2014 Indian Auto Expo: Bajaj Pulsar CS 400 preview
In our run up to the 2014 Indian Auto Expo we had revealed that Bajaj is readying a new take on the cruiser genre of motorcycles. You can read more about it here. At that time we had mentioned that the new Bajaj cruiser will be a power cruiser. And the new Pulsar CS 400 is just that. The design inspiration for the motorcycle is varied; the headlamp and front fairing come across as an evolution of the Pulsar 200 NS design and so does the longer fuel tank. But, overall, the Pulsar CS 400 reminds one of a scaled down Diavel from Ducati.The end result is a motorcycle that looks stunning. It has eyeball grabbing road presence and it is an agreeable blend of muscles and athleticism. We love the way the visual mass is centralised and the attention to detail - for the wheel, the footrest hangers and the swing arm in particular - is top notch.
The Pulsar CS 400 is based on the same platform as the KTM 390 Duke. So, the engine and the chassis are shared. But, to give the CS 400 a power cruiser stance, the Pulsar has a more raked out front end and a longer rear swingarm. It does, nonetheless, use the rear gas charged monoshock from the Pulsar 200 NS and the front upside down forks from the KTM Duke range. In terms of dynamic ability, the CS 400 will no doubt make for a quick and comfortable cruiser especially in a straight line. But, given the cycle parts are essentially the same the Duke range, the CS 400 will make for an able handler has well. Sure, it won't be as nimble or great at filtering through traffic as the Duke (given the lazier steering geometry and the longer swingarm) but around longer radii, faster corners, it should be great fun, we are sure. And with its neutral set footpegs instead of forward and lower set ones we generally see on cruisers, the lean clearance around bends won't be an issue either.
The engine as we mentioned is the same as the 390 Duke. But, the 375cc, single cylinder, liquid cooled and fuel injected motor uses three spark plugs instead of one on the Duke. Bajaj claims this improves ride ability. That's something we will have to wait and see when we ride the motorcycle, but what is obvious is that with the large rear chain sprocket on the CS 400, it should make for one hell of an accelerating machine. The downside, naturally, will be a lesser top speed. But, the figure should still be close to 150kmph. Also, to maintain the differentiation between Duke and Pulsar brands, expect the CS 400 to have lesser output figures (power rating in particular) than the 390 Duke.Braking responsbilities are take care of by disc brakes at front and rear, while the great news is that ABS will be most likely be standard.
The Pulsar CS 400, for us, is one of the big stars of the 2014 Auto Expo. And even though it's not a concept but a working prototype, the CS 400 is still a year away from launch. But, what we have seen and heard about the bike so far, it should be worth waiting for till 2015.