Bajaj Auto readies stock for upcoming 200cc Pulsar variant

by Amit Panday 18 Mar 2015

Bajaj Auto's teaser image of the upcoming Pulsar RS200.

Bajaj Auto Ltd (BAL) is readying a sizeable stock of its upcoming 200cc Pulsar variant, also touted to be a faired sibling of the Pulsar 200NS (launched in 2012). The new Pulsar RS200 will squarely target the Yamaha YZF-R15 in terms of pricing, two sources associated with the development told Autocar Professional.

The Pulsar RS200 will be powered by the same 199.5cc, single-cylinder, liquid-cooled engine with the triple-spark combustion system. The engine develops maximum power of 23.2bhp.

“Known for pricing its models competitively, Bajaj Auto is expected to price the upcoming model close to Rs 1.15 lakh (ex-showroom estimated) thereby placing it next to Yamaha’s YZF-R15 in the latter’s price bracket. Also expect the new Pulsar to be equipped with anti-lock braking system,” disclosed a source on the condition of anonymity.

The Yamaha YZF-R15, which has a sticker price of Rs 1.21 lakh (on-road, Delhi), is powered by a single-cylinder, 149.8cc engine, which develops 17bhp. This clearly underlines BAL’s intent of the Pulsar RS200 rivalling the Yamaha R15, a best-seller in the 150cc faired sportsbike segment in India, not just in terms of pricing, but also in terms of performance, where the Pulsar RS200 has an upper hand.

According to a presentation made by company officials at its investors’ meet in December 2014, the sports bike segment, which comprises 18 percent of the overall motorcycle industry in India, is divided into three sub-categories – S1, S2 and S3.

The company’s own analysis states that while the S1 class covers entry level sports motorcycles ranging between 150cc-225cc and a price bracket of Rs 60,000 to Rs 1 lakh, the S2 and the S3 fall under Rs 1 lakh-Rs 1.75 lakh (150cc-500cc) and Rs 1.75 lakh-Rs 2.75 lakh (250cc-500cc) sub-categories respectively.

According to BAL’s analysis, the S1, S2 and the S3 sub-categories have a monthly market size of 135,000 units, 30,000 units and 1,000 units respectively.

The company, which plans to place the upcoming Pulsar variant (RS200) in the S2 sub-category, perceives Royal Enfield and Yamaha (with its R15 model) as the principal competitors in this class. The KTM 200 Duke is also placed in the same sub-category, and according to the presentation, KTM has a market share of 4 percent in the same. Royal Enfield and Yamaha have 84 percent and 10 percent market shares respectively, the document points out.

The Pulsar 200NS, on the other hand, is placed in the S1 segment, which mainly competes with Yamaha (FZ and Fazer models) and Honda (Unicorn models), in terms of primary sales and market share.

Another source aware of the development added that “BAL has already begun rolling out the upcoming 200cc Pulsar variant from its assembly lines in Chakan. It plans to build an inventory to close to 25,000-30,000 units before it finally launches the model in the market. The stock is yet to be despatched to dealerships around the country.”

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