After keeping its fans on tenterhooks for the longest of times, Bajaj Auto finally launched the Dominar 400 in India on 15th December, 2016. The lengthy launch event was compensated by the amazing price of the Bajaj flagship. The Dominar 400 was launched at INR 1.36 lakh for the non-ABS version and 1.50 lakh for the ABS version (ex-showroom, Delhi) . The prime highlight of the Dominar 400 is the slipper clutch that is being featured for the first time in a motorcycle that costs less than INR 2 lakh.
Dominar is a Spanish word which means ‘To Dominate’ and this indeed looks like an apt moniker for the bike which was formerly called by several names like Pulsar CS 400, VS 400 and Kratos. Bajaj Auto is extremely confident about its product as the company's MD – Mr Rajiv Bajaj said during the press conference that his aim is ‘Remotorization’ and the company will remain unfazed by the demonetization. It can be safely assumed that the Bajaj Dominar 400 is going to register good numbers as its pricing is likely to tempt the buyers of cruisers, Sportsbikes and naked street bikes available in the respective price range.
As a package, Bajaj Dominar is offering much more than segment firsts, in fact it will be setting fire to the segment itself. The Dominar 400 boasts of a fresh new design which has never been seen on any India-made motorcycle. Although this motorcycle derives its styling cues from much bigger motorcycles like the Ducati Diavel. The LED headlamps with DRLs lend the Dominar an aggressive look whereas the rear cluster looks Diavel-inspired. Bajaj has also added a fully digital instrument cluster with a separate unit integrated on the fuel tank. The 373 cc, single-cylinder, liquid-cooled engine in the Dominar 400 is capable of churning out a peak power output of 34.5 bhp @ 8,000 rpm whereas the torque output stays at 35 Nm @ 6500 rpm.
The motor being powerful is one thing but the competition it has been pit against makes it an absolute dominator in the sub-2 lakh price bracket. The competition consists of Mahindra Mojo which puts out 27 bhp and 30 nm of torque. The other competitor is the Royal Enfield Classic 350 which produces a maximum power of 19.8 bhp along with a peak torque of 28 Nm. KTM Duke 200 as a nemesis in terms of price for the Dominar 400 with its 199.5cc, single cylinder engine puts out a maximum power output of 24.6 bhp @ 10,000 rpm and max torque of 19.2 bhp @ 8000 rpm.
So, the Bajaj Dominar 400 beats all of them in the power department with only real competition coming from the 390 Duke which is more than half a lakh expensive. The Bajaj Dominar 400 comes standard with a slipper clutch which is the first time any motorcycle in the sub INR 2 lakh category until now has received. This premium feature is available in the Ninja 300 and the KTM 390 series in the near price range.
All said, on paper, the Bajaj Dominar 400 looks unbeaten like a Titan but whether the same holds true in the real world will be seen only when we get to ride it.