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2017 Bajaj Pulsar RS200 BSIV Review, First Ride

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2017 Bajaj Pulsar RS200 BSIV Review is all about how company has made the already impressive RS200 better in places where it lacked to impress

Enchanting –

  • New paint scheme and decals make it look good
  • Superlative chassis, brakes, engine
  • Comfortable, Sporty and Practical
  • Value For Money

Unsatisfying –

  • Quirky Design hit or miss
  • Limited color options

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There is a reason why the Pulsar brand never needs a full introduction beause it manages to stay on the roads in huge numbers and Bajaj has a nack of making sure it is updated in one way or the other. The spyshots, the leaks and other details are always on the way. The tease has always been there and the larges tease was the Dominar 400. However, the RS200 for MY2017 has been awaited as we thought there would be change which would make things better. However, the changes are not so substantial that make any change to the performance or dynamics. Bajaj has worked on certain aspects to make sure it is a bit more appealing and meets all norms that are thrown in by the government towards the manufacturer. We spend some time with the motorcycle to tell you what is it like and what are the changes

Design

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When it comes to the design, the motorcycle stays unchanged, the busy design is on offer as before. The paint scheme in multiple colors, the streaks from the decals, faux vents and the multiple panels all create a complex image in the mind of the rider. The front again is busy with twin headlights, two DRL’s, large visor and humongous ORVM’s. Two new colors make it a bit more subtle which include the graphite silver scheme along with a new white and blue scheme. Both bikes get motion inspired pin stripes on the wheels.

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Side profile includes arrow shaped panel, a large engine belly fairing, side panel, perimeter frame, a tank with a large tank pad and finally a tail-piece which is sleek but is addition to the package. Rear design isn’t clearly Bajaj’s forte and it is a hit or a miss with most people. Fit-finish, build and quality levels remain strong as before. Overall, the colors do help it sober down, but still a quirky design that takes a lot of time for your eyes to soak in.

Ergonomics

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The sitting position is upright, the clip-ons are placed lowered and a bit forward to give the rider a bit of lean and yet keep things comfortable thanks to large seats, lower&rear set footpegs allowing for a sporty yet comfortable riding position. Mirrors are well positioned, the seat are slightly on the stiffer side, there is a new seat cover for all new Pulsar’s and this also gets the same. The pillion has recess to hold on to below the seats and the seat contour has been changed to make things comfortable for pillions as well. Overall, RS200 key strengths lie in this area.

Speedo and Switches

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With the 2017 models what is apparent is the the headlight switch which has been shown the bin and now there is AHO safety feature offered. Tthe projector lights and twin LED DRL’s though, stay. The speedo gets faux carbon fibre finish surrounding the meter. The analogue tachometer and digital speedometer with the tell tale lights such as service indicator, RPM light which also acts as fuel warning lights and other bits such as the ABS light, engine check light and battery keep you updated. Switches continue to be blue backlit.

Engine and Gearbox

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When it comes to performance, the previous year engine continues. The 4-valves, SOHC unit, which is liquid cooled and has three spark plugs is now BSIV emission complaint. The engine and the motor just got smoother and refined as well. NVH levels are fantastic and the RS200 continues to sound great.  The thrashy, loud and bassy  note screams as you redline the motorcycle. Vibrations are almost negligible and the motor is smooth, heat free and makes good amount of power.

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The gearing is on the taller side but the narrow power band makes sure you always have torque. There is just about enough low-end torque to keep things moving. However, since the kerb weight is high you don’t really get the push in that range. The mid range and top-end power is simply great as the motor pushes from 5000 RPM to 10000 RPM. The top-speed is the same as before which is around 140 km/hr mark. Fuel-efficiency should be in the range of 30-35 km/l. Overall, the best engine Bajaj ever made just got slightly better and there is almost no room for criticism left now in this area.

Dynamics

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Dynamically, the RS200 doesn’t sound good on paper. The massive 165 kg kerb weight plays a spoil sport. However, the suspension is well tuned, the MRF tyres are great and the chassis is also very stiff and hence the RS200 feels agile in the corners along with that it stays poised.

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Bajaj has got things just right and it is quite a fun motorcycle to ride. The sticky MRF tyres that are specifically made for this bike screams the fact that this is a rule taken from the pages of superbike manufacturers. All of this means that it is nimble in the city and extremely stable at high speeds as well.

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Braking is superlative as well as Bajaj offers ABS at the front and petal disc which provides good feedback, decent initial bite and a lot of progressive stopping power beyond it. Ride quality also compliant enough and this balance is just right for riders in the country who will enter into sport biking with this motorcycle as it fits our roads and the national rider requirements well.

2017 Bajaj Pulsar RS200 BSIV Review, Verdict

The Pulsar RS200 is yet again a huge on value for money proposition, proven quite well since its launch, offers good features, splendid overall performance, a lot of practicality. The RS200 is clearly a bike which can actually ‘Road to track and back’comfortably and yet be sporty.

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Sure, there are some issues which Bajaj can work upon including the design to a large extent. As we see the sales chart though, the bike did quite well for itself and there is no doubt the 2017 RS200 cements itself in the quarter litre category and offers Bajaj a large share in the same market, which, for now, seems un-snatchable from the manufacturer.

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