Thursday, July 13, 2017


The SR150 Race edition uses the same 154cc single-cylinder, air-cooled motor as its stock SR150 sibling; there is no change in power output at 11.4hp and even torque remains the same at 11.5Nm. The mechanical upgrades are restricted to tweaked gear ratios. On this first ride, we did feel a slight step up in power

Cosmetically, the Race edition of the SR150 looks a lot sportier than the standard version. The metallic grey paint scheme, inspired from the RS-GP motorbike, lends the SR150 Race a fresh appeal. Small touches like the front disc caliper finished in gold add to the sporty look of the scooter as well. And adding to the Race theme are body graphics similar to Aprilia’s MotoGP bike. The striking red rear mono-shock and the five-spoke alloy wheels make it all the more attractive.

The SR150 race feels quick to respond to the slightest twist of the throttle and moves forward with enthusiasm. It gets up to 60 or 80kph without a flutter, even on the steep hills on the outskirts of Pune. However, the rear brakes lack strong bite and that can be a bit of a bother especially when it gets up to speed so easily. Thankfully though, the 220mm ventilated front disk does a good job of slowing down the scooter down and whilst braking, the contoured lever offers a firm grip. However, even this edition misses out on a brake lever lock which would have been a handy addition.

Aprilia is also planning to introduce add-on upgrades for the scooter in the future, which will include a Race Boom exhaust for a sportier exhaust note and improved performance. There are carburettor upgrades in the pipeline as well, which will have bigger jets. The Aprilia SR150 Race edition might not appeal to those looking for a practical scooter for their everyday commute, but on the other hand, there is no arguing that this is one of the most fun-to-ride scooters

cr: Autocarindia


Year by year, adventure touring motorcycles get more and more complicated, and the best example of this is the Ducati Multistrada 1200. Don't get me wrong; it's an absolutely wonderful motorcycle, probably the best in the class, but to ride it the way it's meant to be ridden, it needs more sensors and electronics than NASA owns. However, Ducati does have a solution for those who would like their adventure-tourers to be a bit more 'direct' and the approach it has taken starts with a smaller engine.

Ducati has done some brilliant scaling-down jobs in the past with something like the Panigale 959, which is more manageable and, dare I say, more fun than the 1299, and even the Monster 821 which we like more than the 1200. So that's exactly the route Ducati took with the Multistrada – it plonked in a smaller 937cc L-twin engine (from the Hypermotard and SuperSport) and cut back on some of the more high-tech features. The end result is 113hp of power on tap and 96.2Nm of torque. It doesn't get the two spark plugs per cylinder from the 1200 either, nor does it get Desmodromic Variable Timing (DVT).

Ducati has also ditched the 1200's cutting-edge 'Skyhook' electronically adjustable suspension on this bike. The 950's suspension is fully adjustable though; it's just that you need to manually change the setup – no on-the-fly stuff like that on the big Multistrada. You do get a healthy 170mm of suspension travel at both ends, and the bike is very well sprung, so riding on rough roads won't be an issue. That said, the stock setup for the front is rather soft and applying brakes into a corner to avoid a slower rider causes the bike to almost violently stand up. And when braking in a straight line, the dive was quite pronounced as well. However, this is nothing that a little fine-tuning of the suspension (done by an expert, of course) can't sort out.

Even though the 950 is supposed to be a 'smaller' Multistrada, you wouldn't get that feeling, even when getting in the saddle. The rider's triangle (the distance from the foot pegs to the seat to the handlebars) seems nearly identical to the 1200, and even though it's a road-oriented machine in its stock configuration, its tallish seat height of 840mm is in line with off-road specialised adventure tourers (think more Triumph Tiger 800 XCx rather than XRx). The saddle is roomy even for large-sized riders and pillions, and even my 5ft 10in frame was protected from wind blast after I set the manually adjustable windscreen to its tallest setting.


Bajaj has introduced a number of new motorcycles under the Pulsar banner over the years, with the most recent ones being the NS, RS and AS models. However, the brand still enjoys considerable success from traditional Pulsars, like the 150, 180 and 220 DTSis. Though, there is one segment where Bajaj hasn't managed huge numbers – the premium 150-160cc category. In this segment, Yamaha regularly ships upwards of 20,000 units of the FZ-FI per month, while other rivals like Honda and Suzuki are also seeing success with their offerings, the CB Hornet 160R and the Gixxer, respectively. Bajaj needs a rival to these motorcycles that fits between the traditional Pulsar 150/180 and the more expensive NS200. This is where the new NS160 comes in; it doesn't replace the smaller Pulsar 150, but is positioned ahead of it.

Design and style
The Bajaj Pulsar NS160 shares the style of its bigger brother, the NS200, and that means handsome lines, an underslung exhaust and split grab rails. Colour options are not disclosed yet, but we do like the Grey-Black combination on the bike recently spied at a dealership. It's a similar theme to the BS-IV compliant 2017 NS200 that went on sale a few months earlier. Overall, the Pulsar NS160, aside from the new colour scheme, will cut a handsome, yet familiar shape. Looks play an important role in this segment and the NS160 will certainly be up to the challenge. We'll have to spend some time with the bike to see if it can meet the quality and finish of benchmark-setting rivals like the Yamaha FZ.

Chassis and brakes
The NS160 uses a perimeter frame, just like the NS200, and that makes it stand out from its rivals with their more traditional diamond-type chassis. Suspension is handled by conventional forks up front and a monoshock at the rear, a combination used by every motorcycle in this segment. The tyres, however, will be slimmer than on the NS200, with a 80/100 R17 front and a 110/80 R17 section rear. All three of its rivals offer larger tyres, spanning 100/80 R17 at the front and fat 140 section at the rear. The Gixxer and FZ ship with a radial tyre at the rear. Braking is handled by a disc up front and a drum at the rear. There's no word on whether a rear disc will be offered later. Suzuki offers an optional rear disc and so does Honda if you pay about Rs 5,000 more for its CBS version.

 CR: autocarindia