Bajaj Pulsar RS200 is undoubtedly one of the most talked about bikes of the recent days, not only in India but also across several other nations. It is a full-fledged entry-level sports bike which has entered showrooms as the most affordable performance-oriented sub-250cc bike in the country. Though, we already have the Yamaha YZF-R15 and Honda CBR150R in this so-called affordable price band but these both bikes are way less powerful as well as significantly less equipped than the new desi brute, hence they are out of question here. As a wise man has said competition should also be between equals and this is when the KTM RC200 and Honda CBR250R rises in your mind. The upcoming Hero HX250R will also compete in the same segment, but it’s official details are yet to be announced, so it’s better if we take it in at a later stage.
As far as you are concerned about which of the three bikes discussed here takes the crown away, let me tell you if it’s about pondering over figures on paper then the Honda CBR250R is an undisputed winner of this comparison. But what makes the KTM RC 200 and the Pulsar RS 200 capable of openly challenging this famous Japanese motorcycle is their character, their unadulterated sporty feel and in fact they are not behind in terms of performance as well as if the Honda’s boasting of a bigger engine and better power output, it is also significantly heavier than the RC and RS. Hence, saying anything concrete about whom deserve to sit on the throne will only be possible after tasting these trio members next to each other in real-life conditions. Meanwhile, to derive a better perspective for you I’ve done this Bajaj Pulsar RS200 VS KTM RC200 VS Honda CBR250R spec comparison.
In terms of outward look, while the Honda CBR250R and the Bajaj Pulsar RS 200 seems quite in the same league due to their burly bodywork and heavy front-end styling, the KTM RC200 has more of an athletic appearance. It has a taut design language and other elements such as closely placed projector headlamps, hard-edged fuel tank and side panels, and sleek LED tail lamps making it to appear as a very tightly packed machine. On the other hand, the new Pulsar RS has distinctive broad styling. While the front fairing of the model showing a whole bundle of sharp peripheries, widely placed headlamp projectors, extruded tail lamp setup and beefy tail-section giving it quite a stocky stance. All three bikes using clip-on handlebars and split seats setup.
Engine & Transmission-
I don’t think I need to repeat it again but for those who are not aware let me write this one more time, almost 1000th time. The Pulsar RS 200 is powered by a 199.5cc single-cylinder liquid-cooled engine. This same engine powers the RC 200 as well but being built under different banners, both engines are distinctive to each other. Actually, these both bikes having completely different engine head, which along with differently tuned gearboxes give the bikes completely different character. On the other hand, the CBR250R sports a 249cc mill. All bikes using 4-valve fuel-injected engines and while the KTM and Honda feature single spark plug technology, the RS 200 boasts of three spark plug technology. In terms of power output, the RS 200 is the least powerful machine of the three, having 24.4bhp at 9,750rpm and 18.6Nm of torque produced at 8000rpm. The orange monster bears 24.7bhp at 10,000rpm and 19.2Nm of rotational force produced at 8000rpm at its disposal. The Japanese boy is the most powerful bike here with 26bhp at 8,500rpm and 22.9Nm of torque generated at 7500rpm. However, its higher weight might disrupt it from being on top in terms of acceleration. All three bikes using a 6-speed gearbox.
Supension & Brakes-
The Pulsar RS200 and the Honda CBR250R falls in the same category when it comes to suspension and brakes. Both bikes feature telescopic shock absorbers upfront and mono-shock setup at the rear, and while the all three bikes host single disc brakes at their respective front and rear ends, the RS 200 and 250R are the only ones offering choice of Anti-lock braking system. In contrast, the KTM RC200 is underpinned by upside down forks at front and similar mono-shock suspension at the rear. It comes in single variant only.
Features & Tyres-
On equipment level, all three motorcycles are almost equally loaded. Features such as front and rear disc brakes, electric start, digital speedometer, engine kill switch, clip-on handlebars, alloy wheels and sporty seating position are common among the trio, but you can say that the RC and RS are advanced as they have projector headlamps, DRLs, LED tail lamp as well as LED side indicators as against the conventional halogen type lamp and basic crystal tail lamp on the CBR. The KTM RC 200 runs on 110/
In this section, the Pulsar RS 200 is most vibrant amongst its rivals. It offers choice of 4 body colors – Red, Blue, Black and Yellow. The CBR250R comes in 3 impressive shades out of which two are plain single tone schemes, Red and black, while the third is Pearl Sunbeam white dual-tone combination. On the contrary, if you are more inclined towards the KTM, unfortunately only a single matte black finish is available. Though, it looks a pure thoroughbred machine.
And finally the $64,000 question comes that how much do these machines cost? So, let’s start with the Bajaj Pulsar RS200 that is the least expensive machine in this trio comparison. Bajaj has surprised us by launching the model at just Rs 1.18 lakh onwards. Even the RS 200 ABS comes at Rs 1.30 only, though it’s single-channel ABS strengthening front wheel only. However, The new Bajaj is significantly cheaper than the KTM RC 200 and Honda CBR250R which are priced at Rs 1,64,241 and Rs 1,56,668 respectively. Point to be noted is the CBR250R ABS’ range starts from Rs 1.85 lakh!