Everyone knows that apparently a bike looses it's power with age. But I refuse to agree to this.

Shouldn't proper care allow your bike to maintain its pickup over the years?

I own a 2014 Pulsar 220 ; been servicing it at legitimate Bajaj service centers. It has run about 19000 km. Of late pickup seems choked. I had the carburetor washed, but doesn't seem to do any good.

Simply changing the engine oil from bajaj to Motul hasn't done much good.

Any suggestions? How do I get back that power pickup which as we all know used to be this bikes specialty ?

  • Is your real question about the maintenance, or about the pickup being choked? Mar 15, 2016 at 20:18
  • 1
    Welcome to the site. There are so many possible reasons that they would be too many to list here. We need more information to have a reasonable shot at answering this
    – Zaid
    Mar 15, 2016 at 20:19
  • How many miles or kilometers are on it? Mar 16, 2016 at 0:39
  • Reframed the question. Does it make more sense now? What other details might i provide?
    – kgkmeekg
    Mar 16, 2016 at 2:38
  • have you had any luck resolving your issue? Jul 1, 2016 at 20:15

2 Answers 2


There are several components that will get worn and eventually need replacement no matter what kind of oil change regiment or maintenance you perform.

Here's a short list.


  • Rings - Your rings are moving up down with the piston as the engine runs. This will wear them regardless of the lubrication. You can extend their life by not revving the engine to higher RPM's and mitigate wear with frequent oil changes but at the end of the day it's metal on metal contact therefore they will wear down.

  • Cylinder Bore - The rings moving in the cylinder bore will wear down the cylinder bore over time. Exhaust gasses will begin to slip by the rings reducing your power and fouling up your oil quicker over time.

  • Transmission - From shifting, your dogs and slots will wear down and become rounded. This could take decades or months depending on if you are shifting properly.

  • Valves and Valve Seats - Poppet valves are banging on valve faces on the head at half the rate of RPM's. That's a lot of banging. At some point in the engines timeline valves will need replacement and the valve seats will require recutting to mate properly to the new valves. As well, valve guide seals are rubber and will become hard over time with the many heat cycles an engine will go through over it's lifespan.


  • Chain - Your chain will wear. It's exposed to the elements. It transfers all the power to the rear wheel. It's a consumable and viewed as a component that will require several replacements over the life of the motorcycle.

  • Sprockets - Sprockets get changed and wear with the change. They are consumable as well. Like brake pads, they wear out and become 'mated' to the chain. Always replace chain and both sprockets at the same time.


  • Forks and Shocks - No matter how nice you are to the bike eventually shock and fork seals will fail. I've had some last 15 years and other last 6 months. As well, fork oil requires change and it's recommended to do the fork seals at the same time.


All vehicles experience wear no matter how well you take care of them. Eventually, given enough time, components will fail. Coils will wear out and degrade. Fork tubes will wear down over time. Brake pads and clutches will be consumed and replaced. It's an unfortunate reality we must all endure.


If you are experiencing a degradation performance there are few things you can check.

  • Fuel Filter - Ensure your fuel filter is flowing properly. If you have good power off idle and then it degrades shortly (within 15 to 30 seconds) it could be your fuel filter is clogged and not feeding the fuel system properly.

  • Air Filter If you air filter is obstructed due to use you can have significant performance issues along the entire RPM range. Ensure the air filter is changed on a regular basis to prevent debris from inhibiting air flow.

  • Valve Adjustment On shim and bucket top ends the valves slowly begin to take up clearance between the bucket head and the cam lobe. I have had motorcycles that are at zero clearance and once you get them hot, they won't run because there is a valve hanging open. Once the bike cools, then it starts. Before the issue get's that severe the bike will lose overall power and appear sluggish. It's a regular maintenance item that should occur according the manufacturer recommendations. I adjust the valves on all my bikes, once every six months just because I don't mind doing it and I'm usually teaching someone as well. You don't need that kind of fervent frequency but it is recommended to have this performed as a regular maintenance item.

  • Dunno if I am supposed to feel good about being answered or mortified at the news. Thanks a lot @Ducatikiller
    – kgkmeekg
    Mar 17, 2016 at 2:47

@DucatiKiller sorry for being so late; this is a reply to your comment.

I wouldn't say I have resolved the issue, but yeah, I have improved the condition.

I think the major problem solver in my case is diligent changing of the Engine oil.
As far as my bike is concerned, for Bajaj Pulsar 220F (2014 Edition), the only recommended oils are Motul 5100 and Motul 3100. I have been changing them every 1500 Kms; but it's worth it.

Next major help for me came from using higher octane petrol.
In India there are two versions of fuel available . The costlier fuel is obviously has high octane value. After keeping a check on my fuel I have noticed that the engine runs smoother at higher .

The issue of gears getting stuck while shifting, very typical with this make, was tackled quite a lot.
There was debris was stuck in the gear box. This was due to a completely exposed drive chain.

Last but not the least regular air filter wash, carburettor cleaning and other bike model specific issues like fairing adjustment, frequent adjustment of rear wheel allignment and front socker oil seal checking/ replacement.

When I had posted the issue, my bike was doing about 18500. Thereafter I started following the above and now the odometer reads 23098. There has been an improvement in pickup, mileage and over all engine smoothness.

  • An improvement doesn't necessarily mean the issue is resolved. Are you sure that the present performance of the bike is how it should be?
    – Zaid
    Jul 9, 2016 at 10:31
  • Nope definitely not. That's why I started with the confession. However considering the age of the machine, and after comparing with bikes of similar model, make, engine capacity, and mileage , I may dare say that I am quite satisfied. Although there is still the factors that @Ducatikiller has stated which are unavoidable.
    – kgkmeekg
    Jul 12, 2016 at 12:18

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .