The under-two-lakh-rupee premium motorcycle segment has seen the most action recently and rightly so. Buyers can now afford relatively powerful motorcycles without contemplating robbing a bank. This segment, at present, has the latest Suzuki Gixxer 155 and the new Yamaha FZ-S FI at one end and the KTM Duke 390 (and the RC 390 too by a stretch) and the Honda CBR 250R at the other.
While Bajaj already has four motorcycles (the Dukes and the RCs), which continue to dominate in their respective classes at the upper end of this spectrum, its homegrown Pulsars are facing some serious competition from the new bikes launched by the Japs. The aforementioned Suzuki and Yamaha, despite being low on power when compared to the bigger Pulsars, are still causing trouble for Bajaj. Oh yes, that is happening in spite of the Japanese bikes being not much cheaper than the Pulsars too.
Even the new Karizmas are slowly biting into Bajaj’s share and the TVS Apaches (both the 180 & 160 RTRs) have always been lurking around… Mind you, the Pulsar 150 still sells a lot and if it was not for the FZ and Apache (and now the Gixxer as well), every second motorcycle you would be seeing on roads today would have been a Pulsar 150. But Bajaj is preparing its own set of all-new Pulsars- Pulsar 200SS and Pulsar 150NS are coming soon to the market.
By now, we already know that the 200SS is the fully faired version of Pulsar 200NS but carries fuel injection and a few other betterments and will be the first ever full-faired motorcycle from Bajaj Auto. It is one of the most eagerly awaited bikes in the country but Bajaj has delayed it for far too long… But, what will decide the fate of Bajaj in the 150/160 segment is the new Pulsar 150NS that should be getting launched within a couple of months from now. There have been recent speculations that it may get a new 160cc more powerful engine.
The most profitable bike manufacturer in India should be able to price it lower than both the FZ and the Gixxer. That would immediately cause the target audience to sit up and take notice, and the rest would be taken care of by the technical specifications (read ‘power and torque figures’) of the bike – we reckon around 15-16 PS of peak power and 13-14 Nm of torque.
Diwali has come and gone and Bajaj has not launched the Pulsar 200 SS, which most had speculated to come before the bright festival. What is the reason of delay is not known but what we understand is that the motorcycle will be launched before the Pulsar 150NS and the 400SS (which is coming next year).
I’ll just wait for the mini-Diavel, the Pulsar 400CS; let’s hope that Bajaj brings it before its speculated 2016 launch…
Related: Sep 2014 Sales Report: 155-200cc – Guess Which One Sold More – Apache or Pulsars?