Pulsar NS200 vs Duke 200 Comparison Review

Published on: Feb 14, 2017
Duke 200 vs Pulsar NS200 Comparison Review :




Pricing & Features Comparison:
The 2017 variant of the NS200 retails for 1.07 Lakh Rs. on-road Delhi, which is 53,000 Rs. cheaper than the KTM Duke 200, costing 1.60 Lakh Rs. on-road Delhi.

Duke 200 comes with a Fuel injected engine to give it better fuel delivery than the NS200 which is still offered with a Carburated engine but gets Triple spark technology in it, while Both of these features liquid cooling in them.
NS200 gets a blend of  Digital speedometer with Analog tachometer whereas the Duke 200 comes equipped with a fully digital console displaying loads of additional information over the NS200 like Gear position, shift light, programmable rpm range, engine temperature, riding time, average fuel efficiency, coolant warning, distance to empty, service reminder and engine diagnosis warning. Though both of these motorcycles gets AHO by default as per the latest government norms but the dejected part being that none of them feature ABS even as an option.

Price, On Road, Delhi: 
Pulsar NS200 - 1.07 Lakh
Duke 200 - 1.60 Lakh

Performance & Tractability:
Power in the NS 200 comes from a 4-valve 200cc liquid cooled engine featuring an advanced three spark-plug technology. The engine delivers a peak power of 23 bhp and a maximum torque of 18.3 Nm giving meaty punch to the engine thus making it hit the 60 kmph mark in mere 3.61 seconds while the 100 kmph speed is achieved in 9.83 seconds. The stringent triple spark technology impart remarkable performance, productivity and lower emissions due to its BS4 compliant nature. The smooth shifting 6-speed gearbox is perfectly mated with the 4-valve motor ensuring precise shifts and the optimal use of the wide range of power delivery. The wide power-band range and refined nature of engine helps it to stretch all the way to redline with explicit throttle inputs without any struggle. The only hindrance is the wind blast that occurs during high speed runs on the highways, though an extended front visor could make up for it. The exhaust note sounds majestic as soon as you twist the throttle from incisive mid range to the higher rpm ranges.
The fuel injected 200cc motor on the Duke 200 produces plentiful amount of torque and power that can give some quarter liter bikes a run for their money. It provides one of the best power to weight ratio when compared to other 25 bhp bikes out there. The low and mid range torque is terrific and one can even ride this bike in the 6th gear from 30 kmph and accelerate up to speeds of 130 kmph without any outcry from the engine. The energetic liquid cooled DOHC motor enforces you to push the throttle much harder, climbing the revs very quickly to 11,000 rpm in a blink of your eyes. The first two gears have a very short gear ratios to help it pull from low speed at higher rpms but as the speed progresses its robust character comes into action and that additional sixth gear thrust it forward to add up in its touring abilities while the heating issues still persist when ridden in peak hour traffic conditions.

Power to Weight Ratio (PS/ton): NS 200 - 162, Duke 200 - 186
Torque to Weight Ratio (Nm/ton):  NS 200 - 112, Duke 200 - 133

Power (PS@rpm): NS 200 - 23.5@9,500, Duke 200 - 25@10,000
Torque (Nm@rpm): NS 200 - 18.3@8000, Duke 200 - 19.2@8000
Kerb Weight (kg): NS 200 - 152, Duke 200 - 136

Displacement (cc): NS 200 - 199.5 , Duke 200 - 199.5

Fuel Efficiency:
Both of these motorcycles are claimed to deliver an ARAI certified fuel efficiency of about 40-45 kmpl but the whole scenario is up to you about how rev friendly are you with your beloved machine. Though in our real world tests, the NS 200 was consistently about 4 kmpl more fuel efficient than the Duke 200 in mixed riding conditions. Thanks to its Triple spark technology assisting in fast and complete combustion of fuel, ensuring high performance with better fuel economy and controlled emission. 

Test Mileage (kmpl) : NS 200 - 43, Duke 200 - 39

Fuel Cost ( for usage of 60,000 km) : NS 200 - 1.28, Duke 200 - 1.35

Reliability & After Sales Service:
The Duke 200 and the NS 200 shares the same manufacturing plant of Bajaj in Chakan. KTM has got some Austrian instinct and uses much superior quality parts in its motorcycles when compared to the cost cutting parts of Bajaj. The Duke 200 is lot revamped in terms of reliability than the NS 200 but this doesn't means that the NS 200 lacks behind it in any terms, as Bajaj promotes it as their premium product while the use of much fitter parts evenly make up for Bajaj Auto. They excel in providing regular touch point across whole country while KTM is restricted to only metros and tier 2 cities and needs to expand their network a lot. Bajaj also do a lot better with low service cost and maintenance but KTM will surely prove to be heavy on your pocket because of its higher cost of service and spares.

Resale Price (after 5 - 7 years & 60,000 km): NS 200 - 50,000 Rs. , Duke 200 - 75,000 Rs.
Total Cost of Ownership (Price + Fuel Cost - Resale Price):
NS 200 - 1.85 Lakh
Duke 200 - 2.20 Lakh

Handling & Ride Quality:
The Duke 200 boasts high performance WP inverted forks at the front similar to the dimensions of RC8 and Super Duke 990 and a WP mono-shock with 10-step adjustable preload at rear, connecting you to the road and providing good feedback and does a great job in absorbing bone-jarring encounters with potholes. The enhanced strellis frame coupled with lightweight pin-jointed swing-arm withstand extreme torsional stiffness offering outstanding tracking stability around the curves. The stock MRF Revz tyres offers excellent traction and grip even under hard braking by Bybre's 280mm disc at front and a 230mm disc at the rear. The front brakes do a mighty impressive job in stopping but the rear brakes lacks bite in them.
NS 200's twin-spar pressed steel frame advances sharp, nimble and composed handling on straight roads and rectangular tube section swing-arm lends higher lateral stiffness during cornering. The telescopic suspension up front are very well sorted and the tuned nitrox mono-shock at the rear delivers with grace around the twisties. The pathetic Euro-grip tyres are now being replaced by MRF zapper rubbers providing top grade grasp even on the wet tarmac. Braking duties are admirably administered by competent 280mm and 230mm Bybre discs. Both, the Duke 200 and NS 200 possesses low centre of gravity due to skilfully placed under belly exhaust facilitating well centered mass and confident leans.

Tyre Size:
Front: NS 200 - 100/80 R17, Duke 200 - 110/70 R17
Rear: NS 200- 130//70 R17, Duke 200 - 150/60 R17 

Wheelbase (mm): 
NS 200 - 1363 , Duke 200 - 1367

Comfort & Ergonomics:
Bajaj Auto has not really improved in providing supreme comfort levels in the seating of NS 200. Both riders as well as pillion seats are measly padded and frequent complains of lower back pain is heard from the pillion. The handlebars are positioned slightly higher for small riders and the foot-pegs being in an aggressive position might give up cramp to legs while long touring while the situation is feasible during short city spins.  The Duke isn't different from the NS 200 but it still offers better seat cushioning to the rider but lack in the seat width,thus leading to discomfort for the riders with broad physique. Also the bike looks a bit tiny when ridden by 6 footer rider and doesn't match their expectations of comfortable riding posture. Though short riders will experience gathered seating position due to neat placement of handlebar and gear lever to augment the riding dynamics of the rider.

Seat Height (mm):  NS 200 - 805 , Duke 200 - 810 

Verdict: 
The refreshed NS 200 has certainly progressed a lot  from the previous generation NS with much more improved refinement and a determined sprinter engine while the Duke 200 continues to impress with its more spirited engine and less weight. Duke 200 was made with a sole belief to offer unmatched performance with no expectations of higher fuel economy. The NS 200 has been designed to yield enjoyable performance and shining fuel efficiency at the same time turning out to be a sterling workmate for daily commutes as well as for touring. Duke 200 on the other hand still suffers from heating hurdle and frequent service checkups. KTM is a very zealous brand but this passion remains limited within enthusiasts while the pulsar is almost a household name amongst biker community in India and products like NS 200 can stand shoulder to shoulder with the best machines out there with less anxiety about long term ownership concerns and maintenance.  NS 200 is a steal for the price in which it is offered currently with the Duke 200 mostly preferable by the performance oriented enthusiasts for its higher price tag. The heart pleads for Duke 200 but the mind desires for NS 200 for its comprehensive list of characteristics.  

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