2019 Bajaj Dominar 400 — Dhoom Again?

Image from Overdrive

The Bajaj Dominar, when it came out in 2016, was touted as the do-it-all tourer that could eat highways for breakfast, tear through mountain trails for lunch and dance with the twisties for dinner, while proudly flying the Bajaj flag of affordable after-sales service.

The “Hathi Mat Paalo” campaign sold us on it’s easy-on-the-pocket running costs, while the “Trans-Siberian Odyssey” web-series delved into it’s supposed bullet-proof reliability and Sunny Deol-like robustness.

Then came one offer after another, with Bajaj literally going on it’s knees asking us discerning Indian motorcycle users to take one home, one way or another.

In the 2018 model upgrade, a new ECU code was introduced, which promised better response and fuel efficiency. This came along with new colour schemes and golden Endurance alloys. Then, in March 2019, they made the biggest splash yet. An upgraded version of the Dominar headed our way, but this time the updates did make a difference.

But will they help Bajaj overturn the dismal sales figures of the Dominar? Is it too little, too much? Let’s take a look.

Power and Torque

2019 (New)

Displacement: 373.2cc

No. of Cylinders: Single

Bore x Stroke: 89mm x 60mm

Cooling Type: Liquid-Cooled

Max. Power: 39.9 HP @ 8650 rpm

Max. Torque: 35 Nm @ 7000 rpm

Gearbox: 6-Speed

Fuel System: Fuel Injection

2018 (Old)

Displacement: 373.2cc

No. of Cylinders: Single

Bore x Stroke: 89mm x 60mm

Cooling Type: Liquid-Cooled

Max. Power: 35 HP @ 8000 rpm

Max. Torque: 35 Nm @ 6500 rpm

Gearbox: 6-Speed

Fuel System: Fuel Injection

The four and a half extra ponies that come with the new Dominar have improved acceleration, but mid-range poke is still the same. The ton comes in at 7 seconds. This is definitely quicker than the old one, which hits a century in about 9 seconds. Both bikes are most comfortable at 100–110kph on the highway, but in the city, you have to slow down, which is where the rest of the dimensions come into play. And yes, it has DOHC, which is what the Duke 390 has. The older Dominar starts to wheeze at 148kph, whereas the new one thrums all the way to 156kph.

Weight and Dimensions

2019 (New)

Overall Length: 2156 mm

Overall Width: 836 mm

Overall Height: 1112 mm

Seat Height: 800 mm (Expected)

Wheelbase: 1453 mm

Ground Clearance: 157 mm

Kerb/Wet Weight: 184.5 kg

Fuel Tank Capacity: 13 litres

2018 (Old)

Overall Length: 2156 mm

Overall Width: 813 mm

Overall Height: 1112 mm

Seat Height: 800 mm

Wheelbase: 1453 mm

Ground Clearance: 157 mm

Kerb/Wet Weight: 182 kg

Fuel Tank Capacity: 13 litres

The width of the upgraded version rises by 23mm, making it better-suited for taller riders. The weight, too, increases by 2 kg. The ground clearance remains the same. The old one was already a handful in heavy traffic. This one promises to worsen the problem, especially if you’re not a Complan boy. Most of us aren’t, anyway. The fuel capacity is still 13-liters. We expected a bigger fuel tank. Something in the 15–17-liter range would have worked beautifully.

Braking and Suspension

2019 (New)

Front Brake: 320mm Single Disc

Rear Brake: 230mm Single Disc

2-Channel ABS

Front Suspension: Upside Down Forks

Rear Suspension: Mono Suspension

2018 (Old)

Front Brake: 320mm Single Disc

Rear Brake: 230mm Single Disc

2-Channel ABS

Front Suspension: Conventional Forks

Rear Suspension: Mono Suspension

The 2019 Dominar 400 gets upside-down forks made by Endurance, quite like the ones seen on the Duke 390. The rear is still a monoshock, like the older one. The 2018 Dominar 400 came with really stiff suspension, which made highway blasts a joy, but then shook your teeth every time you hit a pothole. Two-up riding was also a tricky affair since the 2018 Dominar 400 mushed at low speed. This has been taken care of in the new one by revising the damping and rebound rate. The 2019 Dommie offers a more supple ride, at the cost of a slight drop in 140-kph stability. But this is a good idea since it no longer promises to rearrange your wrist and shoulder joints over bad roads. The braking equipment stays the same. Dual-channel ABS is a standard, but the front disc is now on the left side.

Tyres & Frame

2019 (New)

Front Tyre: 110/70-R17

Rear Tyre: 150/60-R17

Type: Tubeless Tyres

Frame: Perimeter

2018 (Old)

Front Tyre: 110/70-R17

Rear Tyre: 150/60-R17

Type: Tubeless Tyres

Frame: Perimeter

The frame, tyres and tyre dimensions remain the same. The MRF Nylogrip Zappers that both the old and the new ones come shod with are value-for-money and little else. A pair of Metzlers would have done better. The golden rims have made way for the familiar matte-black rims.

Looks

The 2019 Dominar 400 is equipped with a dual-LCD display, like the older model. But the tank-mounted LCD display now offers a gear position indicator, an odo, and a clock. The earlier functions of the tank display have been taken up by the handlebar-mounted primary display that now conveys information in text, with messages like ‘Side Stand Down’ and ‘Engine Kill On’.

The older Dominar 400 had a single-muffler exhaust unit, which has been replaced by a dual-muffler kit. This generates a more bass-oriented, meaty exhaust note, a lot like the RS 200, but still very Bajaj. The thrum is more pronounced now.

The 2019 Bajaj Dominar 400 has revised mirror stalks that seem to be sculpted for better aerodynamics and a wider field of view. This is a definite upgrade from the 2018 model, which only made one’s elbows look good, without offering a clear, wide view. These are stock equipment on the NS and work well on the smaller bike since it has narrower handlebars.

New color schemes are also being offered with a very-Kawa green one being the obvious choice.

If you’re planning to buy the 2019 Dominar 400, here are a few more things you should keep in mind

  • The Dominar Owners Club has been discontinued, but a number of rider forums like Roadnomads have been created to help connect owners with customer support managers.
  • The vibrations have been lowered, but it’s suggested that an anti-vibration kit be fitted from a service center
  • Bajaj service centers are already overloaded, so getting your Dommie worked on may take more time than usual
  • The 2019 Dominar 400 needs 1950ml of oil at every drain interval
  • The tank LED also displays an oil pressure alert, which wasn’t seen in the previous model
  • The upgraded Dominar 400 now needs 440ml of PRF001 fork oil, instead of 420ml of SAE 10W20 oil required in the previous model (per fork leg)
  • The 2019 Dominar features a text alert for incorrect or abnormal coolant temperature, low battery, next service due reminder and a lowered side stand
  • The pillion seat has a ‘D’ logo stitched into the cover fabric
  • The headlight has been restyled, but the LED arrangement has been retained

The 2019 Dominar, will exceed the INR 2-lakh price-tag, thanks to the upgrades, and also because it no longer retains its VFM tag. It comes with a rich list of goodies, but it is not affordable by any means. Maintaining a Bajaj Dominar is not cheap by any means, but that also depends on which bike/vehicle you index it against. Comparing e D400 with an NS200 does not make sense. If you do want to go head to head, try the RE 350 or Himalayan.

For any further doubts, please reach out to Garage Uncle!

Image Source — Link

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Automobile Engineer. Content Writer. Biker. Defense Enthusiast. Indian.

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Adreesh Ghoshal

Adreesh Ghoshal

Automobile Engineer. Content Writer. Biker. Defense Enthusiast. Indian.

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