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What is this?
Probably the most affordable and frugal yet fun way to commute to the office. The Pulsar NS125 is the newest addition to the NS (Naked Sports) family of motorcycles offered by Bajaj. At first glance, it is easy to mistake the NS125 for the NS160 or even an NS200, because the design is almost identical. Bajaj didn’t feel the need to go back to the drawing board to draft a different design which is justified. No point adding more inventory and new tooling, instead of making use of the same design that already looks sporty and honestly doesn’t feel dated. The NS125 is offered with the choice of four colour schemes, Burnt Red, Pewter Grey, Breach Blue and Fiery Orange, as seen in the images.

The NS125 has a dual-tone livery that complements its sharp and well-contoured lines. Up front, it has the same edgy bikini fairing flanked by tank extensions. The saddle has a two-piece configuration, while the rear-set pegs and clip-on bars offer a sporty yet upright riding stance ideal for both styles of riding. The tail has a minimalistic look with the stacked LED lights and split-grab rail.

Easy to mistake the NS125 for the bigger-displacement siblings, thanks to the near-identical design

Whom is it for?
Anyone who wants to convert the mundane commute to the office into a fun ride without burning a big hole in their pocket. While colleges are still shut thanks to the pandemic, college students can consider it and go for early morning rides to clear their minds before a day of sitting in front of the computer screen. The NS125 also fits the bill for those who have just completed their education and have just bagged their first job. While public transport is still a matter of avoidance considering social distancing, the NS125 has a frugal tune that will ensure few trips to the fuel station for tankups.

Air-cooled unit develops the highest power figures amongst its rivals

But don’t you let that last line fool you to think that the NS125 is just another commuter motorcycle with a sporty look on the outside. The 125cc mill is the most powerful in the segment churning out 11.6 bhp of max power at 8500 rpm and 1.12 kgm of peak torque at 7000 rpm. The motor comes mated to a slick 5-speed gearbox which helps to keep the revs low when cruising on the highway. Till 6000 rpm, the motor feels all relaxed and docile, working the best rhythm to run as efficiently as possible. However, beyond that, the NS character starts to kick in and the engine feels lively and is eager to climb the rev-band towards the redline.

Switchgear isn’t the best in terms of quality but does get the job done

Does it handle?
You would be surprised by how this 125cc motorcycle handles. Thanks to using the same chassis and cycle parts from its bigger siblings, the NS125 is an engaging motorcycle to ride. Premium components like the steel-perimeter frame and the gas-charged monoshock let you exploit the motorcycle to its full potential. From long sweeping corners to hairpins to slicing through traffic, the NS125 feels agile in every situation. Up front is a telescopic fork setup, while braking is done using a disc-drum layout and is sufficient for its performance.

Gas-charged Nitrox monoshock helps keeps the weight closer to the centre while offering a plush ride quality

How fast is it?
Now don’t expect any crazy figures here but for a 125cc bike, the NS125 does a good job of clocking speeds. Acceleration isn’t brisk, but it doesn’t feel lethargic, either. Feed the throttle and the tachometer needle rises with promptness and accuracy, assuring the motor’s free-revving nature. Shifting through the cogs at the redline, the NS125 managed to clock a top speed of 110 kph, which is good enough. But the actual fun is in the mid-range where the NS125 feels best with barely any vibrations to spoil the party.

Is it fun?
You bet. The Pulsar NS125 is by no means a fast bike but it surely will surprise you with what it is capable of with what it has on offer. It features premium cycle parts, and offers enjoyable handling and performance levels, passing all the important criteria to be worthy of the NS badge. And the best part being, it’s also easy on the pocket since it costs under Rs 1 lakh, ex-showroom, and is also very cheap to maintain and run. That said, the NS125 is an affordable performance-oriented motorcycle to have in your garage.

Bajaj Pulsar NS125

Displacement: 124cc, single
Max power: 11.6 bhp@8500 rpm
Max torque: 1.12 kgm@7000 rpm
Transmission: 5-speed

Type: Steel-perimeter frame

(F/R): 240-mm discs / 130-mm drum

(F/R): 80/100 R17 / 100/90 R17

L/W/H (mm): 2012/810/1078
Wheelbase: 1353 mm
Ground clearance: 179 mm
Seat height: 805 mm
Kerb weight: 144 kg
Fuel capacity: 12 litres

PRICE: Rs 98,234 (ex-showroom, Delhi)