RS200 is not just the Fastest Pulsar Yet, it’s also the Coolest, Meanest, and Sportiest Pulsar Yet, as the fans would say. Let’s find out how well the flagship Pulsar is tamed for the track.
Not often does a revolutionary bike come out, not often is it sensually satisfying and not often is it easy on the pocket. When all three attributes to one product, not often is it anything other than a brand new Pulsar.
Bajaj Pulsar RS 200 has recently taken charge as the flagship Bajaj motorcycle, to lead the herd with a radically new face to the brand. Excitement began at 2014 Delhi Auto Expo, where Bajaj Pulsar SS 400 concept was unveiled to the world, announcing entry into the fun-filled Super Sport category.
Carrying the same styling and physical features, Bajaj Pulsar RS 200 has debuted introducing the all-new deign language that takes complexity and muscularity of entry-level motorcycles to a whole new level.
We’ll leave the matter of looks to you and the others peeping into the same screen, and move on to what happens after turning the key.
Fire up the engine and the bike starts talking to you in a throaty but low-bass voice. As you rev up, the exhaust provides the pulse in the Pulsar, and the engine delivers just as sporty as as the exhaust makes you feel.
Entering the clean shaven tarmac in the challenging Chakan track, the Pulsar RS 200 listened to nothing but the throttle.
The 199.5 cc single-barrel fuel-injected powerhouse delivers 24.5 PS max power @ 9,750 rpm and 18.6 Nm peak torque @ 8,000 rpm, and the rev-limiter kicks in shortly below 11,000 rpm. The motor is calm when you need it to be, and pounces with not-all-that-sudden awakening when you twist the pipe on the right. But thanks to FI system, the progress is on the linear side and responsiveness is greatly improved compared to the carbureted version.
Although the 165 kg RS 200 feels a bit embarrassed with substantially lower power-to-weight ratio of 148.48 PS/tonne compared to 162.2 PS/tonne on the 145 kg 200 NS, it does not stare vacantly with loss of words. The super sport offers better riding posture, it has steeper caster angle / rake angle and is tweaked for 6 mm lower wheelbase, all for superior agility and putting whatever the engine sends, to better use.
It’s not just numbers or theory. The Bajaj Pulsar RS 200 proved that point on the Chakan plant test track, where it was more than welcoming to carve corners and scrape the foot pegs left after right after left. And the bike instilled so much confidence in us that it could’ve safely leaned further if the feelers on the foot pegs hadn’t intervened.
But, it doesn’t mean the bike is meant for the track. Shocks are tuned on the softer side, for it to play the role of a performance commuter or a sports tourer (with emphasis on commuter and tourer), and not entirely as a sports machine. Speaking of commuting and touring, the Bajaj Pulsar RS 200 is soft and smooth with barely noticeable vibration when you ride relaxed, and starts to growl within healthy limits when you belt it out to chase your foe.
That subtle sense of pulsation from the RS 200’s heart while cruising at high speeds helps keep the rider alive, reminding that the engine is ready to push further whenever the s/he wants. With chin on the tank, hitting 130 kmph on the speedo is not a big task. The bike managed to clock 145 kmph on the speedo on fully crouched position and 135 kmph while siting upright (sorry, I won’t disclose my kerb weight).
The RS 200 being the first Bajaj to equip ABS, is tuned to brake rather soft, and the ABS doesn’t step in prematurely. The single-channel Bosch ABS designed specifically for affordable bikes that has debuted in the Pulsar RS 200. It works like a charm, but it could’ve been more aggressive to suit the kind of riding and stopping style this bike looks capable of. The Anti-lock interval seems a bit overly spaced out, combined with blunt-teeth braking, eats into the confidence of the rider. Rear brake too is fairly on the slower side.
But, the hand-in-hand integration and harmonious coordination of all sub-assemblies, make the Bajaj Pulsar RS 200 an all-rounder or a versatile machine for every enthusiast out there.
The free revving engine that has more and more to offer as the rev-counter points to the sun, the brilliantly neutral suspension that supports your meanest of intentions, the reasonably grippy tyres that hold on to the track until You give up and the obedient braking system that still needs a little more push, come together to offer a unique proposition badged Pulsar RS 200, to extend the limits of the Pulsar nameplate.
Yes, this is not enough to express the true nature and behaviour of the #FastestPulsarYet. We would like to reserve judgement on that front until we test the bike on the streets, soon.
Bajaj Pulsar RS200 walkaround video and first look review
Behind the scenes – What exactly happened at the launch of Bajaj Pulsar RS200
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Bajaj Pulsar RS 200 comparison with KTM RC 200 vs Honda CBR 250R
Bajaj Pulsar RS 200 vs Yamaha R15 vs Hero Karizma ZMR specs compare