Friday, October 15, 2010

Bajaj Pulsar 180 DTSi UG4 Ownership Review by Aju


Hello Riderz! I’m Aju from Panvel (Navi Mumbai). I am an IT graduate and currently working in an IT company. I am very passionate about bikes & would consider owning a bike instead of a car. I have a Pulsar 180 UG-4 which is completely owned by me.

Yes, I have bought this Bajaj Pulsar 180 on my own. I call her “rápido díablo”, which is Spanish for “Fastest Devil”. I bought it one year back on 17th Oct. 2009. Initially, I thought of giving my review as soon as I bought my Díablo but then I thought, it would be better if I perform a review after using it for a year. So that I can explain all the pros n cons of the bike.

To be really honest I am an avid fan of the Bajaj Pulsar. Not only because it is the best seller in the market but also because of its performance (P220 & Yamaha R15 not considered since it is a performance oriented sports bike). I used my old pulsar 150 for almost 6 yrs, with more than 60,000 km clocked on it without any major accident history or any huge servicing/maintenance bills. It actually depends on one’s riding skills & the way he maintains the bike.

 Since I was stuck in the 150cc segment for all these years, I decided to go for a higher segment bike. Buying my first completely owned bike was not a tough decision for me. I had 3 bikes in my mind, P180, Apache 180/160 & Unicorn and my budget was Rs. 70,000/-. Before making my final decision I went through most of the reviews of these bikes. My priorities were performance, maintenance & economy with style being the top most priority.

I test rode all the 3 bikes. Since, style was my top most priority, the first one to go out of the list was the Honda Unicorn, though it comes closest to performance & economy. Though Apache 180/160 was the closest competitor for my “Diablo”, I had some problems with them (strictly personal). Somehow I can’t rely on TVS and also the spares & after sales service was on a higher side. The P180, in my opinion, is the best bike in its class. It offers the best performance and economy.

As far as my riding experience goes, I have an experience of 5 years (more than 1, 00,000 km) on four different bikes, viz. CT 100, Discover, Pulsar 150 and finally my Díablo, Pulsar 180. I believe in safe riding though I like to speed my Díablo a few time.but I make it a point that I don’t exceed my limits!!!! The fastest that I have ridden my bike is 131 kph, on the ODO though

 I have been riding this Bajaj Pulsar 180 for the last 1 yr & have done 12000 km so far. I have done quite a few long trips and many short trips. The longest that I have ridden my Díablo is 550 km from Panvel to Goa (panjim) with the whole trip being a 1500 km adventure ride. The other trips would be, a 300 km trip to Pune and nearby places (back & forth), 250 km night out trip to Alibaug-Kashid-Murud & Janjira fort, 200 km night out ride in and around Mumbai (Bandra-Gateway of India-Juhu-Andheri etc).

The weirdest things that I have done on my Díablo are: riding at 131 kph @ 4’o clock in the morning, going to chor bazaar. The other thing is: changing riders, with me coming from the rear seat to the front seat with my brother on NH-17 @ 60 kph.
During all this things I always used a good helmet to be on the safer side. Also, using a helmet is compulsory in Mumbai and I have been caught on quite a few occasions without a helmet and things like that!

Handling

If you are a new user of a P180, then you’ll find the ride to be on the heavier side because of the add-ons. But as you get a hang of the bike, you’ll feel that it is the easiest bike to ride. Díablo is well equipped with Clip-on handle bars which actually help in better handling. Riding position is good & you don’t have to lean forward as in case of P200, Apache or Yamaha R15.
With its wider rear tire and increased wheelbase, it provides better grip on the road. This helps in cutting corners at ease on high speeds. Rear braking is good but not the best to be honest. But as far as the front Disc brake is considered, it is rock solid. It helps in avoiding to go those extra meters ahead. The new 37mm front suspension is a boon for the bike. It helps in providing stability to the bike and works fine. The rear suspension is also good though. I personally would like Bajaj to make better Seats as they are not soft enough and I do get a sore butt a few times.
Riding the Bajaj Pulsar 180 in city is not easy for new riders but personally, I don’t feel any problems coz I have got the hang of it and usually I zip through the traffic. The turning radius of the bike is bigger, but I guess, it’s ok as this bike comes under the “commuter cum performance bike” category. Also, this problem is there with the entire “commuter cum performance bike” category bikes. Riding my Díablo on highways is like “icing on the cake”. It just doesn’t lose the grip off the road and cutting the corners is a dream cum true for any rider, literally.
The latest that I got to know about Bajaj is that they have started installing “BREMBO” brakes on their bikes. “BREMBO” being the best manufacturer for brakes in the world, I think it is a good move by Bajaj. But sadly I’ll have to pay extra to get those installed on my Díablo.

Performance

Before going into the performance aspect of the bike I would like to tell u that, I really don’t want to go into the technicalities of the bike though I have a fair knowledge about bikes. It would be best on my part to leave it for the experts as they know much more than any one of us (riders).
The performance of my Díablo is absolutely flawless. It has never let me down as far as performance is concerned. I have even compared it with my friend’s P200 and the competition was neck to neck. Obviously the P200 won the competition in terms of power and pick up, as it had a power of 1 more horse at her disposal. But, when it comes to top-speed the P180 wins it hands down with a top whack of 131kph (personal best) as compared to my friend’s P200 (127kph).

It delivers a very good performance in its class.
As far as mileage is concerned, it gives me a mileage of 45 kmpl in city riding conditions. Highway & city combined average is between 45-48 kmpl. On long trips, it gives me a mileage of 50-53 kmpl. I would like to add one thing that, I have removed the sari guard off my bike coz it is used only by me and my brother. This has helped in reducing the bike’s weight by another 2-4 kg. This is another reason for the good mileage of my bike.
In my opinion, these figures are really good for a bike of this capacity.

Maintenance

This is the most important part for every biker and for every bike. In order for anyone to maintain his/her bike in good condition, proper maintenance is a must.
I love my Díablo, and hence maintain it properly time and again. These are the few things that I do to maintain my Díablo.
  • Adjusting the carburetor setting & cleaning it every 400-500 km.
  • Cleaning, lubricating & adjusting the tension of the chain every 400 km so as to avoid it from rusting.
  • Cleaning the air filter after every 1000 km.
  • Maintaining the tire pressure as mentioned by the manufacturer.
  • Replacing the engine oil after every 2500km (20W50 only).
  • Setting the Brakes (rear only) as I don’t know how to adjust a Disc brake.
  • Apart from cleaning the carburetor, all the other things I do it on my own.

Servicing

Here comes the worst part about any bike and its manufacturer. If you don’t have fair knowledge about bikes then the service center guys will fool you BIG TIME…!!!!
I would like to add one thing….Bajaj service centre sucks big time excluding a few though that are actually good. One good thing about Bajaj is that they have set up some good work stations in and around many cities as well as rural areas.
I service my Bajaj Pulsar 180 at one such service station (not the showroom) in Navi Mumbai which is 5 km away from my place. The mechanics are very friendly & most importantly knowledge oriented. They are willing to help me in every possible way.
These are the things that I do while servicing my Díablo.
I service her after every 2500 km and use only Castrol 20W50 oil. (I’m planning to switch on to Motul 5100 15W50 semi-synthetic oil.)
The other things that I keep a tab on while servicing my Díablo are…
  • Cleaning & lubricating the chain
  • Cleaning the air filter
  • Adjusting the spark plug gap
  • Carburetor settings etc.
  • Though all these things come under the servicing, I just keep a tab on the checklist.

Pros

  • Automatic indicator shut down.
  • Lots of new features like Clip-on handle, Wider tire, Sporty tank cowl etc.
  • Good performance & mileage.
  • Very low maintenance cost.
  • Value for money.

Cons

  • The main stand is located very low and touches the ground quite often while you maneuver speed breakers.
  • The bike is a bit heavy.
  • Gear box is good, but not exceptional like Yamaha.
  • Rear braking should have been better.

Conclusion

All in all Bajaj Pulsar 180 is a very good bike in its class. I would definitely recommend this bike to others. It has great power as well as good mileage. I would like to have some more features on this bike like Rear Disc & P220 silencer.
I’m planning some modifications for my Díablo but I would not like to tell it now as I don’t want anyone to copy it.
Also, I’m planning a trip to Goa this January. I will post the photos of that trip later on along with the modifications. Until then, keep riding & ride safely.
I would personally appreciate your suggestions or any queries regarding the same.
Thanks,

~AJU~

Thanks AJU for the news.

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3 comments:

  1. nice review mate..
    131 km/hour?
    is that any speed o meter error?

    ReplyDelete
  2. Looks pretty nice. I truly agree its one of the coolest bikes.
    Bikes For Sale

    ReplyDelete
  3. please advice me is it possible to change pular 180 UG3 gear and rear brake model to UG4

    ReplyDelete