Bajaj Pulsar NS200 vs TVS Apache RTR 200 4V: Which 200cc bike outshines the other on key fronts?

Bajaj Pulsar NS200 vs TVS Apache RTR 200 4V: Which 200cc bike outshines the other on key fronts?


Finding a good motorcycle in the Indian market is rather easy. However, finding the perfect and most suitable bike is quite the opposite, as the whole process can be a pain in the back if you don’t have some prior knowledge. After all, it is the most diverse two-wheeler market in the whole world we’re dealing with here. So, some complexity is inevitable.

India is a price-sensitive market, with most manufacturers having their products in the sub-1 lakh price mark. But aside from that, there are also some powerful commuters that can be very fun to ride and cost just a smidge more than your average commuter.

As you may have read in the title, today we’re taking two of the most popular 200cc commuters to see which one of them outshines the other in every regard, be it the performance, fuel efficiency, or something as simple as the way it looks.

The power-packed TVS Apache RTR 200 4V or the ever so popularBajaj Pulsar NS200, both of which have excellent sales numbers and are extremely reliable motorcycles. So, which one of these bikes should you pick? Let’s try to answer that.

As far as the looks are concerned, the Bajaj Pulsar NS200 looks almost identical from when it first made its debut in the Indian market. It carries forward the somewhat sporty yet old design that we’ve seen over the years without any noticeable change. Be it the headlamp cluster, muscular fuel tank, and a snazzy taillamp, the Pulsar NS200 looks exactly like it did when it first arrived in our market. The design feels dated and Bajaj Bikes should have added a bit of a spark to the otherwise ageing styling.

In the equipment department, the Bajaj Pulsar NS200 remains much the same as the older models. It still doesn’t get LED headlamps or DRLs or any fancy screens, which, at this price point, seems like a major omission. The part-digital instrument cluster, therefore, feels just too old for a motorcycle of this price in 2020.

The TVS Apache RTR 200 4V, on the other hand, is loaded very decently. The new BS6 version gets full-LED headlamps in addition to LED DRLs at the front. The TVS motorcycle also gets a fully-digital instrument cluster, which also comes with Bluetooth connectivity allowing the rider to pair his/her smartphone with the bike in order to view calls, music, and navigation data directly on the screen.

As for the powertrains, the TVS Apache RTR 200 4V gets a slightly smaller 197.75cc single-cylinder oil-cooled engine that comes mated to a five-speed manual gearbox and churns out 20.21bhp and 16.8Nm of torque.

The Bajaj Pulsar NS200 outshines the Apache for the first time, as it features a slightly peppier 199.5cc single-cylinder liquid-cooled engine, which churns out 24.13bhp and 18.5Nm of peak torque. The engine comes mated to a six-speed manual gearbox.

While the on-paper figures tilt towards the Pulsar NS200, a real-world test would only tell the actual difference between the two bikes in terms of overall performance. Same goes for the ride and handling for both the motorcycles, but we’re sure both won’t disappoint on either front.

The 2020 BS-VI version of the Pulsar NS200, in its lowest-spec trim, costs about ₹1.31 lakhs, which is way more than what TVS asks for the base variant of the Apache RTR 200 4V (₹1.25 lakhs) (both prices ex-showroom). Therefore, the Apache comes out as a better value-for-money package, considering that it is also the one to pack more features than the Pulsar. The only factor where the Pulsar NS200 hits back is the reliability and ease-of-maintenance, which is marginally better than that of the TVS Bikes.

Even though the on-paper figures of the Bajaj Pulsar NS200 are slightly better than that of the TVS Apache RTR 200 4V, the TVS comes out as our pick of the duo. Pick the Bajaj Pulsar NS200 only if you’re looking for a motorcycle with slightly better on-paper figures. However, for every other particular reason, it’s the TVS Sport you should cash your cheque for. It is, after all, the better deal in this duo.

For more reviews and detailed specification comparisons like this, be sure to visit us at autoX.


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