They say making bold decisions is for the
foolhardy and wisdom only comes with age. But it is the courage of brave hearts
that has brought mankind to the frontier we are now at. Decisions which
redefine standards may be considered reckless but infact usher in the era of a
brave new world, where change may be an uphill climb but only for the
betterment of us all. Bajaj in many ways has pronounced change and has ushered
in an era of evolution which will redefine motorcycling for Indians.
373.3cc, Fuel Injected, Liquid Cooled
34.5hp @ 8000rpm
35Nm @ 6500rpm
43mm Telescopic fork
Monoshock (10 Way Adjustment)
Twin Channel ABS/ Slipper Clutch
Price (ex-showroom Delhi)
The Dominar 400, which was launched earlier
this month took the market by storm. Its incredibly affordable pricing and
imposing looks captivated many a biker. But how good it is in the real world
would be a question on many minds. We got our chance to take it for a spin on
the winding roads of Panchgani in Maharashtra and boy, oh boy, was it a treat!
Despite its intimidating looks, the Dominar 400 feels very inviting to ride and
Bajaj has been subtle while tucking in some neat features to improve
The Dominar is powered by a single cylinder
373.3cc, liquid cooled, fuel injected motor. While many believe it to be
powered by same engine found on the KTM Duke, Bajaj has reworked the design and
shares only the a few parts with KTM's power plant. The motor puts out 34.5hp
at 8000rpm and 35Nm of torque at 6500rpm. The meat of the power is found in the
mid range and the Dominar reaches its peak performance with ease. Setting a
rather comfortable pace, the bike is able to deliver a very linear climb in the
power band. While peak torque is achieved at 6500rpm, the engine belts out 28Nm
of torque at 3000rpm and the climb up to 35Nm comes in another 3500rpm, thus
catering to a thrilling ride and adequate power when required.
The engine has been mated to a 6-speed
transmission which does feel a bit clunky and needs some getting used to. The
bike is quick through the first three gears and gets going with ease. Bajaj has
also added a slipper clutch to mitigate the effects of engine braking while
decelerating. The overall ride feels quite premium and sporty with the bike
making a deep and throaty exhaust note. While cruising on highways the 5th and
6th gears provide adequate room for the rider to accelerate upto 148kmph and the
bike can also achieve a 100kmph from standstill in just 8.23 seconds.
Post 8000 revs one does need to up shift
and this is where a gear position or a shift indicator would have come in quite
handy. The Dominar does not feel out of breath easily and is comfortable
cruising between 110-120kmph. The ride feels solid and planted, putting this
machine through some tight corners and twisties is truly a thrilling
experience. The tyres grip the road well and the suspension setup facilitates a
very balanced and controlled ride. The rigid perimeter frame also enables
precision steering of the motorcycle, giving the rider a capability to change
direction in the blink of an eye. The suspension setup is on the softer side,
soaking in most of the undulations and bumps with ease.
One of the most impressive aspects of the
Dominar 400 is its braking performance. The bike features a 320mm disc up front
and a 230mm disc in the rear. The discs are linked to a two channel ABS setup
which is incredibly efficient. In normal riding conditions this motorcycle can
come to a halt from 100kmph in approximately 9 seconds, the tail does not waver
and the bike does not break its line either even when in panic braking
conditions. On gravel one needs to be a little careful. Aiding the brakes are specially designed dual
compound tyres which provide good traction and grip.
The bike also has a very ergonomic design
with a sync in the foot pegs, handle bar and rider seat. Touring comfort is
also enhanced by a soft cushion seat. The D400 displays exceptional build
quality and has good fit and finish. The back illuminated switch gear is easy
to operate and enhances the feel on riding at night. Bajaj has made yet another
bold move by adding an all LED headlamp cluster which provides good visibility
of the road and looks sharp as well. The overall design language is muscular
with a stubby front and arched tank section. Bajaj has truly redefined its self
with the Dominar and set a new standard for the industry to follow. Be it the
price, the design, the features or the performance, this product speaks of
global standards and sets a benchmark in the brave new world Bajaj has opened
up for Indian riders.
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