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Old 16th August 2012, 15:53   #1
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Default Pulsar 200NS - Update, 2.5 years & 9,000 kms

Looks like this is the first full ownership review of the 200NS on Team-Bhp. This was surprising to me considering the hype that this bike has generated in the bike world.

Disclaimer: The details mentioned below are purely my observations based on my experience with the NS as compared to the other bikes I have ridden (which basically all fall into the 100-125cc 'commuter bikes' category). So there may be points which made me go 'wow' but are probably done better by other bikes like for example the Duke 200.

Background: I am one of those guys who still loves the flexibility and freedom a motorcycle offers as compared to a car. Hence for any short trips or even longer single trips I always prefer my bike to the car. The bike that has been doing this duty for the last 10.5 years was a Hero Honda Splendor. Some time around the mid of last year I started feeling that it was time to replace the splendor. It still ran perfectly fine but seemed to have started aging. After some thought I went by pure practicality (as opposed to what my heart wanted) and bought a TVS Wego which my wife could also use. I thus retained the Splendor and the rides were divided between the Splendor and the Wego.

Fast Forward to April 2012. A job role change meant that my office shifted and a 1km drive to office became 10km one way. Most of this was on the Outer Ring Road and was made up of some fast stretches inter-spread with some choke points. Although the Wego handled the commute well, the thought of replacing the Splendor popped up again. This time I decided I would also listen to my heart and not just my mind. .

So I listed what I wanted based on what my heart and mind said:
  • Good Stylish Looks-Preferably Sporty (or a Royal Enfield) - Heart
  • Powerful Performer - Heart
  • Some level of exclusivity - Heart
  • Comfortable for daily city use and occasional touring -Mind
  • Budget of 1 lakh - Mind
  • Reasonably comfortable for Pillion - Mind

Bikes considered initially
  • Yamaha FZ-S: I liked the looks and Style. Satisfied most of my parameters to minimum certain extent at least. Wife did not like the looks at all. But anyway put it in my shortlist
  • TVS Apache 180: Did not liked the refreshed styling and hence did not pursue further
  • KTM Duke 200: Felt was too sporty for my liking and also not comfortable for the pillion. Was beyond my budget also
  • Honda CBR250: Nice bike. But too expensive. Had to reject it.
  • Bajaj Avenger: Liked the looks, price, style. But after reading a lot of reviews and trying it out myself, felt it was not too suited for regular city commute. Hence did not consider.
  • Bajaj Pulsar 180/220: I was not very fond of the Pulsar styling and hence did not consider these. Also since I had heard about the NS coming, I felt if it had to be a Pulsar better to buy the latest one.
  • Royal Enfield Classsic 350: I have always liked the Enfield and with the general feedback that RE's were much more reliable, it seemed to be a good option for me. 2 issues were the price and the 1 year waiting period. I was ok to stretch for a RE and hence put it on my shortlist.

At this point I had the FZ and the RE350 in my shortlist and I was not really convinced about either. So did not proceed at that point.

Note: Test Rides of the above options were all reasonably good to me since I was coming off a 10 year Splendor and I am not expert enough to list out pro's and con's after a couple of km test drive. That is the reason why I did not put any specific test drive comments.

The Pulsar 200NS: I had read about it when it was launched at the Auto Expo and had also seen pictures. But had not paid much attention as it seemed to be a full fledged sports bike. And because I was not too fond of the Pulsar's I did not pay too much attention.

Then I heard about the official Launch and the detailed reviews started appearing. To my pleasant surprise, it started ticking all my requirements

  • Good Stylish Looks-Not a typical pulsar, enough differentiation- Tick
  • Powerful Performer-200cc 24bhp -TICK
  • Some level of exclusivity - New Launch-200cc category- Tick
  • Comfortable for daily city use and occasional touring -Not too sporty seating. Flickable in traffic -Tick
  • Budget of 1 lakh - Even in Bangalore On Road 1 Lakh - TICK
  • Reasonably comfortable for Pillion- Sporty but with consideration for the Pillion -Tick

And while this was happening a new Bajaj Showroom opened within a few min walk from my place. One day in July as I was passing by I saw the new NS parked outside. Walked in. Was offered a test drive. First impression was ok. All seemed good. Then the next day went back and did one more test drive. Felt much better. At this point I was clear in my mind-The Pulsar NS is the way to go.
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Old 16th August 2012, 20:09   #2
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Default Re: Pulsar 200NS-Initial Ownership review

Once I had decided then I made a few more visits to the showroom, did a few more test drives including one with my wife and daughter. My wife was also satisfied with the pillion seat and there was enough space to hold my daughter in between. The raised fuel tank design (seen in pictures below) also ensured that once my daughter was older she could sit snugly between me and the fuel tank (for short rides).

Dealership Experience: Amba Bajaj-Belandur Decided to make the booking. This was sometime towards end of July. The bike had just been launched in Bangalore and when I had enquired they had said delivery would be around August 15th which was fine with me. When I actually went to pay the amount in August first week, they said if I was not opting for finance, they could deliver in 3-4 days. So I made the payment and as promised took delivery on 9th August with all formalities completed. No major issues with the delivery or the process. One issue was that the speedo/Odo was disconnected. On questioning they said it was done for all the bikes since they were not the main showroom, the bikes were driven to and fro from godown and also to RTO office. I was not to convinced but did not pursue further on whether this was used as a test drive bike since I knew for that none of their showrooms had a Blue vehicle on display till at least 3-4 days back. Another funny experience was that at the time of delivery the mechanic came to explain the features and started telling things like this is the horn, this is the indicator, this is how you start, this is gear etc. I was expecting info on running in, speeds to be maintained, service details. In anycase since I knew most of the info, this was not important to me.

Initial Drive experience:
I have ridden the bike around 100km till now. Key points noticed
Good things:
  • Moving up from a splendor, this is a whole new experience in riding for me.
  • Many of my friends had a common comment: The bike looks strong and powerful when it is stationary itself. I feel the designers have done a great job.
  • Plenty of looks and comments on the road. But one thing I noticed is that only a person with reasonable knowledge on bikes will realize this is the new pulsar. For a person with no knowledge, they assume it to be the pulsar 135/150. This is fine for me as I dont want undue attention. But if you want to be an attention grabber, get the yellow one
  • The power is apparent from the moment you start off. You move through the gears and in no time you are cruising at 60km/hr in 6th gear@4500 rpm. The running in period is going to be quite difficult as it seems quite difficult to hold the bike between 50-60. It begs to be pushed further.The engine felt smooth enough for a new bike and the gears also slotted in well.
  • The seating position is comfortable for regular city commutes. Was able to adjust to it quickly.
  • Brakes have a good bite. The rear brake has a soft feel in spite of it being disc brakes. Not sure if this is good or bad.
  • Although it looks big and heavy, it seems to be pretty nimble in the traffic and easy to handle.
  • Read some negatives about the tyres. For a normal rider like me, seemed to be good enough. In fact had a good drive on the twisty road from Belandur to Yamalur

Negative things:
  • Gear shifts needs some getting used to since I am used to shift up with my heel on the splendor. Also the fact that there are 6 gears also needs getting used to (This is more for me specifically. Not a negative of the bike)
  • Looking closely I noticed a couple of the elements of what I think is cost cuttting
    • Center Stand: I assumed this was not there because of a design restriction. But it is already available as an accessory for around Rs700. So now I feel it was omitted purely as a cost cutting measure
    • The indicator switch seems to be of low quality. The left right movement to switch on is minimal and there is only one indicator in the console with 2 arrows that both blink whether you put the left or right indicator. Even my splendor had 2 different indicator lights.
  • Turning Radius is a bit more than normal.
  • Extensive use of the clutch in stop-go traffic results in quite a bit of pain in my hand. Not sure if it is just because it is new and I need to get used to it or whether there is an ergo issue.
  • The pillion seat is pretty high up, which means a short person (~5 feet) will have some difficulty climbing up.
  • The pillion foot rest is pretty high up. So it is not possible to sit one-sided (This I suppose is true with all sports bikes)
  • Power: Yes, I have it in the negative also. It needs to be treated responsibly.

These are my thoughts for now. Will continue to update this thread.Of Course, no review is complete without pictures. Below are pictures of my 200NS
Pulsar 200NS - Update, 2.5 years & 9,000 kms-dsc_0050.jpg
Pulsar 200NS - Update, 2.5 years & 9,000 kms-dsc_0051.jpg
Pulsar 200NS - Update, 2.5 years & 9,000 kms-dsc_0052.jpg
Pulsar 200NS - Update, 2.5 years & 9,000 kms-dsc_0053.jpg
Pulsar 200NS - Update, 2.5 years & 9,000 kms-dsc_0063.jpg
Pulsar 200NS - Update, 2.5 years & 9,000 kms-dsc_0065.jpg
Pulsar 200NS - Update, 2.5 years & 9,000 kms-dsc_0055.jpg
Pulsar 200NS - Update, 2.5 years & 9,000 kms-dsc_0056.jpg
Pulsar 200NS - Update, 2.5 years & 9,000 kms-dsc_0058.jpg
Pulsar 200NS - Update, 2.5 years & 9,000 kms-dsc_0060.jpg

Last edited by Rajeevraj : 17th August 2012 at 09:28.
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Old 17th August 2012, 12:10   #3
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Default re: Pulsar 200NS - Update, 2.5 years & 9,000 kms

Thread moved from the Assembly Line (The "Assembly Line" Forum section) to the Motorbikes Section. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 17th August 2012, 12:13   #4
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Default re: Pulsar 200NS - Update, 2.5 years & 9,000 kms

Provide me with the honour to congratulate you as the first person! Superb! Wish you many more miles with the beauty. enjoy - ride safe. Looking forward for more pictures, triplogs and ownership experiences.
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Old 17th August 2012, 12:47   #5
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Default re: Pulsar 200NS - Update, 2.5 years & 9,000 kms

Congrats man, it looks really nice. Actually it looks like at least 300-400cc bike. Rear tyre hugger is way to big though. ride safe
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Old 17th August 2012, 13:31   #6
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Default re: Pulsar 200NS - Update, 2.5 years & 9,000 kms

Congrats on your new bike Rajeev. Looks really nice!

Nice to see a NS ownership thread up here finally. Please keep it updated regularly.
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Old 17th August 2012, 13:43   #7
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Default re: Pulsar 200NS - Update, 2.5 years & 9,000 kms

Congrats man. My colleague has also recently bought a Pulsar 200NS and I rode it for a fair distance. It is a good bike (I own a R15). Lots of power at low end, overtaking should be fun. Bike is a bit tall though. Once we parked the bike between a pulsar 150 and yamaha fz and the NS simply overshadowed them due to its size.

A word of caution though. My colleague crashed his bike and it seems the parts are yet to be available and he won't be having his ride for 2, 3 weeks at-least. (We are in Trivandrum, Kerala) Even if this wasn't the case, I am sure you would be riding safe, but I just mentioned.

As you mentioned the indicator switch is a real pain to operate. I haven't seen such a poor indicator stalk in my life!!

The rear tyre hugger is bit on the not so handsome side. I have no clue why its there? is it to avoid spraying of mud from tyres in wet conditions??
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Old 17th August 2012, 17:19   #8
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Default re: Pulsar 200NS - Update, 2.5 years & 9,000 kms

Congratulations! The first 200 NS on Team-bhp. Wish you many more miles of riding pleasure.

- looking at the first pic, I thought you had parked it next to some lake or something
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Old 17th August 2012, 17:37   #9
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Default re: Pulsar 200NS - Update, 2.5 years & 9,000 kms

Quote:
Originally Posted by nair View Post
....As you mentioned the indicator switch is a real pain to operate. I haven't seen such a poor indicator stalk in my life!!

The rear tyre hugger is bit on the not so handsome side. I have no clue why its there? is it to avoid spraying of mud from tyres in wet conditions??
I agree to the indicator stalk, or rather sliding switch. It feels very cheap in comparison to the other switchgear which are of high quality/better designed. I had TDed the bike a couple of weeks ago before buying a P180.

The tyre hugger prevents mud/spray. Since the NS has a naked bike design, it original design didn't have a proper mud-guard/flap at the rear. IMO the tyre hugger is a make-shift add-on to avoid mud-spray. It can removed after the rains are over and fitted back during monsoon every year. In that case, the bike would look much better.
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Old 17th August 2012, 18:38   #10
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Default re: Pulsar 200NS - Update, 2.5 years & 9,000 kms

Hey congrats! The bike looks awesome Looks really sporty. And is priced very well too. And a very well written post.

Wish you many happy miles on your bike. Cheers!
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Old 17th August 2012, 18:44   #11
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Default Re: Pulsar 200NS-Initial Ownership review

Congrats ! Must be the first one on TBHP. The clutch should settle down soon, by the time you run in the bike.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rajeevraj View Post
  • Brakes have a good bite. The rear brake has a soft feel in spite of it being disc brakes. Not sure if this is good or bad.
What makes you say that ?
the rear brake will be tuned a little differently from the front brake. As long as you are able to use both brakes and stop effectively without any dramatics, it should be fine.
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Old 17th August 2012, 20:50   #12
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Default re: Pulsar 200NS - Update, 2.5 years & 9,000 kms

Great bike! This is one bike which definitely turns heads wherever it goes and the choice of blue colour is simply outstanding. Even I want to buy this one but it isn't available in Amritsar showroom and the showroom guys say it would take four months to reach there and it would hurt the sales of Duke. Can anyone tell why isn't it coming to Amritsar?

P.S. Why didn't you opt for a black one! IMHO I feel this is the only bike which looks good in black and gets the streetfighter looks!

Keep revvin'
S@ndy
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Old 17th August 2012, 21:46   #13
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Default re: Pulsar 200NS - Update, 2.5 years & 9,000 kms

Quote:
Originally Posted by AlphaKilo View Post
Provide me with the honour to congratulate you as the first person! Superb!
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rahulkool View Post
Congrats man, it looks really nice. Actually it looks like at least 300-400cc bike.
Quote:
Originally Posted by ebonho View Post
Congrats on your new bike Rajeev.
Quote:
Originally Posted by thumpingheart View Post
Hey congrats! The bike looks awesome Looks really sporty. And is priced very well too. And a very well written post.

Wish you many happy miles on your bike. Cheers!

Thanks for all the nice comments.

Quote:
Originally Posted by nair View Post
Congrats man.

A word of caution though. My colleague crashed his bike and it seems the parts are yet to be available and he won't be having his ride for 2, 3 weeks at-least. (We are in Trivandrum, Kerala) Even if this wasn't the case, I am sure you would be riding safe, but I just mentioned.
Thanks for the heads up. Guess I need to be doubly careful.

Quote:
Originally Posted by naveenroy View Post
Congratulations! The first 200 NS on Team-bhp. Wish you many more miles of riding pleasure.

- looking at the first pic, I thought you had parked it next to some lake or something
Thank you. I looked at the first picture again and I guess you can imagine it that way also


Quote:
Originally Posted by condor View Post
Congrats ! Must be the first one on TBHP. The clutch should settle down soon, by the time you run in the bike.What makes you say that ?
the rear brake will be tuned a little differently from the front brake. As long as you are able to use both brakes and stop effectively without any dramatics, it should be fine.
Thanks for the info. The point on the brakes was more of a generic comment. First time riding a bike with rear discs and was not sure what to expect. They seem to be working well in any case.

Quote:
Originally Posted by S@ndy View Post
Can anyone tell why isn't it coming to Amritsar?

P.S. Why didn't you opt for a black one! IMHO I feel this is the only bike which looks good in black and gets the streetfighter looks!

Keep revvin'
S@ndy
Thanks. Why dont you shoot a mail/call the bajaj customer care. I read in xbhp that it is available across the country now. On the color, I felt the black looked ordinary as compared to the others. Maybe because the others were a color+black combination that looked better to me.
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Old 18th August 2012, 10:25   #14
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Default re: Pulsar 200NS - Update, 2.5 years & 9,000 kms

Congrats on your new ride. NS in blue looks real good.
I was waiting for a ownership review on TBHP for 200NS and yours is the 1st one.

Ride safe ride hard and take care of the beast. Moving up from splendor gives you those extra horses you should learn to tame
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Old 18th August 2012, 10:57   #15
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Default re: Pulsar 200NS - Update, 2.5 years & 9,000 kms

Quote:
Originally Posted by ashis89 View Post
The tyre hugger prevents mud/spray. Since the NS has a naked bike design, it original design didn't have a proper mud-guard/flap at the rear. IMO the tyre hugger is a make-shift add-on to avoid mud-spray. It can removed after the rains are over and fitted back during monsoon every year. In that case, the bike would look much better.
Frankly, the hugger on both the Duke and the NS is an after thought and a pain. I have been riding in the rain and slush and the entire underside of the bike as well as back of jacket and etiree pillion seat and rear cowl is covered in mud spray - so what is the hugger preventing?

The Austrians never designed the hugger for the Duke. The Bajaj guys have added it. And its not working. And is a pain as the rear fender and the hugger make contact often when taking the bike over broken surfaces.

I think if anything, its more to do with protecting those coming from behind than yourself or your own bike. Plus on the Duke its bolted on to the expensive aluminum swingarm.

Last edited by ebonho : 18th August 2012 at 11:21.
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