The engine’s cubic capacity matters a lot to the Indian motorcycle buyer, among other factors of course. The engine’s ‘cc’ is what creates a certain perception in the minds of the Indian buyers. Performance and frugality play a part in a motorcycle’s success in our market. So Bajaj decided to bring out a lower-capacity Dominar to lure buyers who can’t make the stretch to the 400cc model. Now while this may be considered engine downsizing, let’s not write it off immediately, for the Dominar 250 promises to be a great long-distance touring bike with the comfort of its larger-capacity sibling.
We’ve been fans of the Bajaj Dominar 250’s design ever since Bajaj Bikes introduced the 400cc version. That power cruiser stance looks great, particularly with all the blacked-out portions and the gloss paint job. The Bajaj Dominar 250 looks no different, meaning it gets the same body panels, an LED headlight and a 13-litre fuel tank and the rear cowl. The alloy wheels remain untouched, but don’t feature the diamond-cut finish seen on the 400. We found the rear tyre to be a bit skinny and that somehow ruins part of the bike’s appeal. But apart from that, Bajaj Bikes have come up a great-looking shape. Build quality is good; so is the overall finish. The switchgear feels nice to operate; the panels are closely intact and the red paint theme really gives this bike a sporty look. And the brand should be proud of itself, considering how far it has come with the levels of premiumness a bike like the Bajaj Dominar 250 offers. The 250 features an instrument cluster and a secondary display on the fuel tank, but don’t get basic information that includes distance-to-empty, a gear position indicator and average fuel consumption. We think cost constraints had them delete these important features.
The Domina 250 gets its engine from the KTM 250 Duke, but features a new cylinder head and Bajaj’s dual-spark technology – and that’s all that separates one engine from another. The lower compression ratio means there is lesser power and torque than the KTM, but that doesn’t mean the Dominar 250 is sluggish. The motor produces 26bhp and 23.5Nm of torque, and the bike is quite quick, given its weight of 180kgs. The gearing and the drive ratio are the same on the 250 Duke. The Dominar is not much slower than the KTM and that’s a good thing. Low-speed tractability is good and you can ride around in the city in the higher gears without the engine getting restless. To move past traffic, a mild twist of the throttle is all that’s required. When you need to shift gears, the light clutch and slick transmission make the experience hassle-free. For the city, we think the Bajaj Dominar 250 cuts the mustard. Even on the highways, it won’t let you down. The engine never feels like it is running out of breath even at speeds of about 120kph. In the fifth gear, the engine works in a relaxed manner. To overtake quickly, you’ll have to downshift. And the double-barrel exhaust sounds nice and loud when you whack the throttle open. The engine is smooth and has enough power for long journeys, and that pretty much solves the doubt in our minds.
The Dominar 250’s ride and handling setup is perfect. There’s good feedback from the steel perimeter frame but the Dominar 250 gets a new USD fork up front. The reason Bajaj did not fit the fatter rear tyre on is because they knew it would have a negative impact on performance and fuel economy. Also, grab the latest info on new bikes, only at autoX.