Finally after 10 years we have an all new Bajaj Pulsar, and thanks to its great looks it has made quite an impression from the launch day. We got some hands-on time at Bajaj’s test track near Pune to test out if the bike is as good to ride as it looks. Short answer - yes.
There's clearly no doubt that this is a handsome looking bike. Especially with the yellow paint job, the bike looks like Bumble Bee (from the Transformers films... not the insect) has traded its Chevy Camero exterior for the new Pulsar 200 NS (Naked Street). The dual tonality if the colors second that opinion. Speaking of Transformers, the headlight draws a face which looks like the Bumble Bee (again, not the insect) in battle mode.
The crouched stance, broad fuel tank and the high tail light add to the sporty look of the bike. It carries quite a few signature Pulsar styling elements with a whole lot of new ones and somehow it all fits very well together. What gets us bummed is the grim fact that this bike will get a ‘saree guard’ and a number plate smacked right on top of that beautiful headlight.
The engine is an all new 199cc motor which shares some of its mechanics with the KTM Duke 200. It makes around 23bhp of power, 18Nm of torque and is mated to a six-speed manual gearbox. While riding it feels very refined and has a linear power delivery all across the rev-range. It is especially good in the low-end and mid-range where we kept the bike at 35-40kmh on sixth gear and the still it pulled effortlessly. Though we did not push the bike too hard we did manage to get to a 134kph on the straight section of the track. Stopping all that power is done by front and rear disc brakes made by Bybre (Indian arm of Brembo brakes, makes brakes for bikes below 600cc).
Riding the 200 NS is a simple affair, and though the bike might have a sporty stance it does not expect same from the rider, it is more commuter friendly than it looks. The overall seating position is fairly upright, which should be good to manoeuvre the bike in city traffic. The seat height is also higher and coupled with the short wheelbase, it gives better agility to the bike.
It does not shy away from corners, the NS 200 not only handles way better than the older Pulsar, it is right there with the likes of the Hondas and Yamahas. The only thing that we felt that could have been better on this bike is the set of tyres. Mind you, the tyres are good for daily commute but for enthusiast riding we would suggest an upgrade.
The Bajaj Pulsar 200 NS impresses in every way. It's not only miles ahead than the bike it replaces but it also has the performance to match the best bikes in the 200cc segment on sale today in India.