The Apache RTR 200 also has it covered when it comes to ride and handling. The Apache’s ride is supple and absorbent; it barely weaves over bad roads; and even if you miss a speed breaker and land poorly thereafter, it never feels scary or unstable. The Hornet 160R, though not as supple as the TVS, still rides well. It’s a little firm, but it rarely bottoms out or feels skittish. Pot holes, bumpy roads, undulations and what have you, it feels like a bigger motorcycle similar to the TVS.
Now, the Pulsar AS200 might bring up the rear here, but it’s not a bad riding motorcycle. It has a plush edge to its ride, and slow speeds, over broken tarmac, the Pulsar feels fine. However, bring in speed and deeper potholes into the picture, and its front end bottoms out quite badly. So much so, that you end up feeling you’d break something if this continues.
We won’t pick the Pulsar AS200 on a winding road either. It is a tall bike and its front end seems too far away to actually lend any decent feedback. Thanks to its handlebar positioning, it works well during a quick lane change, but when you want to tip it in deeper into corners, it feels vague and disconnected. The riding position doesn’t help here, neither do the tyres. And it simply doesn’t like quick direction changes.
The Hornet in comparison feels light and agile and easy to throw around. We aren’t fans of the Hornet’s tyres either, but with more feedback via the front end and the chassis compared to the Pulsar, and of course quicker, more stable and predictable turn-in, the Hornet is way more enjoyable on twisty roads.
But, it’s the Apache that’s the most fun. Like the Honda, the TVS is sharp and willing around bends. It’s also the richest in terms of feedback especially when leaned over. The optional Pirellis work superbly and the Apache just loves the quick direction transitions. If the Apache has one flaw in the dynamic department, it is the brakes. The TVS has the worst set here be it in terms of bite, feel or progression. The Honda with its CBS system comes out on top here.
Bajaj Pulsar AS200: 6/10
Honda Hornet 160R: 7/10
TVS Apache RTR 200: 7/10