Bajaj Auto has made several changes to the underpinnings, as compared to the existing Pulsar motorcycles. The chassis, for example, uses the engine as the stressed member. The hardware, too, has received an upgrade, and the new Pulsar F250 and the Pulsar N250 get a preload-adjustable rear mono-shock instead of twin-sided units on the other Pulsar (excluding NS series) motorcycles. The front uses telescopic forks to handle the shock absorption tasks. The suspension setup feels plush and the motorcycles glide over most of the undulations effortlessly – an ideal tuning for our road conditions. That’s one of the major reasons why both motorcycles felt comfortable on the streets than they did on the test track.
The Pulsar F250 uses a clip-on style handlebar while the N250 comes with a single-piece unit. The width of the bars is similar while the height is marginally taller on the F250. The difference, however, is negligible and you wouldn’t find much difference in the rider’s triangle. Both motorcycles feel comfortable and, at the same time, sporty enough to keep you entertained around twisty roads. The added mass, because of the semi-fairing on the F250, felt assuring while riding on Bajaj’s Chakan test track. The N250, on the other hand, felt at home on the streets. At the end of the day, I was inclined towards the Pulsar F250, although my fellow rider and colleague, Vikrant Singh, seems to have liked the Pulsar N250 more for its slightly quicker response.
The new, 249.07cc, single-cylinder, oil-cooled engine makes a respectable 24.1bhp at 8,750rpm and 21.5Nm of peak torque at 6,500rpm. The power delivery is set to churn out a meaty mid-range along with some top-end performance. The motor feels jittery under 3,000rpm and there isn’t a lot happening until the tachometer crosses 4,000rpm. The acceleration is commendable past this point and the Pulsar 250s continue to build momentum until 8,500rpm. The back straight at Bajaj’s Chakan test facility saw the speedometer hit around 140kmph.
The five-speed gearbox benefits from an assist and slipper clutch mechanism and thus you get a light clutch-lever action. The slipper mechanism, on the other hand, comes in handy when going aggressive on downshifts. The braking setup, which comprises 300mm front and 230mm rear rotors, packs a good initial bite and feels sufficient for the task.
The refinement levels aren’t something to write home about. The vibrations become noticeable around the 5,000rpm mark and they continue to rise as the tachometer races higher.