The Bajaj Pulsar NS200 is back by popular demand, and it is better than ever.
Bajaj really hit the spot with the Pulsar NS200 in 2012. As far as naked streetfighters go, this bike looked very, very good. It was quite refined, well-powered, handled great and came with a thrifty price tag. But then, in 2015, Bajaj stopped selling it. Tears were shed and protests made, but the cannibalising of its sibling, the AS200, could just not be permitted.
Those tears and protests were perhaps not in vain, because now, in a dramatic turn of events, the replacer has become the replaced. The NS200 is back by popular demand, and will take the place of the AS200 in Bajaj’s extensive Pulsar line-up.
The 2017 NS200 features a handful of changes. Most importantly, it is now BS-IV compliant, which was achieved by changes to the fuelling and exhaust systems. While these changes will alter performance, they will do so only marginally and, as we can attest, imperceptibly. One perceptible change, however, is in the engine note. Bajaj has tried to make the bike sound raspier and bassier, and has successfully done so.
The other changes are mostly aesthetic. The NS200 is now available in three new colour schemes – Graphite Black, Mirage White and Wild Red (we particularly like the first and last ones) – and features new graphics. It also gets a new belly pan which fits in rather well with its streetfighter appeal.
Apart from the switch to BS-IV conformity, things remain unchanged on the engine front. The power and torque figures remain unchanged with 23.5hp at 9,500rpm and 18.3Nm at 8,000rpm, respectively. The liquid-cooled, single-cylinder unit continues to be mated to a six-speed gearbox. In terms of performance, the NS200 continues to be a punchy and enjoyable bike to ride. The powerband is wide, which means that it will suit the urban atmosphere well. The powerband, in fact, stretches all the way to the imposed limit of 11,000rpm. The short-stroke nature of the engine – 72mm x 49mm – means that it revs quite freely too. The new exhaust note makes the NS200 sound a bit more like its distant cousin, the KTM 200 Duke, but on the whole, performance is much the same as it always was.