So far as the engine goes, it’s a thumbs-up, but a motorcycle is the result of much more than what its engine can do. The Bajaj Pulsar AS 200 uses a pressed steel perimeter frame, 37-mm dia telescopic forks with anti-friction bush up front and a nitrox mono shock-absorber with gas canister. The combination works well to make the AS 200 a very able handler. It’s stable on straights and is more than capable of holding its line on a sweeping bend or through a set of quick direction changes. It’s also fairly flickable, its nimbleness a quality that is much needed when filtering through heavy traffic. On the ride quality front also the AS 200 performs well, soaking up the irregularities of our roads. However, while the ride quality is good for on-road performance, perhaps the addition of long-travel suspension would have aided this Pulsar’s cause of carving out a name for itself as an adventure sport motorcycle.
Braking duties on the AS 200 are taken care of by a single 280-mm dia petal disc with floating calliper up front and a 230-mm dia petal disc with floating calliper at the rear. The set-up offers excellent bite. As a result, coming to a dead stop from 60 km/h takes a mere 2.61 seconds while 80-0 km/h takes 3.08 seconds. In the 100-0 km/h brake test the AS 200 even bests the KTM 200 Duke with a time of 3.57 seconds compared to the Austrian’s 4.02 seconds. Perhaps, the only scope for improvement is on the brake feel front, which is a tad spongy.