Bajaj is one of the biggest players in India's motorcycle market—AKA the largest motorcycle market in the world. The brand made a major leap forward when it launched the Pulsar, a small-capacity, easily tunable, semi-sporty bike.

I actually own a Pulsar, which I converted to a track bike.

But how Bajaj moved the motorcycle market needle with the Pulsar isn't a patch on what it's about to do with its new compressed natural gas (CNG) model, the Freedom. This bike looks set to ease one of the biggest pain points for the majority of motorcyclists in India.

Around 100,000 motorcycles are sold in India each month, and of these, around 70% are commuters, meaning the price of fuel is of extreme importance to the majority of riders in India. So much so that a spike in fuel prices in 1997 is attributed to the rise in popularity of 4-stroke motorcycles versus the more popular 2-strokes of the time.

So now, during a time when fuel prices are volatile, Bajaj has made the bold move to design the world's first production motorcycle that runs on CNG.

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Bajaj claims that riders can reduce their operation costs by 50% with the Freedom. The bike has a starting price of just $1,317, and when running on CNG, the 9.3 horsepower 125cc engine will propel the Freedom to a top speed of 56 mph. It'll also have a 124-mile range thanks to the 2-kg/12.5-liter CNG tank that sits under the seat.

The problem some people will have with CNG is its availability and the wait times to fill the tank. To combat this, Bajaj has fitted the Freedom with a 2-liter auxiliary gasoline tank so riders can switch on the go. When running on gasoline the engine has a slightly higher top speed of 58 mph, but its range drops to around 80 miles.

The rest of the bike is relatively basic, but it does come with a fully digital speedometer with Bluetooth connectivity. I mean, you can't really ask for much more from a bike that costs less than $1,350.

So are CNG-powered motorcycles something you'd like to see come to the US and elsewhere? As fuel prices rise along with inflation, I think a cheap commuter that's super economic is just what people need, along with another weekend ripper sitting in the garage.

As for whether Bajaj will ever sell the CNG Freedom elsewhere, that's still yet to be seen. There's one thing can be certain of, though. You'll know as soon as we do. So stay tuned. 

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