The Bajaj Pulsar NS125 makes a bold entry into a segment that may be the choice for many due to the current fuel costs.
The NS125 has not just knocked on the doors of the 125-cc segment but has properly torn them off the hinges with the signature NS styling. By retaining the muscular fuel tank, refreshing the graphics and painting on an eye-catching colour, the NS125 has checked all the boxes needed to create a good first impression.
No changes here. The NS125 also features a digital-analog cluster that displays all the essentials including speedometer, odometer, tachometer, trip meters and fuel gauge. Additionally, it also has some handy displays such as a clock and a service-due indicator.
The powerplant is based on the one that does duty in the NS160. For the NS125, the bore and stroke have been reduced and it displaces 124.45-cc. Interestingly, Bajaj have opted for carburettion instead of fuel-injection and the engine dishes out 12 hp and a peak torque of 11 Nm. It is mated to a five-speed transmission.
Even with its clip-on handlebar and sporty riding position, the NS125’s saddle is quite comfortable for everyday city use and will seat you in resonable comfort for long rides as well.
The motorcycle starts without a fuss and settles into a quiet idle with almost no vibrations to bother you. There is a generous spread of torque through the rev range and it complements the transmission’s well-spaced ratios to provide and easy, effortless riding experience.
While performance in the city is adequate, it is just about okay on the highway because the small engine runs out of steam as the motorcycle edges closer to triple-digit speeds. 80-90 km/h in top gear is its sweet spot and it could do it all day without breaking a sweat. Beyond 7,500 rpm, the first hint of vibrations creep in and they become hard to ignore as the motorcycle edges closer to its 10,500 rpm redline. As for top speed, with an empty stretch of road, it will clock 105-plus km/h.
The Bajaj NS125 is agile and makes short work of congestion and tight spaces. That character also extends to turning a twisty bit of tarmac into a memorable experience. U-turns and narrow lanes are also dealt with quite easily. The NS125 gets a smaller disc brake at the front as compared to the NS160 while it uses a drum unit at the rear; ably supported by CBS.
The NS125’s biggest shortcoming is most likely to be its price. A price range of Rs 25,000-30,000 separates the regular 125s such as the Honda SP125 and the Bajaj Pulsar 125 from the 160s including the Bajaj Pulsar NS125, the Hero Xtreme 160R and the TVS Apache RTR 160 4V. You guessed it, the NS125 sits bang in the middle of this spectrum at Rs 98,234 (ex-showroom). Then, of course, there are 150s around that price as well. So enjoyable as it may be, it does not make a strong case for the asking price. Especially when it is flanked on both sides of the scale by multiple options.
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