Over the past decade, Bajaj has played an instrumental role in shaping the performance bike segment in India. They made performance accessible to the masses, by introducing bikes like the Pulsar 220F and the 200NS, which were powerful, yet affordable. Now, to take this a step further, the company has introduced a new variant, called the AS200. AS stands for Adventure Sport, hinting at the purpose this motorcycle is pegged for. So, does it stay true to its billing? Let’s find out!
The AS200’s styling takes the aesthetic appeal of the 200NS’ a notch higher. It looks very attractive, with the well-designed half-fairing giving it a smart and purposeful look. Build quality though could have been better. While the materials used exude a premium feel, fit and finish levels aren’t up to the mark.
The AS200 seats the rider upright, with the foot pegs set slightly forward. The seat is sufficiently large and accommodative. Overall, the riding posture feels fairly comfortable even when riding for extended periods. The pillion seat though is relatively smaller in size, and doesn’t really bode well for touring two-up.
Thrusting the AS200 forward with enthusiasm is the very same carburated 199cc liquid-cooled motor that powers the 200NS. This unit makes 23.1 bhp& 18.3 Nm of torque, which allows the bike to break the 100kmph mark in less than 12 seconds. There is an even spread of torque available throughout the rev range, which makes overtaking a breeze even in higher gears. The AS achieved a speedo-indicated top whack of 132 kmph;if it weren’t for a lack of space, we reckon it could have gone a bit faster. Not only is it powerful, but for a bike in this category, the AS is also quite fuel-efficient, returning an average mileage figure of 38 kmpl.
One small bugbear we experienced with the AS200’s engine was the throttle response, which seemed slightly lethargic. Beyond 80 kmph, when you close the throttle and open it back up again, it struggles for a fleeting moment, as though it is pausing to catch its breath. This is a very minor issue, albeit one that we found to be irritating, especially during enthusiastic riding. We reckon that this wouldn’t have been the case had the bike been equipped with fuel-injection instead.
The AS200 is just as good around the bends as the 200NS, which it shares its chassis and suspension bits with. It is agile,and needs little effort to be coaxed into a corner. Stability is quite good, be it in a straight line or when cornering.
True to its labelling as an Adventure Sports bike, the AS200 performed admirably on the beaten path. The tires and high-ground clearance helped in tackling loose surfaces and rough terrain. What could be improved though is the ride quality. The suspension set-up lies slightly towards the stiffer side, which translated to a firm ride. While small undulations aren’t really an issue, bumps and potholes are best dealt with by standing on the foot pegs
The AS comes equipped with a 280mm petal disc brake up front and a 230mm petal disc at the rear. This provides the bike with adequate stopping power.In our braking test, the AS200 came to a halt from 60 kmph in 12.93m.While this is a good score for a sub-200cc performance bike, it has to be mentioned that the AS came to a stop in a rather dramatic fashion, with the tires squealing and rear popping up. This may look good, but in effect, it is rather unsafe, especially in the wet. The addition of ABS, atleast a single-channel unit as equipped in the RS200, would improve the braking a great deal.
At Rs 91,550 (ex-showroom, Delhi), the Bajaj Pulsar AS200 poses exceptional value for money, considering its performance, dynamics and features on offer.
The Bajaj Pulsar AS200 is a sort of bike that you’ve been secretly wishing for, a proverbial jack of all trades.You can take it to work on weekdays, and then use it to explore the countryside on weekends. It is fast enough to put a smile on your face every time to whack open the throttle, and it is fun to ride on twisty roads.Moreover, it is priced at a relatively affordable point, and is inexpensive to run and to maintain.It isn’t all perfect though. Its downsides include slightly below-par build quality and a firm ride, but then, at this side of Rs 1lakh, you’d be hard-pressed to find a bike that offers as much as the Pulsar AS200 does.
|Engine||Triple Spark, 4 Valve, DTS-i Engine|
|Power||23.3bhp @ 9500rpm|
|Torque||18.3Nm @ 8000rpm|
|Suspension||Front:Telescopic with anti friction bush
Rear:Nitrox Monoshock absrber
|Fuel Tank Capacity||12|