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Bajaj Dominar 250: Review In Images

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  • Jul 15, 2020
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Here’s a slightly shorter version of our views on the Dominar 250 if you aren’t too keen on reading a lengthy review

The Bajaj Dominar 400 has always been an excellent proposition but it lacked certain elements that would make it the perfect tourer. A price of Rs 1,94,751 also makes it quite expensive. The solution? A toned down Dominar 250 that does everything the 400 does, without burning a hole in your pocket. We spent a fair amount of time on the saddle and here’s what we think of the Dominor 250. 

Both the Dominar 250 and the 400 have identical body panels, that super bright LED headlight, the same taillights, split seats and even the tall handlebars. 

Look closer and you’ll notice that the 250 is running the tank-mounted console from the first-gen Dominar 400, so it just gets the tell-tale lights. There’s no secondary display with a gear position indicator.

You have to look a little deeper to see the real differences. Most of its 248.7cc single-cylinder liquid-cooled motor has been borrowed from the KTM 250 Duke. However, the Dominar 250’s cylinder head is its own but runs a twin-spark setup. No triple spark here.

The 400’s cast aluminium swingarm too has been dropped in favour of a box section unit.

The upside down front fork is slimmer at 37mm, all in the name of cost saving. This continues with the tyres as well with the Dominar 250 running on slimmer bias-ply MRF Zappers as opposed to the 400’s fatter radials.

Apart from making the 250 more affordable, all these changes have resulted in a drop of seven kilos… and actually made it better than the 400.

 

Dominar 250

Dominar 400 UG

KTM 250 Duke

Suzuki Gixxer 250

Yamaha FZ25

Power

27PS @ 8500rpm

40PS @ 8650rpm

30PS @ 9000rpm

26.5PS @ 9000rpm

20.9PS @ 8000rpm

Torque

23.5 @ 6500rpm

35Nm @ 7000rpm

24Nm @ 7000rpm

22.6Nm @ 7500rpm

20Nm @ 6000rpm

Kerb Weight

180kg

187kg

169kg

156kg

152kg

In terms of performance, the Dominar 250 makes 13PS and 11.5Nm less than the 400. Heck, it makes less power than the KTM 250 Duke as well, although it’s pretty much on par with the rest of the segment. However, it is the heaviest bike in this class and by a huge margin -- 11kg heavier than the 250 Duke and a whopping 24kg heavier than the Gixxer 250. This makes it the slowest accelerating bike in its class

But where this motor will totally win you over is with its refinement and tractability. It manages 100kmph in 6th gear with the engine ticking a little over 6000rpm and at this speed, it’s absolutely butter smooth. Even speeds of 120 feel really smooth, although it takes a little time to get there.

Vibes only creep in past 8000rpm, and that too in the form of a mild buzz in the footpegs. Honestly, if long-distance riding is on your mind, forget ‘Hyperriding’; the Dominar 250 is all about ‘Zenriding’ without sacrificing any speed.

Though the gearbox ratios and sprockets are the same as those on the 250 Duke, the Dominar is far more usable at low- to mid-range rpm. And that’s because Bajaj is running different camshaft profiles and valve timing for the Dominar. This motor is happily willing to chug along at 40-45kmph in 6th gear!

At low rpm, the exhaust note actually sounds… thumpy! Like a certain bike Bajaj was trying to take on with the Dominar 400’s marketing campaign.

It's quite comfortable in terms of ergonomics too. The seating stance is nearly upright with only a slight forward slant. The 800mm seat height makes for an easy reach, the wide handlebars are set fairly high and even the footpegs aren’t too rear set, making for a comfortable riding position.

The seat padding too is of the right firmness for long hours in the saddle. Even the pillion seat is quite comfortable.

The bike managed to deliver 35kmpl in the city and 34kmpl on the highway thanks to its extra weight. That said, the Dominar will still have decent range thanks to a 13-litre fuel tank.

The suspension setup feels really plush over pretty much everything the road can throw at it. The only thing you have to watch out for is braking when going over those sharp bumps, as it can cause the front end to bottom out. But apart from that, the Dominar 250’s ride quality is nothing short of wonderful.

The Dominar 250 is more of a straight line tourer but it does decently well when you show it some corners. And that boils down to its slimmer profile tyres which makes it lighter to steer into corners. This lightness is apparent at city speeds and even when you move the bike around in the parking lot.

The 250 features a smaller 300mm front disc with a radial caliper and a 230mm rear disc. But surprisingly, even with all its weight, it managed incredibly short braking distances -- just 31.53 metres from 80kmph to a standstill and 18.50 metres from 60kmph. The brake lever feel on the Dominar is quite commendable too.

At Rs 1.60 lakh ex-showroom Delhi, the Dominar 250 costs as much as the 400 did when it was first launched in 2017. But thanks to the constant price hikes, the BS6 Dominar 400 is nearly Rs 40,000 more expensive than the 250. 

But money aside, as a motorcycle, the Dominar 250 does one thing right -- it is fit to purpose. The Dominar 400, for example, always felt like a confused motorcycle as the 390’s motor is too manic to make for a great sports tourer. It gets the job done, but just about. On the other hand, the Dominar 250’s motor felt boring on the KTM, but combined with the comfortable tourer the Dominar is, it works beautifully. It truly feels like it deserves the ‘sports tourer’ tag. So while Bajaj might pitch it as the entry-level Dominar, we think the 250 is the Dominar in its perfect form.

Bajaj Dominar 250Video Review

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