We Indians are the best when it comes to engineering. Many people won’t agree with me but that is the truth; the best example being ISRO’s ‘Mangalyaan’ which incurred a budget of USD 75 million. The budget for this mission was just 75% of that of ‘Gravity’ movie and 11% of NASA’s Mars mission. It should be understood that engineering is not just technology, engineering is reasonable technology.
The Indian two-wheeler market has evolved at the speed of light and so did the home companies. This time everyone had to admit that the Indian automotive manufacturers dominated the Auto Expo 2014, which primarily included Hero MotoCorp, Bajaj Auto and Tata Motors.
Bajaj Auto is one company that understands the needs of the sub-continent population and delivers the products accordingly. They gave us the Pulsar 150 when people were looking for higher capacity bikes, they gave us Platina when petrol prices were touching the feet of Mt. Everest.
Bajaj’s latest offerings, the Pulsar SS400 and CS400 are certainly hot topics in the 2-wheeler segment. The Bajaj Pulsar SS400 has already occupied the throne of the Pulsar kingdom; but this King of Pulsars is facing criticism from social media communities because it looks more or less like the Energica Ego, a premium Italian electric bike.
The Pulsar SS400 would be carrying the modified KTM Duke 390 engine. This triple spark plugged engine would be churning out less power when compared to KTM Duke 390’s engine. Thanks to Bajaj engineers for cutting down the cost of the engine; many people can now afford a 400cc bike. The SS400 would be offering sporty action as it is runs on Metzeler tires. ABS as standard would enhance the handling. The first look reminded me of Transformers series character ‘Bumblebee’ as the graphics sunk well into the yellow beast.
The projector lamps would provide good luminance that would be handy for cruising at high speeds during the night. The company finally opted out of the same LED tail lamp design which has been there on the streets for years and the new tail lamp has certainly got the best design in the 2 wheeler segment. Overall the bike build looks good and I have to admit that Pulsar SS400 has got a premium look.
We often compare standard bikes to premium versions in terms of features and aesthetics. It should be understood that companies launches new models based on customer demand. It is us (the customers) who want premium products at a reasonable price and when a company makes an effort and comes up with such a product; we simply say that “this model is copied from that model”.
Now I feel like stating some of my views especially for the critics –
1) Does it seriously matter if the 400SS looks like Energica Ego? – If I am asked such question then I won’t bother much about its resemblance. If similarity of looks is the problem of customers then people who bought Yamaha R15, FZ16 and Honda CBR250R, 150R should also be bothering. The bikes are younger siblings of superbikes and have distinct features of them. I haven’t seen anyone mocking the owners of these bikes for their looks; in-fact for that budget, people love to get the premium look. I still don’t understand why people are treating the premium look of SS400 as a con when it is a pro for other bikes?
2) How relevant is Pulsar SS400 to Energica Ego in terms of looks? – I have to admit that from a distance the SS400 may look like an Energica Ego but a close look projected a different picture. The fairings and dome were definitely inspired from the Ego. So I would say that 25% of SS400 has similarity with the Ego which includes the projector lamps as well. I just want to remind that dome and fairings does not comprise the whole bike, there are other elements too. Don’t you think Energica would have sued Bajaj if SS400 was totally copied from the Ego?
3) How different is Pulsar SS400 from Energica Ego? – It is quite different; of-course the major difference being the power source. The dome is broad and is comprised of 2 pieces while the Ego’s dome is tall and in one piece. One can say that the basic dome layout was inspired from the BMW S1000RR. The front signal indicator is integrated to the dome in the SS400 while for the Ego it is on the side fairings. The rear suspension is in centre for the SS400 while it’s on the side for the Italian superbike. Tail section, tank, seating arrangement and all others are quite different when compared to the Energica.
We expect the SS400 to be priced somewhere between Rs 1.75 – 2.0 lakhs. The Pulsar SS400 would be competing with the KTM RC 390 which would be launched later this year. Will you prefer the SS400 over the Duke or RC 390?