Greater Noida: During its press conference at Auto Expo 2014, Bajaj Auto unveiled two 375cc near-production prototypes of the Pulsar, the 400SS and 400CS.
While everyone was expecting Bajaj to go ahead and launch the supersports version of its venerable Pulsar 200NS at its stall at Auto Expo 2014, the reality turned out to be a little different. Rather than launching the aforementioned Pulsar 200SS, the Chakan-based motorcycle giant unveiled two near-production ready versions of larger capacity Pulsars, or rather what those larger capacity Pulsars could be. Most of us in the media were speculating that in order to differentiate the Pulsar brand from its KTM partners, the larger Bajajs would be 300cc. But surprisingly, the blokes from Bajaj went all out and rolled out the two new Pulsar prototypes in a similar 375cc capacity to the KTM 390 and even went so far as to christen them “400”.
The first bike that Bajaj took the wraps off was the Pulsar 400SS – a supersports machine carrying the same design language that we’ve seen on the 200SS test mules running around near Pune. The bike sports a full-front fairing with twin projector headlights, LED pilot lamps and LED indicators. The frame seems to be borrowed from its smaller 200NS cousin as well as the fuel tank shape. But there are plenty of changes in details all over to make it look like much more than an NS with a fairing. The underbelly exhaust has been ditched for a stubby side can as well. But the biggest change to the underpinnings is the massive, uniquely shaped swingarm as compared to the 200NS. But we think this is a detail that may not carry over to the production version.
While the SS, in one form or the other was expected, the biggest shocker was the 400CS. There was news that Bajaj would bring a new cruiser bike to the Expo, so most were expecting a larger version of the Avenger. Bajaj though went the extra mile and showed off a “Cruising Sport” model. The 400CS is a sort of a power cruiser on the lines of the Ducati Diavel and carries a low-slung silhouette. Flat handlebars are the order of the day and the most interesting bit is that even unlike the 400SS, the front end of the CS is held together with inverted forks a la KTM 390 Duke. Even the wheels have a brand new sculpted design as does the bulbous headlight unit. While there is no mistaking this bike for anything other than a Pulsar, in a lot of ways, the 400CS is a departure from what we’ve seen before on Pulsars so far.
Both the bikes feature a liquid cooled 375cc single-cylinder engine derived from the KTM 390 Duke. The bottom end of the engine remains fairly unchanged, but thanks to the addition of Bajaj’s proprietary triple-spark four-valve head, the top-end of the mill has undergone some serious transformation. As opposed to the 200NS, these 400s also get electronic fuel injection and in other mechanical changes, get anti-lock brakes (ABS) as standard.
There is no official word from Bajaj with regards to when either of these bikes will go on sale, but we can expect the Pulsar 200SS to make an appearance on our roads either by late 2014 or early 2015. The 400SS shouldn’t be far behind in any case, but as to whether the muscular CS lands at all, is something that remains to be seen.zeegnition.com/Priyadarshan Bawikar
First Published: Wednesday, February 5, 2014, 21:00