2019 Bajaj Dominar 400 Review, First Ride

2019 Bajaj Dominar 400 Review – The bike gets a host of changes all around – We tell you how all of it stacks up together

Enchanting –

  • Modern, Muscular and high quality Power Cruiser Design
  • Superlative chassis, brakes, engine
  • Comfortable and fuel efficient
  • Feature and essential loaded to the brim
  • Value for money

Unsatisfying –

  • Only Two Colors To Choose, Period

Dominar was a brand that was entirely new from the company in its years of history. Clearly, the expectations were high when it comes to sales and market share. When launched in 2016 it had an optimistic target which couldn’t be met. Bajaj said the new brand takes time to establish and today it is the time when it tries to re do that. The old Dominar had equipment, performance and value package along with a certain appeal that made it jump the charts for some time, but not entirely till today.

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The facelift is here from the manufacturer is no cosmetic one. Several changes all around make this bike very promising on paper. Power cruisers are a rarity in this segment in India and even around the world. Bajaj has taken inspiration from everywhere and made their own product, the Dominar 400 Upgrade. What are those changes? Does it meet the hype? All the changes that are made on paper translate well on the road. These are our first impressions, read on.

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Design

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As you can see in the pictures, the body panels are identical as before. The purposeful headlight, the two slashes for the tail-lamps, the humongous tank, the machined alloys are back and the golden color is gone. The silver color USD forks with this new green color borrowed from Kawasaki (it seems so) looks quite impressive.

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A bold move that paid off if you ask us. What has changed cosmetically is the exhaust design which is a dual port replicates another Ducati with matte-black finish that looks great in conjunction with the green color. LED lights look great in the new headlight and work really well too.

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Speedo And Switches

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The Ducati inspired dual meters can be seen in full use this time. Fuel-efficiency parameter, warning lights, distance to empty, engine kill on or off are on display in the main meter where this also speedometer and tachometer that are digital. Switches are back lit in blue, palm grips are good quality, the aluminum stalks for the mirror is a very high quality touch to the bike and they are far more firmer. Overall, quality is very good all around, finishing is good, welds are alright and the wiring is tucked well all around the bike.

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Ergonomics

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The riding position is very comfortable thanks to upright riding position, raised handlebar which are not far away and falls into your hand. Seat height is a low 800 mm which is helpful for almost all types of riders. Seats are comfortable for short and long journeys. Stalks for the mirror have been revised and the view behind is good too. You can grip the tank quite easily as it is big enough to do so because your feet go a bit behind thanks to slightly rear set pegs.

Engine

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Engine is the highlight with the new upgrade. The motor now makes 40 PS of power and 35 Nm of torque. A 5 PS increase as the earlier model made 35 PS. The engine get’s Bajaj’s first DOHC engine and what is instantly apparent is the maturity in the way power is delivered. It is very similar to the way the new 2017 Duke 390 makes power. Smoothly and moves ahead with authority thanks to all that torque. Sure, the power and torque come higher in the rev range but since the motor revs quickly it reaches mid range and from there it continues move quickly ahead and with authority as the bassy soundtrack accompanying it throughout the rev range. 0-100 km/hr is done in 7.1 seconds and has a top speed of 156 km/hr.

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NVH level have dropped down dramatically. Vibrations can be mildly be felt around 3000 RPM and then directly at redline which makes it an negligible issue now. The compression ratio has been increased which means a higher octane petrol can make this bike even more smoother. Nevertheless, it is tuned to meet all kinds of fuel qualities our country has to offer. Clutch continues to be light and slipper clutch means smoother downshifts. The gearbox offers slick shifts with clutch or without it. Overall, a free revving, punchy motor that sounds good, is low on NVH just made the entire bike sport touring friendlier than the last time, by a considerable margin.

Dynamics

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Handling has improved in all regards. The forks have been replaced with USD units and they provide more feedback and directional stability which means you know more of what the front wheel is doing. The rear monoshock has been softened and doesn’t send a sharp jolt back any more. Now, the monoshock feels more pliant but the underlying stiffness is there to make sure this power cruiser continues to be fun to ride and isn’t all over the place.

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A good balance that has been achieved. MRF tyres continue to do their job with 110 section at the front and 150 section at the rear. Brakes are really good with excellent progressive power and good initial bite. ABS backs these brakes and avoids jamming providing a safer experience. Overall, a potent chassis just a got a bit more tweak to make it more impressive and feedback rich as continues to provide excellent highway speed stability and ride quality at the same time.

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2019 Bajaj Dominar 400 Review, Verdict

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There is no denying the Dominar was already doing well as a product. The power cruiser format is a great addition to the Indian motorcycling scenario. Sport touring is what the motorcycle enthusiast look forward too and Bajaj has responded to provide the same with the Dominar 400. The 2019 version makes this far more easier and smoother to live with.

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The aesthetics also play a crucial role apart from all the essentials that now make it to the list making it a impressive package. Pricing isn’t out as of now but we expect it to be under RS 2.0 lakhs ex-showroom and on-road should be 2.30-2.40 in most cities making it a steal of a deal. Hyper riding much? Yes Please!

2019 Bajaj Dominar 400 Review
  • Design
  • Features
  • Comfort
  • Performance
  • Dynamics
  • Safety
  • Value
  • Practicality
5.0

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