If a larger-engined Pulsar is all you’ve been waiting for, Bajaj Auto has answered your prayers with the Pulsar NS400Z. Technically, with the Dominar, Bajaj brought out its most powerful motorcycle, but that’s a completely different model line, and aimed at a very different buyer. The NS400Z, on the other hand, appears to have been made keeping the Pulsar customer in mind. The biggest giveaway is in the name: ‘NS’ represents its proximity to the rest of the Pulsar NS line, whereas its market positioning automatically makes this a successor to the hugely popular Pulsar 220F.

Before anyone thinks of it as a rebadged Dominar, it must be mentioned that the NS400Z is lighter by a whole 19 kg. That brings the kerb weight to a fairly decent 174 kg, enabling the 373.27 cc single-cylinder engine to be more fun in this application. The headline numbers of 39.4 bhp and 3.5 kg-m aren’t bad, either. It didn’t take too long to realise how the new Pulsar comes alive past 4,000 rpm, but rev it further, crossing 6,000 rpm, and it properly gets into its zone. While that’s certainly a great feeling, I must also mention that it doesn’t feel as refined as the N. It’s not free from vibrations, with the handlebar getting the most of that, nearly throughout the rev range.

 Traction control is available and the motorcycle has four ABS settings

 Traction control is available and the motorcycle has four ABS settings

Unlike the other members of the NS family, the Pulsar NS400Z doesn’t get clip-ons, but rather a wide handlebar. It makes manoeuvring the 400 even easier, and the USD forks up front help, too. The downside of this package is that Bajaj has equipped it with a bias-ply front tyre, which robs the motorcycle of confidence. The rear is radial, but the front definitely has to be on the top of your list of upgrades as soon as you get this motorcycle.


On the design front, it’s an unmistakeable member of the NS family. The headlamp bears resemblance to that of the fairly recent Pulsar N250 and the LED DRLs are undeniably cool. The tank shrouds are also a giveaway to the NS genes and the rear is no different. I think it’d have been nicer to have more individual touches made to the design, considering this is the largest engine of the lot, but on the whole, it’s quite likeable, the NS400Z, and it’s definitely a Pulsar in the way it looks, too.

Underneath the nice-looking panels is a capable chassis, which while also shared with the other Pulsars, is reinforced on the 400Z. The swingarm is shorter than the NS200, giving the NS400Z the shortest wheelbase in the entire NS family. Fun! In terms of standard fitment, this fun-to-ride machine has a 320 mm disc brake, which does its job well but could do with an improved bite and feedback. Traction control is also available and the motorcycle has four ABS settings, and a colour LCD display. All this is at ₹1.85 lakh, ex-showroom. That’s about ₹40,000 cheaper than the Bajaj Dominar it shares its engine with.

Brilliant value aside, the Pulsar NS400Z is great to ride, it’s friendly, and while far from the best handling motorcycle or the fastest, it comes across exactly like what a Pulsar ought to be: approachable. It’s as if the sole job of the NS400Z is to step into the 220F’s shoes and make fast motorcycling available to a wider audience. Because if that’s indeed the case, Bajaj might’ve just written the next chapter in the Pulsar’s illustrious career.

© Motoring World