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Old 8th December 2013, 00:52   #1
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Default My Black Pulsar 200NS

So I finally got down to writing an ownership review of my 200NS,which also happens to be my first bike.

Introduction

I am more of a car guy,never had that one crazy biker family member to take inspiration from,everyone buying no-nonsense practical cars in our household.Back home in Calcutta I started learning how to drive an beautiful tomato red SS80 DX,graduated to 800s and then to an Alto K10,a car which I am extremely attached too.K10 is like a thrill on a shoestring budget and I had put in about 15,000kms in it.

I actually started learning two wheelers way back when I was 12-13 yrs old on my grandfather’s old Bajaj Chetak.To start that thing you had to practically jump on the kick start! Those things used to give a whole new meaning to twist and go,twist up for 1st,and twist down for 2-3-4.Brakes were as good as nonextistent and nothing other than “standing on it” would make you stop anywhere.Lots of fun though.Then there were the Scooty’s and Activa’s which every house has for those nearby errands and that’s all the “Biking” that I ever did.That scooty pep+ used to top out at 65.

I spent my college years in Bangalore and even during college I hardly drove a km or so here and there in bikes,usually occupying the backseat on those Nandi hills and Maddur CCD drives.A hostel mate had a Hero Honda Hunk and I remember the time it took to get to 100kmph and it was positively scary at that speed,especially as a pillion.

There was always this part of me part me that used to be sure that bikes were not my thing.I was never afraid of bikes per se,and I never looked at them as particularly scary,but I wouldn’t really be bothered much about them.I mean I respect riders and their bikes,but it would always be ho-hum. In between I started working,and as the auto fares and Volvo fares kept increasing I seriously started to ponder about a car or a bike.
Bangalore’s traffic is such that a car does not financially make sense for a fledging IT Joe like me.It was during this time that I moved in with fellow bhpian Preetam_Korg and one day decided to take his NS out for a spin.At this point my total geared biking experience was,
1.One stint on a Bajaj Boxer in Class 10.
2.One stint on a ratty old Pulsar 150 in college,again ratty Pulsar 150 much latter in office.
3.One small blast in Preetam’s excellent 180.
3.5-10 kms in a CBZ extreme and 2 kms on a Fazer. That’s it!
So I got on his bike and as Clarkson used to say,”How hard can this be?” Turned it on put it into gear and stalled it.To my credit that first day I didn’t stall again and the bike was a doodle.

I instantly liked the bike,very very smooth and precise gearshifts,no hunting around for neutrals,very comfortable ride,absolutely stable on road and a linear power delivery.I considered the Dukes for a while but they I had capped my budged at the lakh mark and somehow the manic nature of the 200 does not really appeal to me.As a driver,I don’t like point-and-shoot driving,I like gradually picking up speed using the mid range torque and as a result the NS looked perfect to me.

Now most might say,cmon 23bhp for a first bike,that’s a tad bit too much eh boy? But my philosophy always was,I like to have enough power.I might not use it and I usually don’t but I don’t like driving anything at 90-95% of its potential.I don’t like stressing anything,I don’t like rattling,I don’t like vibrations,I don’t like wringing the engine’s neck to the redline.But I don’t like driving slow too,and on the highway I must be in something which is fast enough to keep ahead of most traffic but still feels nonplussed,nonstressed and hum along beautifully.Everything has to be smooth and graceful.

Buying Experience

Which color? Yellow was the only palatable one at that time(this was before the white/black was offered) and as a result was the default choice for me.Looked at the black one lying in the showroom and I let my eyes wander over it for a smidge,”doesnt look all that bad,black..” thinking
“Sir,colour?”
“Naah Yellow it is”
Paid the booking amount,confirmed the loan details and was promised delivery within a week.The next 7 days went by excruciatingly slowly! After 6 days I reached the showroom hoping that they decided to take pity on me and get the bike earlier,but no cigar.The showroom manager promised delivery tomorrow and ask me one final time,”Colour is still yellow right?” I my eyes lingered over the shiny black,thoselines look so good in black.But it looks like Pulsar 135 in black,said that voice in the head.
“Sir colour?” I snapped back into reality.
“Black!”
So black it was.

Ownership,driving experience.

Got the bike on the promised date and bought a nice helmet.I have my eyes on a Spartan Icarus/Helios but finances wont permit me now,hope to get the same by January.Did a small puja and headed home.Later took it out at night when the roads are a bit less empty and kept it below 5k,and felt absolutely at home with the bike.And now here we are one month,first service and 1200kms later!

Some pointers:

1.Its looks good in black,people look at it less and its not as eye catching as the yellow,and I like it that it gets much less attention.Quite a sleeper.

2.The engine is a gem.You need to keep it above 4,000 to keep moving at a decent pace and anything below the 3,000 and it will start protesting.The power really starts flowing post 5,500 rpm and pulls like a train till the redline.60kmph on 6th is 4,000 rpm,80 is around 5600.80-100 roll on time on 6th is fantastically strong,and I believe this is where is my sweet spot on the bike.I am not too of very high speed cruising speeds on highways and I prefer keeping it at 85-90 where is ample power left.

3.Vibrations are IMO a bit on the higher side.They creep in around 5,500 rpm on my bike and stay till 6-7K,the zone where you most likely are going to spend on a long highway jaunt.However after you while you tend not to notice it and its very fatigue-free at 80-90.

4.The normal Bajaj DTSi engine oil is pretty good when things are cold.However pottering around in crawling traffic at 12-1 in the afternoon with the sun bearing down,the engine heats up quite a bit,with the fan kicking in for 5-10 secs by the time I reach office.At this point the gearshifts become a bit imprecise the engine gets a bit more noisy,it does not like hot afternoons at all.After the service this is occurring less and less which is a good sign.I intend to switch to Motul 7100 20W50 by 5,000kms.

5.How does it fare as a commuter? Well I am at two minds about that.This most probably is due to my inexperience as a biker but long stretches of slow moving traffic is not enjoyable on this.Once your gearshifts start happening below 3.5-4 mark its gets very clunky.Coupled with the hard suspension which will make you feel every single imperfection on the road and constant gearshifts because of the lack of low end torque,riding the NS can be pretty tiring.However on those days when the traffic is a bit clearer,all you need to do Is a little throttle in 4th and very few bikes/cars can keep up.The NS also perks up,overjoyed that its master has decided to give it some stick and plays along smoothening out the gearshifts and the snap throttle response.
6.I love sound of the my bike between 3,500-5,000.The exhaust is supplemented by this guttural bassy intake roar which sounds extremely good.

7.Eurogrips,Hmmmmmmmm!.Good enough tyres for me,I am not going to do corner carving at 120,but I hope I never have to do a full-on-grab-whatever-brakes-you-have stop from 100 on these tyres.Thatrear will never hold.Even while strong braking from 75-80 with the majority of the it done by the fronts,I can feel the rear coming to the limits of adhesion.I had to brake hard for those infernal bumpers once in the city and used by back brake,and as I expected the rear stepped out of line for the last 4 feet.I caught it easily but I shudder to think what would happen at higher speeds.The front tyre though sticks much better.

8.FE has been good so far,been giving 36-37kmpl.

9.Rattles,niggles: Well none except the headlamp console,which I think I need to fill it with some padding.The other day my radiator fan started turning itself on,on a cold start in the morning! I choked it as usual,pumped the clutch and was off.2 mins later,I see the radiator fan on.The engine is still stone cold,no way its hot.I took it to the SVC with the fan all on the way.Issue was narrowed down to a wonky fuse relay switch and was promptly replaced under warranty.


Differences between mine and Preetams 2012 NS.

1.I got a tankpad from the showroom itself.

2.The engine cover on the side is a darker brass/brown colour against preetams more lighter yellow.

3.The handlebar clipons are finished in a matt black texture on mine,versus glossy black on the 2012 bike.

4.The handlebars themselves feel a bit more set forward and outward and keeping the bikes side by side,it does seems so.

5.Preetam drove mine and remarked that the low end grunt has improved on my bike,sounds a bit more deeper and bassier,fit and finish of parts is much better.He did however remarked that he felt that the top end has been compromised for more mid range torque,which is perfectly fine with me.I like more usable speed for I am not, if ever, going to find out how fast this can actually go on public roads.

Conclusion

So how has this car guy taken to biking?Rather enthusiastically! Motorcycles are so much an extension of you.Its a much more personal relationship than a car,although I will never try to chose one above the other,I love driving and riding equally.Ducati has this tagline “Turning riders into mechanics for 75 years” or something of that sort.I can totally relate to that!

Bikes are very temperamental things,and mine is no less.It has its own good and bad days.

The other day while returning from office,I had a pillion,and I hate pillions.Not that I cant drive with them,but I am so afraid that somehow the person behind will just fall off any moment and I will be blamed,and I shall have to bear the guilt,you see where this is going.So when I have a pillion,I go into super slow mode.40-50kmph,handling the gears as if they were grenades and braking from a mile away.I dropped off my pillion and viola! My gears were like a hot knife through through melted butter.Even at 2,500-3,000 rpm,which had never happened to me before.Its hot knife at 5k but never 3K.Sadly the gearbox never went back to that state.I had tried driving with a pillion few more times,but it never went to that level of smoothness.Oh well.On somedays any amount of proper warming up you do is off no avail,the gears are clunky all through the day.

The Pulsar 200NS is a fantastic tourer. The natural hunting ground for this bike is the open roads,with its linear power delivery,comfortable seats,a softer suspension setting,adequate wind protection and huge slug of midrange torque allowing cruising all day at 90-100.The only thing that would complete the package is a set of better tyres.You can go through the gears and get yourself to 6th and stay there all day,because the 6th will adequately cover the entire 70-110 range very effortlessly,twist and go!

I seldom is ever use WOT,and maybe that’s why my bike has taken a completely different direction to Preetam’s whose is more like a Duke 200 because he loves visiting the redline all too often.I can expect the engine to open up a bit as the kms pile on,and I hope to do some road trips by Jan-Feb along with some good riding gear.

They say that you know you have bought the right thing when you park it,walk away and then turn around to look back once.I do that all the time.I often take a trip down during lunch in office to pay a visit to the parking lot and just see it once more,a very handsome and beautiful bike.If the Duke 200 is an 18 year old rascal who believes every moment driving slowly is time wasted,the NS is a more mature and a mellowed man,but not really that much slower.

I apologise if I have left out anything in particular.
Attached Thumbnails
My Black Pulsar 200NS-diwali_0392.jpg  

My Black Pulsar 200NS-diwali_0391.jpg  

My Black Pulsar 200NS-diwali_0414.jpg  

My Black Pulsar 200NS-diwali_0402.jpg  

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Last edited by avishar : 8th December 2013 at 00:55.
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Old 8th December 2013, 17:54   #2
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Default Re: My Black Pulsar 200NS

Let me be the first to congratulate you. Please keep this thread active for us folks. And hoping to see a lot of travelogues on the bike.
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Old 8th December 2013, 19:10   #3
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Default Re: My Black Pulsar 200NS

Heartiest Congratulations on the Black 200 NS, avishar, from a Black P220 owner!

The bike looks masculine and macho in black colour; bold is the right word actually. Keep good car of her (him, actually) and wish you many happy miles!

Do post the price break-up also.

After all:
Cars move the body, bikes move the soul! (or something similar, I don't remember exactly! )
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Old 8th December 2013, 20:49   #4
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Default Re: My Black Pulsar 200NS

Congrats on new ride & fairly comprehensive review of 200NS.

Quote:
Originally Posted by avishar View Post
3.Vibrations are IMO a bit on the higher side.They creep in around 5,500 rpm on my bike and stay till 6-7K,the zone where you most likely are going to spend on a long highway jaunt.However after you while you tend not to notice it and its very fatigue-free at 80-90.
Have vibrations changed during running-in period? Let's review this after few more thousand Kms.

Quote:
So when I have a pillion,I go into super slow mode.40-50kmph,handling the gears as if they were grenades and braking from a mile away.
I hope your habits will change as you ride more with pillion.
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Old 8th December 2013, 21:07   #5
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Default Re: My Black Pulsar 200NS

Congrats Avishar on owning the best set of wheels this side of the magical 6-figure mark! An 'NS in black looks visually appealing and the most desirable street-cred bike here. You've got yourself a KTM underneath at approximately 25% less $$$! I rode a friend's blue 'NS and mind you all, it's much better than the P220 (whose owners go out-and-out raving that they own the fastest bike less than 1 lakh INR). It annihilates the P220 in the fun-factor and almost everything. But, we can't ignore the Indian fancy for cost-effective (Dare I say, cheap?), full-faired bikes. I like this bike but one issue that troubles me is it's long-term reliability. Yeah, I know Bajaj have bridged the gap, but I still doubt it! So, any mods planned on your ride?

And yeah! A biker's heart is speaking here!

Keep revvin' her to glory!
S@ndy

Last edited by S@ndy : 8th December 2013 at 21:09.
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Old 8th December 2013, 22:09   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 100kmph View Post
Let me be the first to congratulate you. Please keep this thread active for us folks. And hoping to see a lot of travelogues on the bike.
Much thanks! Well i have run into a bit of rotten luck financially,so i am waiting to pick up a proper jacket before i go on highway trips.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Loud View Post
Heartiest Congratulations on the Black 200 NS, avishar, from a Black P220 owner!
It looks very masculine indeed,a proper naked.The stance,and the centralised engine/perimeter all help in accntuating the design.Especially in black it looks like it wants to eat your head off,but has a more gentle heart!

My onroad price was around 1.07,i cant recall correctly.Shall revert back with the full details.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sukiwa View Post
Congrats on new ride & fairly comprehensive review of 200NS.
The vibrations have most definately reduced.Day by day,the engine is getting smoother and smoother.Throttle response is less jerky and the engine is pulling cleanly from as low as 3K.

Ha ha,i shall always be very cautious with pillion riders.

Quote:
Originally Posted by S@ndy View Post
Congrats Avishar on owning the best set of wheels this side of the magical 6-figure mark! An 'NS in black looks visually appealing and the most desirable street-cred bike here. You've got yourself a KTM underneath at approximately 25% less $$$! I rode a friend's blue 'NS and mind you all, it's much better than the P220 (whose owners go out-and-out raving that they own the fastest bike less than 1 lakh INR).
Thank you sir,and yes its a cost effective crotch rocket.I had a small chat with the lead mechanic at the at the service centre and he remarked that the internals of this engine is built to very high standards.The lower block which is shared by the KTMs,crankshaft,connecting rods and pistons cant take much more power and are built to last.

Other than that,yes i wont say Bajaj has not cut cost.I hate the ergonomics of the switch cluster and the instrument consoles rattles a fair bit,but all said and done its not bad.Preetam's bike has done 14,000k and he has never been let down any parts failure.The bangalre chapter of "Naked Wolves" has several 25,000-50,000kms done NSs and they are going strongly.Anything you touch and feel looks fairly good quality,ofcourse not Ninja-good.I havnt riden a Duke so i cant comment,but i will say everything will last if maintained well.

No offense to 220 owners,thats a fine machine too! :-)

Last edited by avishar : 8th December 2013 at 22:13.
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Old 9th December 2013, 00:44   #7
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Default Re: My Black Pulsar 200NS

Congrats Avishar for your bike and nice black color sober but still stands out from other bikes.

I have a Apache RTR180 and it was the most fun to have bike below the 1 lakh factor. Dare I say that because the 220 had more fun factor at higher speeds, was not flickable as compared to RTR and the initial pickup was less as compared.

But 200NS changed it. The first change for me compared to RTR was the lack of Vibrations. RTR is like a grinder mixer whereas NS was like hair dryer
It has good brakes, more flickable, more power, less NVH, large tyres although you need to change from EuroGrip ones but they are far better than RTR OEM tyres which slip at the first moment they come in contact with water. Overall 200NS is a far better package and infact the best package below 1 lakh only to sorely miss the ABS which is available in RTR.

Wish 200NS comes with the ABS version and a bigger fuel tank, then it will be the undisputed king below 1 lakh category.
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Old 9th December 2013, 14:03   #8
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Default Re: My Black Pulsar 200NS

The bike surely does look mean and space-age robotic in black, especially front 3/4 view. Congrats bro!
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Old 10th December 2013, 01:17   #9
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Default Re: My Black Pulsar 200NS

Very good writeup, Avishar! Thanks for sharing!

The NS looks AMAZING in black!
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Old 10th December 2013, 16:16   #10
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Default Re: My Black Pulsar 200NS

Many congratulations on the Bike Avishar
A very nicely composed write up.
Hope to see a travelogue of you and Preetam on some double trouble trips.
And yes , Naked Wolves is privileged to have you. A biker-photographer (Smacking pics). Kudos!!!
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Old 11th December 2013, 12:00   #11
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Default Re: My Black Pulsar 200NS

Congrats on the NS!!!

There's a street fighting mean SOB if there ever was one...

Have never been a fan of the naked street fighter look, but the Pulsar seems to have a raw energy that is somehow missing (IMHO) on built to scramble motorcycles like the KTM for example...

And dude. Whatever else you can call it - it sure as hell can't be called understated! It is going to turn heads everywhere it slides past.

Well done - look forward to more!
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Old 11th December 2013, 12:46   #12
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Default Re: My Black Pulsar 200NS

Congrats Avishar! Finally the ownership experience came up, eeh?

Do note to ride safe, always wear a helmet - i found that riders in Bangalore rarely wear helmets, unlike in Kolkata, where the traffic rule is strict regarding rider and pillion rider helmets.

Once again congrats. Hope to see you soon. Take care.
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Old 11th December 2013, 17:25   #13
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Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by amit_purohit20 View Post
Congrats Avishar for your bike and nice black color sober but still stands out from other bikes.

I have a Apache RTR180 and it was the most fun to have bike below the 1 lakh factor. Dare I say that because the 220 had more fun factor at higher speeds, was not flickable as compared to RTR and the initial pickup was less as compared.
Thanks a lot! Come to think of it,the Pulsar 200SS might just overcome all those shortcomings.EFI,better tyres,ABS and considering thats fully faired(Going by the spy pics) it might a bigger tank too!

Quote:
Originally Posted by ebonho View Post
The bike surely does look mean and space-age robotic in black, especially front 3/4 view. Congrats bro!
Oh its a meanie,but with a kind heart!


Quote:
Originally Posted by sriramv.iyer View Post
Very good writeup, Avishar! Thanks for sharing!

The NS looks AMAZING in black!
Thanks a lot sirjee,i do hope to see your beauties someday!

Quote:
Originally Posted by InControl View Post
Many congratulations on the Bike Avishar
A very nicely composed write up.
Hope to see a travelogue of you and Preetam on some double trouble trips.
And yes , Naked Wolves is privileged to have you. A biker-photographer (Smacking pics). Kudos!!!
Ah you are too kind.Will post some more pics soon.

Also i must say Naked Wolves has to be one of the most well run motorcycle groups around,great emphasis on safe riding.I would so love to come to the rides,but i want to get all the proper gear first.

One update:

For some odd reason my coolant temp sensor has conked off,and thats made the radiator fan get a mind of its own,running on a cold start! So that is being replaced as of now,although getting that part has turned out to quite a challenge.
Will be picking up the bike today.

Last edited by avishar : 11th December 2013 at 17:30.
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Old 11th December 2013, 17:50   #14
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Default Re: My Black Pulsar 200NS

Quote:
Originally Posted by avishar View Post
So I finally got down to writing an ownership review of my 200NS,which also happens to be my first bike..
Nice Photography skills, I wonder if anybody else said that. I'm also looking for an upgrade from Pulsar 150 to pulsar 200NS.
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Old 12th December 2013, 13:56   #15
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Default Re: My Black Pulsar 200NS

Congratulations on the ride! Black does look fantastic in the pics. I have however noticed while driving my car that dark coloured bikes are very hard to notice in the night (obviously!). When riding my dark coloured bike at night, I therefore double check and make sure that my lights are on - especially if I had turned off the ignition at the previous traffic signal. (Unlike cars, it isn't easily obvious to the rider whether the lights are on or not since you are looking straight ahead and do not get a clear view of the console).
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