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Pulsar 200NS review road test

Pulsar 200NS

  • Manufacturer:
  • Make:
    Pulsar 200NS
  • CC:
  • Horse Power:
    23.2 HP
  • Top Speed:
    151 kmph
  • Price Delhi:
    INR: Rs. 85000/-

The Pulsar 200NS is all new and moves away from almost all the design cues that are inherently Pulsar. Although there is an obvious DNA sharing at the core with the KTM Duke 200, Bajaj strongly claim that the this bike is totally different. But truth be told the Pulsar 200NS will definitely steal a big chunk off the Duke’s pie. Now we have seen a lot of ‘generations’ of the Pulsar in the past and there has always been a lot of things good and lets say a few Pulsar characteristics that we always wished were sorted out. So does the Pulsar 200NS take the Pulsar name to an all new level? Do we finally have a Pulsar that changes all the ‘Pulsar related notions’ that has been formed over the past decade? Read on.

Engine and Performance

Thumb the starter and if first impressions are anything to go by we were impressed. The engine responded with a nice soft crank and went into a smooth idle, points here for Bajaj then. Slot it into first and get going and you are greeted by smooth confident gear shifts and a rev friendly engine. Not the typical short stroke engine characteristics though as there is enough and more power low down to get going easily. We were actually surprised with the rather evenly spread torque over the rev range which made riding at all speeds quite comfortable, and post 7K RPM there is an obvious surge ahead as you close in on that peak power RPM. The RPM cut off is at 10.8K to which you will reach easily in all gears except the 6th. The motorcycle pulls away cleanly in 5th and 6th gear from speeds as low as 35 kmph. We were a little bit annoyed with a slight tingling sound from the engine and it was present across the entire rev range, you wont probably hear it once your helmet is on, but its there. There is also this vibration that kicks in post 3K RPM and sticks on till you cross about 7K RPM, not the rough type but a irritating fine type, it is very evident especially if you are sitting on the pillion seat. Once on the highway, comfortable cruising speeds are in the range of 110-115 kmph at about 7K to 8K RPM and beyond that there is a heavy wind blast making cruising at higher speeds uncomfortable. We reached a speedometer indicated top whack of 151 kmph with a 0-100 time of ~ 9.6 seconds. Expect a speedometer correction of about 8% and still those numbers are pretty good. With sedate everyday riding we got a mileage in the range of 38 kmpl and after a hard ripping session it dropped to 32 kmpl.

The maximum speed the bike did in each gear is as follows:

| 1st : 52  kmph    | 2nd : 70  kmph  |
3rd : 92  kmph   |  4th : 117 kmph | 
| 5th : 138 kmph   | 6th : 151 kmph |

Check out the top speed and 0 – 100 video below:

Look and Feel and Build Quality

The new Pulsar moves to an aggressive naked styling and overall will remind you a lot of the smaller P135LS. The rear tail lamps are the only distinctive design element carried forward from the previous generation, although they too receive some design changes. At first sight the Pulsar 200NS might look small, but the seat height is actually quite tall and people below 5’7 will find it a bit tough to keep both their feet on the ground firmly. The bike is very compact and everything is tightly packed. A disadvantage though is that the carburettor is not easily accessible and you need to remove the tank to get access to it. Speaking of the tank, it is a non metallic one, so your magnetic tag bags are a no go on this. The handle locks only on one side, the left which we think would a pain in certain situations as ultimately you would end up in a tight parking spot. The headlights reminded us of a praying mantis, it has a strong look especially with the pilot lamps on. The petal discs looks good and add to the complete style quotient of the bike. The dash of colour on the front mudguard is actually sticker and not paint and on some bikes we already saw a bit of peeling. When we first saw the single sided mud guard we looked at it with a raised eyebrow, and expected it shake around a lot and be more form than function. But after some riding around it turns out it is stable, although there was some spray from the rear wheel on to the pillion seat.

For the first time in a Pulsar the handle bar grips are of the softer type. The seat cover is also soft and has very good grip, it keeps you in your place while braking at the same time allows you to shifts weight easily during some aggressive riding. The rear foot pegs is one place where Bajaj seems to have compromised a bit, its a full metal one, nothing bad about that, but it is not firm and sink when you apply weight on it. For a detailed look at the bike in pictures check out the parts gallery here and some cool wallpapers here.

Handling and Braking

The riding stance on the Pulsar 200NS is an upright one and you fit snug and tight between the handle bars and the tank. Hands down we are mighty impressed with how this Pulsar handles. We immediately were riding around corners quickly and even with the not so great Eurogrip tyres we were able to have a lot of fun pushing the bike fast around corners. Only hindrance to all the fun was the not so rear set foot pegs. We found the turning radius a bit high, being a naked we expected it to be much less, this could hinder slow moving traffic maneuverability. When off road we found that we cannot be as fast as we would have liked to owing to the bit heavy front, although surprisingly we had no issues of scraping with the underbelly exhaust. The ten step adjustable rear mono suspension was firm even in its softest setting. The front forks are also firm and there was no bad nose dive under hard braking. Coming to the braking department, the 280 mm petal disc works like a charm and is quite sharp and provide you with very good stopping power. The rear disc though is more like an on on-off switch as the braking does not feel progressive and is noisy. The bike is very well balanced and does not loose composure even on hard braking and that is very confidence inspiring.

Accessories and Key features

Probably the only place we are a bit disappointed with the new Pulsar is in the accessories department. The highlight of the accessories department in the new Pulsar is the all new beautiful looking speedometer. The orange backlit LCD panel is easily readable even during the day but is not of the always on types. The console also gets a clock which is definitely handy. The 55/60 W H4 headlights work like a charm and provide good illumination. Weirdly though the park lights come on only if the engine is on. The indicators move from the flexible type on the older Pulsars to semi flexible ones with no auto cancellation. The blue backlit switch gear takes a bit getting used to as all the switches are placed a bit odd but the plastic quality is a bit cheap. The grab rails are very functional and strong. Mirrors on the P200NS are functional but are small and do not provide the full vision. The centre stand does not come standard, not that you would need it much but just in case you do, it needs to be bought separately. The front number plates face the heavens and are difficult to read. The biggest disappointment came in the form of the Pulsar logo on the tank and the reserve-main knob which are plastic and feel very cheap. The side stand sensor is placed very open and easy to tamper with. The saree guard thankfully is integrated aesthetically with the swing arm and does not look out of place.

Value for Money

This segment has always been the power play for the Pulsar’s. The all new Pulsar is more powerful, more versatile and easy on the pocket, and top that with a sub 1L ex-showroom price tag, you have a winning combination. We have not got hold of the parts catalogue yet, but from our previous experience with Pulsars, Bajaj spares come cheap. The fuel economy the bike returned averaged around the 34 kmpl mark and that’s decent for a bike of this capacity.

Final Verdict

Coming down to a verdict, yes we can complain about the stuff that probably should have been carried over, the small stuff, on the flip side we can say that although this is huge change in terms of what a Pulsar was, it still misses on some of the refinement factor present in some of its competitors. But forget all that, the new Pulsar 200NS has got all the important things right. It handles like a charm and gets going pretty quick and easy and that’s what matters.

Specifications Sheet
Design Type SOHC – 4V – Liquid Cooled
Displacement 199.5 cm³
Bore 72 mm
Stroke 49 mm
Torque 18.3 Nm @ 8000 RPM
Power 23.2 Bhp @ 9,500 RPM
Starting aid Electric starter
Transmission 6-speed
Cooling system Liquid cooled
Clutch Clutch in oil bath / mechanically operated
Ignition system Independent spark control through ECU
Frame Pressed steel Perimeter Frame
Fork Telescopic Front Fork with Antifriction Bush Dia 37
Shock absorber Nitrox Mono Shock Absorber with piggy back gas canister
Brake system Front 2 piston petal disc with floating calliper
Brake system Rear 1 piston petal disc with floating calliper
Brake discs – diameter front 280 mm
Brake discs – diameter rear 230 mm
Sprocket 14T front and 39T rear
Chain O‑Ring
Wheel base 1363 mm
Ground clearance (unloaded) 167 mm
Seat height (unloaded) 805 mm
Front tyre 100/80 – 17 inch 52 P – Tubeless
Rear tyre 130/70 – 17 inch 61 P – Tubeless
Total fuel tank capacity approx. 12L
Unleaded fuel (91 RON)
Battery 12 V 8 Amp VRLA
Head lights 12V 55/60W H4
Engine Oil Grade 20W50
Weight without fuel approx. 145 kg
Test Riders