Hello everyone! I am Raj Vignesh from Tamil Nadu, currently doing my B.E at Sona College of Technology. This is my first ownership review. Just completed 2800 kms on my Pulsar 200 NS, my first bike, my first love.
Choosing My First Ride – Instead of choosing, waiting would be an apt word. My college is located in the heart of our city, Salem. Having resided in almost every district (my father is working for a central government company) of North western Tamil Nadu, I love Salem much more over others. During first three semesters, I was going to college by bus. Those days were really hard. A 17 km travel in the morning and evening on foot-board every time was a task.
I planned to buy a motorcycle during my very first semester. Unfortunately, my stars were not good. I was told to wait for 15 more months. Real hard days of my life, just went mad every time a new bike was launched. Well, being a rookie, I had no good knowledge on bikes. Having a bunch of bikes in my mind, it was actually an evolution, Twister – FZ – Fazer – Apache – Pulsar -Karizma – R15 – Thunderbird – CBR250R.
Finally I was about to book the Pulsar 180, just by then came ‘the all new Pulsar 200 NS’. I am sure that it’s the best VFM bike in the country. A 200cc bike for Rs. 1 lakh and a very good mileage, everything to please a commuter. I would do 250 kms per week definitely and NS was the right choice.
Downloaded every single picture and video of it and got an immediate green signal from my family. Bought every auto magazine dated March 2012 holding the review of 200 NS. With very good reviews in all magazines, I was overjoyed! Bajaj showroom was located just a kilometer distance from my college. I went there and checked every week for it to be delivered. Was waiting eagerly to get it first in my city. Was in contact with showroom in Chennai. Bad luck again, ‘No bike till July 2013. I was like ‘Oh God why-why only to me!’ With a lot of struggle, convinced my parents that I would ride slow. Already by then there were some 10-12 NS in the city.
My Valentine – Told every single soul I met that I would own a NS soon! Posted pictures on my faceBook wall. It was the second week of February. Finally I got a proposal from the showroom on Valentine’s Day. Choosing colour was a difficult task. Being told by the guys at the showroom that yellow and black would fade soon, I finally chose red. I bunked my classes and reached there by 4 PM and had to wait there till 6 PM just for fixing buzzers and centre stand. Having paid Rs. 10,000/- in advance, I paid the remaining Rs. 89,600/-. That ride from showroom to home, guys peeping out of college buses, people chasing me with their bikes, I felt like a celebrity.
Loads of people visited my home just to see the Tosca Red NS. Covered 200 kms in the colony road within a week since I was not allowed to ride out till the registration was done. The registration was not easy either. I had to wait for a week since delivery for the number 7055 to come. The series just started on 7051 on Friday. Waited for another three days. Had a clash with a guy with Classic 350 for getting 8055. At the end, I got the number ‘Like a Boss’.
Finally on the 25th February, I took my valentine to college. Unfortunately this was the second NS in our college as a junior guy bought a black one before me. Owning a NS soon turned to be my identity.
Run-in Period – During this period I was actually running! Every time I take my bike on road, people started chasing me. I always wanted to show them what NS could do and would accelerate hard. To be frank, I actually was riding it a little hard-climbing to sixth gear often, changing gears past 5000 RPM, crossing 100 km/hr (twice), doing burnouts. But after reading articles on engine break-in period I realised how mad I went. After the 500 km mark on the odometer, started using it much smoother. Would slow down well before 50 meters of speed breakers. Followed every single instruction!
First Service – The first free service was not actually free. It was done after 650 kms. Engine oil was changed. Did teflon coating and it costed me nearly Rs. 1000/-. Troubles with self-start, weird sounds past 3000 RPM were all rectified during the first service. Next visit to service centre came well before expected, met with an accident. Wearing proper riding gears helped me a lot. Both of us (me and NS) got hurt on left arm and costed Rs. 1500/- for him and Rs. 1000/– for me.
Engine – It’s a carburetted engine. I could feel the engine heat in traffic. Cold starts in morning take at least 2-3 minutes and is provided with a manual choke. And the bottom half of the engine is same as the Duke’s. The engine is smooth. Hope the fuel injected version would come soon. The Pulsar 200 NS has triple spark plugs and thus better combustion and better mileage.
Brakes and Tyres – Let’s get to the brakes first. The 280 mm front and 230 mm rear disc brakes are really good. Helped me in many situations while the one to cause the situation were my tyres. The rear tyre grip is worrying and slips a lot. Looking forward to changing the tyres. Pirelli Sport Demon would be a good upgrade. Both are tubeless with 10-spoke rims and the brakes are Petal discs with floating callipers provided by ByBre.
Instrumental Cluster – The instrumental cluster is simple and easy to read. The cluster employs an analog tachometer with fuel gauge placed on one side. To the left of this are the turn signal indicators and neutral indicator (green LED) and high beam indicator (blue LED). It also has a side stand indicator (red LED) which is more useful. It also has a flying B logo. The orange back light is really attractive and to the right of tachometer is the speedo, below which are the odo and trip meters. It also employs a clock, a much useful feature. The mode button helps you to change between the trip 1, trip 2 and odometers and the set button is used to reset trip and toggle between service reminder and clock.
Considering the left handle bar switches, it has dipper switch, turn signal indicator, pass switch and horn button. The right handle bar switches are Starter button, engine kill switch, headlight switch (for both headlamp and city lamps). It’s not easy to press the turn indicators, they are located too far from hand reach. Using clutch and horn at the same time is difficult (for me) in first gear. It takes a long time to get used to the switches. Horn is weak on the highway but I find it good in the city. The 200 NS is unlike the P220′s engine which would start only if the engine kill switch is on. It uses a 12V-8A VRLA battery. Headlamps are good enough (55/60W). Back-light of handle bar switches is blue and looks cool.
Design and Styling – The best looking pulsar, you can’t decline that fact. Everyone, notably girls seeing him first would fall in love with the NS for sure. Believe me, pillion riders love this Pulsar a bit more than the KTM Duke 200. The seat comfort of the NS is more than the Duke 200. But for long distance rides, the pillion rider complains of back pain but when riding alone, the small extended part of the pillion helps. The tank cover is sharp, muscular and adds to the overall naked styling and has the 12-litre tank. The scoops in the tank cover give good thigh support and extends to cover the radiator.
Everyone having a first look exclaims ‘Man, where is the silencer?’ The underbelly exhaust allows a clear view of the rear disc brake. Fit and finish are good. The bikini fairing looks good but once past 100 km/hr wind resistance is high. Getting the styling queues from some bigger bikes, the overall styling is just awesome. Comparing it with the R15, according to me has no sense, both are from different categories. It looks good with no big stickers, just a 4-valve and a 200 NS sticker on either side but some parts of the head lamp are also stickered. The rear number plate mount looks great and is lighted by a 3W bulb. The tank cover is plastic, so are the Pulsar logos on it. Rear view mirrors do a good job. Dual tone colouring is a good bit. It would have been great if the cherry-black Pulsar 200 NS was midnight black as on old Pulsars.
If you love buying a naked bike, the Pulsar 200 NS is the best choice out there. Mind that you get everything for just a lakh, a definite eye catcher!
Ride and Handling – The engine is smooth and the handling of the NS is really awesome! You need not put your leg down at low speeds. It accelerates zestfully so well that getting out of traffic is much easier but you need to downshift and accelerate again. Moving to fourth or fifth gears is difficult. In highway riding, the NS is real fun except for that it has no fairing. Overtaking any vehicle is much easier. The suspensions is good and you can adjust the rear monoshocks but I never tried doing it.
Handling the Pulsar 200 NS is not a big deal. Tell what u want him to do, he does it. Just take him around a corner and you would always love to do that, it’s a real cornering machine. It would have been much better if the tyres had good grip. The exhaust note is distinct. There are no big vibrations. Once you get past 60 km/hr, you would never slow down, high-end performance is good.
The weight distribution is almost 50:50 and the P200 NS weighs 145 kgs. Initially it was hard for me but now I am used to it but parking the bike is a bit of a tough task and you can only lock the bike with the handle on the left side. The turning radius could have been better. But the overall ride and handling is relishing!
Maintenance and Modification – No big maintenance issues. Bought a chain spray from the showroom itself and was told to spray every 500 kms. Rs. 1500/- for changing the left handle and bumper because of the accident. No modifications yet. Adding stickers (46/93/99) to the fairing and the rear frame by third year and changing HID lights by fourth year are all I have planned for. Changing the rear tyre would be my first mission.
Fuel Consumption – Haha, was waiting for this part! I get a good 45-48 km/l. Even I couldn’t believe this. Did a reserve-reserve test with 6-litres of petrol. The time when the reserve light glowed, checked the trip meter. Believe me it read 300 kms (300/6=50), correct me if I am wrong. Having done no long rides except for 120 kms in-a-stretch ride three times, waiting eagerly to ride, wander, live!
Pulsar 200 NS Positives –
* Design and styling
* Smooth engine
* Easy handling
* Comfortable riding position
* Perfect cornering machine
* Good performance
* Comfortable seats
* ByBre brakes
* Underbelly exhaust
* Value for money
Pular 200 NS Negatives –
* Height and weight (for some maybe)
* Can be locked only on left side
* Stock horn
* Turning radius
* Some false neutrals
* Separate centre stand (Rs. 500/-)
The negatives aren’t much to be bothered as the overall characters are superb. You can change the tyres and horns. You can also remove the rear tyre hugger. The engine kill switch is more useful while in traffic. Another thing is that the weird sound you get from the console. It’s really irritating but used rubber packages and now it’s okay (don’t know if it is a common problem).
The Engine-Heart Relation – He is and always will be my best friend. He changed my overall attitude (my closer buddies and family would know). The relationship built even stronger after the accident. He turned my stars to good. Had some special moments with him like a picture of him was shared by Bajaj Pulsar’s official facebook page and even some very special moments that only we both know. Bought a new red bag, a new red shoe (might sound insane). Started loving everything that is red. Everyone in my family loves him as much as I do. By the time you read this, I would have completed my second service, second year and would be wandering somewhere in Green fields of Kerela, old forts of Karnataka, temples of Andhra or somewhere in my Thamizhnadu, in my India.
It won’t matter what bike I own in the future but the values I have learnt from my Pulsar 200 NS are eternal!
Thanks a lot MotorBeam for giving me a chance to write.
Wear Helmet. Ride Safe!
Love, respect your ride!
- Raj Vignesh