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Affordable performance motorcycles for 2014 (200 to 400cc)
Just a few years back, the affordable performance segment consisted of very few motorcycles between 200 to 400cc. But the situation has changed immensely and in 2014, this segment would witness some of the fiercest action among all the two-wheeler class. This shift can be credited to the new generation of consumers for whom performance takes priority over efficiency. Having said that the consumers are still price conscious even in this segment and this has resulted in all the major two-wheeler manufacturers trying their best to bring in new offerings which offer decent performance without costing a bomb. The major launches in this segment have to be the Bajaj Pulsar 200SS/375 and the KTM RC 390/200 along with the Hero Karizma ZMR and R. All these motorcycles are faired which is sure to delight the majority of the two-wheeler consumers in the country who have an affinity to faired bikes.
Image Courtesy: Nitin Agrwal
Bajaj Pulsar 200SS:
Expected Launch: Early 2014
Expected Price: Rs 1 to 1.2 lakh
Trust Bajaj Auto to always come with a surprise. When every auto enthusiast in the country was waiting for the Pulsar 375 all of a sudden pictures of a faired offering based on the Pulsar 200 NS crops up on the internet as thus it comes in to picture the Pulsar 200SS (Super Sport). The new bike would be heavily based on the 200NS but have additional features like electronic fuel injection and ABS (mostly optional). The fuel injection would be a boon during cold starts and for this purpose the bikes are getting tested in hilly regions across the country to validate its performance. Other visual highlights include LED turn indicators sourced from the KTM 200 Duke, twin projector headlights along with a small windscreen to reduce drag. To make the bike more comfortable while touring it sports raised clip-on handlebars. The faired offering would be powered by the same 199cc mill as found on the 200NS but it is expected that the power and torque figures would be hiked marginally from the standard 23.5PS and 18Nm to adapt the touring character of the bike. Bajaj have been the pioneers when it comes to providing value for money performance bikes and the 200NS wouldn’t be any different.
Note: Pic for representation only
Bajaj Pulsar 375:
Expected Launch: Late 2014
Expected Price: Rs 1.4 to 1.5 lakh
With all its attention fixed on the Pulsar 200SS, it doesn’t mean that Bajaj has forgotten about the Pulsar 375 which would be a faired offering based on the bonkers KTM 390 Duke. Bajaj has smartly adopted the technical know-how which was developed for the 200 Duke and applied it brilliantly on the Pulsar 200NS and that’s what it plans to repeat with the 375. Which means that the design would be inspired from the Pulsar 200SS while the underpinning would be based on that of the KTM 390 Duke. Powering the bike would be a de-tuned 375cc mill as found on the 390 Duke thereby producing close to 40PS of power and 32Nm of torque and it would get features like fuel injection and ABS. Although the power loss is marginal but what would really counter it would be the bikes pricing. The 390 Duke is priced around 1.86 lakh, which makes it a value for money proposition but with the 375, Bajaj would take it a notch higher. As it is expected to be retail for around Rs 1.5 lakh and for that money a motorcycle enthusiast would be getting the same amount of power for which he normally has to shell out close to Rs 4 lakh!