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Road Grip:


Rs. 82,202 (Ex-Showroom)


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Thrill of being chased by a heat seeking missile!
Oct 12, 2007 11:46 PM 15327 Views
(Updated Feb 19, 2008 12:31 PM)




Road Grip:


Right from the first add campaign to the moment you actually get your hands on one, this is the bike that will set your pulse racing in a way like a BMW-M5 would, because until recently when the black engine scheme  was introduced it was difficult to distinguish the 180 from 150. So what does not matter is that people do not know that it is a 180 and not a 150 at one glance, like people cannot distinguish a M5 from 5 series. What matters is you know what you astride.

Technologically speaking this is one of the most advanced bikes that have been introduced in India Including similar stuff from the Honda, Kawasaki and Suzuki stable. It has a power to weight ratio comparable to the Toyota corolla or a Honda Accord V6, which means your girl friend would not be drooling over the one driving the Accord when you do decide to drag him on a Red light for the first sixty KM’s per hour and all that for just Sixty five grands. Not just the go, this bike will not let you down when it comes to the show. Right from the old Ducati monster style to the new generation razor cut detailing; this bike has always been a good looker.  Pretty much the best looking alloy wheels in the industry coupled with an aggressive driving position. You have to mean business when you are on a 180.

All this does not mean that the leisurely weekend drive where you just want to stretch your legs is too difficult to tame, because keeping the engine singing at 4500 rpm with the Speedo clocking 65KM/hour, you can really bond with the ride.

All this is assisted by wider softer compound tires perfectly chosen for this bike, responsive front forks and off course the benchmarking rear gas assisted damping.

Like a Jag would have servicing issues, a TVR would have handling issues, a Maybach would have brand image issues and a Cadillac would have weight issues, this Achilles has its heel and that is engine quality issues.  Let me put some gravy on the meat. They did manage to get many things from the original Kawasaki eliminator engine but they left many good things like it has an external oil separator unit that condenses most of the oil evaporated from engine blow by back into the oil sump. Here on the other hand all of that goes directly into the air box. Which means it goes through the carb into the engine and deposits as a horrible grim on top of the piston; this is not an issue until you rev the bike above 5000 rpm. Then there is that three layer spring loaded gear above the clutch plates which has a 2 gears made of plastic and one of steel, which is a serious assemble line issue in itself because if the three gears are not assembled under a very heavy torch, the engine knocks terribly which is very distinctly audible and seems to be the problem of at least 50% of the 180’s rolling down the line including mine. The fix is simple, just remove the gear, torque them and put them back but this solution is something that I have discovered, which is quite a contrast to the information provided by the Bajaj service stations which can vary anywhere from the lost compression ratio to a faulty carb jet, Which brings me to another major turn off and that is Bajaj service. If you own a Bajaj vehicle your service experience can include 6 hours of waiting in a rickety shed while your bike is being serviced, discovering used engine oil in your bike right after the first service and no respect what so ever for their warranties just to name a few.

As far as quality is concerned only suggestion I have is BEWARE because the cam will chip off from a place where the lobe has been made very thin to accommodate a worthless valve-pre-lift mechanism which is suppose to aid the starting but doesn’t do anything. This will cause a constant tinkling noise from the head which is very irritating, the gear box has a mind of its own, getting stuck and giving false neutrals is something it enjoys. The piston rings will only last you for 30 thousand kilometers and the block liner will go at forty. The starter motor would eat its own bushes. And would start to sound like breaking all your china ware in one go. The tappets will loosen themselves up at every 1000 KMs and the valves would cut their own selves to become razor sharp or break themselves every 30000 KMs. So all in all it’s like the Indian democracy it would almost never crash, it has serious quality issues but it does what many others fail to do – it brings power to the people!

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Bajaj Pulsar 180