Yamaha R15 V 2.0 vs Bajaj Pulsar 200 NS

What’s the first thing you do when you get onto a performance bike? Why, wring the throttle to the stop, of course. Now, both the Pulsar and the R15’s motor’s are single-cylinder units and both have heads that follow a similar train of thought - four valves each. However, the Pulsar has the R15 outnumbered when it comes to spark plugs, sporting three against the Yamaha’s solitary one.  

When it comes to numbers, the Pulsar gives its rider 23bhp and 18.3Nm to play with, while the R15 lags a bit with 16.8bhp and 15Nm. In a straight line, it’s a no contest. The Pulsar thumps the R15, with a 4.5 second run to 60, while the R15 manages it in a respectable 5.19 seconds. The run to the tonne comes up in 10.25 seconds on the Bajaj, while the Yamaha pokes its nose past the 100kph barrier in 14.39 seconds. Top speeds are 132kph and 124kph respectively. However, as usual, the numbers don’t tell the full story... er, except that the Pulsar dominates here.

The Pulsar is quicker and faster, but the R15’s motor and gearbox feels smoother and unburstable. All components seem to merge into one seamless unit to enable the rider to get on with the most important task - riding as fast as possible. The Pulsar, while miles ahead of its previous avatars, still exhibits a bit of harshness, especially near the higher reaches of its rev range. It doesn’t feel as cohesive as the Yamaha, and this can be an issue for finicky riders.