Honda CBR250R vs KTM Duke 200 vs Bajaj Pulsar 200NS: Comparison
Forget your 100cc commuters, your kilometres-to-the-litre top trumps... this is war. A war for the hearts and minds (and wallets) of Indian bikers, and by bikers, we mean those who love motorcycling in its truest sense
She’s got the looks
Aesthetics, sex appeal, call it what you like, a performance bike should not only go like the clappers, it should turn heads as well
Bajaj Pulsar 200NS
The way the Pulsar 200NS looks is a bit of a surprise. Not only does it shun all the design elements from its predecessors, it clearly draws inspiration from international naked bikes while still coming across as a quintessential Pulsar. Bits like the CB1000R inspired headlight, the massive sculpted tank, the chunky perimeter frame, the near invisible underbelly exhaust and the sharply rising tail with its split seat all exude a sense of purpose and aggression that we’ve never seen before on any bike made here. Lithe and at the same time muscular, the 200NS looks the part of a fast bike and absolutely screams streetfighter from every angle. One thing that breaks this image though is the split handlebar, which would’ve gone much better with the overall theme had it been a solid, single piece unit.
Honda CBR 250R
Amongst the pack of naked hooligans, the fully faired CBR 250R actually looks rather sombre. But make no mistake, this is a rather good looking bike, no matter what angle you view it from. Sure, it may carry the ‘baby Blade’ moniker, but its massive fairing panels and headlight have clearly been modelled after Honda’s big, cushy VFR1200F, and this little CBR looks every bit the part of the comfortable, sport tourer. In fact, every bit of the design of the bike has been geared towards providing the snuggest riding position in order to munch those highway miles. The design is so nice and neutral that the bike looks perfectly at home whether leaned over in a corner with the rider’s knee dragging along the tarmac, or perfectly vertical, with a couple of panniers strapped to the tail. And in a country obsessed with full fairings and superbikes, the CBR feels the most like a ‘big bike’ amongst this lot and that makes its appeal undeniable.
KTM 200 Duke
In terms of design, the Duke really takes the rule book and chucks it out the window. It might not be such a shocker if you’re used to the Austrian bike maker’s designs in general, but compared to anything else we’ve seen in India so far, it really stands worlds apart. And while it absolutely radiates a sense of ‘form follows function’, start looking at the details and you realise that even the functional bits have been designed with form in mind. From the angular tank to the beautiful trellis frame, the arrowhead indicators, the compact full LCD console and the gorgeously carved aluminium cast swingarm, every little facet is absolutely striking. If god is in the details, then the Duke is Mount Olympus incarnate with Aphrodite ruling supreme. The design is so radical in fact, that it’s almost a love-it-or-hate-it situation where some folks may not appreciate its over the top approach. But just for that, for breaking the traditional boundaries of design, we absolutely adore it.
Why the Duke 200
Drop-dead gorgeous looks, minimalistic design and supreme fit and finish, the KTM 200 Duke looks nothing like what we've seen in India to this day.
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