For those looking for an affordable and fully-faired bike with sporty orientations, the Bajaj RS200 remains a compelling package.(Autocar India)
The Pulsar RS200, Bajaj’s fully faired motorcycle, used to inevitably divide opinion when it came to its looks. Some loved its edgy looks and detailing, while there were those, including yours truly, who thought that the styling was a touch overdone, a bit garish even. Thankfully, Bajaj took heed and did a little something to strike better balance. They offered two new colour schemes – Graphite Black and Racing Blue – and while that may not sound like a lot, it makes a huge difference. The RS200 looks rather stunning in ‘Graphite Black’!
Colour schemes apart, the changes to the 2017 model are limited to BS-IV compliancy for the engine and inclusion of the ‘Automatic Headlamp On’ feature.
The drivetrain remains unchanged. Powering the RS200 is the same 199.5cc, liquid-cooled, single-cylinder engine that can be found in the NS200. Here, though, it makes 24.5hp and 18.6Nm, as against the NS200’s 23.5hp and 18.3Nm, and feels very different in character. The RS200’s engine really comes into its stride only past 7,000rpm, from where it will gladly rev till 11,000rpm! The engine feels crisper, sharper than in the NS200. However, refinement levels are lower when compared to the NS, with vibrations more pronounced, especially in the foot pegs.
The engine continues to be mated to a six-speed gearbox that offers shifts which feel more precise than in the NS.
The RS200 rides on telescopic forks up front and an adjustable monoshock at the back, and ride quality is generally good. The setup isn’t too firm, nor is it too soft, and has a nice, sporty feel.
The RS200’s twin-spar, pressed-steel frame works quite well with the suspension setup, and arms the rider with great confidence when negotiating both straights and corners at higher speeds.
The RS200 gets a 300mm petal-type disc up front, chomped on by Bybre brakes, while the rear gets a 230mm disc. The bike is armed with single-channel ABS, but sadly, Bajaj doesn’t offer it with a dual-channel ABS, even as an option. That said, the shedding of speed is handled well by this setup.
At Rs 1,21,881 (non-ABS) and Rs 1,33,883 (ABS) (ex-showroom, Delhi), the RS200 is priced quite well, especially considering the equipment it receives (ABS, projector headlamps), and those new colour schemes widen its appeal considerably. The full fairing makes it slightly more cumbersome to manoeuvre as compared to the NS200 – especially in city conditions – but for those looking for an affordable and fully-faired bike with sporty orientations, the RS200 remains a compelling package.