Road Test: Bajaj Pulsar 135 LS vs Yamaha SZ-R

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Is a bigger engine a sure fire way to judge how good a motorcycle is? We think not.

The other day a friend called up asking “Which 150 should I buy?” The Yamaha FZ came to mind. It had won our comparison road test twice and is one of the better looking motorcycles around. Obviously that couldn’t have been the end of it. “Too pricey” he said. “They all are similarly priced,” I came back. So it was evident that a regular 150 wouldn’t do. So I recommended the other Yamaha, the SZ. It is a ‘150’, well priced and looks good. Yamaha just gave it a disc brake too. But, he seemed a little confused because for about the same money he could also buy the Pulsar 135LS. Now it might not be a 150 but packs in superb performance. Hmmm…good thought that, the 135LS does look good, has a great engine and is quite efficient too. It’s time then to finally settle the debate and in turn help out many like our aforementioned friend.

Both the Bajaj and the Yamaha are good looking motorcycles. The smallest of the Pulsars is a sharp looking thing. The motorcycle has been given enough attention throughout and although there are a few bits we didn’t like, the overall effect is quite likeable. The edgy looking headlamp merges well with the angular tank extensions on the shapely tank. The jagged look continues on the centre panel, which imitates the bigger Pulsars and through to the long tail section ending in the LED tail lamps and split grab rail. The motorcycle was recently given an all-black treatment for the mechanical bits and the hideous full cover on the rear tyre was replaced by a new two piece unit. We still don’t like it very much, but it is way better than the older one.

The SZ-R is the third motorcycle in the SZ range. Yamaha has given it a mild touch up as regards looks. The leaf like tank extensions from the SZ-X are gone and in come more pointed slim ones that look better thanks to the contrasting colours. The middle section too has been painted silver. The rest of the motorcycle runs the same all-black treatment. Also making an appearance is the disc brake we missed. Along with that it also gets bar end weights and a tachometer. It sadly gets some downmarket looking things like the tubular grab rail and an archaic fuel filler cap.

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