Bajaj Pulsar 200NS Test Ride Review


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TSIVipul

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Bajaj Pulsar, the name that itself is a brand now consists of a whole series varying from 135cc to the 220cc one. It was the 220cc motorcycle which was the flagship model for Bajaj auto before the arrival of this one, the ‘Pulsar 200 NS’ last year. Lower on displacement but higher on everything else(as compared to Pulsar 220) this motorcycle replaced its 220 cc sibling as the new flagship model for Bajaj. I got one in my hand(owned by a friend) for some time and hence thought of sharing whatever I felt of this beast.

Design and Styling:
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After looking at the motorcycle at every corner I just couldn't stop naming it ‘Bumble bee On Two Wheels’, in fact the one in yellow shade looks so smashing that for once you may end up thinking that it will really turn up into a robot and take the task of saving the world just like transformers, yups..it does look like a transformer! In fact I am even ready to bet that if Bumble Bee from movie transformers would have been a two wheeled beast then maybe he would have looked something like this only and yes, this has got a build quality that was never seen on Pulsars and I mean it.
The front styling seems to be inspired from Honda CB1000R itself and hence you can safely say that “Yes, Bajaj has finally made a motorcycle that has got those true street fighter looks”, in other words – ‘NS’ in the name of Pulsar 200 NS is now justified.

Straight from front this machine is made to grab eyeballs and it does it quite well too. Though it actually looks a bit smaller than it actually is, but still it grabs the eyeballs and that’s all about it. It has got the looks that simply take it head and shoulders above from its other Pulsar siblings, in fact now it won’t be overdone if I say that “Pulsar 200 NS has started making other Pulsars look outdated”. The headlamp is no more that ‘old’ wolf eye styled one, but is a newer design with some kind of triangular shape with pilot lamps mounted at the bottom.
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Straight from the ten spoke alloys fitted with that massive petal discs with those golden colored Bybre calipers simply look outstanding and does justice to the design and of course the intentions of the motorcycle.

Coming to the speedo console, now this is what I really welcomed, no more that dated design with a large tacho on the left with even larger digital speed display on the right. Instead this motorcycle has got a completely new design which has an analogue tacho as the major part of the console with digital fuel tank reading being a part of it, while on the right hand side of the tacho you will find a seamlessly fitted speedo display which also contains a digital clock as well as duel trip meters. On the top of it lies a very sporty addition which we call shift light, this light glows up once you are nearing the rev limit of 11k rpm. Left side of the console is also not at all any less interesting, it contains a neutral light, side stand indicator, indicator display and above all a fantastically illuminated ‘B’ sign of Bajaj in blue color, which simply adds to a premium feel of the console.
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Where has that muscular fuel tank of Pulsar gone? Oh, has the Pulsar lost it’s unique identity? The answer is actually a ‘NO’, the tank is still masculine but just got a little curvy else the muscle factor has just increased and I hope no one will jeer at me if I say that even the 220 also looks a bit disciplined in front of this aggressive looking piece of engineering. And yes, the actual fuel tank lies below what you see, like in many superbikes, the actual fuel tank lies under the plastic tank covering that you see.
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TSIVipul

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Re: Not getting exact title - leaving on mods to supply one

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Build Quality and Switchgear:
Bajaj motorcycles often come with a not-so-good build quality and hence have got a good number of critics who simply never leave a chance to blast the manufacturer here and there on this issue. Well, now Bajaj has tried to shut their mouth too using a better plastic, better build quality and definitely better switchgear, may it be the metal footpegs or the modern looking switchgear, everything on this motorcycle looks definitely very upmarket for at least a Bajaj motorcycle at the price point. In fact the build quality and switchgear are straight ahead of anything seen on any Bajaj motorcycle till date, in fact it’s light years ahead of what can be seen on any other Bajaj motorcycle. Ergonomically everything is placed very well and the switchgear is really breeze to use. All the buttons work with a crisp feel like on any other Pulsar, only difference is of the quality of the switchgear. Take your seat, put the key at it’s place and hold the handlebar and the first thing you notice that the handlebar(clip on type) is already bigger than that on any other Pulsar till date(feels bigger than my 220 at least) and the palm grips are simply awesome and feels good to hold, there is slight rubbery and slight plasticky feeling in the grips which make them feel better than any other Pulsar we have ever ridden, in fact on my personal scale I place them amongst the best ones to be seen on any other motorcycle on sale in India at the price point.
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The left part of the handlebar houses the horn, pass light switch, beam adjuster and above all a very crisp and accurately working indicator lamp switch. Yes, this motorcycle hasn’t got the self cancelling indicators like it’s other siblings but then that is even better as those self cancelling indicators cause more of the problems on highways while making lane changes and at the time of shutting them. The button in the mid of the sliding indicator bar(the stalk is replaced by a sliding bar now) is used to cancel the indicators. A thumbs up from my side.
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The right hand side houses the engine start button, headlamp on/off switch and the engine kill switch which works just opposite the way the one on other Bajaj motorcycles work. Eh, you have to press it towards up to kill the engine and towards down to make it run or say bring it to life again.
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The RVMs definitely deserve a mention due to good and very much vibe free coverage of the road behind as well as the smoothness with which they can be adjusted. After riding a 220 and using it’s pathetic RVMs, the RVMs of 200 NS felt like a breeze as they not only offer a very much vibe free view, but also offer quite good coverage of the road behind even if the rider is of a heavy build.

Then comes the seat release mechanism, unlike that seen on older Pulsars or other Bajaj bikes in which you had to first remove the battery cover and then pull the wire to remove the seat, this motorcycle has got a far better, more sophisticated and of course more premium and easy to use mechanism just below the seat and above the rear tire on left hand side, where all you need to do is put the key in the keyhole and turn it…alas!! The seat is released, definitely a welcome move it is.
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TSIVipul

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Re: Not getting exact title - leaving on mods to supply one

Engine and Performance:
Bajaj DTS-I engines need no introduction, these engines have simply redefined the motorcycling in India be being a symbol of power and fuel economy combo. DTS-I is the engine which has found it’s way on the chassis of this machine but there is a change. This DTS-I is no more that same ‘Digital Twin Spark Ignition’, instead it is a ‘DTS-I triple spark’ or say this engine has got three spark plugs instead of the two as seen on all other DTS-I motorcycles. The advantage of this multi-plug system is more efficient fuel burning inside the cylinder, which in turn helps getting better overall power delivery mated with a good fuel economy, something the DTS-I engines are an epitome of.
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As the name suggests, this motorcycle has got a 200 cc power plant which has got a whole lot of changes as compared to its other siblings, like it has got three spark plugs, no more air + oil cooling, instead it has got the liquid cooling like we have seen on many premium motorcycles and cars. The large radiator and the oil level can be seen in front, in fact this is something which makes it look far more mean and powerful than it actually is.
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DTS-I engines are known for their power and torque delivery and this engine is no exception, in fact this is the engine which seems to have got it exactly right as it has got a fantastic power and torque delivery mated to a smoothness and very cleanly revving nature which was missing in older Pulsars.
Start the motorcycle and this motorcycle has got a good exhaust note, lower revs is the area of power band where this motorcycle feels less powerful than it’s 220 cc sibling but once past 6k mark and it shows what it actually is. Pulsar 220 gives you the pleasure from the time it starts and once past the 6000 mark, it starts reaching climax giving you the intense fun but as it reaches the 9-9.5k mark it screams hard and asks you to back off without giving you the amount of fun that would have satisfied you. But the 200 NS, this simply adds more to the feeling, it is at 6000 mark that it starts reaching climax and gives intense fun till you touch the 10,000 mark and once you are there, it still keeps doing it smoothly and even more and then near the 11k mark it screams and asks you to take it easy and then enjoy, but this is the point where you feel like you have got exactly what you wanted out of it and in fact teaches you a new trick or two of doing it even better unlike the other siblings of 200 NS which just know how to do but are never able to do it in such a fun filled way!!

Coming to net performance, the high revving nature, good torque spread, and high power figures translate into a very good performance, with the engine mated to the right gearbox, this motorcycle is as much promising on the roads as it looks on the paper, definitely a thumbs up from my side. The way this motorcycle pulls cleanly throughout the powerband makes it feel even more quicker than it actually is. In fact the way the power keeps on developing straight till the 11k mark is simply unseen on any Bajaj till date, let this video speak of the revving now:

The six speed gearbox seems to be perfectly set, no ratio feels to be longer or shorter than required, it feels like it has got the exactly right ratios for the motorcycle, with first and second ones being short, third and fourth being moderately long and fifth one being quite long and sixth one being very long for relaxed riding and of course delivering good FE. Clutch is light and really good to use, nothing like over heaviness or lighter than needed action and gearshifts are also equally crisp, once again a thumbs up from my side at least.
The Bybre brakes are something that needs a special mention, the massive petal disc up front mated to that grippy front tire results in massive braking and hence giving the riders a confidence to push this machine more than that you can do on any other Pulsar on any specific road. Good is that the brakes offer fantastic feedback with the motorcycle also not trying to rebel under hard braking, in fact without a wheel lock, this motorcycle feels to be very much stable even under hard braking from as much as 80 kph, in fact it was still confident without giving any kind of body movements or trying to leave the line or any kind of play from the tail at the time of braking to zero from good speeds.
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Coming to FE, you can expect 35-40 kpl in city and 40-45 kpl on highways, this is what I have experienced.
 
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Thread Starter #4

TSIVipul

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Re: Not getting exact title - leaving on mods to supply one

Ride and Handling:
Ride has been a positive of Pulsar series and this one is no exception, though the suspension is on the stiffer side(as compared to other Pulsars) still there are no issues like bumpiness and hence nothing to complain about the ride. But yes, the ride is very much planted and of course flat at times. In terms of seating position, the saddle is comfortable and seating position, though not far from comfortable is still upright and hence can’t be classified in a very comfortable one, but yes, for the motorcycle like this, the seating position is commanding and hence aids riding.
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In terms of handling, the handle in itself is good and wide enough to make the rider feel confident as well as offer easy steering of the motorcycle. Overall handling is really fine and very much matured if looked by the Pulsar standards. In fact the cornering is where this motorcycle is really fun and absence of the center stand on the motorcycle simply aids cornering(Eh, even I also hate the center stand of my 220 when I try to make hard cornering) suspension aids the handling and that is definitely good.

In terms of tires, the front one is definitely good but the motorcycle very badly needs better rubber up rear. The rear tire revolts far before one can push the motorcycle to its limits and hence if you are planning to buy one, then better go for a grippier rear tire if you want to enjoy this motorcycle to it’s limits.

In terms of driving experience, it is a Pulsar and gives the same experience. The ample torque makes it easy to ride in city and plenty of power mated to tall fifth and sixth gear makes it a good highway cruiser too.



Good Bits and Bad Bits

Good Bits:
  • Looks
  • Performance and safety(braking)
  • Fuel economy
  • Overall quality
  • Ride and Handling
  • Snail cam chain adjuster
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Bad Bits:
  • Some may find the rear section looking awkward due to the tire hugger
  • Headlight could have been stronger, like Pulsar 220
  • Fuel tank is still smaller in capacity
 
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Thread Starter #5

TSIVipul

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Re: Not getting exact title - leaving on mods to supply one

Some random shots:
The key:
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Left side of console:
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Right side of console:
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Tachometer with fuel meter housing:
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Blue illuminated switches look cool:
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Blue illuminated Bajaj symbol look upmarket:
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Now let me try to rate this beast:
  • Engine:

  • Performance:

  • Ride and Handling:

  • Comfort:

  • Styling:

  • Ergonomics:

  • Fuel Economy:

  • Price:
 

350Z

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Re: Bajaj Pulsar 220NS Test Ride Review

Note: Thread Now Live From T.I.P Zone.

Drive Safe,
350Z
 
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Excellent review Vipul , Nicely done covering most aspects!
Have Bajaj managed to nail all the early gremlins ?

I hope current 200NS owners can add more to this.
 
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TSIVipul

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Excellent review Vipul , Nicely done covering most aspects!
Have Bajaj managed to nail all the early gremlins ?

I hope current 200NS owners can add more to this.
Thanks for the appreciation sirji..

As per my information, the motorcycle has covered more than 2000 kms and till date no issues at all. Hence I think initial issues have been resolved.
 
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Don't know how I missed this thread all this while [confused]!

Good job there Vipul! Talk about being an early bird. Nice photos too. Adding rep.

How is the 'feel' of this motorcycle, if you know what I mean?

I don't know why but I still like the 220 more than this.

How about a shootout of your 220 vs this one? Now THAT would make for a good read.

Ride safe,
Sam
 
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TSIVipul

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Don't know how I missed this thread all this while !
An act of 'ignorance' is what I call it you careless Sam! [;)]

Good job there Vipul! Talk about being an early bird. Nice photos too. Adding rep.
Thanks for appreciation and boosting my confidence(normally this makes mods busy[evil]).

How is the 'feel' of this motorcycle, if you know what I mean?
When it comes to 'feel' then this motorcycle delivers what you expect it to deliver. Let me
It is above 6000 rpm that the orgasmic thing in this beauty starts and at the 10,000 mark is the place where it asks you to take it easy. Something only a biker can understand.
"Motorcycle is the body and rider is the soul".. This motorcycle has got this feeling and hence when it comes to riding then it is a very involving machine and the bite it has got in higher revs is fantastic.
BUT BUT BUT for me, that special feeling was still missing to some extent[frustration]

I don't know why but I still like the 220 more than this.
Well, my decision to buy a 220 after a 220 even when this machine is available in the market says it all.
That is the motorcycle which has got more 'feel' than this 200cc machine.

How about a shootout of your 220 vs this one? Now THAT would make for a good read.
Sure, I can make a complete comparo report but all I need is time and already 2 threads are in the pipeline awaiting me to complete them. After them will come the turn of comparo.
 
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Thread Starter #15

TSIVipul

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Vipul, could you please post a similar acceleration video (0-100) of your 220?
Sure buddy, will be doing it in a day or two. I need some time for it being a bit busy these days and then for this purpose I have to carry a brave heart friend and camera. Hence thoda time de do sirji [;)]

Great thread and you have nicely covered the each aspects of the bike with quality photographs. A true 5 star,
Thanks for your appreciation buddy, it boosted my confidence even more[:D]
 
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