The Hornet derives its all-digital instrument cluster again from the Unicorn 160. It displays a whole host of information. Included is a tachometer, fuel gauge and a speedometer. It also shows two trips, the odometer and a clock. You have the regular indicator lights including neutral, high beam and the turn indicator lights above the screen, but overall it is a funky but hard-to-see instrument cluster in bright daylight.
The Pulsar has a more traditional-looking instrument cluster because it has an analogue tachometer which dominates the instrument cluster in the center. Integrated within the tachometer is a digital fuel gauge on the right. To the right of the tacho is information like the speedometer, a clock, the odometer and the trip meters. On the left are the indicator lights; it also has a ‘battery low’ warning lamp and an engine oil warning light. Additionally, it also has a shift light at the top of the display so while being more traditional than the Hornet in terms of looks, it does display more information and both the shift light and the analogue tachometer make it a lot easier to know where you are in the rev range without having to actually look directly at the speedometer which is a big plus. The Hornet still does not offer a kill switch which is a big negative when you are paying more than Rs 1 lakh for a motorcycle.
Ex-showroom, Mumbai ₹ 83,340
Neither of these bikes has the typical sit-up-and-beg riding position of a regular commuter. They are intended to be sporty and as such, they have riding positions that put your feet under the rider’s seat and they make you lean just a little bit in front. Both the Hornet and the Pulsar approach the handlebar with slightly different designs. Where the Pulsar opts for clip-on bars, but which are raised to make it comfortable, the Hornet has a more traditional single piece unit. However the effect is the same - you feel crouched in a sporty but not uncomfortable riding position on both these bikes. The Pulsar feels a little smaller than the Hornet mostly to the width of the tank. The Hornet makes you spread your knees quite a bit so, if you are a large person the Hornet will feel a lot more substantial but if you don't have a height advantage, the Pulsar will feel better. Whatever your size, the Pulsar feels better in traffic because of the feeling of less width that it imparts to the rider whereas the Hornet gives the impression of more stability while sport riding in corners because it offers the rider the ability to hook onto the tank with his knee very easily.
The pillion rider will be a little more comfortable on the Hornet thanks to its pillion seat which is part of a single seat and is longer and wider than the Pulsar’s split seat. Both bikes offer a split grab rail which means that the pillion rider does have something substantial to grab onto, and using a bungee cord to hook luggage on the back is simplified.