Bajaj Auto has sent an official explanation of what went wrong with the Pulsar RS 200’s alloy wheel that broke on a customer model in Mumbai.
Earlier this week, a customer reported that his Bajaj Pulsar RS 200 broke its front alloy wheel leading to the rider and pillion meeting with a serious accident. The breakage occurred on the two month old model and questioned the quality of components used by the Indian automaker. The incident was brought to Bajaj Auto’s attention as well and the company immediately sent a team to the owner in Mumbai to investigate the matter further. Having completed its investigation, the Pune based manufacturer has shared its complete analysis with us. Here is what Bajaj had to say on the issue –
1) The breakage on the Pulsar RS 200 was caused due to a side impact by a rigid object on the front tyre and alloy that occurred at a speed of around 80 km/hr from the right hand side.
2) The impact at the side at high speeds caused the alloy spoke to break and the front fork to bend to the left. The direction of forces on the wheel can be made out by visible marks on the front wheel alloy and distortion of the front fork.
3) The physical external marks are in tandem with fracture analysis that display the directional stress fracture and crack propagation perpendicular to the plane of the wheel moving from the right side to the left. The first fracture occurred in three spokes closest to the impact point, while rest of the spokes failed on account of dynamic overload.
The owner had initially stated that the alloy wheel broke under hard braking but he had blacked out immediately post the accident and wasn’t able to recall exactly what happened. Bajaj states that had the alloy been at fault, the fracture initiation would be visible from the front of the spoke and at the back of the spoke. The fracture though is from right to left and ascertains that the breakage was caused due to a side impact.
The conclusion also states that the wheel was not the cause of the accident and instead it was the accident that caused the wheel to break. The automaker further iterates that the wheel cannot break under hard braking and the company’s components are of high quality standards. Bajaj sources wheels from two manufacturers, one is Endurance and the other is Wanfeng, the former is made locally while the latter is imported from China. The said bike was using wheels sourced from Wanfeng. Alloy wheels can break depending on the impact on them. With the wheel taking a lot of the impact force, the damage on other parts is restricted.