2010 Bajaj Pulsar 135LS – Click above for picture gallery

Bike tested: 2010 Bajaj Pulsar 135LS

Price OTR Mumbai: Rs. 57,496/-

It was a bright Tuesday morning that I had decided to test drive the new Bajaj Pulsar 135, honestly I wasn’t expecting a lot from the new bike since it had a lot to do with Bajaj’s dying XCD range of bikes. To me it seemed more like a last ditch effort by the manufacturer to save the XCD from oblivion. Let’s face it, the old XCD’s were nothing too impressive, just an ordinary machine with a seemingly low price point, the fact that Bajaj already had the Discover 135 with much better looks at a slightly higher price, made the XCD seem like a silly option. The bike didn’t go as planned for Bajaj since other options such as the Stunner from Honda, Flame from TVS and even Bajaj’s own Discover were doing much better owing to their better package overall.

But no one would have predicted that the Pulsar brand, recognised for its mix of performance, styling and refinement, would be used to launch the new machine, the news about the P135 came at a time when people were speculating about a possible Pulsar 250 or even higher, this didn’t go down too well with the Pulsar loyalists as a smaller cc Pulsar was never really there on their wish lists. We take the new machine out for a spin and ask ourselves whether the new Pulsar P135 is worthy of the Pulsar tag.

On the looks front, there are things you wouldn’t like about the Pulsar 135LS especially that odd wheel cover on the rear wheel which looks like it’s been inspired by cycles of old ages. The tank even has somewhat of a striking resemblance to the Hero Honda Hunk’s. Apart from all that, you wouldn’t find it too different from the XCD 135, the headlight, side profile; tail lights and indicators are almost identical to the old machine. Small additions like split seats, split grab rails, the Pulsar logo on the tank, the new handlebars and the tiny aluminium license plate holder make it look different. Overall, the new look is subjective and simply creates mixed reactions.

Performance and Drivability

The engine used in this bike is very different from the other bikes in the Bajaj stable. It’s a four valve, twin spark, 135cc unit. The extra valves in the mix make all the difference, the first thing you’ll notice when you fire it up is its rev happy nature, the tachometer simply loves to head north and as an added bonus, it has that distinct, smooth Pulsar exhaust note to it. It doesn’t feel harsh even at the redline. Once you start moving, you understand that even though it may look like the XCD, its heart is definitely that of a Pulsar.

The Pulsar 135LS genuinely pulls and that too happily, just twist the throttle and you are given a smooth surge of acceleration coupled with that lovely exhaust note, on the handlebars, you could even feel the punchy engine doing its job. It pulls as good as the Pulsar 150 due to its light weight and near exact power figures. To give you an idea, the bike has a kerb weight of 122 Kilos versus the P150 which weighs a heavy 137kg’s. Power is rated at 13.5 BHP for the Pulsar 135LS versus 14 BHP for the Pulsar 150, hence the slight power disadvantage is made up for by its supreme light weight. With all that power, the bike feels really at home in the city, although it reaches the 80 mark quite quickly, the climb to 100 can be a little long. Our tests showed that it took nearly 20 seconds for the speedo to display the triple digit from 0 km/h, but still you will love this machine because it would deliver about 60 km/l on an average.

The gearbox felt right from the first tap, it had the right amount of feel and the right noise, finding neutral wasn’t a game of cat and mouse on this one like it was in the P150. Its single lever might not go down too well with the commuter folks but since all bikes feature this these days, it can be overlooked. Going fast was one thing but stopping was another, 80 Km/h, at full braking force on level road, the front instantly dives in and the light weighted rear can lift up quite easily, the front disc brakes aren’t as sensitive as the other Pulsar’s but a firm press can deliver quite a bite. The Pulsar 135LS is not as well footed as I would have liked but its lightweight means that it can be easily controlled in any emergency situation, but a little attention needs to be paid to the rear as it can lift up unintentionally under hard braking. If you like doing some stoppies, the P135 won’t disappoint you at all with its front 240mm disc brakes and solid built handlebars which could easily stand up to a beating.

Ride, Handling and Ergonomics

The Pulsar 135LS’s design seems to be inclined towards being nimble through traffic and through corners alike; you would love its flickability. The weight around the bike is quite well balanced and this can give great confidence at the twisties. I myself was surprised when I found out that this little machine had great lean angles, with the slightly rear set footpegs, it could easily go down and let you enjoy some knee scraping action. It’s all well and good as long as you are on smooth roads, take the Pulsar 135LS onto the rough patches and the ride becomes less exciting, the seats were too hard for my liking, moreover the suspension wasn’t the best on bad roads. It could be due to the lightweight that the bike doesn’t stay as stable as its bigger brothers especially in mid corner on high speed curves. Over loose rock, it becomes even worse as the bike gets tossed around quite easily owing to its weightlessness. A feature you would notice in the P135 which has managed to shave quite a few kilos is the new frame design. Unlike all of its bigger brothers, this bike has the engine as a stressed member, this means that instead of having the frame under the engine, the engineers at Bajaj have managed to use the engine as a part of the frame. This helps in making the bike feel more rigid and also reduces weight. Designs like are used in Royal Enfield Bullets, Unicorn’s, Yamaha FZ’s but this is the first time that Bajaj have implemented it into one of their bikes.

The riding position is quite comfortable for general use, and is also slightly sporty, the handle bars are positioned a little high and the somewhat rear set foot pegs provide a good mix of comfort and sportiness, we reckon that one could travel for quite a distance on the P135 without tiring out. Overall, the bike feels best in and around the city, its nimble character along with the great engine can make you a traffic carver in no time, as you head to the highways though, you would realize that it needs something more, at high speeds, with all the wind blowing, you really don’t get the kind of confidence that the Pulsar 150 offers, for some reason, it could be because of its lightweight and narrow tyres. But if you are looking for highway cruising this is definitely not the bike.

One feature the P135 certainly needs praise for is the use of a covered chain, unlike recent trends; this bike offers the old fashioned protection. Most people prefer it to be naked but for Indian conditions the naked version can be heavy on the wallet. The unknown truth is that the chain lasts just half as long when left unprotected. This means that in real life a protected one would last upto 30,000Km while the unprotected one could start making trouble at 10,000Km under similar conditions. This of course would depend on how well you would take care of it. The manufactures wouldn’t mind this since they would simply make more profit by selling more chains and sprockets.


The bike sports a gas filled shock absorber for the rear, digital speedometer console, LED tail lamps, the famous ExhausTEC exhaust resonator which improves low and midrange power, split handlebars, illuminated handlebar controls, aluminum license plate holder, 240mm front disc brakes, engine set as the stressed member, toe shifter, split seats, split grab rails, MRF Zapper tyres, an engine kill switch, electric start, maintenance free battery and even protective padding on the tank. This is quite a long list of features for a 135cc bike.


To be honest, the bike isn’t perfect, there are a few things you might not like about it.

Firstly, the bike simply looks a lot like the XCD, if it weren’t for the Pulsar tag and the new paint jobs, no one would have guessed it to be a Pulsar. It definitely doesn’t stand apart from the crowd or even turn heads and we think that Bajaj could have done a lot more to the design before giving it the respected Pulsar brand name.

Also, it’s not too good on the Highways, nimble and lightweight it may be, but at high speeds, it’s those characters that do not inspire much confidence.


The bike is a good performer for its engine capacity, but branding a bike a Pulsar that looks just like an XCD isn’t such a good move in our opinion. The performance and handling are quite worthy of the Pulsar tag, as for the looks, Bajaj could have done better. If you’re looking for an affordable bike with good performance and mileage, especially for use around the city and for short trips, the P135 is for you. It handles respectably and is nimble enough to give you the thrills, sometimes less can be more.