The Bajaj Dominar has won the prestigious NDTV Two Wheeler of the Year 2018 trophy. The bike edged out some strong competition to win the award. The first runner-up was the Honda Cliq and the second runner-up was the Yamaha FZ 25. Bajaj has previously won the Two Wheeler of the Year award 3 times - In 2016 for the Pulsar RS 200, in 2013 for the Pulsar NS 200, and in 2008 for the Pulsar 220 DTSFi.
The Dominar garnered 330 of a possible maximum 420 points, while the Cliq was far behind at 302 points. Incidentally the Bajaj Dominar is also the CNB Viewers' Choice Two Wheeler of the Year, getting 45 per cent of the vote in a very one-sided contest! The Dominar uses the same 373 cc engine as the KTM 390 Duke. But it gets Bajaj's trademark triple spark technology; and it has been retuned to change the torque curve and power output. Its output is down to 34.5 bhp and peak torque is 35 Nm. Bajaj positions it as a 'power cruiser' but its essentially been designed to offer a convenient everyday ride, with decent touring capability.
The Dominar is the most powerful bike from the Bajaj stable
The bike has been positioned as a direct rival to the Royal Enfield range, and in fact the advertising campaign also took aim at that brand. The Dominar though has the advantage of being easier to ride, and has a very refined engine. It is also more manoeuvrable in city traffic - making it the ideal bike even for a daily use. It has attractive styling, and in many ways seems to have drawn inspiration from the Ducati Diavel. Bajaj had initially intended to launch the Dominar under the Pulsar brand umbrella as the Pulsar CS 400, and had been shown as a concept with that name at the 2014 Delhi Auto Expo. But then we were told Bajaj was to create a new brand - Kratos. Eventually even that name was dropped and it was Dominar that eventually made it to the marketplace.
Rajiv Bajaj, MD, Bajaj Auto said, "When the Dominar wins every motorcycle award that comes from such a distinguished jury that's a verdict not just for the bike but for the sharp marketing & sound technology that makes Bajaj the world's favourite Indian by virtue of us exporting about 40% of our motorcycles across the globe including to the US, Europe, & Japan."
The Dominar also won its category - Premium Motorcycle of the Year. It beat competition from the DSK Benelli BN 302R, Kawasaki Versys X-300, and its cousin the KTM 390 Duke. The Dominar has also been a sales success for the brand as it is very attractively priced at Rs 1.42 lakh ex-showroom Delhi. The twin-channel ABS variant is priced Rs 14,000 higher. And that is the other good part - the fact that it has an ABS variant. Its 6-Speed gearbox is also smooth, and the ride quality is very sorted. The bike does speeds over 150 kmph and yet there is no vibration, and it maintains its control and composure. The bike's build quality is also pretty good, and it has a nice split digital cluster - which also makes it comes across as very modern and global. Claimed mileage on the bike is 27 kmpl. And the Dominar has no immediate like rival. It does prove to be a great upgrade for someone looking to move up from say a 150cc bike to one with a lot more power, heft and road presence.
Eric Vas, President-Motorcycle, Bajaj Auto, “Dominar is the most outstanding bike launched in India in the last year and winning Best Two wheeler of the year is the perfect endorsement of the same. It’s a great differentiated product and has introduced a totally new approach to biking that we call hyper-riding. Our thanks to NDTV CNB for their recognition”