Ownership Review Bajaj Pulsar 200NS: Savio Trades His ZMA for NS, Is He Happy?

by Kannan on May 6, 2013

Hi my fellow brethren I am Savio Tavadia from Pune. A BPO employee by profession and a biker who has come a long way from not aspiring beyond the humble Bajaj Boxer to actually owning the fastest Indian. I sworn never to be a Pulsar maniac, they say fall in love in a blink, well, here is my story about me and my latest acquisition whom I have composed a little poem and referred to him as “Drake”:

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There came a time when my dying stead at nights kept me awake. To let go of him, was a thought from my mind I couldn’t shake. I prayed to God and asked him to deliver me from my dilemma for heavens’ sake. When I was down and out, at my wits end about to break. In came a gentle monster whom they call Drake.

When a speed demon was bitten by the Duke. Born was this beast whose fear made the rest puke. Though not planned I’d say a twist of fate and a complete fluke. Refuse him way and his roar will shatter your senses, not just give u a spook. He inherits looks to kill. And muscle to give even the Iceman a chill. So go ahead ride with him and let the adrenaline rush Fill!

Previous Bikes

“Purani jeans and the advantages I had over the rich yuppie’s car”. Being born to a biker who saddled everything from the Vijay super and Lamby to the Norton 500 and many a Jawas in between, we the offspring were only more than happy to have our own colts one day.

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For whatever reason my father never bought me a rider like other dads, however for this price that we paid, we brothers got to toy with our own stallions and the wisdom spanning 100s of kilometres drenched in fuel, adrenaline, sweat and blood. My earlier rides spanned from the ever so nimble, Hero Puch, that left the hunks early 2000s red-faced when my little wonder spat out their pride n glory like chewing gum at the quarter mile mark to the now “nearly extinct” CBZ that taught me what the adage “MOTORCYCLING UNPLUGGED” really meant.

Apart from all the cards in my pack, the Karizma is still a worthy mention not just that it was a premium class machine but that it gave us our very 1st road trip to the Konkan region and that too without much fuss.

Inspiration

No Inspiration, just need of the hour “Deliberation”. The day my last bike began to crumble it was time to take call – should I restore it or replace it. Being a family man and just not a biker, with the Karizma which was more efficient than a work-horse now was becoming my ticket to the afterlife. Thus having said that it was imminent that I went on the drawing board at earnest.

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At first I went about planning a major overhaul, it so turned out that in Pune the spares were easily available in the black market than otherwise and the investment that was being provisioned for was enough to cover the cost of an average Joes’ commuter bike.

The recent job change played game changer to the decision of going in for a daily use bike and opt out from the privilege of company transportation. At first I looked at the option a long term goal of acquiring the TB 350, a machine that would shorten the distances between gas stations and cruise at speeds that the junta otherwise would break their neck and needle to achieve.

The waiting period was also too long even though it was my first ride on the legend that bowled me over. I was convinced and willing to wait but then the home ministry’s vote of confidence was something that wasn’t given citing the reason that it’s not my riding style and not her cup of tea.

She reckoned the Hulk was a stunner but the meek 149cc cannot even replace the saddle of a 225 zma. Looking up to my hard-core biker friends they chorused “Unicorn” and I, after much deliberation my wife and I settled for the Unicorn as a finalist contender. However being a Hero Honda rider for most paths that bore my tire marks were etched with the likes of my CBZ and the recent ZMA.

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So having said that I thought Xtreme or Impulse (which was another favourite in my wife’s bucket list, but too loud for me in looks) but that idea dint go down as well. In the back of my head the discover ST 125 was an object of my affection, the built that only the legendary Unicorn carried with much panache till now and with numerous makeovers ever since its inception onto tarmac it still was the apple of the eye of the “Wise”.

Nevertheless this bike made stop over and appreciate its design, this exercise made my wife no stranger to the ST125 and it was promptly added to our list. A visit to the showroom for a quotation of the ST 125 was about to usher in a change of sorts for me.

When I walked in and took the quote for the Discover something big and yellow caught the corner of my eye, at first I decided that since it was a race to close the deal for a commuter bike I’d rather not look elsewhere. Plus the horrid experience of the Duke that left a sour taste in my tongue and my toes doing a Google for the brake pedal, I thought at first it’s worth my while and walked out.

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Another visit and this time I thought why not check it out after all what’s the harm? Though I never took it for a test ride the exhaust resonated the KTM in every beat – with whom I dint find favour because of the pillion rider position and brake pedal coupled with negative reviews from a few friends.

The yellow monster that haunted me was reminiscent of Bumblebee and every time that we crossed paths either it glided on potential energy or left me ZMA soaking in the scent of its afterburners. Either ways the thought of an upgrade was lurking in the subconscious side of my head.

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I thus went about searching for flaws in the 200NS (apart from other ghosts that haunted the pulsar family); the false neutral was something that had me concerned the most! I hit pay dirt when a post from a Bangalorean who had acquired this beast praised the prowess and comfort that his wife revelled in, being a Bangalorean herself she knew how the traffic networked and this was the deal breaker for her. Here is her bit of research and opinion that I asked her to share with us.

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The new Pulsar really does look quite smashing – a bit too busy in places but as a whole, quite good-looking. The design is bold and bang up to date, fusing together street-fighter cues with typically Pulsar-family design elements. The motorcycle has got some amount of bulk to it and that makes it all the better, the 200 NS looks quite good and importantly, it grabs eyeballs. It will definitely turn heads on the streets.

When I had to help my husband with that bit of decision making with either the Unicorn or the Pulsar, I choose the Pulsar over the Unicorn, simply because I loved the irritatingly perfect looks, sturdy and stable, built for the roads of a commoner, not just a race track, its back for a pillion is elevated that gives it the looks it most deserves besides being a fast one its good makes a good on investment outlook too, anyone out there planning or deciding on a bike, guess what you’re wasting a lot of time even after reading this post, guys out there your girlfriends would love it,, so kudos to the new Pulsar 200 NS.

Regrets

“If only tires were a marine’s boots…” The bike I had bought was a pre-owned one that had clocked 5000 on the odometer, and had exhausted its free service coupons so when it came to the matter of waiting until I allowed it to flex its muscle was not in the scene. However as I write this article the display beckons a service. Today we crossed 700 kms in tarmac, concrete and dirt with congestion, stray dogs and the like being our sources of entertainment wherever we treaded along.

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Apart from the fact that we haven’t been able to reach the point where the digital speedometer stopped clocking, however so far I have had no regrets. If only off-road tires could be sourced out and the panels made switchable like those of our handy phones so every other month I’d have a new shade to work with.

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Tours

“Long ride jayenge full speed… Kahi rookenge na hum.” Well holiday season is here and we are indeed looking out for places where we could cool our heels and soak in the sun, Rather than get de-hydrated by it. Be it a hill station or the seashore I will leave that to time and tide for now.

However the last weekend I did make it a point to cruise across town for an event and it was indeed a good proving ground to benchmark its capabilities; however I shall be sharing my findings further in this post.

General details as per the official website are as under:

Engine

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Type: Type SOHC – 4V – Liquid Cooled
Combustion system: Triple spark
Ignition system: Independent spark control through ECU
Crankshaft Type: Integral
Max Power: 23.52 PS @ 9500
Max Torque: 18.3 Nm @ 8000
Bore: 72 mm
Stroke: 49 mm
Displacement: 199.5 cc
Fuel system: Carburettor, UCD 33
Air filter: Paper element
Exhaust system: Exhaust TEC enhanced centrally mounted

Vehicle

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Frame Type: Pressed steel Perimeter Frame
Wheel Base: 1363 mm
Length x height x width: 2017 mm x 1195 mm x 804 mm
Seat ht-Rider: 805 mm
Ground Clearance: 167 mm
Vehicle Kerb weight: 145 kg
FAW/RAW: 72/73 kg
Fuel Tank capacity: 12 L

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Suspension

Front suspension: Telescopic Front Fork with Antifriction Bush Dia 37
Rear Suspension: Nitrox Mono Shock Absorber with piggy back gas canister

Brakes – Type

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Front: Petal Disc with floating calliper
Rear: Petal Disc with floating calliper

Brake Size

Front: Dia 280 mm Disc
Rear: Dia 230 mm Disc

Tyres

Front: 100/80 – 17, 52 P, Tubeless
Rear: 130/70 – 17, 61 P, Tubeless

Rims

Front: 10 spoke 2.5 x 17, Alloy
Rear: 10 Spoke, 3.5 x 17, Alloy

Acceleration

0-60 kmph: 3.61 sec
0-100 kmph: 9.83 sec
Max Speed: 136 Kmph

Braking Performance

Braking Distance – Both brakes (60 – 0 Kmph): 16.33 meter

Electricals

System: DC Ignition
Battery: 12V 8AH VRLA
Head Lamp: H4 bulb 12V 55/60W
Tail/Stop Lamp: 0.3/3 W, LED

Details

“Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde (the beast within) … the Real Transformer!

  • The price of a brand new one is close to about 95,000 on-road (inclusive of Saree and leg guard), However as mentioned earlier that I bought my NS 4 months and about 5,000 Kms past its life I got a decent deal on it.
  • As far as mileage goes this kind of a machine is never measured by its mileage and basis my experience with my last bike in terms of visits to the gas stations and similar riding conditions it does return about 40+ to the litre despite the fact that I put the throttle and my luck to test in an event that I am required to check in to punch my work card (fortunately for me I have an open dark road less the daunting mongrels and potholes).
  • Otherwise I keep the bike well in 3500 RPM range irrespective the gear and speed and it has never stalled on me yet. Thus keeping up an average speed of 45 in traffic seems to work here.
  • The handling and ride quality as posted by another reviewer delivered to its expectations and more, for those who as sceptical about trading in their ZMAs for the NS my brothers you will never miss them. It carries a good riding stance, just keep in mind that is about a 3rd more powerful than the ZMA. However the tires could be swapped for something more road friendly and am already knocking on every available avenue so that I can best mate the tires with its build.
  • Speaking of which the tires are tubeless so beware of the roadside muggers should you encounter a flat or a road hazard (a nail or thorn glass etc. Etched in the tire.) Do not encourage their endeavour to fix it, unless he is your regular tire guy.
  • However let him fill the tire to optimum pressure (you need to look up the manual in case you haven’t) and gently ride back home in the night, fix it at your nearest dealership in the morning. I had a similar encounter and rushed to my regular tire shop dealer who shared this advice with me.
  • Well I know as part of this exercise I must mention about the instrumentation and the like – the instrumentation is well placed with a digi-analog combination. I do like to add that the fuel gauge seems to be a tad off the mark however being habitual to re-fuelling only when the reserve fuel is asked for the gauge never really has gotten to me.
  • The headlamps is not only adds “Sex Appeal” to the road but is a darkness assassinator. In fact when the electricity board decided to cut the lights in area on an impromptu basis while I was almost home.

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  • I turned away from the lane that lead home and covered every dark street in the area on the high beam. The result “Impressed beyond words” , from the Humara Bajaj scooter to the NS lighting has always Bajaj’s forte.
  • The switches seems a little down market for your investment but as long as they work – No worries! The pass beam does speak for you where the horn may fail to convey its feelings.
  • Lastly my favourite part (here is where the Pulsar and KTM stand worlds apart) –When you ride well within the 5000 RPM limit and tap on the gear, the NS comes across as your regular commuter bike. This is Doctor Jekyll calm composed and if you are a rider with skills to skim through traffic at low revs you may need a stethoscope to hear the purr of the engine.
  • Cross 2nd gear and relay your subsequent shifts whenever the orange light blinks (@ around 10,000) and in comes “Mr. Hyde” charging like a raging bull, now forget the horn it’s the engine that is doing the talking in simple words – a 2 wheeled Scramjet. Need I say more?

Regards,
Savio Tavadia

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{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

faisal May 6, 2013 at 6:23 pm

Good review but pics could have been better. Different people say different things about their Pulsar 200 NS, so it goes to show not all bikes are the same!

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ankit May 6, 2013 at 7:38 pm

please write it in simple English we are not here to appreciate your writing skills but for bikes.Search out many articles written in this site greatly written and appreciated but in simple English .

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Ashok,Kammarpally,NZB. May 7, 2013 at 11:45 am

Yes I agree with you Ankit ,,, YOu know like me its too difficult to understanding the sentences somewhere in that article above..also the photos are could have been better. Dont misunderstand Mr.Savio…any way thanks for ur review.

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Surya May 6, 2013 at 9:41 pm

Best and honest review. I live with roomates, one day i saw one of my roommate posting bad comments about 200ns. In reality he never rode 200ns and owns a 125cc bike of another brand. I asked him why u r doing this he said i hate pulsar because there are a lot of pulsar out there.

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Martian May 8, 2013 at 1:56 pm

The real reason is.. pulsar is never reliable… they are just an amazing toy for two years… then they just die

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aj May 9, 2013 at 2:46 am

they are a funny breed from a funny(passionless) company…
There is no need to loathe it,simply a bike without refinement…Inspite of all the brouhaha about 10spark plugs caressing and honoring the engine…oh,that’s 3 spark plugs..

Dinesh May 7, 2013 at 9:38 am

simple English would have been better.
you cannot expect everyone those who visit this page to understand your high standard English. but for those who can understand this, its really an amazing review.

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aj May 9, 2013 at 2:48 am

It’s difficult to write in simple english. STriking a balance is an art,thou shall not comment,lo and behold… the apocryphal and the ephemeral art of writing a review..LOL

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nidin May 7, 2013 at 12:02 pm

nice review mate..
I own a duke and i get a mileage of 52kmpl when the rpm is maintained around 4.5-5k… And if i ride it the way its supposed to be ridden,,it sometimes goes down to 28kmpl as well..

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Bystander May 8, 2013 at 8:40 am

The review has superfluous use of fancy english. We want to read the bike stuff and i am sorry to say not here to read harry potter stories.

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A.J May 8, 2013 at 9:18 pm

dude can’t u just write in simple plain english???…agree with ankit above… if u ar looking for a essay writing then dis is not the place for u….this is a place for reviewing bikes in english that people can easily understand as tons of others have done so in bikeadvice.in…..anyways congrats for yr bike…ride safe and handle the beast wit care!

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Crazywheels May 9, 2013 at 9:14 am

Congrats bro. Eventhough Pulsar 200 NS is more comfortable than duke in all respects, it is not as refined as ZMR. Also ZMR is designed to be a perfect touring machine, whereas 200NS is a street bike nature. I appreciate Bajaj for making this beast within a price tag of 1 L, eventhough reliability is still a issue.

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oly May 9, 2013 at 5:54 pm

excellent review mate !! loved every word of it…p200 ns is really a great step ahead in pulsar brand!! & hey don’t pay attention to other guys(who are a minority) who abuse the bike….they are just jealous!!! personal experience!!

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