Bajaj Pulsar RS200 ReviewMay 20, 2017
Displayed at the 2014 auto expo and after being in development for over two years, the Bajaj Pulsar RS200 finally touched down about two years back with much fanfare and “track time” offered to the scribes of the motoring order. The opportunity was a much-welcomed one, we took up the offer to shake some rubber off the gear shifter on the real testing grounds – the territory that lay off the track. We begin with a heartfelt thank you to Team Bajaj for gracing us with this splendid machine we also analyse the tagline of the “fastest pulsar yet…”
While most of the fan following that transforms its notion towards the ‘S’ genre to the “Bee”
The street fighter with which no other can share this glory
So we opted for to go RED and codenamed it Night Fury
Cutting this short let’s get back to the story…
As I was going trigger-happy on the camera with the RED RS, a very uncanny resemblance crossed my mind and I could not really put the shadow that lay in the distant corner of my mind to perspective. After a searching for resemblances in cyberspace I found that the Bajaj Pulsar RS200 with its bulging eyes and short yet blunt beak in that red colour with its wings (fairing) resembled the night fury breed of dragons more so than the good old bumblebee. Interestingly unlike the reel life, this dragon had no wings but flew unlike another other Pulsar has done till date.
Keeping in line with the story I needed to evaluate and see over the time at hand whether the RS 200 had any references to draw to toothless, ET al.
Shifting perspectives from a battle ready shape shifting Camaro to fire breathing dragon is quite a bit to digest for the transformer fan. However seemingly enough by the time the keys were returned to its guardian and I was on my way to pen this, Night Fury is the name that shall be of this not so untamed machine I’ve ridden till date.
Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder and rather than the usual tappet banging or knee scrapping I took it in the midst of Pune’s weekend traffic. In order to get a second opinion of what will come in the next paragraph. From pillion riding ladies to wheelie popping teeny boppers, the list of “Road Stopped” dudes is in itself long enough to block the average highway for a couple of miles. The Bajaj Pulsar RS200 nevertheless took all bystanders and on-lookers by storm.
Pull the bike into a parking lot, step away and a few Smartphone brandishing folks got busy taking a selfie or a click of the Bajaj Pulsar RS200 .
As a brand what I really appreciate about Bajaj is their skill to innovate around the current exoskeleton. That too without restricting themselves to just lipstick and nail art jobs. Structurally, they have gone the extra mile to beat the likes of competition. This made it even a harder task to decide who all should or should not be put on the chopping block of (comparisons). From fiber to metal, it looked like there was no element on the periodic table that was not broken down by the ironsmiths of this machine.
The perimeter frame and other structural components that form the framework of the NS & the Bajaj Pulsar RS200 has been a point of discussion which is googleable over all possible realms. Thus, moving over that we jump right under the belly to note the low ground clearance. This offset with an exhaust that juts out on the right side of the bike. From the chiselled out full fairing to the rear huggers and the connecting matte black plastics, Bajaj indeed has nailed it.
You want to add a bling factor to your ride from point A to B, the led pilots are good enough to add that sparkle.
Luxury & Necessity:
Starting with the rider’s seat, which any one irrespective – of height, weight or gender can handle much owed to the ground clearance and saddle height. Stepping on to the rear foot pegs the pillion seating was as much comfortable in terms of getting on. The only concern was the vibration damping on the muffler side which gave a bit of a tingle lest the footwear is a dampener in itself.
The integrated grab rails however, if placed underneath like in the RC would allow better grip. The (13-liter) fuel tank is a feature that usually does not make its way to this section.
However I would like to add that given an aggressive number of 34+ kmpl, Pune to Goa is just but a single filled tank!
The wrap around tank pad with knee padding on each side of the perimeter frame too adds to the subtle quotient of the Bajaj Pulsar RS200 .
Coming to the fibre parts, with an exception to a few gaps in the joints, the fibre quality on the outside is quite rich and upmarket in its look and feel.
Although they seemed to be in accord with the bike they had a field day in trying to keep the heat away from the rider (quick tip, when stuck in traffic avoid riding on higher rpms in lower gears). The strategically placed engine guard was scratch free from speed breakers of every height or breadth while riding solo.
However while riding with a pillion, use your own logic and not shift the responsibility of it being too low to maker.
The mirrors needed constant adjusting. They would have been better if they had a wider viewing angle. With the exception of a blue backlight, the display is identical to that of the NS & AS. Which at night and on a cloudy day looks quite good indeed. The fuel level indicator played spoilsport, giving us abrupt readings every other time. Interestingly enough when tilted on one side (remember the Humara Bajaj scooter days?), it actually stepped up a notch! The well-positioned split handlebars allow you to crouch or stay upright at will.
That, however what makes it more ride friendly. ABS – I must say added to the convenience quotient too.
In the daytime however it would be a tad bit of a task for a motorist to know whether that tailgate asked him to slow down while you hit the brakes. The blinkers shared with the KTM twins were indeed a good idea too. The projectors offer good lighting on the road with a bit of shadow coming from the cowl, thus making it a potential limitation unless adjusted to suit the rider’s needs.
Unlike its predecessor the Pulsar 200 NS and its 2014 two-toned iteration, the engine of the Bajaj Pulsar RS200 in one word – Sophisticated. While it was commonplace to hear about “diaphragm” or “lag” issues in the initial batch, the 2014 came without these issues. This meant that Bajaj is listening in on these frequencies. Yes, the 2014 Pulsar 200 NS was not just colourful, but came with a saddle height lower than its predecessor and was better tuned. Also, the Bajaj Pulsar RS200 hits the redline before you can say GO. Start this beast up and you get the NS beat albeit remixed. At below 5,000 the bike has a beat of its own. Cross 6,000 and it goes into attack mode. Either you cruise in top gear or go brap on the throttle.
For a motorcycle of its dimensions the stock muffler like is a sawed off shotgun.
With its FI kicking in we would recommend that you flex your wrist with a bit of maturity. If in the notion that constant half throttle revving is going to get you to the moon. Stay rest assured you just made it to to the fuel station, your wallet feeling lighter. Love may happen in a blink but you need to be patient and understanding for that loving feeling to grow.
What is remarkable about the Bajaj Pulsar RS200 is that you need not hit past the ton to do a point A to point B run. It allows you all the control you want while staying above 70’s most of the time thereby giving you a higher average speed. If I were to quote this in respect to the NS, if the NS covered a distance in 15 minutes, the Bajaj Pulsar RS200 does it in 12 or less. Here a point to note though – stopping power of the ABS made room for quick overtakes. Be it the highway, the by lanes or even rain washed thoroughfares. Simply put the FI & ABS are more like a match made in mechatronic heaven.
For those who are perturbed about reports and feeds about the ABS system it would be brutal to say “go figure”. On the contrary with some practice any rider can switch over from a 100cc motorcycle or scooterette and ride assured that the ABS puts a stop to the machine without much ado.
The Bajaj Pulsar RS200 much like toothless, tackles corners just the way you would apply butter on bread. Belting it on straights can be a tough one with crosswinds once past the 120 mark. However it should not be considered a problem area. MRF has a wider variety of tyres and it would have been nice to have at least a 140-sized radial to hold the fort even though the zapper set fared quite well. The rain gods were kind enough to give us over 10 kilometres worth of wet roads to let us in on the fact that sudden braking or downshifting should be avoided when riding in the rain, otherwise all is well. With a full crouch to avoid the sudden downpour and get to a ‘safe spot’, the RS 200 gets you there with confidence.
Sharing its DNA with the “Dirt Monarch” KTM Duke it would have been a crime to not venture off-road.
Much to my willingness (did not want to get this fine machine dirty) I took the Bajaj Pulsar RS200 to test on dirt roads at night as well as in the day. On a smooth dirt trail the RS managed good 40kmph. On the bumpier sections it tackled in the daytime it did a 35 kmph, which for a 1st ride on this terrain was indeed awesome.
Bajaj Pulsar RS200 Verdict: The review done was keeping in mind the S.P.E.E.D theory:
Which simply means that the machine was maxed out on all possible environments. Thus keeping in mind standard riding etiquette that is expected to be observed as per the laws of the land . Also, ensuring that the bike was as comfortable being ridden, as I was riding it. There is only one area where the rider of this fine machine will run out of road, is asking the bike “where do we go now? Oh sweet ride of mine…”
Linear power delivery ensures quick overtakes while keeping the sanity out of the insane
Comfortable seating ensures fewer stops and more miles
Rear View Mirror setup
Heat dispersion could be better
A snapshot of the tech specs of the Bajaj Pulsar RS200 (taken right off the company website):
Front Telescopic with anti friction bush
Rear Nitrox mono shock absorber with Canister
Type Single cylinder, 4 stroke, SOHC 4valve, Liquid cooled, triple spark ,FI
Max power(PS @ RPM) 24.5 @ 9750
Max torque(Nm @RPM) 18.6 @ 8000
Total litres 13L
Max speed 140.8 kmph
Front Single channel ABS,
300 mm dia disc
Rear 230 mm dia disc
Front 100/80-17″ 52 P Tubeless
Rear 130/70-17″ 62 P Tubeless
System 12 V Full DC MF
Headlamp 55 W Low beam Projector,
65 W High beam Projector