Expert Review of Bajaj Pulsar 200 NS
Bajaj tested our patience with Bajaj Pulsar 200 NS. It were not just us, but the enthusiasts throughout the country, who were waiting for this bike. It was showcased in the Auto Expo of the year 2012, but launched only in June that very year. With every delay coming our way, the impatience grew a level up. And once it was out, the fans went berserk with happiness and every other person wanted a test ride, and more so us! The company took of a total of 10 years to get this name refreshed, and since it were 10 long years, Bajaj has perfected it the best way. A look at it and we knew it is to compete KTM Duke 200, and why not, are not both siblings? Since Bajaj has now a deal with KTM, it with is KTM's teachings that Bajaj has brought this bike out, thus KTM Duke 200 and Bajaj Pulsar 200 NS are quite on the same platform, with a minor differences here and there.
The bike shows attitude! The looks that has been gifted, the weak at heart would rather stay away from it. Hot looks, yes, aggressively hot looks rather suit it better. It has those sporty looks that the bike lovers grow up dreaming. Wide handlebars, with comfortable saddle, KTM Duke is a bit higher than this one. The bike gives enough of space between the tank and the rider's legs. For seating, though it is at the most comfortable height, but sitting cannot be called to be just as comfortable as we expected it to be. This is pertaining to the stiff cushioning, though I would say, it could be managed, rather ignored as of now.
Rocket start it has, refined start! Butter smooth start with the push of start button. It revs up quite smartly and silently. The front of the bike feels very light. Though the wheelbase is rather large, but still one experiences an easy maneuverability, with a low turning radius. The petal discs can let you stop the bike at a dead speed from the flying speed that you would like to ride the bike at on the highways.
Tri-spark technology has been brought to Indian bikes for the first time.
With the test ride, I can easily claim for it to scorch the sales graphs for the company. Calling it NS is the correct one, with NS standing for “Naked Sports”. For honest reviews, I once heard a generation talking of it in the same breath as Rambo! Is the bike as strong as Rambo, is it really that hot? Lets find out.
Mileage and Fuel Economy
Okay, so for mileage and fuel efficiency. Well, this is one criterion where a vehicle has to work wonders if it is in India, since this what bothers us Indians the most. So, this happens to be what an Indian bike rider might be looking for. Within a city, where you have to run your bike on pot holes rather than on roads, in this kind of traffic, combining with the bumps and speed breakers every now and then, this bike manages a good 35 to 40 kilometer per liter of mileage. If rode well, the bike would keep up with its perfect performance, it will give an equal mileage even after the service.
You would not be able to stop blessing the company, Bajaj, in case you have to keep riding the highways. You might as well call it better than the best. The machine would not stop any where before 50 kilometers per liter! Whooping, eh? The triple spark technology that has been introduced in India for the first time ever helps the bike performance. “Unprecedented performance” is how the company calls it. This new technology gives fuel efficiency that cannot be paralleled with any of the bikes in India, what impresses yet more is the low emission.
Sadly enough, there is just one color of this bike as of now. We do not even see any colors coming to this bike in the future. Red plus black is the only variety that is offers. Leaves us pretty much depressed.
Acceleration and Pick up
Bajaj Pulsar 200 NS has a heart of 200cc, coming with 4 valve, liquid cooled, 4 stroke, single cylinder, single overhead camshaft (SOHC), with the all new digital triple spark plug technology petrol engine, plus the gift of six speed transmission gearbox that dishes out a maximum power of 23,5 PS at a high RPM of 9500 and an equally healthy torque of 18.3 Nm coming at 8000rpm. It can give an acceleration from 0 to 60 in around 3.61 seconds and 0 to 100 in 9.83 seconds.
One word: handsome bike. Without a question. It might transport you to the Transformers world for a while with the yellow color that it has received. You at once think of the Bumble Bee for its colors, also the headlights once again reminds you of the same Bumble Bee. Rear light is quite high, which is highly designed like Benelli, big fuel tank and the crouched stance are add ons to the sporty feel of the bike. However, what pisses off about the headlight is is the number plate perched on the top of it. The “saree guard,” as the company likes to call it, is another sad thing to be seen in Bajaj Pulsar 200 NS. The other saddening thing is the red colored monoshock. The exhaust has been kept hidden, which for those who have loved this model will be a smart move, but for those who already own a Pulsar, this could be a slight unpleasant thing. No graphics and stickers on the body gives it a raw look.
A stylishly designed bike, it has been given the right blend of muscles and edge, which makes it hot on the road, a sure shot head turner. The sleek fenders at the rear, a front mudguard that is all about muscles and has quite a new color combination, the divided grab rails that is quite similar to the 135 model of Pulsar all are attention grabbing. The tail light is the typical Pulsar style but the mounting has been given a twist, giving the rear of the bike a kind of quirky feel.
With all the fresh paint jobs done to this model of Pulsar, some glitter her and there, Bajaj wins full points with the looks of Pulsar 200 NS.
When on Bajaj Pulsar 200 NS, the rider gets a spot on riding position. You sit upright with the wide handle bar, which allows a clear vision of the road ahead. The seat is wide and long, which in a way is comfortable, though the pillion might get uncomfortable. The grab rails of this bike are a good show as well as much useful (after a long time has there been a bike of which the grab rails are useful actually). Quite a light clutch make you smile for once. However, you might lose your sense of comfort if you get a punctured tyre, since the main stand has been totally given a miss. The mirros are of a size enough for bikes.
The speedometer adds to the comfort when you discover that, though it is digital like any other, but has some difference from other Pulsar models or for that matter any other bike that we have in India. The chrome garnishing on the cluster might make you fall in love. To make you smile a bit longer is the “service due” showing feature on the speedometer, with the time as well! That is a WHOA! There is one “engine kill” feature that kills the instrument cluster as well as the engine, against which the older version would have been preferable that kills just the engine.
The body of Bajaj Pulsar 200 NS gets a pressed steel perimeter frame. The wheelbase is rather large at 1363 millimeter. It gets a length of 2017 millimeter, width measures 804 millimeter, while the height is 1195 millimeter, with the saddle height of the rider measuring at 805 millimeter. The ground clearance is 167 millimeter with the dry weight standing to be 167 kilograms.
As the name suggests, Bajaj Pulsar 200 NS has strong heart of 200cc. It also gets the “tri spark feature”, which the company has brought to India for the first time, with 4 valves. The engine revs up smoothly and silently, which for some strange reasons was missing from the older Bajaj versions. The engine can be left at idle in those freezing temperatures or even in rains. It can remain in that position for a real long while, without a manual throttle forced on it. The clutch and gear lever, when pushed, do not give the “Pulsar-ish” feel, even when you put the bike on the first gear, since the crankshaft and gear box are clearly borrowed from KTM Duke 200. And so, it is heavenly easy and quick for the machine to rev up high, as high as an rpm of 11,000, even at the first gear, allowing a quick shift and easy movement to fourth gear too and speeding at around 125 kilometer per hour. The reason being short initial three gears, while the rest three gears being long ones to help give you the highest speed and still a good fuel efficiency. You might, however, feel a slight vibration at higher speeds, which would soon be taken care of; soon, here, would mean within a few seconds of time. The engine does not give a tired feel or even the loud noise that bike engines are so used to though you would be on 100 kilometer per hour, however, when on highways this speed might seem the easiest to you. In fact, if you ever find an empty stretch on the highway, make sure to try 135 kilometer per hour speed and you just might not ever want to stop, and the best of it all is that you would not even give you the feel of crouching. This is pretty much stable when you consider that Bajaj Pulsar 200 NS is a naked bike. This quite makes me wish to ride the bike on the Mumbai Pune expressway.
Front wheel measures 100/80 – 17, 52 P, and are tubeless alloy wheels, while the rear sizes up to 130/70 – 17, 61 P, tubeless. Rim of the front tyre measures 10 spoke 2.5 x 17, while in the rear it comes with 10 spokes, 3.5 x 17.
The front has telescopic fork suspension with anti-friction bush dia 37, while the rear end of the bike has nitrox monoshock absorber with piggy back gas canister. This unique gas filled mono suspension to a great limit improves the bike's handling and also the ride, as it gives it a central and much low CG position. This complaint and mature suspension of the bike at the front and the back are one of the best that any similar segment bike could ever have, try comparing it with Pulsar's 220 model or else KTM Duke 200, you would in any case find it better than any of the models present.
Handling and Control
The best feature (as per me) in Bajaj Pulsar 200 NS is that it does not have those double cradle frames that are habitual of wobbling, does not even have the double sided suspension. Rather, lucky is this bike to have a steel perimetered frame with rear coming with gas charged monoshock, thus giving a well footed feel to the rider even when on the hair pin bends, which was quite much missed while riding the elder Pulsars. The handling improves with the equally divided (also well divided) weight and central mass of the body as a gift from the monoshock and the exhaust that has been hidden under the central part of the bike.
The frame that the bike comes with has enough capability to handle the power, along with the large wheelbase which helps greatly in stability, though, the hard tyres seem to lose on grip. Yet, the front forks gather back the stable feel. The braking power of the bike is really commendable. Worth a mention is the rear disposed Bybre set up. The floating calipers on the petal discs at the front and the rear Bybre make it a class apart machine. The brakes are the best in the segment. This one place where it proudly runs ahead of our KTM Duke 200, which is a much taller bike than Bajaj Pulsar 200 NS.
The company has well tried to keep the machine well in price. There are bolts instead of springs to open the air filter box that was there in the earlier versions of Pulsar models. This bike frees you of any efforts to adjust the chain every now and then once you are across 1000 kilometers since there is a chain tensioner, letting you to lube the bike chain and then relax. The company has well tested the bike for a run in deep water, the results of which said clearly that the exhaust would work perfectly fine even under 17 inches of water. The radiator comes with a protector thus giving it a safety from any large and thus harmful objects. Brakes win all the points. To sum up, where the bike makes us smile are:
4. The pricing with the features
No space for any extra stuff, which you might carry, under the seat is quite saddening. The space provided is cramped with the first aid and tool kits and also the bike documents space. The low fuel indicator gets a bit lost, sitting next to the warning light. The tyres might need upgradation. In short, what could not much impress:
1. The sound of the bike. It does not as sporty as much as it looks.
2. Rear, especially when compared to the front, looks a bit damp. Needed more styling there.