Not inspired enough?’ inquired a concerned soul of me. Within seconds, the question had blown itself out of proportion. It was a monumental question. Was I not inspired enough? On the face of it, I disagreed. I’d had a field day riding the Pulsar on Bajaj’s test track and it was a proper generation jump over the existing Pulsar. However, as I allowed the near-blasphemous thought to settle in, a pattern began to emerge.
Pulsars, by nature, belong to the school of ‘technology’. They aren’t ‘once and for all’ motorcycles and I don’t mean that in an offensive way. Yes, I often wax eloquent (Who is Eloquent? – Anon) about motorcycles that outlast the life of an average male, but Pulsars, in their very design, are meant to be replaced. Every few years, there’s a new Pulsar that begs to be bought, thrashed, sold, on a repeat cycle. In terms of favourites, I’ll pick the first-gen 180 DTS-i for sheer madness, the first-ever for absolute novelty, and the now-defunct 200 for being a balanced, exciting motorcycle. Iconic, each one of them, on the map of Indian motorcycling and all in the enthusiastic mould, but I’d still be hard pressed to say I’m inspired by any of these motorcycles.
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So I’ll simply accept the fact that Pulsars aren’t meant to inspire. They are motorcycles, and they like to be ridden hard. Yes, Pulsars have a smaller lifespan than their equivalents but then the upgrade interval is also that much shorter, so it’s justified. You wouldn’t argue with Apple Inc for introducing iPhone after iPhone, relentlessly making each of the outgoing models feel utterly, utterly useless, right? It’s a step forward, and that must always be appreciated.
The Pulsar 200NS, while being a ground-up redesign on the aesthetic and mechanical front, is the perfect evolution of the previous Pulsar 200, from which it borrows heavily in terms of its basic outline. While, on the technological front, it would be fair to casually tag it as a ‘KTM Pulsar’, in essence it is everything the Pulsar 200 was, only better. No ‘premium’ or ‘niche’ pretexts, though. It’s out there to get you, and you better be guarded. Or like me, you can...
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