Words: Adil Jal Darukhanawala
Photography: Rohit S Mane
Full story appears in the launch issue of Fast Bikes India magazine. Subscribe here.
It’s all about going “black” to basics if one were to hold up the promo blurb for the Dominar 400 – the burliest, beefiest and most outrageously handsome and competent motorcycle ever made by any Indian bike maker! We get up close and personal with Bajaj Auto’s biggest offering to date, peeking under the skin of this all new segment-bashing jewel of a machine.
It all starts with the Pulsar
It has been fifteen years since the advent of the 150cc and 180cc Pulsar twins. Since then the Stars Ahead R&D team of Bajaj Auto have given Indian motorcycling enthusiasts a family of bikes packing in excitement, great style and form and terrific tech. Most importantly a continuous upgradation program has put the Pulsar out of reach of every other bike maker and it continues to dominate the sporty 150-220cc segment of the Indian bike market.
Bajaj is pushing the envelope even on the lighting tech front. LEDs dominate headlamps and DRLs
But Bajaj Auto had to climb up the displacement scale and a glimpse of that came at the Auto Expo 2014 with the Pulsar CS400. It provided a hint of what the next generation Pulsar would be like and with the Dominar 400, Bajaj Auto has stunned with a machine that is absolutely faithful to the 2014 concept.
But it’s not a Pulsar
The most important change from concept to reality is the deletion of the Pulsar logo! Till about three months back it was called the Pulsar VS400 (VS for Vantage Sport) but then it was decided that a new brand was needed to headline Bajaj Auto’s intent in the mid-size segment of the performance bike spectrum.
Dominar wasn’t the first choice of name for it was to be Kratos, named after an ancient Greek warrior god. However it seemed someone else has a hold on this name and thus Dominar, Spanish to dominate or excel or exceed, was fixed upon.