2022 Bajaj Dominar 400 BS6 first ride review – Touring Evolved?July 2, 2022
2022 Bajaj Dominar 400 BS6: Chronological Timeline
The Bajaj Dominar 400 completed five years of existence on 15th December 2021. Before we go ahead with the review let us deep dive into the past of this motorcycle:
- Showcased at the 2014 Auto Expo as Pulsar CS400 Concept motorcycle
- Launched on 15th December 2016 in two variants: STD and ABS & 3 colors – Moon White, Twilight plum & Midnight Blue (Twilight plum was replaced with Matte Black in Aug 2017)
- The 2018 edition of the Bajaj Dominar 400 was launched in Rock Matte Black, Canyon Red and Glacier Blue colours with gold dust alloy wheels
- 2019 Dominar 400 introduced a revised red paint job with silver-painted USDs & introduced Aurora Green with an all-new twin barrel exhaust amongst other features
- March 2020 saw the launch of the Dominar 250 in Canyon Red and Vine Black colour, with a mix of features from its earlier iterations of the D400
- 2022 Bajaj Dominar 400 BS6 comes with a host of new factory-fitted touring accessories and in two colour options – Aurora Green and Charcoal Black.
A few tidbits: Pulsar CS400 concept VS the first generation 2017 Dominar 400 BS4
Certainly without a doubt what is showcased at an auto expo as a concept will not come to the tarmac. Same with the Bajaj Dominar, by the time it came from drawing board to the inventory systems a few features were missed:
- Upside Down Forks: This is probably the biggest change and quite clearly, now that we have the prices in front of us, it was done to achieve the very aggressive cost target.
- Disc Brakes: Pulsar CS400 had petal discs on both the wheels whereas Dominar 400 comes with regular rounded disc plates. Also, the front disc of the Pulsar was, for some reason bolted towards the left side of the tyre whereas on the Dominar it is on the right side.
- Instrument Console: Both Dominar 400 and Pulsar CS400 concept, both sport a dual instrument consoles – one over the fuel tank and the main unit over the headlamp. However, Pulsar CS400 had the speedometer display on the tank unit whereas the production Dominar has it at its regular place on the main unit. Bajaj has taken some non-frequently required info to the secondary unit (on the Dominar).
- Seats: Pulsar CS400 featured a single unibody seat whereas Dominar comes with split seats.
- Exhaust Canister: The silencer, apart from carrying some minor cosmetic differences, is a little down on the Dominar. Pulsar CS400 had a slightly upswept canister.
- Swingarm: Pulsar CS400 came equipped with an aluminum swingarm whereas the Dominar comes equipped with a steel unit.
Source Credits – Bikeadvice.in
Certainly over a period of time the motorcycle got a host of features and more. In addition to a younger sibling to cover more ground the new motorcycles have finally got its own “Hyper Gear”(more on that later).
2022 Bajaj Dominar 400 BS6 Review: Chronology – highlights
- In 2017 it became the first Indian motorcycle to complete the Trans- Siberian Odyssey
- Not just the men, the ladies too have achieved feats like the Australasian Odyssey and four corners of India – a total of 15,000 km in 30 days and make into the record books
- These 5 years have seen not just cosmetic makeovers but also other upgrades like a DOHC based engine, more power, front USD forks and an updated primary instrument panel
- Also, the Bajaj Dominar 400 has a younger sibling – the D250 launched on 11th March 2020
- With the official unveil of the 2022 D400 edition this journey comes a full circle
Thus in the shortest span (since launch) the Dominar has traveled far & wide – 6 odysseys and as we understand a 7th in the making.
Introduction – Bajaj Dominar “Hyper Gear”
The 2022 Bajaj Dominar 400 BS6 with factory-fitted touring accessories
A more distinctive front end with an angular and stylish tall visor. Developed with cutting edge CFD technology, the tall visor is designed to offer good wind-blast protection thus improving rider comfort.
- 2022 Bajaj Dominar 400 also features aerodynamically sculpted fighter jet-inspired hand guard with flexi-winglets for maximum wind protection.
The machine has been designed to make touring even better with a stylish and functional carrier for luggage.
- An added back stopper ensures maximum pillion comfort.
- Its touring-friendly features also include a purposeful and stylish engine bash plate with integrated metal skid plate, which offers good impact protection.
The rugged and discreet leg guard offers superior crash protection
An all-new saddle stay ensures that saddlebags stay securely in place.
It also comes equipped with a neatly integrated navigation stay that allows riders to attach a navigation device. This cast aluminum stay is sturdy and positioned ergonomically to avoid blocking the road view.
To add to all this, it now comes equipped with a USB charging port to keep one’s devices charged on the go.
2022 Bajaj Dominar 400 BS6 – Design
Visually, the 2022 Bajaj Dominar 400 BS6 and the Dominar UG are the same and currently available in Aurora Green and Charcoal Black. Dual display with the a reverse black and HUD unit on the main console with the clock and gear shift indicator on the secondary console. Unlike its younger sibling – the Dominar 250, this motorcycle is bereft of any sticker job. Since its launch this graphic absence has given the 2022 Bajaj Dominar 400 a unique identity. You are standstill at a signal and asked, “Which bike?”. That surprise and awe when the answer has a BAJAJ in it. The light goes green and you ride out with a sense of pride.
In this iteration, the DNA from 1st generation has stayed pretty much the same save for the USD forks and a few minor bits. The single barrel exhaust is replaced with a dual barrel system, a move made with the launch of the Bajaj Dominar 400 UG in 2019. So also, the silver cut alloys and the rear view mirrors. What indeed is new is the metal blended bash plate.
2022 Bajaj Dominar 400 BS6 – Ride and Handling:
The 2022 Bajaj Dominar 400 has three major sections to its structure. The front USD adds weight as compared to its telescopic fork fitted ancestor, the First gen Bajaj Dominar 400. The mid section carry around 16 litres of fluids and its 373.3cc engine. The tailgate with the bulkier dual barrel exhaust system. The absence of the large underbelly adds about 10mm more of ground clearance. This is a major plus for the motorcycle, specially when tackling speed bumps in the city and rough terrain in the outback.
The overall ride quality of the motorcycle is improved due to the all-new mono-shock the 2022 Bajaj Dominar 400 gets from the UG series. Add a bit of balance at the rear is the exhaust system. While some talk down the MRF tyres, they are indeed something to reckon with. Yes, the overall confidence in the owned 2017 never got beaten down. Here also the tyres surprise you. Be it tarmac, dirt or some bit of soft roading.
2022 Bajaj Dominar 400 BS6 – Engine and Gearbox:
At first, you like this clunky hard hitting gearbox. You want to clutch in and throttle out, rapidly! Yes the hard clutch on the 2022 Bajaj Dominar 400 BS6 is lets the rider short shift and open up the throttle with ease. The downshifts are where the 2022 Bajaj Dominar 400 come into a different character altogether. No matter how much stress you give it while downshifting it takes it with a pinch of salt.
Yes, this is a high revving engine with more power, 6 bhp more. The power didn’t seem overwhelming at any point of time. For a first time rider this could be otherwise. The 2022 Bajaj Dominar 400 keeps you at ease throughout the rev band. Speaking of which, the motorcycle red lines at around 9,000 rpm or so unlike the first generation Bajaj Dominar 400s. This expanded range gives the motorcycle comparatively linear and smoother power delivery.
The S.U.I.T Review – 2022 Bajaj Dominar 400 BS6 is it suitable?
The suit review is a new format which is relevant to most motorcycles. So, before we delve in to the motorcycle let us understand the term – S.U.I.T:
- Soft roading – off-road application, be it trails that meander off the tarmac into the grasslands or those off-road expedition routes. In rare cases a ride into the mountain passes.
- Uth Quotient – Social commute is a little different. This is not limited to pillion application or for that matter daily commute for work. It is more about traveling to “connect” and for leisure.
- Intracity Travel – Within city maneuverability. Be it a novice or an expert motorcyclist both of them can associate with the perils of rush hour traffic.
- Touring/ Highway travel with luggage use – Almost any motorcycle can make it through the by-lanes and even slice through traffic. Slicing through the windblasts, some make it through some are shaken through.
2022 Bajaj Dominar 400 BS6 – The Tamhini Connection
Taking the motorcycle out on a short run and simply posting a review wouldn’t do justice. Specially, since we have #dominic400 as part of the family. Also, without knowing a person it is unfair to form an opinion. In the past we have gotten our hands on the 2018 dominars, gotten the ECU of our Dominar 400 updated and learnt more about each other as we went along. Next in line rode the Dominar UG for a good 200+ plus kilometres before riding this motorcycling. Incidentally till date our 2017 Dominar 400 clocked 32000 kms and the 2022 Dominar 400 covered 320kms – just 1% !
For most motorcycling enthusiasts Lavasa is a paradise. For me I found paradise in Tamhini. Ever since the first solo run across ever Tamhini ghat on the Dominar, its a go to place for me. This is on mountain pass which has it all – from rugged terrain and overwhelmingly scenic forests and fast corners in-between. In the month of May on the 2017 D400 and after about a month the 2022 D400. Add a dash of monsoon soaked roads and merrymaking tourists, the perfect recipe to “experience” riding the motorcycle to Divegar. Thus, a 1% (320kms) first ride with this Bajaj Dominar 400.
2022 Bajaj Dominar 400 BS6 & The Divegar Run
Riding to review a motorcycle and a solo ride are two different scenarios. Riding in a group on a schedule is a totally different scenario altogether. Be it keeping up the pace or leading a pack, this requires focus. Focusing on the road and letting the motorcycle manage the ride came quite easily. The motorcycle breezed past Tamhini ghat without a fuss, glided over wet corners and before we knew it we reached our destination.
A mention here for gear downshifts, it is the slickest experienced on any Dominar so far. Also, the engine felt almost smooth and comparatively lesser vibes. This, on stock engine oil, no additives and regular unleaded petrol! interestingly the mostly criticized MRF tyres held the roads like never before, on the offroad patches there no moments of panic. The absence of the underbelly allows for more ground clearance on rough terrain and while riding will pillions too!
2022 Bajaj Dominar 400 BS6 – The S.U.I.T Review
- Soft roading – The 2022 Bajaj Dominar 400 BS6 takes on the off beaten path quite well. On this ride we did not cross terrain that would allow us to test its off roading capabilities. Suffice to say that the motorcycle can take on more obstacles sans 10mm hindrance on ground clearance.
- Uth Quotient – The motorcycle definitely strikes a chord with aspirants looking for a motorcycle that is not heavy strung on the budget or is a “hooligan”, yet muscular. Also, additions like the USB charging port, navigation panel and the back stopper are good for social commute.
- Intracity Travel – The comparatively smoother gear shifts and current engine setup allow for seamless travel between cities. The ride triangle although sports biased is still a comfortable one.
- Touring/ Highway travel with luggage use – The 2022 Bajaj Dominar 400 BS6 stays planted on highways as well as taking on those mountain pass curves. Be it in dry weather or lightening blurred wet roads, you are in control. The luggage rack is a compact one. We are still to tryout the complete setup aided by saddle stays. Although not used during this ride, the loops are a simple yet good addition to the rear seat luggage option.
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Additional content –
Quick Walkaround of the 2022 Bajaj Dominar 400 BS6