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Bajaj Pulsar NS125: Road Test Review

20 July 2021, 05:00 PM Neil Nair

Introduction

Bajaj Pulsar NS125 Bajaj Pulsar NS125

This is the Pulsar NS125- the smallest and most affordable model in Bajaj’s NS line-up which also has the NS160 and NS200. Now, since this is a 125cc motorcycle under the sporty NS brand, it is very likely to be compared to the KTM 125 Duke.

However, the NS125, with its pricing, caters to a different set of buyers and seems to compete closer with its siblings- the Pulsar 125 and Pulsar 150 rather than the 125 Duke. So we tell you all about the Pulsar NS125, where it really fits in, and most importantly whether you should consider buying one.

Quality

Bajaj Pulsar NS125 Bajaj Pulsar NS125

You’d be forgiven if you mistake the NS125 for its other siblings at first glance. After all, they all look like someone pressed the copy button more times than they should have. So it gets the recognizable ‘Bumblebee’ style headlamp, brawny-looking fuel tank, and the sharp tail section with the split seat and signature split tail lamp.

Although to distinguish one from another, Bajaj has adorned the NS125 with this orange shade that also has a slight tint of red and looks cool under direct sunlight. There also is the NS125 logo, just in case you forget which NS model you are looking at.  

Bajaj Pulsar NS125

Bajaj Pulsar NS125

  • Displacement124.45 cc
  • Mileage - Owner Reported49 kmpl
  • Max Power(bhp)11.6 bhp
  • Kerb Weight144 kg
  • ;

Avg. Ex-showroom price

₹ 1,01,872

Bajaj Pulsar NS125 Bajaj Pulsar NS125

That said, the repetitive styling now seems outdated and could do with a revision- something that we expect to happen with the new Pulsar 250. As for the Pulsar NS125’s build quality, while it could do with a slight improvement to its fitments, it does feel better than most other motorcycles in its class. 

Comfort

Bajaj Pulsar NS125 Bajaj Pulsar NS125

The Pulsar NS125’s ergonomics is the first step to define it as a sporty commuter. It offers a slightly committed riding position that is engaging yet comfortable and even allows one to tuck in with ease. And while the 805mm seat height is the tallest in its class, it shouldn’t be an issue for short riders. For reference, I am 5’7’’ and had no trouble planting both feet on the ground. 

Bajaj Pulsar NS125 Bajaj Pulsar NS125

Speaking of the seat, the cushioning is soft and comfy at first but starts to feel firm on longer journeys. Even the pillion seat has the same experience to offer. Now weighing in at 144kg, the NS125 is around 4kg heavier than the Pulsar 125 and the heaviest in its class. However, it still feels easy to move around.  

Bajaj Pulsar NS125 Bajaj Pulsar NS125

As you get out on the road, it won’t take long before you feel the NS 125’s stiff suspension. While it is tuned that way to complement the bikes’ sporty character, the setup feels harsh and jarring even on minor undulations-especially at the rear end. But the ride experience the NS125 delivers in traffic is what makes it shine. It switches sides almost telepathically and filtering through traffic is as smooth as pouring wine into a glass. 

Performance

Bajaj Pulsar NS125 Bajaj Pulsar NS125

Adding some more spice to the NS125’s ride quality is the bike’s performance. Now with an 11.6bhp and 11Nm output, the 124cc, air-cooled engine isn’t big on numbers. However, it compensates fully with its enthusiastic nature. Before I tell you how it performs, let’s listen to what it sounds like.  

Bajaj Pulsar NS125 Bajaj Pulsar NS125

The motor delivers quite a punch from 5000rpm and revs happily to 9,000rpm. While it does take a while to see triple-digit speeds, the NS125 does not feel stressed reaching there. Instead, it offers a refined and smooth-revving motor with only slight buzzing at the footpegs at higher revs. 

Bajaj Pulsar NS125 Bajaj Pulsar NS125

Moreover, we even liked the gearbox that allows to shift through all the five cogs effortlessly. The only drawback when it comes to the NS125’s performance is its braking. While the front end that comes with a 240mm disc feels crisp, the bite and feedback from the rear drum is faint and could do with heavy improvement.   

Technology

Bajaj Pulsar NS125 Bajaj Pulsar NS125

When it comes to features on the NS125, you get a part analogue, part digital display, backlit switchgear, an LED tail lamp, and as mandated, a combined braking system as standard. And even though most of these features are the same as NS160 and NS200, it still does not put the NS125 above other 125cc offerings. However, the five-step adjustable monoshock it rides on is the only thing we found that truly differentiates the NS125 from the rest of the segment. 

Fuel-efficiency

Bajaj Pulsar NS125 Bajaj Pulsar NS125

On our test route that combines heavy traffic, and open stretches of road, the Pulsar NS125 returned an impressive mileage of 46.9kmpl. So, with its fuel tank capacity of 12-litres, the motorcycle could go roughly 562kms before needing to refuel. 

Our Take

Bajaj Pulsar NS125 Bajaj Pulsar NS125

Let’s get straight to it. Should you consider buying the Pulsar NS125? Well, It makes a strong case for itself with a smooth and sprightly engine that offers good mileage and excellent handling. That said, with a price tag of Rs 98,234, it also makes sense for someone that would not want to shell out Rs 1.60 lakh for the KTM 125 Duke. (all prices ex-showroom)

And with a sharp styling unlike traditional commuters like the Pulsar 125 and Honda Shine SP, the NS125 has greater appeal. However, it could be an even better package with improvement to its ride quality and braking hardware as well as an update to its list of features. 

Photos by Kapil Angane