Login

Bajaj Pulsar NS160 2020 Review - Prices, Specs, Variants, Features and Mileage

Posted in
Bike Reviews

By Tijo Tenson - Content Writer Jan 08 2020 Share this blog

The Fastest Indian made its entry into the commuter segment in 2017 and offered us a very cheap method of enjoying our daily commutes. Bajaj learnt a lot from the AS150’s downfall and thus incorporated the valuable lessons into the NS160. This particular offering shares a lot with the NS200 and Bajaj also wanted to create the same impression which the fastest Indian did during its entry.

The 160.3 cc pot is what differentiates it from the NS200 and it pumps out 15.28 bhp and 14.6 Nm of torque. It is also tuned to produce more low-end torque which caters its purpose as a commuter. It is priced at Rs. 94,195 which is on the cheaper side of the premium commuter segment.

This fast Indian takes on the likes of the modern TVS Apache RTR 160 4V, the granddaddy Yamaha FZS and the potent Suzuki Gixxer 155. The competition has its fair share of surprises and let’s see if Bajaj NS160 has anything up its sleeve.

Pros

  • Perimeter frame amplifies ride and handling

  • Sharp looks for a commuter

  • Commanding Road Presence

  • Adjustable mono-shock suspension

Cons

  • Skinny tyres steal off its sporty look

  • Outdated instrument cluster

  • Uncomfortably high saddle height

What’s New

  • New decals

  • Standard discs on both ends

  • Standard Single-Channel ABS

What’s at the core of 2020 Bajaj Pulsar NS160?

How potent is the dual-spark engine in the Pulsar NS160?

You get a well-known engine in a rather new form. Yes, the twin-spark engine is an iteration of the now discontinued AS150 but rest assured, differences are more than similarities. The piston, crankshaft and a balancer shaft to neutralise any vibrations are new and completely change the motorcycle’s character from the donor.

There is loads of mid and low-end torque unlike its big brother, NS200 and that helps it a very potent commuter. But, then again you will feel the added weight and low power acting in on the highways while overtaking. You will begin to feel the engine’s nervousness after 80 kmph. Vibrations start kicking in after this and the motorcycle loses its confidence. The oil-cooled system helps keep its engine in a cool state to perform at its best for a longer period.

Motorcycle

Bajaj Pulsar NS160

Suzuki Gixxer 155

TVS Apache RTR 160(BS6)

Yamaha FZS(BS6)

Ex-Showroom Price (Delhi)

Rs.94,195

Rs.1,00,212

Rs.99,950(Drum)

/Rs.1,03,000(Disc)

Rs.1,02,700

Engine 

160.3 cc Oil-cooled 4-Valve SOHC Engine

155 cc Air-cooled 2-ValveSOHC Engine

159.7 cc Oil-cooled 4-Valve SOHC Engine

149 cc Air-cooled 2-Valve SOHC Engine

Power 

15.28 bhp

@ 8500 RPM

13.90 bhp

@ 8000 RPM

15.80 bhp
@ 8250 RPM

12.23 bhp

@ 7250 RPM

Torque

14.6 Nm

@ 6500 RPM

14 Nm

@ 6000 RPM

14.12 Nm

@ 7250 RPM

13.6 Nm

@ 5500 RPM

Unlike the other NS in this portfolio, this one is devoid of that free-revving engine which makes it the black sheep. But as this particular offering is slanted more towards commuting, you will forgive it for this character. Its competition, though low on performance except TVS Apache RTR 160 4V, possesses dual character than make them potent sprinters along with the daily commuting. 


How linear is the acceleration from 0-60 in this performance commuter?

Acceleration is linear and you will have to realign to understand its on-off throttle response. It is not the quickest in a sprint run but eats up tarmac calmly, thus keeping you comfortable while doing so. You will find it easy to filter through traffic in the city as the torque curve backs you up with enough juice.

Don’t ride this motorcycle for top speed as you will take ages to reach the company specified 112 kmph. The sweet spot is between 60-80 kmph, where vibrations are nill and the engine is relaxed with enough torque available on tap for those overtakes.

Motorcycle

Bajaj Pulsar NS160

Suzuki Gixxer 155

TVS Apache RTR 160(BS6)

Yamaha FZS(BS6)

Engine

160.3 cc Oil-cooled 4-Valve SOHC Engine

155 cc Air-cooled 2-ValveSOHC Engine

159.7 cc Oil-cooled 4-Valve SOHC Engine

149 cc Air-cooled 2-Valve SOHC Engine

Transmission

5-Speed 

5-Speed 

5-Speed 

5-Speed 

0-60 kmph

5.35 s

5.85 s

4.73 s

5.97 s

Top Speed(kmph)

112

115

114

116

The culprit behind this rather sluggish momentum is its added weight held up engine character. You can feel the engine holding back after 7000 RPM which is a rather low point on the meter. The underbelly exhaust provides you with a rather soothing note at higher rev-range to complement its edgy look. The lower-capacity competition has a much better torque curve that helps cross 60 kmph much quicker than the Pulsar. 


How well can the NS160 stop in stringent traffic?

The brakes on this pulsar bite well and are too strong for one’s liking. New riders will take time to adapt to its sudden bite. The use of petal rotors help dissipate heat evenly and thus keep them in the best form for longer periods.

The single-channel ABS is also rather sketchy as it intervenes in unwanted situations as well. This makes braking a very unprecedented affair and we wish Bajaj works and improves on it. The soft suspension adds to its woe as its bite makes the whole motorcycle like a ship caught in a storm, not a good scenario.

Motorcycle

Bajaj Pulsar NS160

Suzuki Gixxer 155

TVS Apache RTR 160(BS6)

Yamaha FZS(BS6)

Front / Rear

Disc/Disc

Disc/Disc

Disc/

Drum or Disc 

Disc/Disc

Front Rotor Size(mm)

260

N/A

270

282

Rear Rotor Size(mm)

230

N/A

130(Drum)/

200(Disc)

220

Kerb Weight(kg.)

148

140

149

137

80-0 kmph

39.54

31.47

41.51

36.44

ABS (Single or Dual Channel)

Single-Channel

Single-Channel

Single-Channel

Single-Channel

The added kerb weight also adds to this motorcycle’s braking character as inexperienced riders will find it hard to control during hard braking. Apache also joins this list due to its similar kerb weight but is much more linear due to the progressive braking. The Japs know very well how to stop and thus don’t pose a threat here.


Is the mileage figures commuter-friendly?

The whole point of reworking on the AS150 engine on which this engine is based was to improve its efficiency and thus cater to the ever-growing commuter performance segment. Bajaj did a lot of work but it still didn't manage to chuck out above-average numbers.

This letdown is mostly because of the usage of perimeter frame from NS200 which helps a lot in handling but steals from its efficiency due to added kerb weight, despite using those skinny tyres.

Motorcycle

Bajaj Pulsar NS160

Suzuki Gixxer 155

TVS Apache RTR 160(BS6)

Yamaha FZS(BS6)

City(kmpl)

40.3

42

49.30

50.92

Highway(kmpl)

48.0

53

55.47

56.10

Overall(kmpl)

42.60

50.58

50.0

50.94

Fuel Capacity(Litres)

12

12

13

12

The twelve-litre fuel capacity is concealed in the sculpted and tall tank which is plentiful for your daily grind and a full tank can easily survive for a week. All of the competitors have similarly sized fuel tanks which give all of them week-long running time with a full tank of fuel.

How well does the NS160 complement the rider in handling?

How well does the NS160 carry its weight?

Bajaj was smart to use the highly potent perimeter frame which we feel is a lot overrated for the 160 cc mill. It is the same one from the NS200 and helps a lot in providing a balanced ride. But on the flip-side, this frame adds a few extra kilograms which makes it a bit cumbersome at times.

The front end is lighter and helps you manoeuvre it with ease which is a boon in tight traffic. The soft front forks and adjustable rear mono-shock neutralises all of the imperfections and helps travel with ease. But the front end is a bit too soft for speed runs as the ride tends to get wavy. So it is better to stick with short sprints, which is the home ground for this motorcycle.

Motorcycle

Bajaj Pulsar NS160

Suzuki Gixxer 155

TVS Apache RTR 160(BS6)

Yamaha FZS(BS6)

Chassis 

Diamond

Single-Downtube

Double-Cradle Split

Diamond

Tyre-Wheel Size(Front)

100/80-17

100/80-17

90/90-17

100/80-17

Tyre-Wheel Size(Rear)

140/60-17

140/60-17

110/80-17(Drum) or 130/70-17(Disc)

140/60-17

Front Suspension

Telescopic Forks

Telescopic Forks

Telescopic Forks

Telescopic Forks

Rear Suspension

7-Step Adjustable Mono-Shock

7 Step Adjustable Mono-Shock

Mono-Shock

7-Step Adjustable Mono-Shock

The NS160 has skinny tyres and it is visually not appealing. It helps a lot with improved efficiency and doesn’t fiddle much with the handling, thanks to the grippy MRF Nylogrip zapper. But don’t get all energetic with the riding, as the threshold limit is on the lower side and you tend to lose control with spirited cornering.


How comfortable is the rider on Pulsar SN160?

The NS160 shares its seating with the bigger NS200 and is comfortable. You have a lot of ground to move around and the seat sits lower between the tank and the higher split seat. You sit cocooned by these two components and that helps in the comfort front.

Rear seat is not the most comfortable of the lot and the pillion sits higher than the rider which makes for a very uncomfortable setup. The rider, however, gets all of the good stuff as you are seated in a relaxed position and riders triangle is well preserved here. There is a comfortable contour on the tank to neatly tuck in your knee and thus grab it efficiently.

Motorcycle

Bajaj Pulsar NS160

Suzuki Gixxer 155

TVS Apache RTR 160(BS6)

Yamaha FZS(BS6)

Seat height(mm)

805

795

800

790

Ground Clearance (mm)

177

160

180

165

Kerb Weight(Dry)(kg)

148

140

149

137

Starting System

Kick/Electric

Electric

Electric

Electric

But as the saddle height is on the higher side, shorter riders will find it difficult. Vibrations are bound to creep in at higher RPMs which is mostly due to the use of cheap and loose plastic bits. The Japs are much better with the build quality and Bajaj has a lot of ground to cover here. TVS has done its homework and thus provides a better comfort proposition. 

How eye-catchy are its looks?

How will you distinguish the NS160 from its elder brother?

It will be difficult for an untrained eye to differentiate between the NS200 and NS 160 as they share almost all of the components including the perimeter frame. The only things splitting both are the rather unpleasant skinny tyres and that huge “160” decal on the shroud.

The swingarm has been replaced with a narrow unit to house the slim rear tyre. It sure looks odd but this sacrifice had to be made to facilitate better efficiency and performance figures from the fragile 160 cc pot. But the NS160 still has a commanding street presence with the muscular tank shrouds and the unmistakable NS headlights. 

Aesthetic Features

  • Muscular shrouds

  • 5-spoke Alloy wheels

  • Engine Cowl

  • Rear tyre hugger

  • Tail tidy

  • Clip-on handlebars

Motorcycle

Bajaj Pulsar NS160

Suzuki Gixxer 155

TVS Apache RTR 160(BS6)

Yamaha FZS(BS6)

Length (mm)

2017

2020

2035

1990

Width (mm)

803.5

800

790

780

Height(mm)

1060

1035

1050

1080

Wheelbase(mm)

1370

1335

1357

1330

Kerb Weight

148

140

149

137

NS160 is not a compact motorcycle and that is mostly due to its shared skeleton with its big brother. The slim front forks give away for its differentiation and the other Indian of the lot looks much more futuristic and edgy with better build quality and LED lighting. Bajaj needs to overhaul its offering soon as the competition looks way better!

What are the various features on 2020 Bajaj Pulsar NS160?

Bajaj has not modified its offering since 2017 and it has started looking the age. But for a three-year-old setup, the NS160 offers a lot of good features which makes its presence felt. Despite not having LED lighting, the teardrop running lights are reminiscent of the NS-line-up and gives it a funky look.

The nitrox-equipped rear mono-shock helps maintain firmness and helps reduce maintenance. Most of the features are confined to aesthetics and help give the Pulsar its distinctive look. The various features are listed below.

Motorcycle

Bajaj Pulsar NS160

Suzuki Gixxer 155

TVS Apache RTR 160(BS6)

Yamaha FZS(BS6)

Ex-Showroom Price (Delhi)

Rs.94,195

Rs.1,00,212

Rs.99,950(Drum)

/Rs.1,03,000(Disc)

Rs.1,02,700

Features

Oil-Cooled

LED Taillamps

Double-Barrel exhaust

Adjustable Rear Suspension


Stiffened Chassis

TFT Digital Instrument Cluster

SHOWA tuned suspension setup

Midship Muffler


Edgy Pulsar styling

Dual-Exit Exhaust 

Glide Through Technology

Rear tyre hugger


Split-seat

Split-Seat

Dual-tone seat

Attention seeking Chrome treatment


Rear-tyre Hugger

Rear Tyre Hugger

Tyre hugger

Under-cowl


Split Engine Cowl

Standard ABS and Rear Disc

Engine Guard

Negative LCD Instrument Cluster

Bajaj has crossed the deadline here and it needs to work fast on bringing in new and modern replacements to the ageing components of NS160. When the competition provides all-round LED lighting and a host of connected-technology, NS160 doesn’t even make it in the frame.

How safe is the NS160?

Bajaj has finally equipped the NS160 with disc brakes at both ends and comes standard with a single-channel ABS unit which improves ride and handling in unprecedented situations. The DRL despite being normal bulbs have good visibility and makes your presence known to oncoming traffic.

The crash guard upfront helps in the protection of the engine as well as the rider to an extent in case of a mishap. But the list is outdated now, and Bajaj should work on filling the empty bottle with more safety features that are now a common sight in the updated competition.

How does the Competition stack against this fast Indian?

Bajaj Pulsar NS160 vs Suzuki Gixxer 155

Suzuki is the only competitor which is low on cubic capacity of the lot but is high on riding dynamics. Bajaj is betting its offering on styling, and that too, a three-year-old one against the much more modern and recently refreshed Suzuki Gixxer 155. The sweet purring engine also complements this Jap’s involvement in providing fun to drive machine. We are inclined to the Gixxer 155 here as it is the much better offering in terms of updates and sheer fun involving dynamics, despite being low on power figures.

Bajaj Pulsar NS160 vs TVS Apache RTR 160 4V

The other Indian in this list will surely make the NS160 sweat. TVS has improved their line-up over time and the Apache RTR 160 4V now offers a whole lot of features for the price which seems too good to be true. You get a better performing pot which sounds the part as well. In all aspects, Apache offers the better proposition of the two and we wish that Bajaj comes with an equally potent upgrade to take on the Apache.

Bajaj Pulsar NS160 vs Yamaha FZS

The granddaddy of this segment has been offering cheap thrills for a long time now and continues to do so with the new iteration. But much like the NS160, the FZS needs more than just aesthetic upgrades. Both the motorcycles give out similar vibes, and so we will go with the NS160 here as it is the younger of the two! The NS160 is low on money and much high on performance, thus making a better cause.

Is the 2020 Bajaj Pulsar NS160 a worthy alternative for the Pulsar 150?

The NS160 is a very potent motorcycle and the fact that it shares components with the NS200 makes it a very underrated offering. But it is outdated now and craves for a proper modern upgrade which all of its competition has received. Its handicap in performance is balanced by the impressive riding characteristics which will never bore you. But the likes of Suzuki Gixxer 155 and TVS Apache RTR 160 4V offer more of everything because of which the NS160 suffers. Until Bajaj comes with a potent competitor for this lot, we have much better offerings in this segment that can offer the thrill without burning a hole in your pocket.