• Wednesday, 7 December 2016

    KTM Duke RC 200 VS Bajaj Pulsar RS 200

    Bajaj has come a long way since the launch of its flagship, the first generation Pulsar. It was launched way back in 2001, and was advertised with the tagline of ‘Definitely male’, which wooed many customers and helped to grow the 150cc-180cc segment even better. Now in 2016, Bajaj is offering its Pulsar in different avatars, with the Pulsar RS 200 being the most improved Pulsar till date. It seems like Bajaj’s designers and engineers have put a lot in designing and developing this machine. However, like every other bike, the RS 200 also has a potent competitor, the KTM RC 200. The RC 200 is a brilliant motorcycle to ride in every condition.

    If you are looking for a new 200cc sporty bike which can efficiently handle both day-to-day and occasional track rides, let’s take a sneak peek through the features of both the bikes to help you decide which one better suits your needs..

    Design, build and finish:

    The KTM RC 200 is a brilliantly designed motorcycle. Just like other KTMs, the RC can also be recognized from a distance due to its unconventional yet nice design. The fit and finnish levels of the RC is quite good and seems like they are built to last. The fairing is brilliantly made and it doesn’t rattle at all.

    On the other hand the Bajaj Pulsar RS 200 is overly styled, with a busy design, too many lines, cuts and creases. It attracts everyone, but doesn’t look very pleasing to the eyes. The backlight also doesn’t add much to its beauty. In addition, the usual Bajaj problems like rattling visors and other body parts are still there, but the rattling has gone down in comparison to the earlier bikes.

    In terms of looks, fit and finish, the RC 200 surges ahead of the RS 200, mostly due to brilliant build quality, better designs and far better looks. The RS 200 looks quite unique and unconventional, but it lacks the classy feel of the RC 200.

    Engine and performance

    The aggressive and track focused KTM RC 200 feels at home in race track rather than Indian roads. The RC 200 comes with a 4-valve, 199cc liquid cooled engine, that can churn out 25 bhp of maximum power @ 10000 rpm and 19 Nm of maximum torque @ 8000 rpm. The transmission duties are taken care of by a 6-speed transmission system that sends all the power to the rear wheel of the bike. When it comes to 0-60kmph sprint the KTM takes only 3.8 seconds.

    Bajaj, on the other hand, has tuned the RS 200 for better drivability in city traffics and better mileage. The RS 200 is powered by a 4-valve 199.5cc engine, which can produce maximum 24.5 bhp of power @ 9750 rpm and 18.6 Nm of maximum torque @ 8000 rpm. The RS 200 is also equipped with a 6-speed transmission system. The Bajaj can go from 0-60kmph under 4.09 seconds, which makes this bike slightly slower than the RC. In terms of top speed the RS trumps the RC with the top speed of 142 kmph. When it comes to mileage, the Indian manufacturer shows its true colors by trumping the RC with its 35 kmpl against 29 kmpl.

    So in terms of performance and engine, both the bikes are different. The RC is quite good with its track focused agility and brilliant performance, whereas Bajaj has tuned its RS in such a way that it can tackle every road conditions brilliantly and the RS is even lighter on your pocket with better fuel efficiency.

    Ride and handling

    The KTM carries its favorite all ready proven steel trellis configuration. The KTM has the beefy upside down forks with radically mounted brake calipers. The KTM’s stiff suspension setup slightly affects the brilliant looking motorcycle in bumpy corners but it’s a track focused bike, and does it job quite well. The KTM is very accurate around the corners and holds its line beautifully. The whole package is made for effortless cornering and the RC 200 will surprise you every time with its cornering abilities. When it comes to day to day riding, due the stiff suspension of the RC, riders feel bumps and potholes quite a bit.

    The RS 200 is quite an interesting package as well, with a sharper handle bar and shorter wheelbase. The suspension of the RS is brilliantly balanced between hard and soft, and it has been coupled with super grippy MRF tyres, which translate in to confident cornering. It is not as stiffly sprung as the RC 200, which translates into better rider experience while taking on bumpy corners.

    When it comes to sitting the KTM has a race focused seating position with brilliantly cushioned riders seat, but the pillion seat is not that great and the grab handle for the pillion is missing too. In contrast the RS has quite good seating arrangement, and the pillion seat is quite good too. RS’s seating setup is suited for both race and day to day usage.

    So if you are looking for a bike which is track focused and also can do day to day job well, then the RS 200 is a  great option. The Bajaj is quite good overall, but its ergonomics aren’t as focused as its competitors such as Yamaha R15 or even the RC 200, but believe me the Chassis is a brilliant piece of engineering and it will surprise you with its abilities. On the other hand the KTM doesn’t compromise on its main focus and that is outright performance from the word go. It’s a far more focused motorcycle than the Pulsar and it will bring a big smile on your face every time you ride it. But before buying a KTM, be sure that you have enough riding experience and you are a pro, as it is not for faint hearted.

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