2012 ET ZigWheels Bike of the Year : BAJAJ PULSAR 200NS
This one was an absolute no-brainer. The Bajaj Pulsar 200NS is the best bike ever to roll out from an Indian motorcycle manufacturer till date. Sure, it shares a fair bit of its engine with the KTM Duke 200 (which too was developed by Bajaj), but in every other aspect, it is worlds apart from its Austrian cousin.
The 200NS represents the evolution of Bajaj's power-to-the-people formula which the Chakan-based company has been perfecting over the last decade, but in a purely engineering sense, it is a radical departure from any Pulsar we've seen till date. And yet, this new machine screams its Pulsar heritage no matter what angle you look at it from.
Hanging between its perimeter frame (the first for any Bajaj bike) is a 200cc over-square single cylinder liquid cooled motor which features the bike maker's latest triple-sparkplug technology. Thanks to this, even without the use of electronic fuel injection, the 200NS manages to provide lots of oomph, a crisp throttle response while maintaining high efficiency levels to boot. (Also read: 2012 Bajaj Pulsar 200NS: World Exclusive First Ride)
Factor in the bang-on ergonimics, sharp handling, bucketfuls of grunt from the get-go and an on-road price tag of under a lakh of rupees, it becomes clear that one simply cannot have more fun on a motorcycle for less. And that made the Pulsar 200NS an easy jury favourite.