The name Dominar needs no introduction, the Dominar 400 especially after the more recent update certainly carved itself a space in the serious touring segment. But then, that exactly was the problem the bike faced as a lot of first time buyers stayed away.
And now to make sure that a lot new and upcoming riders are not intimidated by the big almost 400cc motorcycle, Bajaj has brought us the Dominar 250. So, how does this new more approachable Dominar feel to ride in the real world? Let’s find out.
Huge shout out to Khivraj Bajaj who loaned us their bike for the review!
Visually, for the untrained eye, both the bikes look identical. But move a bit closer and you will see three main differences and then a couple smaller ones. The first obvious and most stand out visual difference though are the smaller section tyres.
Then comes the little smaller in diameter front USD forks and finally the more conventional steel box- type swing arm. The digital meters on the tank and up front loose the gear indicator, dynamic fuel consumption and the average fuel consumption read outs as well. And yes, as of now, the beautiful red colour option is available only on the Dominar 250.
Well then, it sure looks like the Dominar 250 misses out on a lot, right? Actually no. The three main differences that we told you about have brought down the prices and the weight. The other smaller differences are things that honestly will be forgotten immediately once you start riding.
Now let’s move to the things that really matter.
The engine of the Dominar 250 although similar to the ones on the Duke 250 and the Husqvarna twins, has a different head design that gives it a slightly lower compression and allows for the twin spark technology. All this allows the Dominar 250 to have a strong mid-range and slightly better bottom end torque while being quite smooth and refined.
27 Ps @ 8500 RPM | 23.5 @ 6500 RPM
You have enough power available at lower revs to make riding it stress free at low city speeds while also having enough grunt to pull away from traffic easily. Easy cruising is around the 100-110 mark but the bike will definitely do speeds in excess of 135.
We really loved the strong and throaty sound of the exhaust. It has a beautiful rumble at lower RPM’s and becomes a smooth and loud free flowing sound at higher revs. It especially sounds fun when you are slowing down and rev-matching while shifting down the gears.
Being a bike that’s supposed to be your daily bike as well as your touring companion, the Dominar 250 impressed by returning consistently above the 35 kmpl mark.
Moving on to the handling, one key thing to mention is that even though the Dominar 250 is lighter than its bigger brother, at 180 kgs it still is quite heavy. But at the same time this motorcycle manages to hide its weight well. It’s mostly only felt in crawling traffic situations.
Seat height: 800 mm | Kerb weight: 180 kgs
It feels planted at higher speeds and although not the easiest to throw around a corner, it does feel confident and you never feel that the weight is stopping you from having fun.
Suspensions are firm but soft enough to dampen the effect of undulations and bad roads. It definitely is comfortable from a daily use point of view and can handle urban conditions well.
37 mm front USD forks | 157 mm ground clearance
The brakes probably could have used a bit more initial sharpness for that quick bite feel but overall perform well and having the dual channel ABS backing you up is always a plus point.
We were lucky to try both the Eurogrip and MRF tyres on the Dominar 250 and the MRFs easily stood out as the better performer. It had better grip availability and on the whole the bike felt better when sporting it.
Front tyre: 100/80 17 inch | Rear tyre: 130/70 17 inch
Coming on to the build quality and features. By now we all know that the Dominars have always been the best made Bajaj’s and the Dominar 250 follows this trend. It has been put together well. Like we mentioned earlier, there are some features we would have liked but these hardly matter in the long run.
So, Bajaj set out to create a Dominar that anybody can buy without feeling intimidated by the power or the price and we think they definitely have achieved it. The Dominar 250 is a friendly and easy to ride bike, that sounds great and is efficient too. It can easily double up as that one bike that’s fun out on weekend rides and also fun as your daily ride.