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Bajaj spent months perfecting the RS 200’s design – it is the bikemaker’s first fully faired Pulsar after all. It’s the latest in the mini supersports class here in India. This bike enters a segment with a handful of options, which are often pricey, so at the right price, and with the right kit, the RS200 should do well against its rivals. So, has Bajaj managed to deliver the right combination with this bike?
The RS200 is powered by a fuel-injected 199.5cc, four-stroke, single-cylinder and liquid-cooled engine that makes 24.5hp at 9,750rpm, and 18.6Nm of torque at 8,000rpm. The engine uses Bajaj’s patented triple-spark technology as well. The clutch has a well-weighted feel, and the six-speed gearbox shifts precisely, in a one-down, five-up pattern.
From the saddle
The RS 200 feels stable on the highway, even while cruising at speeds up to 110kph. It's a quick bike and can sprint to 60kph in a respectable 3.76 seconds, thereafter achieving 100kph in 9.71secs. It goes on to hit a top speed of 137kph. Throttle response is nice, and the power delivery smooth – this bike is quite refined. Bajaj has kept this a really fun bike to ride, with performance best when up-shifting. The Pulsar RS 200 lives up to its sporty tag, with a heady, intoxicating exhaust note, and the high revving engine that performs at its best when ridden on a race track. Bajaj has engineered the bike to make you want to ride hard, and fast – it’s easily the sportiest Pulsars to date.
Kerb weight is a shade on the heavier side, at 165kg, but you won’t really feel it on the go. You sit upright with a little lean into the handlebars. The well-padded, roomy split saddle is comfortable enough for a bike with such sporty nature. The Pulsar RS 200 absorbs bumps well, with a nice, sporty and firm feel.
The Pulsar is a delight when cornering thanks to its really grippy MRF rubber tyres. Though it’s not quite as quick to turn in and flick around precisely as KTM’s RC200, but it provides far more comfort than any of its Austrian counterparts. This is the first Bajaj motorcycle to offer the added safety of ABS brakes, although this is via single channel, working well but only for the front wheel. We managed to get the bike to halt in a decent 17.96 meters, in 2.4 seconds. The RS 200 is decently fuel efficient too. It returned us a decent 34.2kpl in real world city riding conditions, and 43kpl when cruising on the highway.
Is it worth the money?
Bajaj has created a bike that appeals more to the younger generation – It provides its fair share of thrills on the race track, while still being comfortable riding around the city. The engine is flexible enough to tackle bumper-to-bumper traffic and shifting through the six-speed gearbox at high revs is a pleasure on open roads. The entry level Pulsar RS 200 is priced at ₹1.21 lakh while the ABS-equipped version costs ₹1.34 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi), at which the RS 200 makes a competent rival in its class.
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