Bajaj recently launched the BS6 version of its 200cc naked street bike, the Pulsar NS200. The motorcycle has received changes only in its engine. On the other hand, its direct rival, the TVS Apache RTR 200 4V, received a major makeover last year which was more than just an engine update. Now that both bikes have entered the BS6 era, let’s see which one is a better value-for-money proposition on paper.
Design and features
Both motorcycles feature an aggressive and sporty styling with a low-slung headlamp, sculpted fuel tank, sharp extensions and a sleek tail section. However, the design of the NS200 has remained majorly the same since its inception and feels slightly dated now. On the contrary, the Apache received a more aggressive and radical front fascia last year which has retained its modern appeal.
The Apache also has an upper hand in terms of features. It gets a full-LED headlamp along with LED tail lamp. The instrument cluster is also an LCD display which shows a host of information and gets Bluetooth-connectivity for smartphone pairing. With the BS6 update, TVS has also introduced an interesting feature in the form of GTT (glide through technology) which makes slow-speed riding through traffic easier. As for the Pulsar, it has always been continuing with a conventional headlamp along with a semi-digital instrument cluster.
This is where the Pulsar NS200 outshines the Apache RTR 200. Both bikes are powered by a 200cc, four-valve, single-cylinder motor which gets fuel-injection for BS6 compliance. However, the powerplant of the Pulsar comes with liquid-cooling, a higher compression ratio and churns out more power at 24.2bhp and 18.5Nm. Meanwhile, the Apache produces 20.2bhp and 16.8Nm. On the flipside, the Apache is superior in terms of transmission system as its five-speed gearbox is mated with a slipper clutch. As for the Pulsar, although it comes with an extra gear, it incorporates a standard clutch.
Starting with the common hardware in both bikes, they ride on 17-inch wheels which are suspended by telescopic forks up front and a monoshock at the rear. Now, underpinning the Pulsar is a perimeter frame as against the Apache’s double cradle chassis which makes the former a slightly better handler. Both of them are equipped with disc brakes at both ends. However, the presence of dual-channel ABS in the Apache makes it safer than the Pulsar which gets single-channel ABS set up. Both bikes pack a 12litre fuel tank.
For a rider who desires a fresher design along with a host of modern features, the 2020 TVS Apache RTR 200 4V makes for an ideal proposition at Rs 1.25 lakh. However, those who are majorly focused on sporty performance, the Bajaj Pulsar NS200 still remains to be a great deal at Rs 1.24 lakh (both prices are ex-showroom, Pune).