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Saturday, August 03, 2013

My New Ride

Retired my old steed, for this machine.

Took delivery of my Bajaj Pulsar 135 LS, this Wednesday, amidst pouring rain. Has been a good ride, till now. Had started search for a replacement for the one currently in my stable, last month, exploring options in the 150-180cc range. A little later, realisation struck that fodder for this steed would be paid for by yours truly onlee. Thus, tweaked my search parameter to incorporate the ubiquitous all-Indian obsession with "mileage". Looking around & talking to folks, began to come around to the view that this entry-level Pulsar manages to achieve a blend of mileage as seen in a 125 cc bike & just a wee bit of extra grunt to make you "feel nice" about your buy. A couple of test-drives later, paid for the bike last Thursday, costing a total of Rs. 67129 INR [~$1100 USD], including what is referred to as a "Teflon Coating" & an extra layer of seat cover. The number plate, though initially informed would cost 150 bucks, wasn't included in the bill.


Facing, what I think is an issue with its idling setting. During the initial 5-odd minutes of a ride, from a complete 'Cold Start', the bike tends to stop, when going from a higher gear to a lower one. One would that thunked it'd be the opposite. Also, at this stage, stopping at a traffic signal, causes the bike to stop after a little while, when in neutral gear, unless you periodically race its accelerator - I don't. The problem seems to disappear after the first 5-odd minutes mentioned. Planning a visit to the showroom today. A design grouse is the use of a toe-shift leaver to change gears, as opposed to a toe-heel one used elsewhere. Since gear change from 1 to 2 & above requires you to put your feet under the leaver to push it up, the upper portion of my white sneakers that is in contact now sports a black imprint. Solution involves buying what is referred to as shift socks. As evident, it wasn't a deal-breaker, but one would have preferred the more traditional gear change arrangement.

Despite these niggles, am happy, so far, with the bike. Some pictures.


The worker's strike at Bajaj's plant at Chakan has had some noticeable detrimental impact on their supply. Consider myself extremely fortunate that both the bike & colour of my choice were available when I paid the showroom a visit last week. The staff there were telling how folks who had booked either entry-level bikes or its top-end bikes were on a waiting list, extending to weeks. Nothing compared to Royal Enfield's 7+ months waiting list [down from the 14+ months earlier, after they started a new production line], but it still is bad when considering Bajaj outlets almost always ensure a surplus stock of its 100-125cc range vehicles. Hope things get amicably resolved at the earliest.

Another minor, but not-totally innocent factor that went in favour of the decision to buy this bike is the fact that there is no company sanctioned arrangement to attach a side box - freedom from running on sabzi-tarkari buying errands [hopefully]!