Going backwards to go forward. Some concept, isn't it? And it's something that Bajaj has adopted with the 2009 Pulsar 220, even though it only pertains to one thing – the P220 is no longer fuel injected! Yes, it might seem like a step back, and in a way it is, but does it detract from what the motorcycle has to offer? Nope, not by a long shot!
When the P220 was first born after a painfully long gestation period, Bajaj, and motorcycling enthusiasts as well, had big expectations from the motorcycle. While it was a good bike with many firsts to its credit, its price put it out of the reach of many and its reputation had already taken a beating thanks to not-so-nice rumours about the FI system's reliability doing the rounds. And it didn’t help that Bajaj took forever to launch the bike. Disgruntled prospective customers turned away from the P220 and walked straight into the Hero Honda Karizma's wide open waiting arms. Now, Bajaj's decision to remove the fuel injection system also removes the cost associated with it, making the bike cheaper and also removes the reason why many people shied away from it.
Visually, the P220 gets the black treatment for the engine, suspension and wheels, while the 'Pulsar' logo 3D-s the tank. The quarter fairing has a new decal that looks like a stylised 'F.' I didn't get around to asking Manish what that meant, but it well might stand for 'fastest' (Bajaj is pegging the bike as 'The Fastest Indian,' you see). The tachometer face has also changed, while both front and rear brake callipers are now finished in gold. If you decide to buy the P220 in black, you'll get black clip-ons and grab rails as well. The rest of the aesthetic package remains the same as does the commendable build quality.