By | September 5, 2018

Let’s start with the motors: the Pulsar wins the spec war handily, its 15bhp and 15Nm comfortably outstripping the Unicorn’s 13bhp/13Nm. There’s no question it is quicker; however, the way it delivers its power is very commuter-ish. There’s a lot of poke off the line, with a strong midrange, but there isn’t much to offer at the top end. The Unicorn is far more linear, delivering its torque in straightforward fashion right from idle to the redline. That said, the Pulsar feels agrarian compared to the silky refinement of the Unicorn. The Honda offers a slight tingle through the soles of your feet post 4000rpm, and shifting through the ‘box, with or without clutch, needs a mere twitch of the left foot. The Pulsar’s engine offers vibrations through the handlebar and foot pegs, and the gearbox still offers a false neutral or two when you aren’t careful. The Unicorn could learn a thing or two from the brakes on the Pulsar, however; the Bybre unit on the Bajaj is full of feel and feedback, and stops it quickly and without fuss. The Unicorn’s front disc is spongy and devoid of feel. It doesn’t lack power, but it doesn’t offer the paradigm shift in braking one usually associates with a switch from a drum to a disc. The Unicorn’s MRF tyres make up for the deficiencies of the brake in many ways. They have great grip, even while cornering. The Eurogriptyres on the Pulsar run out of grip a little too quickly, but they help return great fuel efficiency for the power figure. The Unicorn ends up top trumps in the suspension department with its rear monoshock offering more ease of use and comfort, although the Pulsar’s twin gas-charged dampers aren’t bad; they just aren’t as good. Overall, the Unicorn is the better motorcycle to ride, its stress-free nature and refinement contributing towards a relaxed ride.

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