The Bajaj Pulsar was one particular motorcycle, which had re-written some of the basics of Indian motorcycling culture. Before the entry of Pulsar, motorcycles were regarded as just another mode of commuting. The birth of Bajaj Pulsar was taken place in November 2001 after witnessing the demand for performance bikes after the launch of Hero Honda CBZ. Soon after the launch, it has become the most popular, affordable and desired sports bike in India. Moreover, it was tagged as the 'Fastest Indian' on those days. Bajaj introduced the Pulsar in 135, 150, 160, 180 and 220cc within a short span of time.
In the year 2012, Bajaj remapped their design policy and introduced a brand new platform called NS for 'Naked Sports' followed by a full faired version RS 200. Both the NS and RS 200 was developed with the help of their Austrian subsidiary KTM motorcycles.
Design and Styling
The first and foremost thing that separates RS 200 from other entry level sports bike is the eye-catching headlamp casing inspired from the famous 'Transformer character Bumble Bee'. The twin pod LED headlamp and the eyebrow-shaped LED DRLs along with the transparent visor is quite fascinating. A black nose-like extension separates the LED units, which resembles the face of 'Bumble Bee'.
On moving to the sides, it is decorated with many scoops, panels and lines which seem to overcrowd in some point of view. The mesh texture in between fairings are attractive and it resembles carbon fibre fabric. Altogether, the fairing kit of the bike is one of the desirable factors of RS 200. According to me, the Bajaj has over cooked in the cosmetic department.
The shape of the fuel tank is different from its Naked sibling. It looks massive and bulkier than NS. The fairing part indulges well with the tank. Although, the quality of fuel tank is still questionable.
The seats of RS 200 looks so good. The texture and quality of the material are excellent. Moreover, the pillion and rider seats are separated to offer an optimum comfort to the rider. Below the fairings, footpegs and levers are adorned with silver. At the tail section, things are bit disappointing.
The twin curvy LED tail lamp does not gel with the entire body language of the bike. However, Bajaj has cleverly deployed the number plate hanger as the backlight.
The fit and finish of the fairings are reasonably good. However, we didn't test drive our vehicle to such extreme condition or speed to really analyze the same. However, the styling of Rs 200 is subjective. It may vary from person to person.
We had test driven the latest 2017 RS 200 Racing Blue with the single-channel ABS. It is good to have bikes fitted with ABS system even in the 200cc category. The instrument cluster of the RS 200 gets blue backlit along with switchgear logos on the handlebar. Moreover, the switchgear quality is good and the handle grips are improved from the predecessor. Alongside the BS-IV engine, it gets AHO feature.
The digital-analogue cluster of the Pulsar is user-friendly and easy to understand from the riders view. The console is surrounded by high-quality plastic fabrics which look like carbon fibre.
It consists of an analog tachometer, digital speedometer, fuel gauge, service reminder, clock, battery status, trip meter and other warning signs. At the rear part, grab rails are replaced by grab pockets which are accommodated in the rear cowl beneath the pillion seat.
The Engine and Performance
The Pulsar RS 200 sits on 199.5cc, single cylinder, 4-stroke engine with Bosch Fuel Injection system. Moreover, it gets a refined touch from the Bajaj's own Triple Spark Technology. The 2017 variant, which we had test driven features BS-IV compliant engine.
Therefore, the emission levels are reduced from the previous models. In the RS 200 version, it feels like entirely a new engine, although it is used in NS 200. It delivers a generous 24.5 bhp of maximum power @ 9750 rpm and a peak torque of 18.6 Nm @ 8000 rpm. It is quickest Pulsar Bajaj has ever built with a top speed ranging from 135 to 140 kmph along a straight road. The bike seems pretty quick after 6000 rpm, thanks to its aerodynamic aid from the fairings. The engine is mated to a 6-speed gearbox found in the NS 200. Gear shifting is smooth and precise. However, it isn't nimble as Duke 200. In the RS 200, the underbelly exhaust has little protruded outwards from the NS 200. The Nitrogen and Carbon levels are low compared to the previous RS.
On city rides, RS 200 could deliver a decent mileage of 32 kmpl and on highways, it could rise to 42-45 kmpl. The Pulsar RS 200 is the only 200cc entry level sports bike with such excellent figures in mileage. The massive 13-litre fuel tank is great addition to the bike. The Pulsar RS 200 assures a minimum distance of 550km with a full tank of gasoline.
Riding, Handling and Braking
The riding position of the RS 200 is spot on. It cannot be compared with the naked sibling NS. Both are entirely different bikes with their own riding dynamics. The RS offers a comfortable riding position with a punch of sportiness. It is constructed around perimeter frame chassis, just like the Pulsar NS. It has a longer swingarm and extra 12 kg of the bike is oriented more towards the front, enabling the rider to steer the vehicle with ease. Moreover, it does corner nicely with the wider and even gripper MRF tyres.
The suspension system of the bike consists of a telescopic fork at the front with antifriction bush and towards the rear part, Nitrox filled monoshock rear suspension with a reservoir. The riding comfort offered by the monoshock is excellent. It does well with the bumps and potholes on the road. The perimeter frame and monoshock help in distributing the weight evenly in the bike. It helps in improving the dynamics of the bike.
The 2017 Pulsar RS 200 is fitted with single-channel ABS on the front works with a 300 mm disc brake. At the opposite end, 230 mm disc brake deals with the stopping power of the bike. At times, the front ABS on the bike seems to inefficient when compared with the non-ABS. Bajaj has to put extra effort on improving their ABS system in their upcoming models.
Bajaj Pulsar RS 200 lives to the expectation that every young Indian had expected from this Indian bike maker. Start from the debut to this latest BS-IV model, it stood as the most feasible performance bike in the segment. The ABS Pulsar RS 200 costs Rs 15,000 more than the non-ABS variant which is a minor set back. However, RS 200 stands to be as the only 200cc bike with Race Sport (RS) DNA and practicality in usage. It is a perfect bike for daily commuting which can shred some rubber even for track days. The Pulsar RS 200 has been developed for young Indian riders, who demands a sports bike with sufficient fuel economy, a power to exceed triple digits and aesthetic presence to grab the eye.
Full Details, Specification and Pricing of Pulsar Rs 200
Photos By: Jithin Johnson
Test Vehicle Provided By: JKB Bajaj