India is a country famous for its practical thinking with the phrase “Kitna deti hai” being sufficient proof about it. In 2001 the Indian motorcycle market favored towards fuel efficient and small capacity motorcycles (that had engine capacities from 80–125 cc). Motorcycles with higher engine specifications did not exist. But the launch and subsequent success of the Hero Honda CBZ in 1999 showed that there was demand for sport bikes. From this Bajaj had an idea and that idea was launched in the form of the Pulsar twins on 24 November 2001. Since it’s introduction, the Pulsar has been a success and has changed the public perception on motorcycles.
Since its launch in 2001, Bajaj has been regularly updating the Pulsar in order to be competitive as well as to maintain a dynamic image. In 2012 Bajaj’s ninth iteration, the Pulsar 200 Naked-Sport was launched in April 2012 with a 200cc liquid cooled engine that produces 23.17 bhp at 9,500 rpm and 18.3 Nm of torque at 8,000 rpm. It incorporated a triple-spark design,a petal disc brake on the front, a disc brake on the rear wheel, gas-charged monoshock and a new four-valve SOHC. However the Pulsar has no fuel injection system like its predecessor, the Pulsar 220Fi. IBajaj claims a top speed of 136 kmph and a fule economy of 58 kmpl when driven under 60 kmph. Edgar Heinrich was the lead designer for the 200NS, subsequently left Bajaj to become head of BMW Mororrad.
At the February 2014 Auto-Expo, Bajaj showcased the tenth generation with two new 375cc Pulsar variants. One being the CS400 and the other being the SS400, both of which had full fairing and were near production models. The CS400 can be viewed as aesthetically similar to the Ducati Diavel. Also Bajaj announced almost six new bikes in India, out of which the Pulsar 200SS could be the first to arrive, since the bike’s production is being readied at a facility in Pune. The bike has also been spotted undergoing testing along with a road going version that has recently been spotted in Kolkata. The Pulsar 200SS is based on the Pulsar NS200, but shares the same design philisophy as the Pulsar SS400. It is speculated that the NS200 and the SS400 will have a 199.5cc engine giving a power output of 23bhp and 18Nm of torque. Aesthetically the 200SS has twin projector head-lamps, a clip on handlebar, a single small side slung exhaust and split seats. It also has a fuel tank and a plastic splatter guard that have both been inspired by the NS200. The Pulsar Twins are likely to be priced around Rs.1.1 to 1.2 lakh, which will put it in contention with the KTM RC200 and Yamaha R15.
Comparing them to the competion i.e. the Yamaha YZF-R15 and KTM RC200, the Yamaha has a power output of 17 bhp at 8,500 rpm while the KTM gives 25 bhp at 10,000 rpm and the Bajaj fits between them with 23 bhp expected. However the KTM is heavier with a dry weight of 137 kg while the Yamaha is 138 kg when loaded up. The Yamaha also has a lower ride height than the KTM. All other features are mostly similar with all three having 6 gears, no ABS available and good ride quality. Overall Bajaj has built a capable machine to take on the KTM and the Yamaha in battle.