May 31, 2007

Bajaj Pulsar 200: A forkful of thoughts

Caughtilya-Rearset Stamp 1Rearset Hi,

As you would have noticed,the Pulsar 200 fork episode has been highly publicized and much controversy revolves around the same.If you can put up a post and clear the issues and bring out FACTS it would help confused bikers who might be relying on hearsay stories!


The reason, Arpan, I haven't put up anything about the fork, is precisely because there are no hard facts beyond the photos. From what I know, the forks did break (a total of four reported on the Net), but some Bajaj dealers (mostly non-probiking, I think) don't even know that. I also know that Bajaj aggressively went out and replaced those forks with a redesigned one.

Manufacturers, unfortunately, are not infallible. This has been proved over and over and over again (and there are tons of examples, in both the brick-mortar world and in the online business). So to me, the issue, life threatening as it appears to be the average user, is not something I would get worked up about. Is it serious? Of course. But is it something that needs lots of debate? If what I hear about Bajaj's response is true, I think no debate is required. If I were really paranoid, I'd simply put off an impending P200 purchase and wait for a few more months to pass...

Yes, if I were a P200 customer and this happened to me, I'd be very cross as well, but as the saying goes, shit happens.

In the international community, as long as a manufacturer comes forward and fixes the problem as fast as they can, it is considered par for the course. If you like, visit NHTSA (american safety agency) and see the number of recalls. The difference purely is that in the US, recalls are posted up, and in India, they are handled quietly. As long as they are handled, I don't think it is a big deal. Again, I must reiterate that announcing the recall and making it public is the better way to handle it, but given that P200 sales volumes aren't really that high, probiking dealers, I assume, would have no trouble locating the owners and informing them of the replacement.


Nyctophobia said...

this kinda situation is one of those big debates in the communications biz. do you go public, apologize, call back and offer replacement or do you use targeted communication as and when required.

personally, in this case i think they should have been more pro-active in informing customers. rumours and hearsay stories might just be more damaging than acknowledging that it happened.

of course, its easier to figure out the better route in retrospect.

Anonymous said...

my friend who owns a P200 had his bike's forks replaced by the company through the dealer from where he bought it. he never had any problems before or after that. guess it's okay then. but the dealer sounded a little off. they just wanted him to come over with the bike. they say all the buyers were given prompt replacements.

Nyctophobia said...

but then again, after a good night's sleep (thunde, lightening and all) the low key approach sounds better... after all, not many people outside the biking circle will have heard of this : )

Anonymous said...

The P200 did have an issue with its front forks and a couple of incidents were reported where the front forks cracked under braking. From what I understand neither rider fell off or was injured. Bajaj has since then, aggressive pursued P200 owners and replaced the forks with new ones of a stronger design.

Julian Paul said...

I find it rather sad that i have to start this comment by saying that i prefer bajaj bikes to hero hondas and that i was going to buy a p200 in a couple months. else, some might accuse me of targetting bajaj and being a herohonda fanboy.

the reason i'm commenting so late is because i heard about it very recently.

this low-key approach has just given me a very bad impression about the company. it was very fortunate for them that nobody was killed dude to one of these fork breakages, and in our country they are definitely safe from legal action.

if poor design can extend to such a critical area such as caliper mounts, one can only wonder about the rest of their QC. i had posted earlier about a friend's experience with his 180 ug3.

now i'm kinda stuck. should i buy probably the best equipped bike around, or should i look elsewhere?

rearset said...

My understanding is that when manufacturers err, they usually redouble their efforts to not let it happen again. I wouldn't despair. I'd wait another six months... and then buy the bike if it was still the best-equipped in the market...