2017 Bajaj Pulsar NS200 Launch Ride Review

13 February 2017, 11:55 AM Ranjan R. Bhat

What is it?

Bajaj’s second coming in the modern 200cc streetfighter segment. When it was first launched in 2012, the Bajaj Pulsar 200NS (no, that isn’t a typo) offered striking looks, hair-raising performance and impressive handling at a sweet price point. However, in the face of competition from the Hero Karizma (this was before Hero MotoCorp messed up the design) and the very bike it was supposed to replace – the Pulsar 220F, the Pulsar 200NS just couldn’t keep up. So the bike was silently phased out in 2015 with the Pulsar AS200 filling the void.

Now though, times have changed and the Indian audience has warmed up to the idea of spending this kind of money on a naked bike and Bajaj just cannot afford to stay out of contention. As such, the Pulsar 200NS has made a comeback in a new BS IV-compliant avatar and an inverted name.

What's new?

Bajaj Pulsar NS200

Bajaj Pulsar NS200

  • Displacement199.5 cc
  • Max Power(bhp)23.2 bhp
  • Kerb Weight154 kg
  • ;

Ex-showroom, Mumbai

 1,13,331

Though the Bajaj Pulsar NS200 was phased out in India, production was never stopped as the motorcycle enjoyed good demand in markets like Turkey and South America. These markets get the Pulsar NS200 in a more feature-loaded trim with fuel injection and ABS. And though these would have been interesting additions to the Indian-spec model, the company decided against it to keep the cost in check.

Nevertheless, there is no way you are going to confuse the 2017 Pulsar NS200 for the older bike. It gets refreshing dual-tone paint schemes which accentuate the bike’s muscular appeal. There is a new ‘200’ decal on the matte-finished tank extension and the new belly pan which helps the bike’s streetfighter character. It also gets the ‘auto headlamp on’ feature to comply with soon-to-be-implemented government regulation. 

How does it ride?

When it launched, the Bajaj Pulsar NS200 was the sweetest handling Pulsar the company ever made. While this title now lies with the Pulsar RS200, the Pulsar NS200 continues to put a smile on my face. The raised clip-ons, rear-set footpegs and the sculpted tank offer an aggressive riding position. It doesn’t take any effort to tip the bike in, and once in the corner it feels completely poised. The suspension is tuned for a stiff ride, but that’s a compromise worth living with. There seems to be an improvement in the braking department, though this is down to the use of MRF Zapper tyres instead of the older bike’s TVS Eurogrip ones. 

At the heart of the Pulsar NS200 is a 199cc liquid-cooled single-cylinder engine delivering 23.2bhp and 18.3Nm of torque through a six-speed gearbox. The engine has been revised to make it BS IV-compliant, though this hasn’t brought any noticeable change in its character. The snappy throttle response and the rev-happy nature of the motor make the Pulsar NS200 a lot of fun to ride. However, there seems to be no getting away from vibrations on the handlebar, tank and footpegs. And while the fit and finish of the bike is decent, the Pulsar NS200 has earned the notoriety for developing rattly body panels as the months go by,  which is something that can be associated to these vibrations.

Where does it fit in?

With a price tag of Rs 96,453 (ex-showroom, Delhi), the Bajaj Pulsar NS200 has been positioned bang in the between the TVS Apache RTR 200 4V and the recently launched Yamaha FZ25. But that’s not it. The Pulsar NS200 also has to share the market space with smaller premium commuter bikes like the Suzuki Gixxer SF FI and the Honda CB Hornet 160R, which offer contemporary styling along with a promise of better fuel efficiency.

Photography by Kapil Angane

Yamaha FZ25 first ride review

Honda CB Hornet 160R first ride review

Suzuki Gixxer FI first ride review

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