REVIEW:Forever Male – Pulsar 200 NS
Pulsar 200 NS vs KTM Duke 200
Duke 200 is the full blown counter part of the Pulsar 200 NS. It has a lighter trellis frame, a higher spec DOHC cylinder head, Fuel injection, Higher spec tires, USD forks and rear suspension from WP and other quality tid bits. When both are kept side to side, the Duke looks taller comparing the NS. And it is taller by a bit( 5mm higher seat than NS). Duke also looks significantly narrower than the NS. Handlebars on the Duke is single piece alloys versus the P200 NS’s clip ons making the Duke look and feel like a proper super moto. Build quality is also significantly better on the Duke. With their similarities one might think that both will ride similar. But no. Duke has a completely different engine character and ride feel than the NS. Duke is lighter than the NS and with the 200cc motor on the duke producing an extra 2 hp than on the NS, the Duke has a significantly better power to weight ratio than the latter. And that is much more pronounced on tarmac than on paper.
Duke looks super cool in person. It has a fatter rear(150 vs the 130 on the NS) and a true super motoish stance. The orange paint scheme with “KTM” and “Duke” decals at places are sure to make heads turn. The handlebar feels light and wide making the rider feel in ultimate control. Duke has a much harsher engine note than the NS. And with the trademark fuel pump whine of the Fuel injection system, it sounds a little noisy when idling. But that changes when the throttle is applied. I hated the console of the Duke. It was small and the tacho was hard to read at a glance. But the added information like the coolant temperature, average speed, gear indication etc is welcome. But what good is info if you cant read it at a glance while on the move? The consolation is the shift light and speedo indication which is big and clear. But the annoying console will no longer trouble you once you get the Duke moving. You’ll be paying less attention to the console as the Duke is so addictive while riding. The DOHC motor is faster revving than the SOHC on the NS. The high pitched shriek of an exhaust note will enhance the whole experience. Duke has better acceleration comparing the NS. I was expecting the same or even more front end chatter than the NS while taking a fast corner on the Duke as it was lighter than the NS. But there was none as i expected. Much of this cornering performance can be attributed to the Superb front forks and rear suspension, the MRF Revs Radials on the Duke also plays a part. All that makes the Duke super stable in a corner than the NS. On a supermoto, the sensation of speed will be higher because of the upright riding posture and the absence of a fairing to deflect all that wind blast. But on the Duke, the smooth engine masks that feeling once the rider is fully geared and at a 110 kmph it felt slower than the NS! I have to say that Duke has one of the smoothest single cylinder engines in the country! It is so refined that one might never think that the NS and the Duke shares the same bottom end! The fuel injection is hassle free and the Duke has a more linear power delivery than the NS. It has better low end torque, no vibrations or flat spots before its maximum power producing rpm and is one step ahead in refinement comparing the P200 NS. It has better braking performance and the tires and suspension combo offers superior feedback and ample comfort making it rock solid on a corner and easy on the body on a commute. The only niggles i could find with the Duke was that it hits the rev limiter too soon and the console being too small!