New Bajaj Pulsar 200NS versus KTM 200 Duke

New Bajaj Pulsar 200NS versus KTM 200 Duke

The new Pulsar 200NS (Naked Sport) takes the Pulsar brand of motorcycles to a new plane. It isn’t revolutionary like the first generation bike but it certainly is a motorcycle that has evolved, considerably. Let me leave the cosmetic bits aside for a few minutes and get down to the more significant improvements. There is a new engine, transmission and chassis. Theres a new engine, transmission and chassis. All significantly different from the previous generation motorcycle. By there are a few deep holes that need to be filled.

The Pulsar’s 200cc liquid cooled engine is according to Bajaj all-new, but we know that this is the same unit as the KTM Duke 200, at least the block and the transmission. On being questioned Rajiv Bajaj insisted that there has been no technology and component sharing between the two but we beg to differ. Apart from the engine head everything below is the same as the KTM, including the block, bottom end and transmission. Even the oversquare bore stroke ratio is the same as that on the KTM.

New Bajaj Pulsar 200NS versus KTM 200 Duke - 001

What’s different is that the Pulsar NS power output at 23.5PS is slightly lower than what the Duke 200 makes. The max power also comes in at 9500rpm, whereas the Duke does it at 10000rpm. Torque too is slightly lower in the Pulsar 200NS, 18.3Nm at 8000rpm compared to the KTM’s 19Nm at the same 8000rpm. The hole appears when you realise that the Pulsar makes these power and torque ratings with a three spark plug configuration when the KTM uses just one.

The Pulsar NS engine has a 4-valve valvetrain, the KTM uses the same, but it’s a DOHC unlike the Pulsars SOHC. Why? The Duke is fuel injected the Pulsar is not. Now we know the reason behind that is purely dominated by pricing, the fuel injection system is a much more expensive addition.

New Bajaj Pulsar 200NS versus KTM 200 Duke - 002

Where the transmission is concerned, the covers look different but peel it aside and the innards should be the same. Except for the ratios, but that can also be achieved by fiddling around with the final or primary drive ratio.

What we do expect is that the Pulsar will be on par if not very very close to the Duke in terms of outright performance. Because of the power and torque ratings I also expect it will have sharper and stronger drivability and in gear acceleration than the Duke. Bajaj claims that the Pulsar will do a 100kmph in 9.8 seconds which is pretty damn quick.

New Bajaj Pulsar 200NS versus KTM 200 Duke - 003

Yet the big story is the fuel efficiency which Bajaj claims will be around 58kmpl overall when the bike is ridden at speeds under 60kmph. Raise the speeds by a significant bit and you will still get figures above 50kmpl though anything above a 100kmph drops it to under 30kmpl. Yet that’s good efficiency.

The most significant change is the chassis, a perimeter frame made of pressed steel along with a gas charged monoshock at the rear and a box section swingarm, a wheelbase that is now longer than that on the P220 and petal disc brakes at both ends. The handlebar rake and trail also looks like it has increased. All in all I do expect this bike to be an absolute revelation at the racetrack or on the roads. It may not be very flickable but the new chassis will definitely give it a new character. How good or bad compared to before will depend on when we get to ride the bike, which is soon, very soon.

New Bajaj Pulsar 200NS versus KTM 200 Duke - 004

The Pulsar is exciting on paper that much I will give it. In the real world what will that translate to is still a mystery because and this is a big one, the Pulsar is roughly 20kilos heavier than the Duke. So in outright power to weight the Duke should leave the Pulsar wheezing in its dust. At a 145 kilos kerb, the Pulsar is a big and heavy motorcycle compared to its intended competition (R15, CBR 250R and even the Duke200). The fat it carries could be the one weak card in an otherwise strong suit.

New Bajaj Pulsar 200NS versus KTM 200 Duke - 005

On every other front despite Bajaj not being forthright about sharing the engine and transmission ( we honestly don’t think it’s a bad thing) the Pulsar 200NS is going to be a scorcher at the box office. Especially given that Rajiv Bajaj did mention that it would be priced under a lakh of rupees when it hits the market early April 2012. I’d like to read that as a on-road price not ex-showroom.


Also see – Bajaj Auto confirms new Pulsar 350 launch in 2013

Bajaj Auto to launch fully-faired version of new Pulsar 200NS


New Bajaj Pulsar 200NS versus KTM 200 Duke –


KTM 200 Duke

Bajaj Pulsar 200NS

Displacement (cc)




DOHC 4-valve liquid cooled

SOHC 4-valve liquid cooled

Power (PS)



Torque (NM)




Fuel injected


Bore (mm)



Stroke (mm)






Number of spark plugs



Kerb weight (kg)



Front Tyres

110/70-R17, tubeless

100/80-17, tubeless

Rear Tyres

150/60-R17, tubeless

130/80-17, tubeless

Fuel tank capacity (litres)



Fuel efficiency (kmpl)



Brakes (front)

300mm disc with two pot caliper

280mm petal disc with floating caliper

Brakes (rear)

230mm disc with one pot floating caliper

230mm petal disc with floating caliper


3.2 (estimated)

3.61 (claimed)


9.2 (estimated)

9.83 (claimed)


Steel trellis


Top Speed (kmph)

140 (estimated)

136 (claimed)

Front Suspension

Upside down fork with radially mounted callipers from WP

Telescopic front fork with antifriction bush diameter 37

Rear Suspension

Monoshock from WP

Nitrox monoshock with piggy back canister

Length x Width x Height


2017 x 1195 x 804mm

Price (ex-showroom, Delhi)

Rs 1.17lakh

Under Rs 1lakh




Image CreditAutoCarIndia