Choosing a motorcycle in the 150-160cc segment could be a herculean task nowadays. There are multiple products, most of them having certain USPs as well as weaknesses. But if your list of requirements includes aggressive styling and sporty overall character, the Bajaj Pulsar NS160 makes for a strong case. You can read our detailed review of the motorcycle here. For now, let’s take a quick look at the five pros and two cons of the Pulsar NS160.
2021 Bajaj Pulsar NS160: Pros and Cons
The design of the Pulsar NS160 is inarguably old but it continues to be sporty and youthful even today. The low-slung headlamp with sharp design lines all across lend it a streetfighter-like stance. The latest edition of the bike comes in new colour options that look much bolder and eye-catchy with a white frame and wheels.
The motorcycle is powered by a 160.3cc, single-cylinder oil-cooled engine with a four-valve head. It churns out 17.03bhp of power and 14.6Nm of peak torque. Typical of a Pulsar, this engine feels and sounds raw and pretty gruff. It builds up the pace with a bit of urgency, especially after crossing 5,000rpm. The low-end acceleration is quite linear and it feels relaxed in traffic while moving at speeds of 20-50kmph in top gear. It comes equipped with a five-speed gearbox.
As engaging is the Pulsar’s engine performance, its handling dynamics are equally impressive. Thanks to its perimeter frame and slightly firm suspension tuning, the motorcycle is quick in direction changes. It’s particularly enjoyable in traffic as flicking it around requires minimal effort. The light steering only makes things even more seamless.
With a clip-on handlebar, mildly rear-set footpegs and split seat, the Pulsar demands you to crouch a bit but the overall ergonomics are extremely comfortable. Even after nearly two hours of non-stop riding, I didn’t feel fatigued whatsoever. That’s also thanks to the cushioning of the seat which feels firm initially but gets forgiving after a while.
Easy on the pocket
With a price tag of Rs 1.12 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi), the Bajaj Pulsar NS160 sits somewhere in the middle of its rivals on the pricing front. It is slightly expensive than the Hero Xtreme 160R and the TVS Apache RTR 160 4V but considerably affordable than the Honda X-Blade and the Suzuki Gixxer. Above all, being a Bajaj product, it won’t be expensive to maintain.
Lack of features
In this day and age when a fully digital instrument cluster has become a norm, the Pulsar NS160 still retains the semi-digital console that shows just the basic information. Moreover, it misses out on an LED headlamp as well and does away with a halogen setup. It needs a comprehensive update in this department to have an edge over its competition.
This might not be a major problem but we believe the Pulsar NS160 could do with a better quality of paint and body work. In our test unit, the white paint on its frame was smudged out on other black components that looked untidy. Additionally, certain plastic panels had started making rattling sounds after a few kilometers, despite it being a brand new unit.
Photography by Kaustubh Gandhi