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Bajaj Dominar 250 Review: Bringing Dominar DNA to 250cc Segment!

TechLekh

TechLekh

Bajaj Dominar 250 Review: Bringing Dominar DNA to 250cc Segment!

How does it compare against the most impressive bigger brother? Does it have the capabilities to disrupt the 250cc segment?

Bajaj Dominar 250 marked the entry of Bajaj into the 250cc segment. With 250cc becoming growingly popular, it was just a matter of time before Bajaj introduced its take on that segment. That is how we got the Bajaj Dominar 250. After months of anticipation, it is finally here!

HH Bajaj, the authorized distributor of Bajaj bikes in Nepal, has launched the all-new Bajaj Dominar 250, bringing its A-game against its fierce rivals. With an introductory offer of Rs. 499,900, the Dominar 250 carries the aesthetics of its bigger 400cc sibling and many of its segment-leading features.

How does it compare against the most impressive bigger brother? Does it have the capabilities to disrupt the 250cc segment?

Today, we find out!

There is a lot to unpack here in an otherwise familiar sports tourer. Without further ado, this is the full review of the all-new Bajaj Dominar 250 in Nepal.

Bajaj Dominar 250 Review

Muscular Design

Bajaj Dominar 250 follows in its big brother’s footsteps.

Twin-Barrel Exhaust, New Mirrors, USD Forks, and Secondary Display are some of the previously seen features making their mark in the new segment. Interestingly, it is the first time we see the design of this caliber making its way into the 250cc segment.

Let’s start from the front.

Bajaj Dominar 250 continues its dominating styling with its massive multi-LED headlamp alongside chunkier front forks and blacked-out visor. The side profile also gets the same muscular design.

It has a sense of an aggressive stance, complete with its massive sculpted tank and multiple body cladding design. Quite frankly, there isn’t much difference since we talked about the Dominar design.

The rear portion still comes with the split grabrails right alongside the classic Bajaj LED taillamp. If you were someone not familiar with the Dominar’s lineage, you could confuse 250 with the 400.

Both are practically similar, sharing elements with few key differences.

Retuned 250cc FI Engine

Bajaj Dominar 250 is powered by a 248.77cc, Single-Cylinder, Liquid-Cooled, 4-Valve, DOHC Engine. It can generate a max-power of 27PS at 8500rpm and a max-torque of 23.5Nm at 6500rpm.

Moreover, it is mated to a 6-speed gearbox featuring an assist and slipper clutch. Instead of triple-spark ignition, Dominar 250 will feature a traditional twin-spark configuration. We have seen the same engine iteration before in KTM Duke 250 and Husqvarna 250.

Bajaj Auto has tweaked the engine around the headers, resulting in lower compression and better mileage for a better sports tourer appeal. Unfortunately, it gets a performance reduction of 2.6PS power and 0.5Nm torque along with a reduced rpm limit. Additionally, it should be noted that this is not a BS6-compliant engine. Rather, it follows the emission standards of EURO4.

bajaj dominar

Segment-Leading Features

While the Bajaj Dominar 250 is a completely new motorcycle in the 250cc segment, it comes with familiar features, as seen in Dominar 400.

However, it should be noted that most of the features are segment-leading. Moreover, the competition lacks a significant number of features offered by the Dominar 250.

Braking Performance

Bajaj Dominar 250 comes with a 300mm disc at the front and a 220mm disc at the rear. It is dual-disc braking with Dual-Channel ABS as standard. Compared to the Dominar 400, it is 20mm smaller in front disc size. However, the real-world performance feels uncompromised.

The braking feel is precise and accurate. As expected, the overall braking performance is confidence-inspiring. While it isn’t up to the level of Suzuki Gixxer 250, it feels pretty close.

Suspension Feel

Talking about the suspension setup, it gets Telescopic USD forks at the front and Multi-step adjustable Monoshocks with Nitrox at the rear. Compared to the Dominar 400, Dominar 250 features 6mm smaller USD forks.

In terms of suspension experience, it comes with a surprisingly softer feel. It aligns well with the city-riding objective. It is a sort of mixture between soft and stiff feel. The usual city bumps are easily absorbed. Moreover, the suspension is stable in high speed riding as well.

Seat Comfort

Like every other Bajaj product, the seat cushion is one of the best cushioning. It feels premium with adequate comfort in a long-distance ride.Interestingly, the split seat setup has enough space for both rider and pillion, making it one of the more comfortable seats in the segment.

Fuel Tank Capacity and Mileage

Bajaj Dominar 250 comes with a fuel tank capacity of 13-liters with a claimed mileage of 35 Kmpl.

In our test, we rode the Dominar in mid-gears (Gear 3 and Gear 4) at an average speed of 50Kmph.

We were successful enough to achieve an average mileage of 28-30Kmpl. If you ride the Dominar 250 more economically, it should achieve the claimed mileage.

Slimmer Tires

Let's move onto something that is changed.

Bajaj Dominar 250 comes with a 100/80 front tire and 130/70 rear tire. Both are 17-inch tubeless tires.

Compared to the Dominar 400, both the front and rear tires are slimmer.

Interestingly, these are the same tires, as seen in Bajaj Pulsar NS 200. Due to the wider body design of the Dominar, the tires feel ridiculously slim (especially the rear one).

Regardless, there isn’t much difference in ride stability.

It brings the same level of stability and control as it did in Pulsar NS 200. However, the rear portion takes a hit in terms of appearance.

Other Features

Negative Dual LCD Display, Cast Aluminum Mirrors, and Dual Port Exhaust are few other features found in the new Dominar 250.

The overall features are nice.

However, I still feel like there is a place for improvement in the LCD. It is static in nature, lacking dynamic features seen in the 2019 Dominar 400. Furthermore, it is difficult to read in direct sunlight.

Talking about the mirrors, they are styling and provide good visibility.

My Experience with Bajaj Dominar 250

Dominar DNA

Bajaj Dominar 250 took me back to the review days of the Bajaj Dominar 400. I think that’s why I keep referencing and comparing them with one another.

Both are quite different beasts in their respective segments. However, the Dominar DNA persists!

As an example, the 180Kg weight takes some ‘getting-used-to’. Likewise, the body and riding stance feels so much like the Dominar 400.

The initial experience feels like a Dominar with its superb low-end grunt and mid-range performance. The vibrations are at a minimum, emulating the classic Bajaj vibration feel.

After opening the throttle, the performance struggles to keep up with the demand. The expected Dominar 400-level pickup seems to be missing on the 250cc sibling.

I mean, you feel the power… but much of the experience feels missing due to lack of torque vibes.

This is where it gets interesting.

The lack of torquey feel is only felt in open roads, like the highways. In traditional city streets, it does a fairly good job.

Being oriented mostly for city riding, I think Bajaj has done a good job at that.

For the most part, the new 250 successfully brings the Dominar DNA to the table.

Conditional Handling

This is interesting.

Bajaj Dominar is a sports tourer, made for highway riding. So, it was built with that in mind.

On long roads, Bajaj Dominar 250 handles like a beast!

It remains stable in high-speeds (above 80Kmph) with no sign of major vibrations. However, the handling struggles a bit in tight areas, especially in sharp corners.

You can’t really turn on a sharp corner with full confidence due to the large turn radius.

So, the handling will depend on the condition. Nonetheless, I got used to it after riding it a few more times.

Long Distance Ride

During our test, we did manage to pull off a long-distance ride. We traveled from Kathmandu to Banepa, limiting our routes to highways.

After a back and forth ride, I notice three interesting things.

Firstly, the Dominar 250 is fairly comfortable on a long ride. There is a place for getting used to it, but there were no sore back or uncomfortable seats after the end of the ride.

Secondly, there were numerous times where I kept down-shifting for quick overtakes. It was even more comfortable with the Slipper Clutch for safer down-shifts.

While the power is great, the lack of torque is slightly disappointing on open roads.

Finally, Dominar 250 shines while it is in motion. However, I loathed it whenever I had to stop at a traffic light or traffic jams.

I attribute that feeling to the 180Kg weight.

Battle with the Competition

Bajaj Dominar 250 competes against the likes of Suzuki Gixxer 250, Husqvarna 250, KTM Duke 250, and Yamaha FZ25. Husqvarna 250 and KTM Duke 250 come from the same family, whereas Yamaha FZ25 doesn’t even come close!

If you filter out the herd, Dominar 250 goes head-on against the Gixxer 250.

One Complaint

Like every other motorcycle, Bajaj Dominar 250 comes with good stuff and bad stuff.

With Bajaj Dominar 250, I think my most important complaint would be the 180Kg kerb weight. Dominar weighs more than 30Kg in comparison with the competition. It takes a slight hit on its practicality as well as its performance. If you can fully consider this, Bajaj Dominar 250 will come across as a good offering.

Conclusion

In a world where motorcycles are getting hella expensive, Bajaj Auto comes with another 250cc machine priced at Rs. 499,000.

While it is expensive, it also does much to justify its high pricing.Unfortunately, the steeper pricing will keep people from experiencing the true thrill of the newest Dominar.

If you do have the capability to experience the new Bajaj mammoth, just know, the Bajaj Dominar 250 brings the Dominar DNA to the 250cc Segment.

Pros, Cons

Dominar 400 Inspired Muscular Styling, Slimmer Tires Affecting Its Looks

Segment Leading Features, Heaviest Bike in Its Segment

Good Low-end Grunt with Mid-range Performance, Down-shifting Required for Quick Pickup

Good Mileage for City Riding, Slight Difficulties in Tight Cornering

Well-Balanced Suspension with Excellent Braking, Lack of Performance Feel Under 4000rpm

Bajaj Dominar 250 Design Highlights

  • 400 Inspired Muscular Styling
  • Excellent On-Road Presence
  • Multi-LED Headlamp and Taillamp with LED Indicators
  • Aggressive Fuel Tank
  • Blacked Out Single-Piece Handlebar
  • Cast Aluminum Mirrors
  • Split Seats with Split-type Grab bar
  • Dual-Barrel Exhaust

Bajaj Dominar 250 Feature Highlights

  • Beam Type Perimeter Frame
  • Up-Side Down Front Forks
  • Dual Disc Braking
  • Dual-Channel ABS
  • Assist & Slipper Clutch
  • Dual Exhaust
  • Stylish New Mirrors
  • Reverse LCD Dual Console
  • Full LED Headlamps with Split LED Taillamp
  • Split Seat Setup
  • 13-Liter Fuel Tank Capacity