Bajaj Auto no longer lists the ‘baby Pulsar’ on its Indian website. Thrustzone reports that the Pulsar 135 LS will only be built for export markets. If you’re wondering why, the answer is simple – ABS. The Indian government mandates that all motorcycles with engines that displace over 125cc need to offer at least single channel ABS from April 2019. Adding a single channel ABS to the Pulsar 135 will push up costs by at least Rs. 6,000 to Rs. 8,000. This is something that will make the motorcycle too pricey for the market it is addressed to. So, Bajaj has decided to dump the Pulsar 135 and instead start the Pulsar range from 150cc model.
The Pulsar 135 LS was a light and nimble motorcycle with sharp styling. It featured a 135-cc, four-stroke air cooled engine with peak power and peak torque outputs of 13.56 PS at 9,000 rpm, and 11.4 Nm at 7,500 rpm. A 5-speed manual gearbox was standard. With a kerb weight of just 121 kilograms, the Pulsar 135 LS was quite a peppy motorcycle that offered good fuel efficiency as well. In fact, it was meant to be head and shoulders above the 125-cc motorcycles sold by Bajaj’s competitors. However, the Pulsar 135 LS hasn’t really been a strong seller. And mandatory ABS may just be the last nail on the bike’s coffin as far as the Indian market goes.
Bajaj is yet to introduce ABS on many mass market Pulsar motorcycles priced at below the Rs. 1 lakh mark. The company will be able to continue with non-ABS motorcycles until April 2019. But from the 1st of April next year, every Pulsar sold in India will have to offer at least single channel ABS. This move from the Indian government is long awaited. Motorcycle safety will go up significantly with the addition of ABS. While a single channel ABS will get the job done in most cases as most braking happens on the front wheel, it’s always a better option to have dual channel ABS.