We pit the 200cc rivals, the Bajaj Pulsar NS200, TVS Apache 200 V4 and the latest entry in this segment, the Hero Xtreme 200R against each other in a detailed spec comparison.
When Hero MotoCorp first showcased the Xtreme 200R six months ago, it was sure to stir up the 200cc affordable bike market. The company has now finally revealed the pricing of the bike and we pit it against its direct competitors, the six year old Bajaj Pulsar NS200 and the eight month old TVS Apache 200 4V.
Design and Looks – The Hero Xtreme 200R borrows its design from its younger sibling the Xtreme 150 and traces of it are clearly visible. However, the fatter rear tyre (130-section rubber) set on that multi-spoke alloy along with the massive tank cover give it a good sporty look. The Pulsar NS200 has a dated design and hasn’t really got any updates over the years apart from new paint schemes. The Apache 200 4V is still fresh and is the brawniest looking among the three.
Dimensions – All the three bikes mentioned here have more or less the same dimensions. Pulsar NS200 is the widest of the lot at 804 mm, Xtreme 200R is the longest at 2062 mm and Apache 4V is the tallest at 1105 mm. All the bikes are meant to be primarily used for city riding and none of them will disappoint you. The Apache has an added advantage of having the highest ground clearance at 180 mm to avoid that occasional underbody scraping. The lower height of the Xtreme 200 makes it accessible to shorter people as well.
Features – The Apache clearly triumphs in this department with features like LED DRLs, fully-digital instrument cluster, double-barrel exhaust, Pirelli tyres (optional), foam seats, fuel injection (optional) and most importantly a dual-channel ABS (optional). Sadly, TVS doesn’t offer FI and ABS together in the same bike. Pulsar and Xtreme get an optional single-channel ABS and have semi-digital instrument clusters. All the three bikes get the usual LED tail-light, monoshock rear suspension, engine-kill switch and a halogen headlight setup. Pulsar also gets two small bulbs on either side of the headlamp chin and looks pretty good.
Powertrain – Even though all the three bikes have a 200cc engine, the Pulsar’s engine has the highest power and torque figures at 23.17 HP and 18.3 Nm respectively. This makes the Pulsar quickest among the three with a 0-100 km/hr timing of 10.28 seconds. It is also the fastest here with a top speed of 136 km/hr. City fuel efficiency figures achieved by the Xtreme, Apache and Pulsar are in the range of 40 km/l, 32 km/l and 30 km/l respectively. The best gearbox of the three has to be the 5-speed one on the Apache which shifts pretty smoothly. While Pulsar gets a 6-speed gearbox, the Xtreme gets a 5-speed one which does the job well.
Verdict – Hero MotoCorp has taken its fair share of time to launch a bike in the 200cc segment but has a solid product at hand. The Bajaj Pulsar NS200 continues to sell in respectable numbers even after being the oldest of the lot while the TVS Apache has its share of fans. Even though these bikes come under the naked sports segment, they have very contrasting characters. The Pulsar offers the highest performance, the Xtreme offers maximum rideability while the Apache gets the best of both worlds. So if you’re out in the market looking for a bike in this segment, it is best to take a thorough test ride of all the bikes and see which one suits you the best.