Pulsar 200NS: A Lesson Learnt from Yamaha FZ Series

by Kannan on March 13, 2012

Pulsar, the most successful performance motorcycle brand of the last decade, now aims to rule this decade with the launch of next generation Pulsar “Pulsar 200NS”. But, how Bajaj Auto will make it possible when the competition is increasing from Japanese rival like Honda and Yamaha who are the first and second largest two wheeler manufacturer in the world?

Should Bajaj Discontinue the Current Pulsar Range?

  • Yes (59%, 728 Votes)
  • No (41%, 499 Votes)

Total Voters: 1,226

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What will Bajaj Auto’s strategy in the upcoming years? Further, we also raised some questions with regards to current Pulsar series in the article of “Bajaj might discontinue the Pulsar 180 soon”. This article aims to answer all these questions. Let’s have some background before answering the above questions.

Bajaj Auto launched Pulsar in 2001 and it became an instant hit. I can recall the year 2002 when we started seeing lots of Pulsar on the road. It was catching everybody’s eye due to its muscular tank and aircraft type fuel tank which was novelty in those years. Certainly, it is the Pulsar who changed face of Bajaj Auto from scooter manufacture to motorcycle manufacturer.

Many manufactures have tried to threaten the leadership of Pulsar, but none of them succeeded till the date. Hero Motocrop (Hero Honda before) tried with CBZ*,CBZ Xtreme, Hunk and Achiever, HMSI tried with Unicorn and Unicorn Dazzler, TVS Motors tried with Fiero, Fiero F2 and Apache series, Suzuki tried with GS150R and Yamaha tried with FZ series.

However, when Yamaha launched FZ series in India, it was considered as serious threat to Bajaj Pulsar. FZ series became an instant hit and it is the only motorcycle which has done noticeable business against Bajaj Pulsar. Yamaha also launched SZ series to attract price conscious buyer in premium segment. Both series are doing good business which has made Yamaha second largest player in performance segment.

So, it’s Yamaha which is putting serious threat in premium segment for Bajaj Auto and not Honda or Hero Motocorp. In the past one year Bajaj has seen some market share loss in Premium segment due to increase competition from Yamaha. Bajaj has still maintained its leadership; however it has understood that it needs more powerful product than current generation Pulsar to fight against this Japanese rival.

Next generation Pulsar is an attempt to answer the threat raised by Japanese rival Yamaha. It is loaded with next generation technology, unique features and naked styling something for which FZ series is known for. As far as styling concern Pulsar 200NS has bettered any other naked street fighter motorcycle available in India.

It has got monoshock suspension, a much needed unique feature and a much more powerful engine. It is a perfect package of power and style from Bajaj Auto. In other words, Bajaj Auto has developed a new breed of motorcycle which is ahead of FZ series. But, the million dollar question is, what will happen to current generation Pulsar series and how Bajaj will transform the current generation Pulsar series into next generation Pulsar series?

First thing, Rajiv Bajaj has made clear that the current generation Pulsar series will not discontinue and it depends upon the market to decide when we have to discontinue current Pulsar series. Having said this, it is safe to assume that Pulsar 180 will not discontinue. There are other strong reasons to believe this as apart from Rajiv Bajaj confirmation.

First, Pulsar 180 is generating equal amount of units as generated by Pulsar 150. Second, there is still strong demand for the current generation Pulsar series which are serving their purpose very well in India. It is also to be noted that people still love the current generation Pulsar series styling and its affordable compared to next generation Pulsar.

Third, the next generation Pulsar 200NS is aims to cater those buyers who need some fresh styling, unique features and want to upgrade from current Pulsar series. Fourth, the current generation Pulsar series can easily outscore competition from Honda, Hero Motocorp, TVS Motors and Suzuki Motorcycle. So, it is only Yamaha for which Bajaj needs next generation Pulsar. Hence, it is clear that Bajaj Auto will first see the response of Pulsar 200NS in the market before taking any decision on discontinuation of current Pulsar series.

Now we may see some brand cannibalization between Pulsar 200NS and Pulsar 220 as both will be priced very near. However, this still depend on the response of the Pulsar 200NS. Bajaj may discontinue 220cc if response for Pulsar 200NS will affect Pulsar 220 sell heavily. Similarly, if Bajaj will decide to discontinue 220cc, it may replace Avenger’s 220cc engine with Pulsar 200NS engine as Bajaj believes in sharing common engine between Pulsar and Avenger.

Bajaj will most likely launch 350cc Pulsar in 2013. The reason we believe this because Pulsar 200NS engine is heavily based upon KTM Duke 200 engine except the engine overhead which has triple sparks and SOHC vs DOHC in Duke 200 engine. KTM has planned Duke 350 launch for 2013, similarly we will see Pulsar 350 in 2013.

Now, why Bajaj did not install fuel injection on next generation Pulsar? Fuel injection is a costlier affair it increases motorcycle cost by Rs. 8,000 – 10,000 which Bajaj Auto do not want to do at this point of time. Further, Bajaj Auto has experienced that Pulsar 220 is more successful with carburetor version compared to fuel injection version due to reduced price. Hence, Bajaj Auto has played safe game by going for carburetor version.

Pulsar can sell for any given amount provided it satisfies its VFM package with power packed performance. In other words, if Pulsar 350cc comes in price of Rs 1.10 lacs or 1.20 lacs would you buy the same? This question will answer whether Pulsar can sell at or above Rs. one lac mark. We believe that next generation Pulsar will not cost more than Rs. one lac on road.

For the financial year 2012-13, Bajaj Auto has lined up series of launches. Bajaj Auto has understood that new products are necessary for growth and hence, we are going to see number of launches this year. We have seen KTM Duke 200 launch in January. Next generation Pulsar will hit the market in April.

A completely new commuter motorcycle is lined up for May. This could be a 125cc Discover based upon triple spark engine. I believe that Bajaj Auto will continue with current Pulsar line for this year at least and we will see changes in next financial year based upon the response of market.

 - Mahavir Kothari

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{ 22 comments… read them below or add one }

Chandan March 13, 2012 at 5:38 pm

Only fz has not done noticeable business against pulsar , even apache has done a good business .

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Rahul March 13, 2012 at 6:35 pm

Everyone here hates Pulsar…..then how it is biggest selling bike in its segment….???

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Thebaaz March 20, 2012 at 5:00 am

Rahul Ask this Q. your self and think and Think and ………..
Lage Raho

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spider August 7, 2012 at 5:10 pm

If everyone hates, then why should everyone buy it. Think before you write :)

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fas March 13, 2012 at 11:15 pm

Not really, as design is quite common for all naked bikes.

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Pulsar boy March 14, 2012 at 9:16 am

One of the most confused articles i’ve seen in the recent past :) why is there even talk of discontinuing current pulsar line-up. Despite competition, it’s still the best seller in performance category. P200NS just needs to be priced above P220F, say around 10k above P220F. As long as buyer ends up with Bajaj product, why should Bajaj worry about which one he is buying. If someone is going to buy P200NS instead of P220F, that’s even better for Bajaj auto as they get better margins on P200NS.

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vijay March 16, 2012 at 9:53 am

u r right man…

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sonu March 14, 2012 at 12:15 pm

Eglry: wating for 200ns ; hope live up 2it’s mark. All d best..,,,,,,

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Dileesh March 15, 2012 at 2:18 pm

when did honda became the largest two wheeler maker in the world? So far I have been told its the HeroHonda earlier and HeroMotoCorp now.

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Kaushik Roy March 15, 2012 at 6:35 pm

The paint quality so far accd 2 me s 4m Suzuki GS150 n Hero Karizma ZMR!

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Shibin March 15, 2012 at 8:05 pm

What?!?!?!? discontinue the current pulsar range?? are you serious??? thts the range that brought bajaj to where it is now?? why would they even think of doing so? and why are the votes higher for yes??? although being a yamaha fan, i respect bajaj and for its achievement through pulsar.

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Tushar March 18, 2012 at 11:52 am

It wil b no wrong idea to upgrade the curent generation pulsar series. . . . . . .
And whts the use if ur own bike is eating sale of each other, . .
If bike is nt seling upto extent it is expected to then it is beter replacing it or finding a upgrade for it. . . .every step must be taken in customer pt. Of view and company sales. .

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Piyush Roy March 19, 2012 at 11:30 am

Bajaj200NS is good with respect to styling but(there is Big BUT) the technology for engine is not that much advanced as compared to bikes being launched nowadays. Like DOHC with FI also PGM-FI engine. If Bajaj want to continue getting customers they have to have better engines and better bike engineering.

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tushar March 19, 2012 at 6:51 pm

Fuel Injection is sure to increase the bike price by 8000-10000 rs.
which surely isnt a competitive price…
and already pulsar220 has worked great with carburetor when power delivery is the issue…..

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sujith June 4, 2012 at 1:23 am

FZ kicked pulsar ass …and now they r copying fz looks fr 200 ns…. yamaha rocks baja s a rickshaw compny…
yessss yamaha

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rohit August 8, 2012 at 5:48 pm

Fz looks like a desi dog dont compare desi dog with LION

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lovekesh June 4, 2012 at 9:28 pm

sujith dont make wrong comments. The total sale of fz till now is not even near to pulsar one year sale. You south indian people always like foreign products and hate indian products. you should feel shame on urself. You are the only people due to which india had to spend 1000 years of slavery. Beware of foreign products

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Ravi December 3, 2012 at 10:02 am

Current range of pulsar would not be discountinued for next 5 years since next gen range pulsar has just started, there is only one bike 200 ns

I had just bought 200ns and it costed me 98500 INR onroad and its really a pricey bike almost 1 lac no jokes!!! and yes it delivers thrills that I feel its still cheap for that price and I like to ride, but what about an average person he will doesn’t wants a sports bike, those guys wants a commuter which costs 70-80k, and p150, p180 is for them.

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venkatesh February 9, 2013 at 6:17 pm

Hay all of you.!

“Kaasukku yaetha Dosai” thats means, Nalla bike vanganumna, Kasaselavupanradhu thappu illa. One more thing Middle glass or Average persons yellam bike’a low price’la vanganumnu ninaikiradhavida, One time vaangunaalum nalladha vaanga ninaipaanga. India’s Best Motor Bike & Most selling Bike is Pulsar (not only pulsar), So I think pulsar is best now. (but not ever)

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ravi stephen February 15, 2013 at 3:16 pm

No compare any bike to pulsar..
Pulsar always rockzzz than other bikes..

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yourhighness July 16, 2013 at 9:23 am

If the debate is about who is.the best….1 and only 1. Hero xtreme..no comparison…rest bikes rip…

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sujeeth December 19, 2013 at 12:20 am

My budget is 1,00,000. Now i’m confused i need performance and power ,I asked my friends and some of them are telling me that pulsar 200NS is good
And some are telling FZ is better will some one please help me out here..?

Reply

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