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Old 29th November 2012, 15:08   #1
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Default Bajaj Pulsar 200 NS : Ownership Review, 2200 Kms

*It has been a long time I have been active on Team BHP. I have been on and off for quite a few personal as well as professional hold ups. Finally it feels good to be back on the grid. First and foremost, I would like to thank my parents without whose help, this purchase would not have been a reality. I would also like to thank my good friend Suhaas Shenoy, for urging me to put this up, Avishar Dutta for accompanying me to those rides when most of the pictures are shot, and my brother, Shamik Bose for the constant love and support. To all those TBHP friends who are there in my facebook friend list, here's a heartfelt thank you for your undying support, appreciation and honest feedback.*

*This is an overview of the Pulsar 200 NS after ownership of 2200 Kms.* *I will add on as I ride more and as this thread progresses.* *Please click the pictures to view in better quality. Evident compression loss in the post* *So, here goes...*

First, let us get this straight. This is NOT just another Pulsar.

It is not one of those Bajaj bikes which are looked at and forgotten almost immediately by even those people who have the memory span of a million years.

No. This is an evolutionary Pulsar, and to make my point let me start with a few pictures.

Bajaj Pulsar 200 NS : Ownership Review, 2200 Kms-logo.jpg

Bajaj Pulsar 200 NS : Ownership Review, 2200 Kms-3.jpg

Bajaj Pulsar 200 NS : Ownership Review, 2200 Kms-2.jpg

The Indian biking scene has seen a great overhaul in the last couple of years with the advent of the quarter liter class making inroads into a predominantly 100 cc -150 cc market. With this evolutionary trend, the flagship Indian brand obviously had to shrug off their “Hamara Bajaj” image, put on a new Dolce and Gabbana suit and spray copious amounts of Armani Performanti. What resulted was a Pulsar that could take to the streets and tear off any other so called Indian Performance bike’s sheepskin clothing and show them who the real boss is.
In my mind though, in pursuit of moving ahead of its known and accepted image, Bajaj has inadvertently carved a piece of the performance biking fraternity’s chunk for itself and made us more hamara than ever.

The Looks:

The earlier Pulsars, even the very performance oriented ones, namely the 220 F, and the original 220 were what you call okay-ish. The design was not something to stand out, and to my eye the 220 F was outright disbalanced in proportion with its projector headlamp, ironically though, this was also one of the most utilitarian.

Let us get to the 200 NS then. The overall bike looks absolutely proportionate, with quite a lot of design cues borrowed from earlier Pulsars and heavily inspired by the 2011 Honda Hornet. The aptly named bikini fairing up front is bang in place and makes for one of the most enticing front ends to be put on an Indian motorcycle.

Bajaj Pulsar 200 NS : Ownership Review, 2200 Kms-bikini-fairing.jpg

With just the running lights on, the minimal makeup of this front end is further accentuated and makes an already hungry looking cougar, hungrier.

Bajaj Pulsar 200 NS : Ownership Review, 2200 Kms-6.jpg

The design of the 200 NS has a linear flow from the front to the back with the bulges and lines at exactly the right places. It is a perfect marriage of form and functionality which was not prevalent among bikes in India till date.

The tank looks gorgeous in exactly correct proportions; the coolant indicator is on the right of the bike when seated, as well as the battery compartment cover with a mesh on it looks purpose built.

Bajaj Pulsar 200 NS : Ownership Review, 2200 Kms-8.jpg

The split seats are more function than form, because of a small under-seat storage compartment, which houses the first aid kit and important documents.

The rear of the bike is taken straight off the 135 LS with a shot of Botox in the right places, to make it look more muscular and meaner. It carries forth the same LED rear tail lamp assembly and this is the only part of the bike which sticks out like a sore thumb. Lack of inspiration, perhaps?

On the face of it, the 200 NS is a butch looking and mean, street brawler. And it has to be, because the small NS in the name meaning “Naked Sports” which in my mind is very apt for a machine of this class.

The alloys are not the best of design and are the same design as on the Bajaj Discover ST 125. The Y spokes do not look downright ugly, but a better design would definitely look more suited to this bike.

Bajaj Pulsar 200 NS : Ownership Review, 2200 Kms-collage.jpg

The Cockpit and Electricals:

Not much to say here, I like the way things have been done. No fake chrome accents, simple plastics all the way. To the left, is the Left Right Indicator display, Neutral Indicator, High beam indicator, Side Stand and the Bajaj logo which stays on all the time. Funnily enough, Bajaj calls this a “Flying B.” For those who have always wanted a Bentley, here’s your option for just one lakh INR.

The center shows a large rev counter, which shows the redline at 10,000 RPM, however, the bike will easily hit 10,500 revs in the first 5 gears. Beside the rev counter, is the digital fuel meter, and true to all Pulsars this is just for show. You will never be able to fathom how much you have got left, and to soothe your mind, take off some steam, park the bike to a side, open the fuel filler cap, and shake from side to side to find out what’s in there.

To the right, is the digital clock which comes in handy, below which is the all-important digital speedo, with the trip counter and the ODO at the bottom. The low oil indicator, engine temperature indicator, pending service indicator, and low battery indicator are hidden in the LCD screen.

There is a gear shift indicator light which doubles up as the low fuel indicator lamp towards the top right of the console. This is the one of three chrome accentuated parts in the complete cockpit.

There are also two chrome accentuated buttons marked M and S, which stand for Mode and Set respectively, combinations of which sets up the cockpit. The buttons are rubbery and lack any kind of feel, however given that they are used very occasionally, it is not as big a pain as you might think it to be.

The visibility of the dials is very good, especially in broad daylight when you’d expect some sunlight to play spoilsport. At night, the cockpit is bathed in a warm orange which goes especially well with my yellow coloured NS pictured here. All other switches have a regular blue backlight.

The NS has well sorted, well insulated and well-disguised electricals. There are no wires flying here and there, except for the single wire visible under the rear seat for the tail lamp.

Bajaj Pulsar 200 NS : Ownership Review, 2200 Kms-cockpit-day.jpg

Bajaj Pulsar 200 NS : Ownership Review, 2200 Kms-cockpit-night.jpg

The Ergonomics:

The 200 NS has the most horrid ergonomics as far as the riding controls are concerned. The indicator switch is placed in the orbit of the 5th moon of Saturn and by the time you have pressed the indicator switch to go left, in which case you would have to lift a your left hand off the handle bar, you will inevitably crash into a tree, because your hand is not back in position to have a steady hold on the handle bar. The high beam pass switch is near the bumper of the car coming at you in the opposite lane and you will not have enough time to use it for a moderately high speed highway overtake. Agreed, the metaphors are a bit outrageous, but I am not kidding around. You will take a lot of time getting used to the controls on the left handle bar; I have already clocked 2000 odd kilometers and haven’t been able to figure out the best way to do it. The right is far more organized, and within reach if I may say so.

Bajaj Pulsar 200 NS : Ownership Review, 2200 Kms-controls-left.jpg

Bajaj Pulsar 200 NS : Ownership Review, 2200 Kms-controls-right.jpg

Another issue that should be noted here is the placement and size of the rearview mirrors. These are a major pain because the mirrors are placed way too much inside the handlebars and do not stretch out enough. It looks cosmetically perfect and quality of the mirrors is also decent, but for those who are looking to buy the bike for extensive touring, might want to consider an immediate upgrade for better rearview coverage.

The quality of plastics has improved over the years and the switches have a good feel. The ignition kill switch feels solid and puts a smile on your face every time you press it.

The handle bars are well padded and have decent grip. Vibrations are well controlled all through the rev range, however I will like to point out here that there is a fizzy vibration which creeps in at 55 -70 kmph in top gear. This gets sorted if you speed up or slow down. It may or may not be an issue specific to my bike, other 200 NS users may please clarify.

The seats are cushiony, and provide enough comfort. The split seat arrangement feels as good as it looks, because the small part which sticks out on to the rider saddle gives your lower back a decent support. The rear seat is decent, however not very comfortable due to the hard rear suspension, more on that next.

The footpegs are perfectly placed for gear shifts and rear braking. However the factory position of the rear brake lever is way too high for my liking. If one is not wearing a shoe, the right foot bends upwards and that is not the best way to brake. The brake lever position also tires out the right foot very easily.

The Suspension:

The front suspension is very well sorted and nose dives are well controlled. Throw in the twisties and this bike delivers with poise. Take a left, take a right, or arrow straight speed on slightly bad roads, the suspension is confidence inspiring. The springs up front are very good whereas Bajaj might want to rethink the rear mono-shock keeping the masses in mind. My bike generally moves around with 2 people, and the pillion inevitable complains and grumbles if you go over a speed hump a little faster than you should. If the pillion rider is your home minister or your mother, you might as well limit the spirited driving to the weekend track days or the early morning rides solo.

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The Engine and Gearbox:

Powered by a 4 Valve, SOHC, 199.5 cc liquid cooled engine, the NS shoots off from 0 to 60 kmph (indicated) in just over 4 seconds, and all the way to a 100 kmph (indicated) in 11 seconds. Of all the Pulsars of yesteryears, this by far has the most refined engine. On the rolling road, my bike puts out a meaty 23.6 bhp. The carbureted engine with 3 spark plugs is the most economical of all its competitors, returning 40 Kmpl in everyday driving conditions. Push it harder though, and the mileage drops by about 25%, and still it is economical considering you are trading off fuel for time, and fun! The lower block of the engine comes straight off the KTM 200’s unit, whereas the head unit has been modified to accommodate the patented three spark plugs, Triple Spark in Bajaj terms. This engine being carbureted and with 3 spark plugs face a major issue of tune up. Even the best mechanics in town had a hard time doing so, and were cursing me after about 3 hours of trial and error!

The carbed engines generally require choking for a cold start and this one is o exception. Cold starts in the morning require a minimum of 2 minutes choking with the clutch pressed and depressed and for the engine to reach proper idlingat 1300-1400 rpm. The tuning is still not properly sorted, and I have to find a proper mechanic who can go about his business properly.

The well sorted engine is mated to a 6 speed gearbox which is glitch free till now, except for a few false neutrals and some missed gears while upshifting. Slot the bike into first, and there is a distinct thud which you feel, though it is not highly audible. The clutch is light and takes some getting used to. I have stalled it quite a few times and continue to do so when I am not careful while pulling off in 1st gear . Move through the gears though and the bike feels butter smooth. The bike will redline in every gear except the 6th, when it hovers around 9700 rpm, just shy of the indicated redline. I have hit 149 kmph indicated, and the bike feels jittery at that speed. Quite a lot of sideways movement is observed, and you need hands of steel to hold it at that speed for sustained distances. You are better off cruising at 135, due to the lack of fairing, the cross winds hit quite hard.

The bike is not what you call light. At 145 Kgs, this is no Duke 200, and yet it somehow feels nimble, superbly planted and powerful enough to move at considerably high speeds. There is enough torque which comes low down in the rev range, and is good for movement in and within the city limits.

When you go easy on the throttle, the bike will make you feel comfortable, when in cruise mode, it has enough juice to make a quick highway overtake, and if you are in the mood for some serious fun, it will put a smile on your face, every time you drop a couple of gears and shoot forward with the immediacy of a 5 day hungry jungle cat on the prowl looking to get ahead of competition.

Bajaj Pulsar 200 NS : Ownership Review, 2200 Kms-5.jpg

It will make mincemeat of the so called performance bikes which are almost 30% more expensive and because it’s a Bajaj, you will not have to spend a bomb if you crash at those speeds. To me, a bike’s character is not defined by how it does just one thing well, but how it can multitask with equal aplomb. And the 200 NS, in true Bajaj fashion does exactly that, putting a big grin on your face every time you take her out.

Bajaj Pulsar 200 NS : Ownership Review, 2200 Kms-take-me-out.jpg

The Exhaust
Unlike the erstwhile Pulsars, the 200 NS comes equipped with an underbelly exhaust. This has been done to keep the mass in the centre of the bike. With such an arrangement though, the bike has a tendency to scrape that occasional high speed bump, especially with the pillion in place.

The Chassis:

Chassis is stiff, confidence inspiring and rigid all the way. There are no signs of flexing at high speeds, tight cornering or when you want to push the limits. This chassis in my mind can easily accommodate a 350cc - 400cc, talks of which are already underway as I write this.

The Brakes:

The 280 mm front discs are excellent and very well graded. No signs of fading after sustained use on the highway, haven’t done a trackday yet, so, no comments there. The rear brakes are good, and at 230 mm, bite really hard. However they are not as well graded as the front brakes and tend to lock up at the slightest push over the edge. Rear brake stops are not recommended especially in the wet, when they skid out of line very easily. The unconventional factory position of the rear brake lever doesn’t help things either.

The Tyres:

I had read a lot of reviews about the stock TVS Eurogrips being capable enough, however I was never really happy with these things being put on this bike. This bike deserved better tyres from the word go. I would be very happy with the MRF RevZ used on the KTM 200, which would have been apt to put down and control the power on the road. However, I had decided to get the stock tyres when getting the bike and give it a try. It did not take me even 100 kilometers to understand that the factory tyres would not serve my purpose. Panic braking with a cow in the middle of the road at 50 kmph, and I was hunting for grip. Searched around for a bit, did not want the RevZ as an upgrade and was looking for something better in terms of street performance. I finally zeroed in on the Bridgestone Battlax and Pirelli Sport Demon. Sadly there were no dealers who stocked Bridgestone two wheeler tyres in Bangalore, and I picked up a set of Pirelli Sport Demons for about 9000 INR and exchanged the stock tyres for a measly 2000 INR. With these tyres on, the bike has dramatically improved. After changing the tyres I took it to the showroom, and the mechanics there were mighty impressed, I even wrote to Bajaj recommending these tyres as a factory upgrade, sadly I haven’t received a reply to it yet. 

Bajaj Pulsar 200 NS : Ownership Review, 2200 Kms-1.jpg

Bajaj Pulsar 200 NS : Ownership Review, 2200 Kms-10.jpg

The Smaller yet Significant things:
  • The fuel tank capacity is 12 Liters, which is not very touring friendly. If you have the tendency to wring the throttle a bit more than usual, you get about 350 kilometers on one tank.
  • The single horn is very weak; upgrade to the erstwhile Pulsar horns is a better option.
  • The open chain is prone to a lot of muck and needs to be cleaned at regular intervals.
  • The body is 100% plastic; tank, mudguards, everything. Even the logo on the tank which feels cheap to see and touch.
  • The 55W headlamps do a very decent job of lighting up the road, the factory positions of the low and high beam is good.
  • The quality of plastics is good, however fit and finish is nowhere close to the competition. This has always been a problem with Bajaj bikes and to hold up a performance oriented image, Bajaj should seriously put some thought into it.
  • At speeds over 145, the bike becomes very unstable and almost unusable. Hold it at 120 however and there is still enough power to take it cross the 140 mark.
  • There are a lot of stickers on the bike, which are prone to scratches and dust. The tank wings, the mudguards etc. are all done up with stickers.
  • Fizzy vibes creep in at around 55 Kmph in top gear which even out after 70.
  • Cold starting is a bit of a sore and unline the auto choke functionality in the 220 F, you have to make do with a manual choke on this one.
  • Cost cutting is evident in certain aspects. The first aid kit is minimal, the tool kit comes wrapped in plastic as opposed to fake leather, the fit and finish is jittery, no self cancelling indicators, weak single horn, no auto choke.
  • Price OTR Bangalore is 100,915 INR, which is the best VFM considering rest of the bikes out there.
  • The stock tyres require upgrade, and while doing so, about 9000 INR is added to the purchase, which still makes it about 25000 INR cheaper than its prime rival, the KTM Duke 200.
  • Other options in the market which can be considered as options are: Pulsar 220F, Yamaha R15, Yamaha Fazer, CBR 150, Enfield Bullet and the KTM Duke 200. When you look at how these bikes are priced and what they can do, you get to understand why Bajaj still owns the major chunk of the Indian market.


If it is fun and fun only you are after, you are better off with the Duke 200. It would have been my bike if I was riding solo all the time and I was still in college.

If its touring you are after, you may as well look at the bullet, it is built like a tank and will most definitely outlive you!

But, if you are in the market looking for a bike on a budget, which can do most of the things almost as good as the competition, and not cost you a bomb maintaining it, the household family name is your choice. Hamara Bajaj, it is!

*Thank you for reading. I will really appreciate your feedback and more info on this bike. Love you all. Fellow Riders, be safe and wear a helmet. Ones fortunate to have four wheels, please wear a seatbelt. Peace*

Last edited by preetam_KORG : 29th November 2012 at 23:12.
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Old 29th November 2012, 16:04   #2
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Default Re: Bajaj Pulsar 200 NS : Ownership Review, 2200 Kms

Great review there mate! You've covered exactly the sort of things I was looking for in a usable bike review.

Cheap plastics, inaccurate fuel indicator, not great mirrors, false neutrals and instability close to the max speed, all sound like my P180 , hope Bajaj works to improve those aspects in the future bikes. Good to hear that the rest of the bike is better though, especially about the engine refinement.

I'm sure you'll get a few "how can you compare bike x with bike y", "apples and oranges"-type comments, and they may be justified technically, but the fact is that that's the way most of us who have the cash for only one bike think and actually compare, so thanks for covering that angle too. And thanks for identifying a specific tyre upgrade.

The placement of the streetlights in the 8.jpg snap is wow!
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Old 29th November 2012, 17:02   #3
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Default Re: Bajaj Pulsar 200 NS : Ownership Review, 2200 Kms

Good review! Can you tell me the revs at which it does 100 kmph in top gear. I want a relaxed tourer and if it does it around say 6500 rpm I know which is going to be my next bike
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Old 29th November 2012, 17:59   #4
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Default Re: Bajaj Pulsar 200 NS : Ownership Review, 2200 Kms

Fantastically detailed report and fabulous pictures preetam! You have highlighted the characteristics of the bike very well. That was a very low rate of exchange for your brand new OEM tyres. Nevertheless Its good to learn that the performance of your ride has increased considerably. I checked out the bike sometime back and I was impressed. The seating comfort was way better than my P150. The seat, handlebar and foot peg placement felt very comfortable. The only problem in my opinion were the oem Eurogrips.

Ride Safe!

Last edited by Blow Horn Ok : 29th November 2012 at 18:01.
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Old 29th November 2012, 18:41   #5
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Default Re: Bajaj Pulsar 200 NS : Ownership Review, 2200 Kms

Excellent review with great photos Preetam!

149 kmph is very very impressive. Was this with the stock tyres or the PSD's?

Makes the NS as fast (or actually faster) than the bulkier CBR 250 then.

This is actually faster than the fastest the guys field testing the bike have achieved (145), so I guess the production version must have some updates over and above those.

Last edited by ebonho : 29th November 2012 at 18:49.
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Old 29th November 2012, 19:51   #6
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Default Re: Bajaj Pulsar 200 NS : Ownership Review, 2200 Kms

Very impressive review, Preetam. The tyres might have cost a bomb, but they look brilliant, and according to you, justify the price. Brilliant pictures. Hats off to you!

EDIT: That is one good-looking helmet. That your artwork too?

Last edited by shamik.bose : 29th November 2012 at 20:10.
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Old 29th November 2012, 20:29   #7
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Default Re: Bajaj Pulsar 200 NS : Ownership Review, 2200 Kms

You sure know your way with photos

nice work on pics... thx for the detailed feedback too, me currently on a 220F, making me want this!
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Old 29th November 2012, 21:20   #8
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Default Re: Bajaj Pulsar 200 NS : Ownership Review, 2200 Kms

Thanks Preetam for the very good review of your new buy. Congratulations.I first saw this bike and clicked its pictures during the Independence Day V & C Car and Bike Static Display we had, earlier this year. The venue was the Bajaj dealer's premises where the KTM Duke and the 200 NS were parked among the V & C displays. I had a talk with the dealer and he told about the new features and the USP's of this bike.
The pictures are posted here:

I also could sense that this was very different from the earlier Pulsars. The EFI and the water cooled engine with the three spark plugs and its PERFORMANCE truly make it stand out. Your review gives a very good insight for enthusiasts.
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Old 29th November 2012, 21:32   #9
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Default Re: Bajaj Pulsar 200 NS : Ownership Review, 2200 Kms

Finally the review is up. Nice choice Preetam Da.

The yellow NS looks terrific. Avishar did mention that the Pirelli's are glued to the tarmac and are an awesome upgrade from the stock tyres. Great choice of motorcycle and a great choice of color too. Ofcourse the photography is brilliant !!
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Old 29th November 2012, 21:48   #10
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Default Re: Bajaj Pulsar 200 NS : Ownership Review, 2200 Kms

Good photos and an equally good review. The engine and weight distribution (stability) seem to be the only good points, from your review.

Regarding the "Self Cancelling" indicators, I have found them to be more of a pain than facility in my P180 and remember mumbling to myself frequently, if the designers ever used this in peak traffic.

Happy biking and do drive safe.
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Old 29th November 2012, 22:40   #11
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Default Re: Bajaj Pulsar 200 NS : Ownership Review, 2200 Kms

Ah, now I know whose pictures I loved so much on Facebook!

Absolutely stunning, stunning pictures and the words accompanying the pictures were brilliantly put as well.

Overall, one of the best reviews I've read in a long time, the metaphors are something I'm going to hold on to for any future reviews of mine!

Congrats on the awesome bike, got to ride one for a short while a few days ago and was thoroughly impressed. This is definitely a bike for the ages, a big step ahead in the biking scene.

Also, 149kmph, any observed Speedo Errors?

Also, do let me know if you find any mechanic who can tune even a Single Spark Plug engine properly. :P I've had carburetor issues for a while now and everyone gets the idling to be inconsistent with their tuning.

Looking forward to a long term review soon!
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Old 29th November 2012, 23:50   #12
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Great post, Preetam, and fanstastic pics, esp the street-lamps visible with starring around the light source - off-topic but may I ask which camera/lens combo?

149km/h indicated speed suggests ~12-15km/h speedometer error. Where you note 350km tank range, is that including reserve (i.e, running till empty) or tankful till you hit reserve ? Early reviews promised/reported very good efficiency, some claiming as much as 58+ in frugal mode, but your reported figures show otherwise. Still not bad at all considering my 220 returns only a little more.
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Old 30th November 2012, 08:45   #13
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Default Re: Bajaj Pulsar 200 NS : Ownership Review, 2200 Kms

This is a superb initial riding impression you have posted. Thanks for sharing Infact, the pics better me by some margin. P-200 NS

And dude, your helmet rocks. Hope to catch up with you whenever I am @ Calcutta.

Originally Posted by ebonho View Post
Makes the NS as fast (or actually faster) than the bulkier CBR 250 then.
Once you wring the throttle open of both bikes, I think you can find significant difference between both (NS & CBR250R that is) Acceleration wise, I personally think, the power build-up & seat of pants feel is more in sync with the R15, though the thrust at ~8K is better. I love peaky engine & absolutely loved revving the NS.

Originally Posted by Ricci View Post
149km/h indicated speed suggests ~12-15km/h speedometer error.
I think optimistic speedo is at play here.

Last edited by Sheel : 30th November 2012 at 08:46.
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Old 30th November 2012, 09:03   #14
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Default Re: Bajaj Pulsar 200 NS : Ownership Review, 2200 Kms

Congratulations on your purchase !! Nice color.

Pulsar has always been my favorite but the tail lamp on the 200 NS is very similar to the pulsar 135 LS. That is the only downer.

Reading the report, I felt that I am reading a magazine. Pretty impressive with the pictures and those sentences.

I am not sure if its bad or good, but it is not one of those TBHP ownership reviews.
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Old 30th November 2012, 10:20   #15
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Default Re: Bajaj Pulsar 200 NS : Ownership Review, 2200 Kms

Originally Posted by preetam_KORG View Post
  • At speeds over 145, the bike becomes very unstable and almost unusable. Hold it at 120 however and there is still enough power to take it cross the 140 mark.
OMG ! Did you say 145kmph ??? 140+ was thrilling but scary in my 220 F despite its 150+ kgs. Wondering how scary this lil' one is !!! By the way what is the rated top speed?

Originally Posted by F150 View Post
Pulsar has always been my favorite but the tail lamp on the 200 NS is very similar to the pulsar 135 LS. That is the only downer.
Absolutely right. That is the sole reason this bike is not much inspiring to the eyes and reminds of the paltry 135 LS. Bajaj either shouldnt have had the 135 at all or should have really remodelled the NS. To me, this one reason is a deal breaker, especially the look from the side and rear.

Last edited by sam_sant2005 : 30th November 2012 at 10:22.
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