2024 Bajaj Pulsar NS400Z Review - Performance On A Tight Budget

  • May 11, 2024
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The Bajaj Pulsar NS400Z is offering performance at an extremely affordable price tag

After the launch of the NS200, everybody expected Bajaj to launch the NS400 as well. However, that never happened and we got the Dominar 400 instead. After over a decade, Bajaj has finally launched the NS400Z at an attractive price tag of Rs 1.85 lakh (ex-showroom), making it the most affordable 400cc motorcycle on sale in the Indian market. We find out how capable of a machine it is after riding it on the road and at Bajaj’s test track. 

Design

The silhouette of the NS400Z is similar to the NS200 but has some noticeable changes; it gets LED projector headlight with Z-shaped DRLs, panel extensions, larger radiator shrouds, an updated belly pan, and mirrors from the Dominar 400 that give it a slightly chunkier appeal. Compared to the clip-on handlebars on the NS200, the NS400Z gets a taller and wider handlebar, which I feel suits naked bikes much better. The bike is being offered in four colour schemes with new NS graphics. While this design language is sleek and sharp, we would have liked to see something that properly set this NS400Z apart from all of the other bikes in the NS range.

Engine, Performance, and Mileage

The NS400Z shares its motor, and chassis with the Dominar. This engine develops 40PS at 8500 rpm and 35Nm at 7000rpm; the only change made to this motor is that it gets a 46-tooth rear sprocket when compared to the 45-tooth sprocket on the Dominar 400. Along with the 174kg kerb weight, this translates to peppy acceleration. In our tests, the NS400Z did a 0-100 kmph run in 7.73 seconds. As you cross the 6500rpm mark, there are vibrations felt prominently on the handlebar and they only get harsher as the bike is revved to the redline. This motor is tractable enough to do 40 km/h in third gear making it quite usable in the city.

Out on the highway, it can sit at 100 kmph in sixth gear just under the 5,500 rpm mark. Cruising at 120 kmph is also possible but there's a very slight buzz at the handlebars and the pegs at that speed. On the test track, I was able to achieve an indicated top-speed of 166kmph in sixth gear; Bajaj has revealed a claimed top speed of 154 km/h. The claimed mileage for the NS400Z is 28.5kmpl. I was able to see a fuel efficiency reading of approximately 26kmpl, which should give the NS400Z a range of around 300 kilometres on a full tank.

Handling and Ride Quality

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The suspension setup of the NS400Z comprises a USD fork and monoshock which are on the stiffer side to keep in tune with the sporty theme of the motorcycle. It is making use of the same Dominar frame which is why it still feels like it has that heaviness to it. Bajaj have sharpened the Rake by 1.2 degrees and this has translated to a shorter wheelbase of 1343mm.

The bike handles decently at city speeds but takes a little more effort to be tipped into corners when you compare it to something like the KTM 390 Duke. When you're pushing this motorcycle to extract all that it has to offer, the front end does tend to feel a little twitchy. This is because the front end does not get a radial tire. We feel that this is something that should have been offered as an option. With the stiff suspension setup, riders will be able to feel a jolt while hitting undulations and bumps at higher speeds. Although, the ride quality is decent on well paved roads.

With a 320mm disc brake at the front, this is the largest disc brake we've ever seen on a Pulsar and it is paired with a 230mm rear disc brake. This setup does a great job; all that is required from a rider is a little bit of effort on the front lever after which the bike comes to a halt at an instant.

Comfort

The footpegs are slightly rear set just like the NS200 for a sporty riding position. The seat height stands at 805mm, making it 2mm lower than the seat on the NS200. What I really appreciate about the NS400Z is the wide and upright handlebar unit compared to the clip-on handlebars that we used to have on the NS200. This has made it a more upright riding position which is much better in the city and out on the highway as well. The seat is well-padded so you can have good comfort in the city and it's also good for shorter rides out on the highway.

Features

The NS400Z gets an LCD instrument console with a dot matrix inset and Bluetooth connectivity for turn-by-turn navigation, music control, call and SMS alerts, and it even gets a lap timer. It has a ton of information which is well laid out on the screen. With the addition of a ride-by-wire, the bike gets four ride modes including Ride Modes - Road, Rain, Sport, and Off-Road. Each of these modes changes the power delivery along with ABS intervention.

It also gets Traction Control which can be switched off in Sport and Off-road mode. The switchgear includes four-way buttons on the left side to navigate through the various functions but these buttons are not very tactile and are a little difficult to press with gloves on. Additionally, it also gets a USB charging port and 5-step adjustable brake and clutch levers.

Verdict

Priced at Rs 1.85 lakh (ex-showroom), this is the most affordable 400cc motorcycle you can buy in India. This is the same price that the KTM Duke 390 was launched for over 11 years ago in our market. It is nice to see that Bajaj has aggressively priced the NS400Z, making it accessible to a wide range of riders. Currently, this price is an introductory offer so we can expect a price hike of Rs 10,000 soon. If that is the case, we feel that Bajaj should equip the bike with a front radial tyre, and that would surely improve the bikes handling abilities. 

Bajaj Pulsar NS400Z Video Review

Bajaj Pulsar NS400Z
Bajaj Pulsar NS400Z
Rs. 1.85 Lakh
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