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Thread: Bajaj Pulsar RS200 Ridden and Reviewed

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    Super Moderator Old Fox's Avatar
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    Default Bajaj Pulsar RS200 Ridden and Reviewed

    xBhp Rides and Reviews the recently launched Bajaj Pulsar RS 200 at Bajaj's Chakan track.



    This may or may not be the fastest Pulsar yet but it definitely is the most modern, well-equipped and well-put-together of all the Pulsars till date. The RS200 also may not be totally new considering the hardware and design commonality it shares with its older sibling, the 200NS but paradoxically it looks and feels new in every sense of the word.

    The design is an energetic fusion of curves, sharp lines, wrinkles, clefts and wefts all juxtaposed with colour, texture and shade changes. The eyes were never busier looking up close at a Pulsar and thats just the beginning. To some it might look like a case of pandering to too many differing preferences in one go but to me it is more like a busy beehive of visual and physical cues that keep the viewer busy and attached to the bike. The front pivots around the twin projector lamps with a look resembling a frown of concentration while the tail verges of a similarity with rectrices or the tail flight feathers of birds. Mid-ship is a densely packaged front half and a light rear with the tyre and the mono-shock as the dominant elements. The RS200 manages to look nice both with and without the rider even though it does at places appear a trifle overdone. The detailing is great though what with those recessed shiny Allen bolts, neat clips for the brake lines, well-finished foot-pegs and their mounts, tight panel gaps, the wrap-around tank protector et al.















    The 199.5 cc single SOHC 4-valve triple spark engine is the same as on the NS except for one major change the carburettor has been replaced by a closed-loop fuel injection system. The power figures are slightly better at 24.5 BHP @9750 rpm and 18.6 Nm of torque also at 8000 rpm. This small increment comes courtesy the Bosch FI and its accompanying 38 mm throttle bodies that also lead to better revvability and smoother power output at higher rpms. Some major work seems to have been done in the NVH (noise, vibration and harshness) department as this new engine is way smoother than the 200NS one, even when it is almost brand new. The frame and the rest of the engine hardware are as it is on the 200NS except for the difference in the final drive ratios. The RS200 carries a 41 tooth rear sprocket compared to the 39 tooth one on the 200NS. The slightly shorter gearing being there to compensate the shift of the power band a trifle higher in the rpm spectrum as also to partially negate the sluggishness coming from the 20 kilo weight excess the RS lugs around, because of the faring and such stuff.







    The RS200 is not a small bike. The size will make the rider take it seriously. Swing a leg over the saddle and it turns out just a bit shorter in height than the 200NS. Bajaj probably did realise that they were losing out on a good percentage of potential customers because of the high saddle of the NS and have lowered it for the RS just by the right amount. Great. The clip-ons fall naturally under hand even though they look tall when seen from a step away. The control levers feel nice and light and the switch gear too is a carry-over from the NS and so good enough. Switch on the ignition, see the speedo needle arc through the characteristic full swing test and the tell-tale panel lights come on momentarily. Thumb the starter and the engine comes to life without hesitation and settles into a reassuringly steady idle. Blip the throttle and the FI asserts its presence by the manner in which the engine crisply responds. Shifting into first gear is a quiet transition not accompanied by any discernible jerk or noise. The clutch is deceptively light and the bite progressive. Roll on the throttle and you get off the mark easily enough. The user-friendliness of the bike is apparent at how simple the clutch-throttle coordination feels initially. The bike gathers rpms and road speed deceivingly quickly, the low NVH playing a big role in the deception. Shift through the six-speed gear box and one hits triple digit speeds quickly enough. The slightly shorter gearing as a result of those couple of extra teeth in the rear sprocket coupled with the internal gear ratios do make the bike hit the rev-limiter unusually quickly in the 3rd and 4th gears. This translates to road speeds at which we usually overtake other vehicles on road. So the rider needs to be aware and not get caught with the rev-limiter cutting in mid-manoeuvre. Retaining the older 39 toother might have helped here.









    Lets move on to the real icing on the cake here the handling. This bike has superlative straight-line stability. Period. As a fellow tester said you cant knock this bike over at speed even if you kick the rider ala those races in video games. And such stability does not come at the cost of a sluggish turn-ins and lack of flickability. Roll-ins can be as quick as any good bike at most sane speeds of course the gyroscopic rigidity alone of 17 inch wheels at high speeds say beyond 120 kmph does make the bike reluctant to change direction quickly but at saner speeds where the average rider will need to manoeuvre, the bike shows great agility coupled with an ability to hold the line as demanded by the rider. The suspension seems pretty well sorted out the seems qualifier arising from the fact that we only rode the bike on butter-smooth track tarmac. The telescopic fork up front and the Nitrox mono-shock at the rear do the job well enough. The MRFs felt sticky and predictable with nary a weave or nod however quickly the bike was thrown around the twisty portions of the Chakan track.











    Braking again is a definite improvement with the slightly stiffer front also playing a positive role in making things this good. The top model RS 200 comes with a single-channel ABS in layman terms you get ABS only on the front wheel. Both wheels would have been the best but even only up front is a LOT better than no ABS at all. The brakes feel progressive, have a good bite and the ABS reassuringly cuts the drama out of panic stops. This would be especially helpful in low-traction conditions like wet, gravely or slimy roads. The rear brake too has good feel and feedback but the rider needs to be careful with it as is the need for most bikes these days that have a decided forward static weight bias. The rear can get unloaded pretty quickly and so lock up. The bike though does stop in a straight line even with the rear only braked to lock-up and smoking away to glory.













    Rider ergonomics are mid-way between sport and full up-right. The taller you are, the straighter up you will sit on the RS 200. The wrists are unloaded and the sitting posture makes the rider even unknowingly use his abdomen to manage his weight on the bike. A good thing as thats how it is supposed to be done anyways. The footpegs dont slip underfoot and the seat cover texture allows deliberate sliding - meaning you can move your bum around if you want to but you wont slide forward and smash into the tank when braking hard. The tank also provides well-placed knee recesses and feels meaty between the knees. Another plus for good bike control. The front faring does a fair job of deflecting the wind over the riders helmet, especially when he chooses to tuck in just a little bit. Of course someone as wide and tall as the main-sail me, the shoulders do get buffeted at high speeds.









    The twin projectors dominate the lighting department as much as they do the front aesthetics. And they are BRIGHT. We could not check out the beam spread and illumination quality as all the riding was done with the biggest projector the Sun shining away to glory on all of us. But if one projector was that good on the older P220, two should logically be better right? The blue back-lit instrument cluster (analogue tacho flanked by a digital speedo and tell-tale lights on either side) looks nice and is easy to read even under the very bright mid-day sun. The LED tail-lamps and trafficators are nice, bright and visible under all conditions. The rider seat is comfortable, the padding just the right mixture of softness for comfort and stiffness to avoid pressure-points down under. The pillion sadly again misses the boat with a narrow seat and would need to have his/her riding passion quotient a couple of notches higher to be able to do multiple hours perched on it. The effective rear suspension does help matters though as do the well placed rear pegs that do not tuck in the pillions knees at too acute an angle. Under-seat space is just enough for a standard tool-kit and a small medical kit.







    Since the bike will inevitably be used for long distance riding, access for usual trouble-shooting and maintenance issues is also an important feature. The front faring is a split and build thing allowing not just incremental part removal but also lowers the cost of replacement post-crash if that happens. The clutch and throttle wires are easily accessible both for adjustment or replacement. The air filter and battery are also easy enough to reach. The coolant tank cap is a little deeply recessed inside the fairing and will need a very steady hand if a top-off is attempted. Rear and front brake reservoirs etc. are within easy reach. The spiral-cam chain adjuster is again a user-friendly thing though the accuracy of the reference marks will be critical for proper tension and alignment work. Both the rear and front wheels are easily removable as are the brake callipers for pad servicing. The headlamp bulbs though will need some extra work to reach to and replace but thankfully modern stuff is a lot more reliable and getting better by the day.

















    All said and done, the Pulsar RS200 is a Pulsar par excellence the most modern and well-put together Pulsars of all times. It will get attention on the road, performs well irrespective of the demands of the rider very user-friendly for the commuter, comfy and capable for the tourer and quick n responsive for the sport rider. A sensible initial price coupled with Bajajs typical low cost of ownership surely makes this a truly revolutionary Pulsar of all times.













    TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS

    Last edited by Old Fox; 04-11-2015 at 02:27 PM.
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    Default Re: Bajaj Pulsar RS200 Ridden and Reviewed

    Wow super review. Seems Bajaj is doing everything for Indian motorcycle industry
    saran_RS200 likes this.
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    Live2Race Rakesh Rok's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bajaj Pulsar RS200 Ridden and Reviewed

    @Old Fox sir how is the handling as compared to that of NS. . ? Seems like getting a lot of reviews which seem to be confusing, some say it's better over NS while others say it's not that good, . .

    Cheers!!!
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    Default Re: Bajaj Pulsar RS200 Ridden and Reviewed

    Beautifully crafted review.

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    Default Re: Bajaj Pulsar RS200 Ridden and Reviewed

    Nice review :-)

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    Default Re: Bajaj Pulsar RS200 Ridden and Reviewed

    The RS200 surely looks promising and the review reassure the fact Bajaj has come up with yet another promising 2-wheeler. (Y)
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    Default Re: Bajaj Pulsar RS200 Ridden and Reviewed

    nice review.! thanks for beautiful high resolution pics.. what about exhaust note ?? its kinda RTR or whroom whroom ??
    Ride like you are invisible.

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    Rusted princesirohi's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bajaj Pulsar RS200 Ridden and Reviewed

    Quote Originally Posted by Old Fox View Post
    .....

    The 199.5 cc single SOHC two valve triple spark engine is the same as on the NS except for one major change – the carburettor has been replaced by a closed-loop fuel injection system. The power figures are slightly better at 24.5 BHP @8000 rpm and 18.6 Nm of torque also at 8000 rpm. This small increment comes courtesy the Bosch FI and its accompanying 38 mm throttle bodies that also lead to better revvability and smoother power output at higher rpm’s. Some major work seems to have been done in the NVH (noise, vibration and harshness) department as this new engine is way smoother than the 200NS one, even when it is almost brand new. The frame and the rest of the engine hardware are as it is on the 200NS except for the difference in the final drive ratios. The RS200 carries a 41 tooth rear sprocket compared to the 39 tooth one on the 200NS. The slightly shorter gearing being there to compensate the shift of the power band a trifle higher in the rpm spectrum as also to partially negate the sluggishness coming from the 20 kilo weight excess the RS lugs around, because of the faring and such stuff. .....
    excellent pics, nice review.

    a few things needs to be rectified in the text->

    (1) Engine is 4 Valve not 2 Valve.
    (2) The Engine produces maximum power at 9750 RPM and not 8000 RPM.

    My Personal Opinion about the bike, Since i am an NS Owner ->

    *The engine is slightly more rev happy and slightly smoother than NS, but only slightly.

    *I didn't feel that bike any quicker than NS (Speedometer was not working on the bike i rode)

    *The bike looks good in person, as compared to what it looks in pictures.

    *The bike looks big, but if you stare at it and observe closely keeping the whole bike in the frame of your eyes, it is actually not a big bike.

    *I didn't like the raised clip-on's at all. Not only do they look odd, but also renders the fairing useless in deflecting the wind away (specially since i am 6 feet tall). Ideally i would have preferred handle bars not only lower but also a bit farther as well.

    *Reducing the seat height is a welcome step and a feedback that bajaj accepted.

    *The switchgears are same as NS as well as most of other things.

    *Handling is good, straight line stability is much better than NS, although not as flickable as NS. it behaves the way a full faired bike should.

    *It has more weight on the front.

    *Front brake is bigger than NS and is much much better than NS, both in terms of bite and feedback. I couldn't check the rear brake but it should be like the NS. ABS is a welcome feature.

    *Rider Comfort is good, almost similar to NS, whether it is more than NS or less than NS depends on whether you like forward lean riding posture or straight-up.

    *Pillion Comfort is similar to NS. which is quite OK, in these times when others like duke are offering rear seat the size of a peanut.

    *Suspension is also similar to NS, which i feel is hard. it is good from handling point of view but not so good from comfort point of view. (My comfort benchmark is CBR250 suspension)

    *Bike heats up more than NS, but nothing unmanageable.

    *Has good enough ground clearance.

    *In the long run, there can be a slight rattle in fairing, somewhat similar to NS headlamp.

    *Maintaining NS can sometimes be a pain in the ***. To clean air filter, you need to remove plastic tank cover than remove the petrol tank to access the air filter, which i feel is a bit too much. i think it is gonna be same in RS. i dont know how it is in other faired bikes. similarly, Chain in NS is without a removable link, so to change it, you need to remove the rear tyre and remove the swingarm. which is again just too much. Now i have put an aftermarket chain with a link. I think it is gonna be same in RS, plus now you need to remove the fairing to change the oil filter as well. Although these things will never change my buying decision, all service centers of bajaj charge higher service charges for NS coz its too time consuming.



    My questions- >

    + I really doubt that it has more top speed than 200 NS since it is heavier and has a bigger rear sprocket and front fairing not being very good at deflecting the wind away from rider(Partly due to raised clip-ons)?

    + Engine redlines at 9500 RPM but produces peak power at 9750 RPM, so does it mean Bajaj is saying that you can redline the bike as much as you want it and its ok to do it and it wont harm the engine if you extract all 24.5 horses that you actually paid for. that in turn means this bike does not need a redline??? or 9500 RPM redline is a gimmick or 24.5 PS is a gimmick.


    Whether to buy it or not??

    if you ride anything less than 200 CC and are planning to upgrade, this is an excellent "do it all" bike.

    I am personally waiting for RS400, but please, please with lower clip-ons and slightly softer suspension.

  9. #9
    Super Moderator Old Fox's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bajaj Pulsar RS200 Ridden and Reviewed

    Quote Originally Posted by princesirohi View Post
    excellent pics, nice review.

    a few things needs to be rectified in the text->

    (1) Engine is 4 Valve not 2 Valve.
    (2) The Engine produces maximum power at 9750 RPM and not 8000 RPM.

    My Personal Opinion about the bike, Since i am an NS Owner ->

    *The engine is slightly more rev happy and slightly smoother than NS, but only slightly.

    *I didn't feel that bike any quicker than NS (Speedometer was not working on the bike i rode)

    *The bike looks good in person, as compared to what it looks in pictures.

    *The bike looks big, but if you stare at it and observe closely keeping the whole bike in the frame of your eyes, it is actually not a big bike.

    *I didn't like the raised clip-on's at all. Not only do they look odd, but also renders the fairing useless in deflecting the wind away (specially since i am 6 feet tall). Ideally i would have preferred handle bars not only lower but also a bit farther as well.

    *Reducing the seat height is a welcome step and a feedback that bajaj accepted.

    *The switchgears are same as NS as well as most of other things.

    *Handling is good, straight line stability is much better than NS, although not as flickable as NS. it behaves the way a full faired bike should.

    *It has more weight on the front.

    *Front brake is bigger than NS and is much much better than NS, both in terms of bite and feedback. I couldn't check the rear brake but it should be like the NS. ABS is a welcome feature.

    *Rider Comfort is good, almost similar to NS, whether it is more than NS or less than NS depends on whether you like forward lean riding posture or straight-up.

    *Pillion Comfort is similar to NS. which is quite OK, in these times when others like duke are offering rear seat the size of a peanut.

    *Suspension is also similar to NS, which i feel is hard. it is good from handling point of view but not so good from comfort point of view. (My comfort benchmark is CBR250 suspension)

    *Bike heats up more than NS, but nothing unmanageable.

    *Has good enough ground clearance.

    *In the long run, there can be a slight rattle in fairing, somewhat similar to NS headlamp.

    *Maintaining NS can sometimes be a pain in the ***. To clean air filter, you need to remove plastic tank cover than remove the petrol tank to access the air filter, which i feel is a bit too much. i think it is gonna be same in RS. i dont know how it is in other faired bikes. similarly, Chain in NS is without a removable link, so to change it, you need to remove the rear tyre and remove the swingarm. which is again just too much. Now i have put an aftermarket chain with a link. I think it is gonna be same in RS, plus now you need to remove the fairing to change the oil filter as well. Although these things will never change my buying decision, all service centers of bajaj charge higher service charges for NS coz its too time consuming.



    My questions- >

    + I really doubt that it has more top speed than 200 NS since it is heavier and has a bigger rear sprocket and front fairing not being very good at deflecting the wind away from rider(Partly due to raised clip-ons)?

    + Engine redlines at 9500 RPM but produces peak power at 9750 RPM, so does it mean Bajaj is saying that you can redline the bike as much as you want it and its ok to do it and it wont harm the engine if you extract all 24.5 horses that you actually paid for. that in turn means this bike does not need a redline??? or 9500 RPM redline is a gimmick or 24.5 PS is a gimmick.


    Whether to buy it or not??

    if you ride anything less than 200 CC and are planning to upgrade, this is an excellent "do it all" bike.

    I am personally waiting for RS400, but please, please with lower clip-ons and slightly softer suspension.
    Thanks a ton for pointing out the errors Prince. I have corrected the main text accordingly.

    And also thanks for your detailed observations too. Especially about the maintenance on the bike part. Yes, fairings do complicate things and the air filter/oil filter changes are tedious as would be a drive-chain change without the split- link thing.

    As for your questions:

    1. The top speed of a bike depends mainly on the power available to overcome wind drag which is where the variability in claims arise. Large people like you and me not just penalize small bikes with our excess weight but also with substantially more frontal area and hence greater drag. A 50 kilo slim-fit rider would easily tuck in neatly behind that faring and cut the drag by a large percentage and hence get a higher top speed. The NS rider, small or big, has nowhere to hide from the wind and so cannot really substantially reduce the drag. The slightly shorter gearing and 20 more kilos to lug around are usually factors that get the top speed down but not necessarily always. The shorter gearing here can allow the rider to take the bike further up the rpm range and so to a higher road speed and as I've said earlier, wind drag is THE limiting factor in top speeds, at least in production bikes and even a slight reduction due to streamlining (technically a reduction in the 'form drag' component) can add a surprising increment to the top speed figures. But all said and done, on bikes like the NS and the RS or generally of such low engine capacity, the top speed difference of a few kmph is more academic than of real consequence.

    2. The red-line is marked at 9500 but I remember the engine pulling a little past 10,000 rpm before the limiter cut in. Will get you the exact figure from Bajaj though. Yes - such close proximity of peak power rpm and limiter rpm does point to a highly optimized engine. Optimized in the sense that there's not much you can extract from it in the present configuration. And NO, I would not recommend repeated redlining of the engine - any engine for that matter if you want it to run for you for a substantial while. As a general rule of thumb, you can run any engine to within some 80% of its peak capability and keep doing that till you get bored of it. The greatest probabilities of failure lie in the top 20% performance band. Also I don't think that the 24.5 BHP claim can be a gimmick. Bajaj or any such brand wouldn't risk playing around with such stuff. I guess it is the recent Triumph episode has put even such strangely damaging antics up front for all to see.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rakesh Rok View Post
    @Old Fox sir how is the handling as compared to that of NS. . ? Seems like getting a lot of reviews which seem to be confusing, some say it's better over NS while others say it's not that good, . .

    Cheers!!!
    The handling of the RS is great - decidedly bettering the previous benchmark for Pulsars set by the NS. The new MRF Zappers also appear to be playing a good role in this improvement.
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    Default Re: Bajaj Pulsar RS200 Ridden and Reviewed

    One of the photos had abs in the rear wheel as well...but one statement in the review has quoted only single channel abs for top model...were the test bikes equipped with dual abs
    Last edited by TheArcher84; 04-10-2015 at 06:24 PM.
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