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Bajaj Kratos VS400: First Look

27th Sep 2016 1:40 pm

With its launch date steadily approaching, the production version of the VS400 has been spied undisguised.

Bajaj is all set to bring in the VS400 in our market this November. The VS400 will launch under the new "Kratos" brand from Bajaj which will sit above the immensely popular "Pulsar" brand. 

According to sources, this new motorcycle will be labelled the Kratos VS400, where the ‘VS’ stands for Vantage Sport. It derives inspiration from the likes of the Ducati Diavel, in terms of styling as well as ergonomics. However, unlike the Diavel – which is a power-cruiser or muscle-bike if you will, the Kratos VS400 will be a smaller, more accessible bike that is more touring-focused. While plenty of camouflaged test mules have been spotted around Pune these images are the first of an undisguised VS400 that our reader shared with us. 

Aesthetically, it is interesting to see that there are no significant changes from the concept shown at Auto Expo 2014. As can be seen from these images, in terms of styling, the KratosVS400 does not adopt a conventional cruiser look, but instead, aims at being a modern hybrid between a cruiser and a street fighter. Staying true to its low stance, it sports a slightly raked-out front end that is adept for highway cruising, but to a lesser degree than you would expect to see on most regular cruisers. The front cowl is pretty neatly designed, with a swept-back visor and an all-new LED headlight setup. Although the model first displayed at the Auto Expo sporting USD forks up front, the production version will come equipped with regular telescopic forks instead. The rear will come shod with a mono-shock setup as witnessed on the bike first shown.

In these pictures, the split instrument cluster can be seen clearly. The handlebar-mounted unit is a sleek and rugged design that seems to house an LCD display, while the tank-mounted unit has all the tell-tale lights. This will also be the first time a motorcycle from Bajaj will sport an all-digital instrument cluster. It all looks well put-together, except for the key slot, which sticks out sorely at the handlebar.  

The tank looks muscular and sports contours that appear to have been inspired from the older Bajaj 200 NS. All of this flows quite well into the nice long seat that looks to be ideal for those stretched-out saddle hours. You can see that the rider’s seat is deep and generous, and the pillion seat is reasonably wide too. The tail section is upswept and ends abruptly, and the tail-lamps have the signature Pulsar twin-slash LED setup, similar to what the Diavel sports. However, in these images the Kratos VS400 looks a bit busy when viewed from the rear. The bike will have a fairly chunky box-section swing-arm which should with a long-ish wheelbase to aid in high-speed stability. Of course, this could sacrifice flickability and light-weight, but we still have to see what this all-new chassis from Bajaj is all about.

Also, it is interesting to see that Bajaj has opted to steer away from the expensive Metzeler rubber used on the KTMs. The Metzeler’s life tends to be in the nine-12,000km range. We expect these MRF Revz C1 tyres to offer less in terms of outright grip, but will strike a better balance between performance and life for the intended cruiser market. 

Similar to what Bajaj did with the KTM 200 and Pulsar 200 motors, the Kratos VS400’s engine will be derived from the fuel-injected, liquid-cooled, 373cc single-cylinder mill from the KTM 390s. Apart from the basic engine structure, the Bajaj version will have a different setup in a different state of tune, to better suit its touring purposes. While incorporating Bajaj’s signature triple-spark technology, the Kratos VS400 is expected to produce about 40hp of peak power and around 30Nm of torque, which will be transferred to the rear wheel through a six-speed gearbox. Even though its power output will be down from the KTM 390’s 44hp, the VS400 is expected to have more tractable power for low-speed usability and highway cruising. 

 

The perimeter frame is derived from the bigger Pulsars and unlike the motorcycle show at the Auto Expo, the production version of the Kratos VS400 uses regular telescopic forks, albeit, very stout ones. Much like the current-gen Pulsars, it will be also be equipped with disc brakes at both, the front and rear. From what we’ve heard, Bajaj has incorporated single-channel ABS into the Kratos VS400. But due to the higher power output of this bike and keeping in mind the mandatory ABS laws coming in 2018, this single-channel ABS will come as standard, while it’s possible that the dual-channel might be offered as an option.

Not as widely reported yet, is news the low-slung and butch-looking Kratos VS400 will enter showrooms this November under a new brand name. The upcoming premium motorcycle brand Umbrella, starting with the VS400, lifts the curtain on a fresh segment, taking Bajaj’s fight smack into the Royal Enfield territory. This means Bajaj’s blockbuster ‘Pulsar’ name shall remain exclusive to existing models, and will continue to be sold in their individual segments.

As always, we can expect the Kratos VS400 to remain true to its Pulsar DNA and established sporty character, offering high value for money, nippy performance and excellent efficiency that keeps them light on the pocket. The bike should cost somewhere between Rs 1.6 to 1.7 lakh, with production costs kept low, thanks to the commonality with the RS, NS and KTM siblings. Although it has no direct competition, the Mahindra Mojo is the only modern-day motorcycle that comes close to rivalling this Bajaj. Expect the Kratos VS400 to be officially break cover soon.

Spy pic source

 
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