Two same segment motorcycles but both so different in their character and poise. Which one to go for?
When the same maker has two 200cc offerings in its kitty, inevitably comparisons will be drawn. So while you were reading everything about the new Bajaj Pulsar 200NS, rightfully we took this opportunity to tell you everything about its sibling, the KTM 200 Duke. Both these gorgeous machines have been engineered at Bajaj Auto’s Chakan plant, ground up. And they both bring a lot of goodies to the table albeit with very different characters and temperaments that will appeal and lure buyers of varying mindsets.
The KTM 200 Duke (since it was launched earlier) although developed by Bajaj Auto, is an internationally launched and acclaimed product which is backed by a strong brand following worldwide,while its maker enjoys a long legacy of over five decades of making some of the most exciting motorcycles in the world. True to its Ready-to-Race DNA, there is no need to be cost conscious with the KTM brand for its target audience rarely will need any convincing or poking to part with the cash to paint the town orange.
The Bajaj Pulsar 200NS on the other hand retains the iconic Pulsar brand’s Power-to-the-People genes bringing affordable performance within the realms of the Indian bikers on a budget. And this is what differentiates it from the KTM and it's also the reason for some of the missing bits like fuel injection, DOHC, aluminium swingarm etc from the KTM. But then when it comes to delivering the jollies, the Pulsar 200NS is right on par with the 200 Duke and is miles ahead of its existing competition. So much so that despite a 50cc deficit from being a full blown quarter-litre pocket-rocket, the Pulsar 200NS does a better job at delivering excellent straight line as well as cornering performance than the current 250cc motorcycles in the market.
On sheer performance numbers, the Duke is marginally quicker than the Pulsar as per the claimed figures from the company officials, but having ridden both these bikes around the Bajaj test track at Chakan near Pune, ZigWheels can declare with conviction that the cornering abilities of the Pulsar 200NS are far more well etched and rewarding around the bends thanks to its lanky form and aggressive rake, endowing the bike with excellent agility and suave conduct.
It is obvious that many will wonder which one of the two motorcycles to opt for, especially since both bikes boast identical cubic capacities and near similar performance. The striking difference comes with the distinct characters of these bikes. But the question remains which one of the two should you put your money on? Is it going to be the radical and totally non-conservative KTM 200 Duke or is it the familiar Pulsar brand that you have known for years and seen it evolve over the decade? The solution lies in a simple test ride. Both the bikes will go around doing their business in absolute calm and composed manners but will turn into outrageous hooligans in the blink of an eye, if that is how you like it. So if you have the moolah to spend on the KTM, don't think twice and if you are on a budget, then the new Pulsar 200NS will be the ideal buy. Either way you are sure to own a winner.