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MouthShut Score

89%
3.96 

Mileage:

Comfort:

Reliability:

Road Grip:

Appeal:

Rs. 97,754 (Ex-Showroom)

Bajaj

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Pulsar 200 NS : A Giant Leap Ahead
Sep 21, 2013 06:03 PM 105585 Views
(Updated Sep 21, 2013 06:46 PM)

Mileage:

Comfort:

Reliability:

Road Grip:

Appeal:

"Sir, your bike has been delivered to the showroom. You can come collect it today." The world's most pleasing words to the ears of a biker, my friend, who after nearly endless waiting and fantasizing since the booking date, felt extremely relieved and excited.


It was time for my friend to meet the object of his riding desire. I and a couple other friends accompanied him to the showroom. After some wait, the bike made its way to the parking area of the showroom. What a sight! The beautiful saffron yellow 200 NS glistened under the twilight sun with the familiar cool blue back-lit switches complementing the vibrant tone of the bike. It reminded me of "Bumblebee" from the Transformers, as the elegant headlight gazed in our direction. Picking up a new bike from the showroom is always a memorable experience, especially with a bike as great as this.


So, coming to the review, I have been fortunate enough to have spent considerable time riding the 200 NS (City and highway use) and developing my own perspective about the bike. I will try to cover all features and other things that have impressed me and my friends so far.


As you approach the bike for the first time, the overall stance and design stand out. This is a bike that has been comprehensively designed, with subtle creases and slashes everywhere, giving it a sculpted look. When parked next to my 220F, it, surprisingly, looks much taller and larger. The headlight is shaped in the lines of a naked street-fighter. The tank is broad and meaty. The front forks are thick and sturdy, and the newly developed red mono-shock peeks from under the bike with its buddy, the gas reservoir, finished in dull gold. The tail section is wide and terminates with the familiar twin LED strip tail- lights.


Big grab rails surround the rather compact rear seat, accentuating the width of the tail. The tires have a larger, rounder profile. The paint quality has improved substantially from previous models. It has a particulate, almost glittering finish to it. The exhaust is an underbelly type, to reduce mass overhang and keep the overall center of gravity low. Overall, it is striking in appearance.


As you sit on the bike, you get the feeling that you are perched way up and this gives you a good view over and around the bike. However, shorter riders may feel slightly nervous with this setup. The wide clip on handlebar is comfortable to hold, and the riding position is more street oriented rather than all out racetrack battle mode. The mirrors provide an adequate rear view.


I flip the ignition switch, watch the digital/analog counters come to life, and thumb the starter. It thrums into life with a quiet attitude, which I thought detracted from previous Pulsars and their growly, characterful engines. The throttle response is light and responsive. Pull in the light clutch, slot it into first (Through a rather smooth, 6 speed gearbox) and off I go.


First thing I noticed from the get-go, is that the engine is really smooth, vibe free and rev friendly. That, coupled with the short, closely spaced gearing, makes for a responsive and hard accelerating power plant. Power builds up strong and linearly from the bottom end of the rev range, with strong torque, and between 8, 000-10, 000 rpm, the bike's sweet spot, the exhaust opens up into a glorious scream and the bike rockets ahead. This is credited to the NS sharing the legendary KTM Duke 200's aggressive bore, while having its own, patented, triple spark 4 valve head. Although this new engine head design sounds like overkill, it actually does work in the real world in offering a good economy/performance balance.


Then a corner arrives. I grab the sharp and precise brakes, which offer tremendous bite, which effectively rein in my speed. Lean it in and it confidently turns in. "What? A Pulsar that actually likes corners??" was my initial reaction. Special mention has to be made in regard to the chassis. Its an all new, twin spar, steel pressed frame (Similar to the one on the masterful Yamaha R-15), and it offers great levels of rigidity and performs impressively, giving the rider real confidence to corner hard, while being very maneuverable. However, the tires, which come as Eurogrips, are pretty average, and kind of hinder the rider from fully exploiting the sublime chassis. When it comes to bumps and undulations, they are handled well and don't upset the ride quality of the bike.


The 200 NS satisfies when it comes to running costs and fuel economy. This bike will deliver around 40+ kmpl, with combined highway and city riding, which is great for the performance it offers. Can it be due to the triple spark head? Your responses are welcome.


If I would have to criticize, it would be that the tires are a bit under-spaced for this bike. And it would be awesome if ABS were offered soon for this model, as the brakes are quite sensitive and would certainly benefit from ABS assistance. The engine note is a bit too quiet for my liking. Also, the pillion seat doesn't look that accommodating.


Conclusion:


I think Bajaj have really pulled a masterpiece act this time round. Along with the explosive engine of the Duke 200, combined with their proprietary head design, and the outstanding chassis development, they have revolutionized the Pulsar lineage with this model. Refinement, build quality, riding dynamics, aesthetics and performance have been improved by no end. I do hope that the reliability will have also been improved. Only time will tell. This bike is an all rounder, and I hope to see more models with this level of consideration and engineering. Pulsar 375 anyone? :)


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