Bajaj Pulsar 200 AS – first ride reviewMay 20, 2017
After the launch of the much touted teased and tormented (here in question the prospective buyer), Bajaj pulled yet another ace out of their hat. Unlike the RS that was launched not too long ago with much aplomb, the AS came along in a rather subtle manner. We begin to wonder if the NS moniker in its genes has anything at all to do with that.
Going in with tradition to most onlookers the AS is just Bajaj’s iteration of the Karizma with its bikini fairing and projector lamps. Tailing it off with the classic 220-rear fender, indeed the AS is an attempt to making the most of the least yet crucial pointers of an erstwhile tourer.
Starting off with the “stunner” like fairing, the AS indeed has the first yet lasting impression. Coming around to the HUD which indeed is more perpendicular is easier to rear with the forces of blur out of your eye. Instrumentation wise the 2014 NS, the RS 200 and the AS200 share the same titbits all the way down the handle bar ends, and did we really care about the lack of self-cancelling indicators? Quite simply put, NO.
Moving on to the centre stage the NS and the AS are the same in terms of saddle and pillion, indeed the pillion position felt more relaxed. The tank still filling at same capacity, the RS we believe will run a mile longer before going dry. As compared to the first build the 2014 and the AS share a more lowered saddle height making the bike easier on the go. Summing up the tailgate the AS seems to share this with the 220. What amused us was the fact that they (BAJAJ) managed to cross this part and is an indication that they are taking customer feedback quite seriously.
While the likes of MRF and Euro grip continue to serenade the “S” unit, the bike shod with the Euros did seem to surprise us too. There has been a quite a bit of nip and tuck with the specs it is possible that those minor tweaks helped win a vote from us on this quick ride.
Firing up the AS is a naturally aspirated carburettor; the softer yet throaty exhaust sounded the bell for this quickie. Riding no more than a 2-kilometre radius of the dealership we managed to salvage every bit of BIKE that we could sink in. Shifting gears were smooth as ever and moving up the rev counter was quick and Honda-ish refined along every kind nudge that the throttle gave it. Unlike the infamous mid range NS-lag, the test mule had no signs of hibernation. In other words quick overtakes and smooth drags. Keeping it stable on top gear around the 3,000 mark the techs at Bajaj kept the torque where you would want it, in the palm of your hand. Thus, if we were to talk about the approach to the power delivery in one word, summing it up– Holistic.
Since this short test was within city limits we were bereft of the visor’s capabilities. Indeed crouching within its spectrum gave a clear view of the road ahead even with its tinted visor. Suffice to say this machine can easily go past the ton quicker than the NS and we would really be curious to know how this mutation fares against the RS.
The riding stance allows for city riding and allows you to corner in with as much ease. In a way it is just waiting for its rider to go down on a knee and scrape a foot peg full of sparks. Keeping in line with tradition the tires managed to hold a bend or two quite well even at low speeds. Also interestingly to add here while locking the disc pads down, the Eurogrips made their mark without sliding off the scale so as to say. The increases in ground clearance and front suspensions have added that bit of riding comfort and reduce the thumps of the bumps.
Fitting in just 3 rupees short on the NS when it was launched, was this going to cannibalise the NS out of the playing field or are there offering the same ice-cream in a cup instead of a cone? With rumours of another Sports bike around and the AS coming with a sibling, the answer to the competition is, “I am arrogantly simple. You might want to up the ante’, ill see around the corner”.