Nov 25, 2008

16 Bajaj Pulsar 220 DTS-Fi Vs Hero Honda Karizma Vs TVS Apache RTR 160 Fi Vs Yamaha YZF R15..!! (According to Auto Magazines)

Which is the “Best” bike among the Pulsar 220, R15, Apache RTR 160 Fi and the Karizma..?? Find out what the Auto journalists have to say… and then decide for yourself

Posted below are excerpts of the comparisons carried by the respective magazines. For full report click on the links provided below..

Bike India: (This comparison was done at the Chennai Race Track)

Bike India Race Track Test

Bajaj Pulsar 220 (Best Power Spread)

The 220 has the strongest pull over the largest rev range. That decidedly makes it the bike with the most useable power. Excellent straight line speed is an icing on the cake.

Yamaha R15 (Best Lap Time / Best handling)

The R15 has its power stored in the reservoir above the 7000rpm band. The fact doesn’t mar the lap times at all, especially with that phenomenal handling. The 220 will have the edge in more practical conditions though.

TVS Apache RTR 160 Efi (Best Value Track Tool)

For a 160cc air-cooled two valve per cylinder bike, the track performance of the RTR EFI is nothing short of a revelation. Want to go racing? There’s no better learner’s tool for the money.

Hero Honda Karizma

Surprisingly for us, the Karizma emerged as the last finisher here. Trust us, there is hardly anything wrong with that bike. It’s not as brutally focussed towards track performance as the other contenders and compromises on a few things for the sake of practicality and comfort.

Read Full article here..

Zigwheels (Times Group): Road Test Comparison

Zigwheels Road Test

Yamaha YZF R15

The Yamaha YZF-R15 needs some right-wrist wrestling to keep in the meat of its powerband and not every rider is going to be able to do that, especially in crowded cities like Mumbai...

… if you're looking to upgrade from your existing 150cc motorcycle, and want something that's stylish and exclusive, or if you live anywhere close to a racetrack, the YZF-R15 is for you.

If you already ride anything with more than a 180cc engine, then the Yamaha doesn't quite justify the additional price you'll be paying for the marginal performance upgrade - hang on for a little while longer and you'll soon have better options coming your way.

TVS Apache RTR 160 Fi

If you're going to be caught up in a threat-inducing battle with your parents who refuse to pay more than Rs 70,000 for a new bike, then go ahead and settle for the TVS Apache RTR-FI 160.

…Zipping around in the city will be enjoyable and you won't regret taking her out on the highway either. The TVS Apache presents itself as a great option if you're on a tight budget but still want your garage to boast of the latest technology that is on offer.

Bajaj Pulsar 220 DTS-Fi

The Bajaj Pulsar 220 DTS-Fi though, still remains right on top of the game owing to not only its bigger engine capacity, but great all-round capability as well…

Fuel efficiency is good, is a dream to ride hard and will probably tire you the least after that long road trip because of it's comfortable riding posture. Equipment levels are high and the bike, though not exactly cheap, is affordable and justifiably so...

The 220 does everything in just the right amounts to offer the most wholesome riding experience among all of the three fuel injected contenders in the country today. The king keeps his crown, but just.

Read Full article here..

Conclusion: So now you know what the auto journalists think about these bikes head to head...

…but before you take the above comparisons as the gospel truth, let me also point of another "Race Track Comparison", this time done by Overdrive magazine a couple of months back.

Overdrive India

Actually Overdrive had done an episode for its TV partner CNBC TV18 ( and had distributed the DVD in one of its print issues), in which it had carried its own "Race Track Comparision" of the Bajaj Pulsar 220 DTS-Fi, Hero Honda Karizma and the TVS Apache RTR 160 Fi (if my memory is collect its was Fuel Injected the Apache RTR 160).

In that particular “Race Track Comparison”, Overdrive magazine had voted the Hero Honda Karizma as the best bike for the Race track followed by the Bajaj Pulsar 220 DTS-Fi and the TVS Apache RTR 160 Fi accordingly..!!

Now which comparison should one go for.??

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This is to remind that the Views or Opinions in the blog are entirely mine unless explicitly stated. The Views and Opinions published in this blog should in no way be related to any other person or organization associated -- directly or indirectly -- with me.


Cé$âr said...

Hey, its great to see Yamaha India flexing its muscle (finally!) and TVS rightly in its place as a track machine. It feels as if Bajaj is not picking up the pace like these other two companies; with the resultant effect of the Pulsars looking a bit dated and all too ordinary!

However when it comes to value for money; also considering mileage, service and spares.. its undoubtedly Bajaj!

Sajal said...

It seems funny as to why would majority of so called "Biking/Auto" magazines would decide to leave out Pulsar 200 when they decide to run the likes Apache RTR Fi with the mighty beasts like Pulsar 220, ZMA.

I feel the Pulsar 200 is more becoming the prodigal son. I mean does the Max Power output of 18PS becomes so small infront of 15.7PS of RTR Fi and 17PS of R15?

I fail to understand any logical reasoning behind not including the Pulsar 200 in any race track comparison where we are comparing performance!!!

Payeng said...

@ Ce$ar..

nice pointers there.. I don't expect Bajaj Auto to take things so lightly.. maybe they are just waiting for everyone else to show their cards first..

@ Sajal,

the P200 might have been excluded from the tests maybe because the Auto Mags were interested in putting the "Topmost" models of the respective brands..

..but yes, they should have.

Anonymous said...

dear satadal, i dont own any indian bike (i am not indian) but i am just asking you since you are knowledgeble in this stuff, why does pulsar 220 only have a top speed of 135 kmph? i know of honda 125cc old and basic bikes being able to touch 130kmph when tuned well, although its engine is just half the size. with the efi and all other gizmos being standards in pulsar, why is it so slow? please gimme an explanation. i look forward to it. thank you

Anonymous said...

dear satadal,

i forgot to write that your brochure above shows pulsar 220s top speed is 127 kmph but i personally know that some people claim it goes to 130 - 135 kmph, but yet isnt it slow for a 220 cc bike? in fact all the time pulsar gets compared to bikes below its class especially 160 cc apache. this is like comparing 2 bikes of different class. the difference in cc is a whole 0.6 (from 1.6 to 2.2) - that is around 25% bigger than the other!. Yet i see pulsar doesnt fare significantly better than apache.

is it electronically tuned to do only 130 kmph or something? because if its not i say this bike is BAD, really.

a 220 bike should do at least 200 kmph.

being a bike enthusiast you should know this.

i look forward to your answers.


Payeng said...


According to road tests, the best 250 cc, 4 stroke, twin cylinder (33 bhp, fuel injected) motorcycle of the world i.e. the 2009 Kawasaki Ninja 250R achieves a true top speed of around 145-150 Kmph..

So there is nothing wrong with 135 Kmph max top speed of the Pulsar 220..

130 Kmph on a Street Legal, production 125 cc motorcycle is virtually impossible (at least till date).. I recently came across an article in Bike India magazine that a "Heavily modified" Kawasaki Ninja 250R recorded a top speed of around 175-177 Kmph Which is a World Record for the Ninja 250R..!!

therefore a 220 cc, Street Legal, single Cylinder, 4 Stroke Motorcycle achieving 200 Kmph is impossible as of today. Not even the Honda 250 cc, Twister or the Yamaha 250 cc Fazer sold internationally presently can achive such speeds..

According to Auto Magazines, the Digital Speedometer of the Pulsar 220/200/180/150 are the most accurate among Indian Motorcycles.. there is very little % of error in these Digital Speedometers as compared to other motorcycles which show around 10% error..

So when other models show 130 Kmph on the Speedo.. the true speed is actually around 117 Kmph (shown only as an example here)

Anonymous said...

payeng, i am NOT bluffing you. Bikes like Suzuki GS125 and Honda CG125 CAN touch at least 115-120 kmph. A Yamaha YB100 Excellence (100cc) can touch 115 kmph. If you don't believe me, see this picture of its speedo. It is NOT fake! [ ]

Let me tell you I am Pakistani and here 100 and 125 cc bikes CAN touch 115-120 kmph if tuned properly. Of course it takes some time to reach that speed and it vibrates like hell, but it CAN.

I have loved Indian bikes (its looks, gizmos, technology coupled with good mileage etc) but the only thing disappointing thing is its top speed, which is bad. If you say 117 kmph is Pulsar's top speed, then its not good. I have taken my GS125 up to 105 kmph but didnt dare go further. But it is true that it can exceed that speed if pushed a lil bit.

Do you have any answers to this?

BTW I still love Pulsar and APACHE and hope I can own the better one one after testing both. But they are not legal in Paistan till now.

But all I seek is answer as to why is its top speed low.

Anonymous said...

dear satadal,

any answers bro?

ankit said...

i am ankit from dehradun . i have pulsar 220 and i reach the speed of 160 on delhi highway.with K&N fillter>>

Anonymous said...

i am a die hard apache fan and owning the bike i can tell u for sure dat for a 160 cc engine the bike is truly amazing ...the fact that its bein comapared 2 all dese oder bikes which are comparitively of higher cc's is a compliment in itself

Anonymous said...

ey m bikram f a yzf r15....n itz bin 2 mnths.....da verdict 2wrds it is dat....da handlin is da bst part f it....n drz mre gud thns abt dse bike....kno wat guys....wen u ve sch a bike like dse ur neva lonely in traffic...u wud b surrounded by ppl...wd various questions.....wch is js wat evre1

Anonymous said...

i want to purchase a new good looking sportbike and it should be fast too my budget is around 1,00,000 which one suits me best 220 pulsar or R15 i want it should be different among rest???

Anonymous said...

to ankit,

Dude i have the same 220 with K&N and a IR spark plugs and im damn sure that it will never cross 130 unless u wanna let the engines die. If u had noted , ur rpm will be at 10000 at that speeds and the red light blinks, and i f u choose to go with it, then that will be the end of the road.

For my other friends talking about top speed of the 220.

Yes your GS125 will reach 115 or whatever but HOW MUCH TIME WILL IT TAKE????????.

My Pulsar 220 can touch the 100 in less than 400 mtrs and touch the 120 mark in another 200. that should be some thing around 30 to 35 seconds or even less. Thats the power of the engine.

But your bikes will squeak and trail behind looooooooong time. So think about that befor comparing.

oudre said...

i'm from indonesia, i have R6 yamaha, 150 RR 2 stroke Ninja, and NSR 150 SP, if u want to compare a bike, please pay attention to the engine capacity, for example, if u want to compare a 200cc bike than compare it with another 200cc bikes, that's what i called comparing, so take it easy guys..., this only my opinion, enjoy life - ride safely.

best regards from indonesia


Adi said...

Hi guys....what I feel truly about Indian bikes is definitely the low top speed...This is due to the simple fact that mileage is cause of great concern to majority of the indian enthusiasts have to compromise on this as there are no other options available. Importing a performance bike is very heavy on pockets. Also, the market of 100-150cc bike thrives in india hence these people never think of going further(research of performance tuning)....I am from india only and really feel the need to have some honda,yamaha 250 bikes over here...

Adi said...

Hi guys....what I feel truly about Indian bikes is definitely the low top speed...This is due to the simple fact that mileage is cause of great concern to majority of the indian enthusiasts have to compromise on this as there are no other options available. Importing a performance bike is very heavy on pockets. Also, the market of 100-150cc bike thrives in india hence these people never think of going further(research of performance tuning)....I am from india only and really feel the need to have some honda,yamaha 250 bikes over here...

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