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Bajaj Pulsar N160 Sport Commuting!

Bajaj Pulsar N160
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Bajaj Pulsar N160

The new Pulsar N160 is a smaller capacity sibling of those quarter litre machines.

Bajaj had recently launched its 3rd generation of its iconic brand, Pulsar, with the introduction of the N250 and F250.

The new Pulsar N160 is a smaller capacity sibling of those quarter litre machines. It is got little or nothing to do with the NS160. For many years now, India has had an oddball in the 160cc segment. Just 10cc more, differentiated this segment from the regular ‘commuter’ 150cc motorcycles. This segment was looked at through a younger, sportier prism. While a 150cc motorcycle would be ridden by middle-aged men to work, the 160cc was ridden by young folks headed to college and fun!

Bajaj Pulsar N160 Sport Commuting!

Bajaj has the class leading TVS Apache 160 firmly in its sights, as it launched the N160. Even though it uses the same platform as its 250cc counterparts, the smaller capacity engine ensures frugality. Better fuel efficiency results in more money in the pocket for high jinks, for college kids! You get all the sportiness of the Pulsar range without burning a hole in your pocket with your petrol allowance.

Bajaj Pulsar N160 Sport Commuting!

The N160 has the same design as the Pulsar N250. There is no change whatsoever and this will be loved by those buying the 160. Not sure how the 250 owners will feel about this! The biggest visual change is the exhaust, rather than having a side slung exhaust as in the 250, the smaller iteration gets an underbelly exhaust like the NS. The dual-channel ABS version of the N160 comes in a gorgeous black. Taking the Pulsar back to its original ‘hooligan’ roots.

Bajaj Pulsar N160 Sport Commuting!

The wheelbase of the N160 is 358 mm, slightly longer than the N250, which is surprising. Possibly necessitated by the placement of the exhaust. As we mentioned, the dual channel ABS is available in black only as of now. If you want other colour options, then you must choose the single channel ABS. Not just that, the cheaper variant also gets 31 mm forks, rather than the 37 mm found on the N250. The brake disc size also varies between 280 to 300 mm for the lower and higher spec N160.

The instrument cluster on this bike is the same as we found on the N250. Part analogue and digital. It has all the basic information like gear indicator, clock, fuel level, USB charger etc. There are no elements that you would miss for a regular city bike.

Bajaj Pulsar N160 Sport Commuting!

The N160 comes with a saddle height of 795 mm and a kerb weight of 154 kg for the dual-channel version. The single-channel version is lighter by two kilos. Fuel tank on the Pulsar N160 has a capacity of 14 litres, which is more than enough for city riding and a bit of highway excursions as well.

The engine is the sweet spot of the motorcycle. It is a smooth 164.8cc engine mated to a 5-speed gearbox. It doesn’t remind you of the old Bajaj motorcycles, which had a distinctive vibe to it! Power delivery is linear and you can cleanly rev through the gears as you build up speed rapidly. The oil cooled engine is a 2-valve twin-spark mill.

Bajaj Pulsar N160 Sport Commuting!

The riding ergonomics are definitely on the sportier side. It is aimed at younger riders and it is positioned physically as such. On a track, you automatically feel like getting into a racer’s crouch. The longer wheelbase provides excellent straight-line stability, while the tubular chassis gives good feedback as you try to hug the corners. Once you cross 100 kmph, you start feeling vibrations creeping into the single-piece handlebar. The bike is geared perfectly for brisk acceleration and you never feel bogged down. Braking performance on this bike is more than satisfactory.

The Bajaj Pulsar N160 has excellent fit and finish, though the switchgear could have been slightly better. Also, it would be nice to have a fully digital console in this day and age!

Bajaj Pulsar N160 Sport Commuting!

The Pulsar N160 Single-channel ABS variant is priced at INR 1.22 lakh, while the dual-channel is 5000 more. We think it is worth the extra money. This bike will also save you a cool 20 grand over the N250, a big difference for young ‘not so deep’ pockets! Bajaj claims that this little powerhouse will return 48.5 kmpl. We would love to ride it longer to test out that claim!

A good machine which will surely take the fight to the Apache 160 and give users a viable option.