New 2014 Hero Karizma vs Bajaj Pulsar 200NS vs KTM 200 Duke: Spec Comparison
Hero Motocorp’s Karizma has had a good run in the 200-250cc performance motorcycling segment for a long time since its launch in 2003. It had the looks, it was Hero Motocorp’s first motorcycle with displacement over 200cc and it soon became the hot favourite among Indian motorcyclists. Powered by a 223cc air cooled engine, it belted out 17.2PS and 18.35Nm of torque. Back in the 2000s, performance enthusiasts as well as those with touring aspirations lapped up the first generation Karizma.
Over the years however, the Karizma had to concede a large part of the segment it was dominating to the likes of the Bajaj Pulsar 220 DTSi and then the Yamaha R15. More recently, the advent of the likes of KTM Duke 200, the Pulsar 200NS and the Honda CBR250 further eroded the ZMA’s fan base.
Hero Motocorp had introduced a few upgrades to the Karizma in the past, but these were more cosmetic than feature-packed or performance oriented. The face-lifted version of the new 2014 Karizma R and Karizma ZMR have both cosmetic changes as well as mechanical tweaks. We do a spec comparison to see how the new upgraded Karizma fares against the performance kings in this segment – the Pulsar 200NS and Duke 200.
Design and Features:
The new 2014 Karizma R has essentially the same design and features as the new 2014 Karizma ZMR, with just a smaller fairing. The major visual change over the earlier generation motorcycle is a bigger front featuring two projector headlamps stacked vertically, alongwith LED lights. The new bike now features clip-on handlebars, split seat, split grabrail, a new rear end with LED taillight, a new exhaust end can, reworked body panels and a slightly wider rear tyre.
The changes do make the bike look different, but still it gets a slightly “front heavy” look and it does resemble, to some extent, the Bajaj Pulsar 220 DTSi’s front fairing. The instrumentation however, remains unchanged and carries the same three pod cluster with analogue speedo and tachometers. Compared to the new Karizmas, the Pulsar 200NS offers a muscular and aggressive naked street bike. It looks quite the street hooligan part too, with a stubby exhaust tucked below the engine, crouched stance, muscular tank and high tail light.
On the other hand, the Duke 200 looks unmistakably KTM, the design more or less inspired from its bigger brother – the KTM Super Duke. With a compact digital console, trellis frame, muscular tank and high rear end, the Duke 200 has completely changed the way motorcycles are looked at in India.