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Dear motorcyclists,

I know the joy you get from hunting for the smallest details in the teasers, anticipating the performance, dreaming about the handling and hoping that this new motorcycle could be the dream bike you have been waiting for. It is almost a sacrosanct process, that even I, the biggest Pulsar ever, dared not to break. Unfortunately though, the internet was ablaze with my pictures and details in an almost misleading way, causing a wave of anger and hatred. I don’t blame anyone for it, though. Carrying forward the legacy of the iconic Pulsar 220F is something I was born to do, and it was only natural of everyone to have high expectations.

Yes, I am a Pulsar, so the muscular lines are in my genes and being from the NS family, you will find similarities to the NS200, NS160 and the NS125. But there’s so much more to me that gives me my own identity, too. Let’s start with my face, although looks are subjective, they say. Yes, the single projector is reminiscent of my cousin, the N250, but these cool-looking DRLs with sharp jawline-like headlight cowl — that’s unlike anything you have seen so far. And the fuel tank? Well, the tank shrouds may look like the ones on other NSes, but look close and you’ll fall in love with its floating design that almost hugs the bigger radiator. Even the rear side panels have a similar treatment. Yes, the tail light could have been different to distinguish me from the other members of my family, but there’s a reason why I share that with them.

You were also disheartened that I have the same heart as the Dominar 400. Now that you are already acquainted with my British and Austrian relatives, expecting something more was natural. But remember, I am a Pulsar. From our inception, we have always chosen to balance practicality and performance, and this was the best possible way to do it. And you know what? I even got myself a bigger rear sprocket with an extra tooth than the Dominar to make things fun for you, just as other Pulsars have done so far.

Also, I am 19 kg lighter than the Dominar. And you know what that translates to? Slicing through the traffic like a hot knife slices through butter… okay, that’s going a little too far, but I promise it is as fun as any Pulsar. You will love listening to me as we chase the redline, and you would want to do that every time because the ‘fun zone’ starts past 4000 rpm and after 6000 rpm it’s a riot. However, I admit that you’ll have to work my 6-speed gearbox a fair bit to keep me (and yourself) happy. Oh, and also I would like to tell you that I am not as refined as the N family. So, you will feel a buzz on the footrests, side panels in the mid range, but the handlebar is the most vibey… almost through the rev range.

I don’t have the clip-ons that you have seen on the other NSes. I get a wide handlebar to give you a much better control over the front-end. And yes, with my 43 mm gold-finished USD forks we can conquer the urban jungle and take on the twisties, too. After all, I am a Pulsar. I have to be an urban hustler, too. That said, don’t get carried away when you are on the twisties. Even though I have a radial rear tyre, the front is a bias-ply. I know it is a letdown, but I was told a good reason for it.

But if you choose to upgrade the tyres, you’ll be surprised how capable my chassis is. Yes, it is the same as my other family members’, but it is reinforced and the rake is pulled in by one degree. Also, the swingarm is shorter than the NS200 which means I have the shortest wheelbase in the entire NS lineup. Already smiling thinking about the fun we can have together, aren’t you?

There’s traction control and four different ABS settings for you to play with. And trust me, the electronics will have your back whenever you need them to. Of course, the 320 mm disc will do its job, and without overwhelming you, although you may yearn for a stronger bite and better feedback.

So, now that I have formally introduced myself, I know you may still have questions. Why do I share some parts with my family? Well, that’s to keep me accessible for you — the Indian enthusiast who my family has been serving since almost two and a half decades. At ₹ 1.85 lakh, I offer a colour LCD display, traction control, ABS modes and an engaging riding experience. Why not better tyres? Well, I need to balance commuting and spirited rides, so we skipped a radial front tyre. But there’s always an option to upgrade, right? Yes, I am not the best handler, most powerful or refined bike in this segment. Heck, I don’t even want to compete with the Triumph 400 twins or the KTM 390 Duke. My job is to take the Pulsar 220F’s legacy ahead, and by being the friendly, fast motorcycle of the aam janta, I feel I am on the right path. 

Yours sincerely,

Pulsar NS400Z