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Honda CBR250R vs KTM Duke 200 vs Bajaj Pulsar 200NS: Comparison

by Priyadarshan Bawikar Photography: Kunal Khadse Posted on 22 Nov 2012422,093 Views83 Comments

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


Duke 200 Honda CBR Pulsar 200NS performance graphics



Speed games

The purpose of a performance bike, as the name suggests, is to go fast. And here we put that to the test and see which of these wears the performance crown


When it comes to performance, the CBR 250R really set the benchmark when it arrived last year. Of course, by performance, we mean outright, straight line performance – zero to 100km/h figures and all that jazz – the stuff of endless forum debates. And even the arrival of the KTM and the new Pulsar doesn’t seem to have shaken the ‘Blade off its high pedestal. As you can see from the infographic on the right, when it comes to the run up to the ton mark from standstill, the CBR has everyone beat – over 0.3 second faster than KTM and almost a second quicker than the Pulsar. Die-hard fans of the nakeds would like to say that this isn’t much of a margin, especially with regard to the Austrian, but in the world of “mine is bigger than yours” arguments, it’s more than enough. This is thanks to the CBR’s wonderful 249.6cc single-cylinder 4-valve DOHC mill, which is the most powerful and torquiest of the lot. 


What is more impressive than just the straight up power figures of the CBR’s motor is the way the power is delivered. Where the KTM and Pulsar are rather peaky, the Honda pulls easily and smoothly in any gear, at any rpm. And while that may not reflect directly in the in-gear roll-on comparison we’ve chosen, where the two streetfighters are a bit quicker thanks to their shorter gearing and revvy engines, the CBR can pull a lot harder and more importantly a lot longer in each gear.


How quick you can move forward is pointless if you can’t shed all that speed quickly enough. And this is where the CBR’s party piece really comes into play. Thanks to the power of the Combined ABS system, the bike can literally stop on a dime. And even though in our figures, the KTM has stopped a little shorter thanks to its lower weight, that difference boils down to the ability of our bike road tester. But on an average, the CBR will stop better, safely and consistently on any sort of road surface, without you needing the exceptional motorcycling skills of a Varad More.


Duke 200 Honda CBR Pulsar 200NS exterior performance



Why the CBR 250

Phenomenal performance with extremely friendly power delivery from that gem of an engine, a full fairing that cleaves through the air with ease and the power of anti-lock brakes for exceptional stopping power

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