Honda CB Hornet 160R vs Bajaj Pulsar 150 Comparison

CB Hornet 160R vs Pulsar 150 Comparison

Refinement & Build Quality:
The first and foremost thing you notice is the massive difference in the refinement of the two bikes. The Hornet revs with an uncanny smoothness that almost makes it feel too docile compared to the familiar, sharp, loud and coarse exhaust note of the Pulsar 150. The sheer buttery, positive and precise gearshift of the Hornet just cannot be matched by Pulsar’s recalcitrant and feedback-less gear lever. Bajaj still has a long way to go before it catches up to Honda’s sheer engineering prowess.

CB Hornet 160R vs Pulsar 150 DTSi Video Comparison:

Performance & Tractability:
The CB Hornet 160R has a whopping 21% more torque than the Pulsar 150, as seen in the numbers given below. This becomes apparent as soon as you start riding. The difference in low-end torque is especially noticeable, with the Pulsar 150 feeling surprisingly weak at low revs compared to the Hornet. Even the mid-range of the Hornet is much stronger than the Pulsar 150, resulting in need for lesser gearshifts while riding around town. Hornet’s outright acceleration is also marginally better than the Pulsar, which is not at all surprising given its 8% power advantage over the Pulsar and that too at 500 rpm lower as well.

Power to Weight Ratio (PS/ton): CB Hornet 160R – 113, Pulsar 150 – 104.6 (Δ8%)
Torque to Weight Ratio (Nm/ton): CB Hornet 160R – 105.4, Pulsar 150 – 86.8 (Δ21%)

Power (PS@rpm): CB Hornet 160R – 15.88@8500, Pulsar 150 – 15.06@9000
Torque (Nm@rpm): CB Hornet 160R – 14.76@6500, Pulsar 150 – 12.5@6500
Displacement (cc): CB Hornet 160R – 162.71, Pulsar 150 – 149

Kerb Weight (kg): CB Hornet 160R – 140, Pulsar 150 – 144

Handling & Ride Quality:
The CB Hornet 160R is a more neutral handling bike than the Pulsar 150. Pulsar 150 feels front heavy and inspires lesser confidence while cornering. Hence in spite of a longer wheelbase, the Hornet is the one which feels more agile around the corners. Hornet also feels more planted around corners, thanks to significantly wider tyres, stiffer suspension setup and the aforementioned longer wheelbase than the Pulsar 150. But that’s not all, the Hornet also rides better than the Pulsar at speeds and maintains far better composure than the Pulsar 150 while tackling a series of bumps. Only the low-speed ride of the Pulsar 150 is better than the Hornet thanks to its overtly soft suspension setup.

Tyre - Front: CB Hornet 160R – 100/80R17, Pulsar 150 – 2.75R17 (2.75 inch = 70 mm)
Tyre - Rear: CB Hornet 160R – 140/70R17, Pulsar 150 – 100/90R17
Wheelbase (mm): CB Hornet 160R – 1345, Pulsar 150 – 1320

Comfort & Ergonomics:
The Hornet has a sportier riding position than the Pulsar. Foot-pegs are comparatively rear-set and handlebar height is perfectly judged. Pulsar 150’s ergonomics are more commuter-biased but still reasonably comfortable. Only problem with the Pulsar 150 is that it’s tank does not have knee-recesses, which makes it a it of a nuisance while cornering.

The CB Hornet 160R (STD) retails for 79,900 Rs. ex-showroom, Delhi, which makes it 8100 Rs. more expensive than the Pulsar 150 having a sticker price of 71,800 Rs.

Fuel Efficiency:

The CB Hornet 160R has an ARAI certified mileage of 62 kmpl, which is 3 kmpl less than the Pulsar 150’s mileage of 65 kmpl. However, in our back to back tests, both the bikes were equally fuel-efficient. Assuming the real-world mileage to two thirds of ARAI mileage, suffering through the noise, vibrations, weak tractability and narrow tyres of the Pulsar 150 over 60,000 km will result in miniscule savings of 4400 Rs. over the CB Hornet 160R at current fuel prices. This makes the Pulsar 150 12,500 Rs. cheaper than the CB Hornet 160R to buy and run.

Reliability & After Sales Service:

Honda has undoubtedly proven to be much better than Bajaj at providing hassle free service support in our country. Honda’s products themselves are far more reliable than Bajaj’s and thus do not require as much maintenance as Bajaj products in the first place. CB Hornet 160R is also bound to have better resale value than the Pulsar 150 after 5 to 7 years of usage. Firstly because the Pulsar 150 is long pending a replacement and secondly due to superior build quality and reliability of Honda, expect the CB Hornet 160R to depreciate at least 5000 Rs. less than the Pulsar 150.  Overall, the Total Cost of Ownership of the CB Hornet 160R turns out to be 7500 Rs. (5%) more than the Pulsar 150. But then the Hornet is superior in terms performance, dynamics, refinement, reliability and ergonomics and thus worth much more than the extra expenditure that it demands over a Pulsar 150.

Verdict: Hornet is better than Pulsar 150

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