Jul 1, 2012

16 Pulsar 200NS Vs KTM 200 Duke: Sibling Rivalry

Can the Pulsar 200NS be compared with the KTM 200 Duke..??

How can an Indian brand (Pulsar) be called as a sibling to a European (KTM) brand? Well, both the bikes actually share a common DNA in terms of their development. The next gen Pulsar was developed by Bajaj R&D alongside the baby Duke which was co-developed by Bajaj & KTM.

There is no better bike between the two, just two bikes with two different characters

Also both the bikes are manufactured in the Chakan (Pune) plant of Bajaj auto utilizing parts sourced from Indian vendors. It has been stated officially that the lower half of the engine on both bikes have been shared. Also the bore and stroke of the piston on both bikes is identical. The underbelly silencer on both bikes is another visual cue.

So does it mean that both bikes are essentially same with just a difference in their styling, features and subsequently in their price level? Is there a better bike between the two?

Nothing could be far from the truth. Although both bikes might share some common DNA, but in terms of ride feel both the bikes are diametrically opposite. It is simply not possible to pick a winner between the two. Each bike has got its own distinct character. There is no better bike between the two, just two bikes with two different characters.

Bajaj Pulsar 200NS: A Grown up Man - Mature, smooth and suave
KTM 200 Duke: A Teenager – Restless, bit too enthusiastic and a bit hard edged

Bajaj Pulsar 200NS: The Pulsar 200NS a versatile bike. One can use it for city/daily commutes. It can cruise smoothly on long highway tours at 100 plus kmph speeds and it can also attack corners of a race track, provided you can find one. It does all these with a refined, mature and stable feel.

The Pulsar 200NS accelerates in a linear manner and there is no pronounced “torque kick” experienced when one twists the accelerator. What you get is a linear pull that continues relentlessly till the red line. The Pulsar 200NS is also very smooth all through its rev range. The linear and smooth nature of the engine makes the Pulsar 200NS deceptively quick. The handling of the Pulsar 200NS is a revelation. The perimeter frame and the monoshock at the rear combine to provide a handling which is very stable and sure footed.

The engine and the handling of the Pulsar 200NS gives the bike a character which is unlike the older Pulsars. The bike now feels mature, sure footed and very refined. It is no longer the hooligan that the Pulsar once used to be.

KTM 200 Duke: The 200 Duke is an extremely focused street bike. It is simply the king, emperor, lord (opps that’s taken), overlord of the Indian streets. Very light and extremely flickable with neck jerking take off every time one pins the throttle, there is no other bike which can match the baby Duke in the streets. But this single minded focus also limits the 200 Duke to some extent.

The short stroke and short geared engine of the 200 Duke makes it a street hooligan but this also takes its toll in the highway cruising capability. The bike easily crosses 100 kmph but the engine takes a slightly stressed nature. The handling which is extremely agile in the city feels a bit over enthusiastic on open stretches with a slight amount of over steer.

The urgent nature of the engine and light handling makes the 200 Duke an unmatched street hooligan but it also means that the versatility of the bike is compromised. The 200 Duke does one thing well and it does it bloody well.

Conclusion: Fuel efficiency of both bikes will hover around 35-40 kmpl depending on the riding style. In terms of performance the 200 Duke will be faster and quicker than the Pulsar 200NS. In terms of fit and finish and built quailty both bikes are very good with the 200 Duke being slightly better on this front. The Pulsar 200NS will cost around Rs. 95,000 on-road on the other hand the 200 Duke will be about Rs. 35,000 dearer at around Rs. 130,000. The 200 Duke does get additional goodies which the Pulsar lacks like a Fuel Injection system, upside down front forks, steel braided brakes hoses and a swingarm made out of aluminium.

The difference in character of both bikes have been mentioned above. Now its upto the rider to make his choice.

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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.


Anonymous said...

It's the DUKE for me!!

Gunawan MS said...

LOL, Indian bikers are so lucky, Duke 200 is just around 40% more expensive compared to P200 NS. Here in Indonesia, Duke 200 is imported by general importer, and priced around (estimated) three times the expected price of P200 NS !!!

Duke 200 wasn't sold as a motorbike here, but as an exclusive, luxurious, wealth symbol that stuck on two wheels avatar.

Mad mode = ON

S.P - Biker Next Door said...


I expect Bajaj to sell both the 200 Duke and the Pulsar 200NS in Indonesia as well. The 200 Duke has been specifically made by keeping in mind developing markets like India and South East Asian countries like Indonesia

Gunawan MS said...

@Payeng, too bad bro, it seems the sale of KTM bikes in Indonesia, or in South east asia in general, won't be held by Bajaj local subsidiaries here, but instead will be handled by either general importer or KTM own local subsidiaries.

The sales manager of KTM already indicated that Duke will be sold as an exclusive, premium bike, and it seems that has exactly materialized as of now. The Duke's pricing in India is an ANOMALY, not a rule at all for the rest of the world.

Shaiju B said...

I am eagerly waiting for a test ride of both the machines. The Duke is not available in my city and 200NS is yet to arrive. A good test drive (I mentioned it as good bcoz some of the dealers give test drive for half a km :( ) would give the answer.

Anonymous said...

Duke for me......

Anonymous said...

can i fit the 200ns rear tyre on p220?

P220 rider said...

Both P200NS and KTM 200 Duke are great bikes but where are the roads to ride them the way they should be ridden not atleast in my city Mumbai full of potholes :(
Most of the time you will be stuck in a jam i feel bikes like Honda CB twister is much better off for city rides

Anonymous said...

Hi bikers!

Let me introduce myself, I'm a management student from The Netherlands who loves bikes and currently owns a Ducati Monster 696.

As a part of my academic path, I am working on a research project on motorcycles in India. Particularly I would like to understand what kind of people own motorcycles in India.

For this purpose, I am kindly asking the users in this forum to complete a five-minutes online survey. It's going to be very easy and it would mean a great help to my work and me.

So, if you live in India and own one or more motorcycles, please, click on the link below and answer the questions.


And ride safely ;)

Talitha S.

Anonymous said...

i hate clipons on naked bike ktm duke200 looks more real thn 200ns...

Surajit said...

Very nicely put together write up. I am an enthusiast in my mid thirties. I ride daily to work, have a 8 year old tbird. I have set aside a bike fund which means I can buy a ninja 650 on cash (I am hoping it will get relaunched soon), I am a little unconvinced about it's weight and it's everyday use, parking, bumper-to-bumper traffic etc so was considering the duke. I do 90% city riding, 10% highway. I am a saner rider but I appreciate acceleration. It's kind of weird question, what would you suggest. You have ridden both.

S.P - Biker Next Door said...


If your purpose is 90% city ride then i would suggest either the 200 Duke of the 200NS. Between the two the 200 Duke is a more accomplished bike if city riding is considered.

Like I mentioned earlier, the 200 Duke has alomst unnerving kind of acceleration.. the 200 NS is more of a smooth performer. A test ride of both bikes would make things clearer for you

Anil Anupam said...

While both Duke and Pulsar NS are thoughtfully designed to appeal different kind of costumers but still there is no denying that NS is based on the Duke platform/engine. Its understandable when ridden side by side. NS does feels more silent and refined at lower revs compared to Duke but give it a stick and the engine does sound a bit like Duke once the rev rises. Yes the exhaust is muted but the similarity is evident. Both bikes are accompanied by vibes at higher revs although they are far more refined than what older Pulsars have to offer. Duke is lighter and geared for quicker acceleration while NS is more laid back in comparison.

Yes, NS masks the speed more compared to Duke but again Duke is significantly faster is what I felt like after riding the bike.

Duke is more focused of the two with superior handling,braking and agility. NS in comparison is designed to have a wider appeal and hence the softer ride and relatively refined feel.

Which bike is superior ?
Undeniably Duke is ! But again 40Ks is what you have to pay extra for that :)

gunawanspurs said...

LOL, Rs 40 K more is only less than 50% higher compared to P200 NS price in India, and exactly 50% more expensive compared to P220F, while Indonesia's price of D200 is around 3.5 times of our P220F here. :laughing&crying at the same time:

Anonymous said...

Pulsar 200ns is the best


is it possible to reduce the seat height of pulsar 200NS

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