Bajaj RS 200 – Is it still Bajaj’s ultimate sportsbike?

D:Shelendranew work autox & Xitetechautox ImagesBajaj Pulsar RS 200.jpg

When launched back in 2015, the RS 200 was the newest evolution of the smaller-capacity, Bajaj Pulsar, in India. The Pulsar started the sports bike performance scene in India, having come in as an easy-to-ride package with good specifications. The RS is a bike that features a full fairing in the hope to get the better of the R15 from Yamaha and a few other rivals. We’re going to have to find out if the RS 200 has what it takes to live up to the Pulsar DNA, which is a great blend of practicality and sportiness. For those of you curious to know, ‘RS’ means Race Sport.

The design?

When it comes to the styling of the Bajaj Pulsar RS 200, the bike has divided opinion. There are buyers who like it, and then, there are those who don’t. Youngsters are more likely to be lured by its appeal, but then it’s a design that looks way too busy when viewed especially from the front. A first glance will reveal that it looks quite sharp; up-front, it gets twin-projector headlamps with LED pilot lamps. There’s no doubt it’s an aggressive-looking bike with lots of sharp lines and panels, but it is also compact. Then there are those typical Pulsar-like alloy wheels and a short exhaust pipe. The Bajaj Pulsar RS 200 features a see-through visor that is quite effective when hitting top speed in a straight line. At first, it seems to be set higher than the 200NS, but it’s actually low. Thank fully, it gets clip-on handlebars and a compact yet nicely spread out instrument cluster. It features a huge analogue rev counter, along with a shift beacon above on the left and a digital readout for the speedometer, odometer and the lot. The switchgear seems functional and there’s an engine kill-switch on the right side of the handlebar. The bike also features comfortable palm grips, a dog-leg shaped brake and fairing-mounted mirrors that give you a good view.

The Pulsar RS 200 from Bajaj Bikes gets split seats, which look sporty and comfortable. The engine of the motorcycle is nestled beneath the fairing and it gets a thick perimeter frame. The tank features scratch protection, and along the sides you’ll notice boomerang-shaped panels, featuring a perforated look, while the tail lamp at the back looks sleek. On the bike, you’ll find some alloy bits and grab handles at the rear; the quality and finish aren’t too bad.

Fire-breathing 200cc machine

The Bajaj Pulsar RS200 employs a refined, 199.5cc, four-stroke, liquid-cooled engine, featuring triple spark plugs. This is the same engine that does duty in the Pulsar 200NS; however, the RS features fuel-injection. The motor produces 24.2bhp and 18.7Nm of torque. The clutch feels light and the 6-speed transmission shifts well with the help of a toe-shift lever. The engine revs high, pushing the bike to a top speed of 146kph, but no more. Throttle response is impressive and Bajaj Bikes have ensured smooth power delivery. This is a motorcycle that loves being ridden hard and revved to the max and you feel the all that power when up-shifting while the rev indicator pushes towards the redline. Acceleration is identical to what we’ve experienced on the 200NS.

Handling

Up-front, the bike gets telescopic fork suspension and a Nitrox-charged monoshock at the back. Seated on the bike, you feel the riding position a bit sporty, but you sit upright and it feels much more comfortable than KTM’s RC 200. On the handling front, the bike feels planted, and thanks to its short wheelbase, the bike turns-in with ease and corners without a fuss. We also rode it on a track and found that the bike offers better grip from the MRF tyres. The amount of grip on offer was more than sufficient, allowing you to lean without a second thought. At the front, the bike gets a 300mm disc brake and 230mm disc brake at the back. It also features ABS, a Bosch-produced single channel system that cannot be switched off. The ABS system, along with the brakes, work well to provide sufficient stopping power.

Go ahead?

The Bajaj Pulsar RS 200 comes in different colours, like Graphite Black, Racing Blue, red and yellow and features ABS. To some, the design may seem overdone, but then this isn’t one of those uncomfortable motorcycles to ride on a regular basis. If a sportsbike with a full fairing is what you’re on the lookout for, we’d recommend the well-rounded RS 200.  Also, grab the latest info on the upcoming bikes, only at autoX.