As power cruiser, the Dominar 400 could be the one-in-all motorcycle every rider seeks – the daily commuter, performance cruiser and most of all, the long distance tourer promising easy ride ability and comfort. Bajaj has positioned it slap bang in Royal Enfield territory.
The Bajaj Dominar 400 strikes a macho pose with its front-biased muscular looks, complemented by a sculpted fuel tank. In fact, you could say the design has traces of faint inspiration from the Ducati Diavel- generally in the stance and particularly in the instrument cluster design. Like the Diavel, the Dominar 400 has a split unit with an all-digital main console displaying speed, rev counter and the like, and a small fuel-tank-mounted console for the tell-tale lights displaying side stand, high beam and the like. But that’s where the similarities end. The fat 43 mm front fork of the Dominar 400 makes the front look beefy while the full-LED headlight with the auto-headlight on feature underlines the bike’s premium positioning in the entry-level performance bike segment.
The Dominar 400 powerplant has oversquare bore dimensions, and is a single camshaft Bajaj derivative of the KTM 390 Duke and RC base engine platforms. The Dominar comes with triple spark-plug tech, its four-valves nesting inside a compact single-cylinder head. The liquid-cooled engine fits into the frame supported by elastomeric damping, and the engine heat never bothered us during our long test ride, despite putting the bike through sustained low-speed riding in crowded conditions.
The Dominar 400 gets a lightened, forged crankshaft that is balancer backed. We did feel some light buzz when riding hard pushing the bike to high engine speeds, but nothing overly intrusive. And besides this, riders are effectively isolated from engine vibrations.
As much as 28Nm of a total of 35Nm peak torque is available low in the powerband at 3,000rpm, making the Dominar 400 an effortless machine to ride in crowded traffic
The slipper clutch ensures there’s no drama, whether you’re upshifting or engaging in aggressive downshifts while tackling corners. What also impresses is straight-line stability and excellent ride quality – be it on an open highway or while tackling broken sections and road undulations. The Dominar 400 employs a perimeter frame and contoured swingarm. The new chassis, made of precision pressed high strength steel, provides a low centre of gravity and torsional rigidity.