killer machine with an even killer value-for-money factor. Thank you for reading and we hope we were able to assist you in making your big decision. Cheers, and ride safe.