2023 Bajaj Pulsar NS 200 & Pulsar NS 160 Review - 4 Likes & 4 Dislikes

Modified On Mar 25, 2023 09:46 AM By Arun Mohan Nadar for Bajaj Pulsar NS200

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The Bajaj Pulsar NS series received a much-needed update, but is it too little, too late?


The Bajaj Pulsar NS series was a revolutionary product for brand Bajaj. When the Pulsar NS200 was unveiled in 2011, it took the market by storm. It showcased a humongous leap that Bajaj Auto had taken in terms of performance and engineering. Its KTM-derived engine was an instant hit and the Pulsar NS200 cemented Bajaj’s position as the market leader in the entry-level performance segment. 

Fast forword over a decade, the Bajaj Pulsar NS series still exists and is available in multiple displacements. However, in the presence of competition from within Bajaj and outside, the NS series started to show its age. Bajaj has given the Pulsar NS200 and the Pulsar NS160 their first proper update since inception, but are they enough and more importantly are these two motorcycles still relevant? We head to the Bajaj test track in Chakan to find the answer. 

The Changes

Honestly the changes aren’t too drastic. The big talking point is the inclusion of an USD fork, a first for any Bajaj Pulsar bike up until now. While the fork units look similar to that of the Bajaj Dominar 250, that isn’t the case and they are brand-new units. The wheels are different and that has helped the Bajaj Pulsar NS 200 shed 3kg. 

For the first time dual-channel ABS is standard on any Pulsar model and the Pulsar NS 160 also gets fatter rubber similar to its 200cc sibling. Braking hardware too has been updated with Grimeca calipers. On the features front, the instrument console remains identical, but it now also houses a gear position indicator, DTE (distance to empty) meter and real-time fuel efficiency indicator. 

The Likes 

1) Handling 

The Bajaj Pulsar NS 200 always had good handling dynamics, but the front end always felt a bit lazy to steer in traffic. Bajaj engineers have addressed this by offering an USD fork and lighter wheels. The Pulsar NS 200 now requires very less effort to change directions, thereby improving its handling dynamics at low speeds. As for high-speed cornering, the revised fork setup has made the front end feel more stable and this helps you carry more corner speed in confidence. This same effect is also visible on the Bajaj Pulsar NS 160 as you can carry high speeds with more confidence. Another aspect helping it is the wider tyres that allow you to lean a bit further than before. 

2) Brakes 

The braking hardware on both bikes have been improved and are the same units as seen previously on the Pulsar 250s. The bite and feedback offered is good for a motorcycle of this segment. But the most impressive bit is the inclusion of dual-channel ABS as it amplifies safety in an emergency situation. 

3) Styling 

Yes, the basic styling of the motorcycle has remained unchanged in over a decade. But that’s the beauty of the design. It still looks muscular, sharp and brawny, like a proper streetfighter. The inclusion of the USD fork has improved handling and has also made the Pulsar NS series look more butch and aggressive. 

4) Performance

While no mechanical updates have been made to both engines, they still remain among the fastest bikes in the segment. Both employ a high-revving engine, so real performance lies above 5,000rpm. Acceleration offered is brisk and the sixth gear of the Pulsar NS 200 helps it hold highway speeds better. However, both engines are beginning to show their age and are very vibey by nature. 

Claimed fuel efficiency

Bajaj Pulsar NS 160


Bajaj Pulsar NS 200


The Dislikes

1) Ride quality

The suspension tune is on the firmer side to improve handling dynamics. While the USD does a good job over potholes and broken roads, the monoshock tuning isn’t as good and you do get tossed from the saddle on sharp bumps. The Pulsar N 250 and the N 160 offer a much more supple and smoother ride in comparison. 

2) Features

Yes, Bajaj has added a few features to the instrument console, but the new Pulsar series still falls short in the features department. The Pulsar NS 200 and the Pulsar NS 160 should have received goodies such as LED headlight, navigation and Bluetooth. 

3) Ergonomics

While the riding position is similar to the older bike, which is sporty by streetfighter standards. The seat height too remains unchanged which is tall at 807mm. Couple this with the wide seats and the Pulsar NS series isn’t as approachable for shorter riders. 

4) Price 

The price hike on the Pulsar NS 160 is almost Rs 9,000 when compared to the older model. Yes, Bajaj has given dual-channel ABS, new fork and fatter rubber, but the asking price is too high. In fact, the Pulsar NS 160 is almost Rs 5,000 more than the more modern Pulsar N 160. 

Bajaj Pulsar NS 160 

Rs 1,34,675

Bajaj Pulsar N 160 (dual-channel ABS) 

Rs 1,29,645

Bajaj Pulsar NS 200 

Rs 1,47,347

Bajaj Pulsar N 250 (dual-channel ABS) 

Rs 1,49,978 


The main question I had at the start of this review was whether the new Pulsar NS series is still relevant and the answer is it is a square deal. The Pulsar NS 160 doesn’t make much sense, since the Bajaj Pulsar N 160 offers you better refinement, features and comfort while being more affordable. As for the Pulsar NS 200, it remains unique and something more youthful in comparison to the more mature Pulsar N 250. With its high-revving engine and engaging handling, the NS 200 is a bike that appeals to the heart more than the mind.

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  • Bajaj Pulsar NS200
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