2019 Bajaj Dominar 400: Top five facts
As we discovered during our first ride, the Bajaj Dominar 400 is punchier and handles better than before, thanks to a host of upgrades it gets as part of the 2019 update. The bike has been Bajaj Auto's flagship motorcycle but despite sounding like a good package on paper, the bike didn't set sales charts afire. While there's various changes all round, here is a list of the top five things that we think make the 2019 Dominar 400 a better package.
The 2019 Bajaj Dominar 400 is now a more compelling package, thanks to the extensive upgrades it receives as part of its midlife update
Improved engine performance
The improved performance from the 373.2cc, liquid-cooled single cylinder engine is arguably the biggest highlight on the 2019 Bajaj Dominar 400. The engine offered 35PS, produced at 8,000rpm on the previous version, but now offers a significantly higher 40PS now, produced at 8,650rpm. Peak torque produced is the same as before at 35Nm but is also produced slightly higher, at 7,000rpm, as opposed to 6,500rpm earlier. Switching to a DOHC (double overhead camshaft) setup as opposed to the SOHC setup for the engine has made this possible. And as we discovered in our VBOX tests, there's a significant improvement in acceleration the 2019 bike managed the 0-100kmph test in 7.6 seconds as opposed to the 8.4 seconds taken by the older bike.
The 2019 Bajaj Dominar 400 is more powerful now - its 373.2cc engine now offers 40PS as opposed to 35PS earlier
Bajaj has also changed the exhaust, and the 2019 Bajaj Dominar 400 now uses a new, dual-barrel exhaust. The new exhaust is visually bigger in size and thus adds to the bike's looks. More importantly, the 2019 Dominar 400 sounds throatier and more distinctive as compared to last year's bike.
The 2019 Bajaj Dominar 400's new, dual-barrel exhaust offers a more distinctive exhaust note
One concern with the Bajaj Dominar 400 has been the vibration on the motorcycle, particularly in key areas like the footpegs, seat, fuel tank and handlebars. Bajaj Auto has worked extensively on reducing the vibration to a bare minimum on the 2019 bike though. As we found during our test ride, the 2019 Dominar feels a lot smoother be it when accelerating hard or cruising at well over 100kmph on open roads. Apart from making for a more pleasant riding experience, this should also help in reducing fatigue over longer rides.
The 2019 Bajaj Dominar 400's engine feels more refined apart from which Bajaj has focused extensively on vibration damping, which makes for a better riding experience sans the vibration issues on the previous version
Revised rear suspension
Another concern Dominar 400 owners have had is the firmness of the rear suspension. The older version was prone to throwing the rider off its seat if you hit a bump or speed breaker at speeds. For 2019, Bajaj Auto softened the suspension slightly and made it more pliant, thus improving its shock absorption abilities. The 2019 Dominar 400 thus offers a better ride quality than before, thereby improving rider comfort.
The 2019 Bajaj Dominar 400 sports a more pliant rear suspension that has helped improve the bike's ride quality noticeably
Upside down forks
Another big change for 2019 is the switch to upside down forks from conventional ones. The 2019 Dominar 400 comes equipped with 43mm USDs, which are essentially the same, cartridge-type forks as the KTM 390 Duke. Obviously, this has been done in the interest of handling, but the good news is the forks on the Dominar 400 are not as stiff as the 390 Duke's and offer a better ride quality. That said, the updated Dominar 400's handling has improved over last year's bike. The bike is now quicker to steer and make directional changes on the go, apart from which it also feels a more stable feel around corners, thereby helping it offer better dynamics, especially when riding enthusiastically.
The 2019 Bajaj Dominar 400 comes equipped with 43mm upside down front forks that have helped in improving the bike's handling by the way of better stability and quicker steering
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