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Fantastic four
Four exciting but affordable motorcycles are on sale right now. We reveal which one’s for you
By : Ruman Devmane | Published : July 21, 2012 | Photos : BSM
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BAJAJ PULSAR 200NS 

WHAT’S IT ABOUT?
The answer is briefly in the name. The ‘200’ denotes the engine displacement (199.5cc, actually) of the triple-spark-plug equipped single-cylinder engine. The other half of the name, ‘NS’, stands simply for ‘Naked Sports’ — a reference to the bike's styling and performance oriented nature.

HOW IS IT TO RIDE?
The all-new pressed steel perimeter frame on the 200NS is a Bajaj first, and is what you also see on motorcycles like the Yamaha R15 and the Honda CBR 150/250R (apart from bigger, more powerful superbikes). It is this frame that makes the Pulsar 200NS about as friendly as India's handling benchmark — the first-generation Yamaha R15. It’s an effortless handler, the brakes are sharp (although the tyres aren’t very communicative) and all said and done, the 200NS allows you to push your riding limits and never falls short on poise. That’s not all. The 200NS’ handling is well-complemented by its performance. Bajaj has retained a great degree of Pulsar-ness in terms of engine feel despite the bottom half of the engine coming from the KTM Duke 200. The 199.5cc engine is unstressed, free-revving and takes to elevated speeds comfortably. The six-speed gearbox (another Bajaj first) is well spaced out and the bike is as comfortable doing triple-digit speeds as it is cruising at 60 kmph in top gear. A top speed of 136 kmph and a 0-100 kmph timing of 11.9 secs is good, right?

WHAT’S NOT TO LIKE?
Once the novelty of the new components (the chassis, engine) wears off, you are essentially left with a motorcycle that is, in character, a Pulsar. Maybe a little inspiration from the KTM Duke would have added to the bike’s personality. Works for you if you’re a Pulsar fan, doesn’t if you’re not.

WHO SHOULD BUY ONE?
If you are new to the 20+ bhp segment and want fantastic value, the Pulsar is the one you're looking for. It scores high on looks, performance as well as economy (how does 45 kmpl under hard riding sound?). The Pulsar 200NS is, in short, a lot of motorcycle for a lot less money.

QUICK SPECS
Displacement: 199.5cc, single-cylinder
Power: 23.17
bhp@9500 rpm
Torque: 1.86
kg@8000 rpm
Transmission: 6-speed
Price: Rs 87,514 (ex-showroom, Mumbai)

MORE ON PAGE 2>>

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