Modenas Pulsar RS200 vs Yamaha YZF-R15 - The more thrilling machine
The two bikes in question here are among the best entry-level machines that are available in the market right now. On the one hand, we have the Pulsar RS200 which is manufactured by Bajaj Auto in India and is made available here in Malaysia in collaboration with Modenas. The Yamaha YZF-R15, on the other hand, comes from the house of Yamaha which is known for its superb engine and durability. So, let’s find out which one of these two is more thrilling.
The riding position on the Modenas Pulsar RS200 is quite relaxed with a hint of sportiness. It means that you can ride this bike for longer durations without hurting your wrists or back. This also makes it a better machine for city commuting.
The R15 is just the opposite. It has got a very aggressive and sporty riding position and is much more committed to providing you an experience close to big sports bikes. It is a boon for track days but surely takes a toll on your body if you ride it on a daily basis.
Powering the RS200 is a 199.5 cc, single-cylinder, liquid-cooled engine with Bajaj’s patent triple spark technology. The engine packs 24.5 PS of max power along with a healthy 18.6 Nm of torque. These numbers are more than sufficient to provide an exciting experience while riding the RS200. The RS200 has an exhaust note that becomes gruntier and throaty as the revs climb. Mated with the triple spark engine is a 6-speed gearbox that works just fine.
Even though the R15 has got a smaller capacity engine, it is quite commendable that it is the first entry-level bike to feature a Variable Valve Actuation (VVA) system. This provides an excellent top-end performance as well as mid-range bite. The engine produces 19 hp and 14.7 Nm of torque and comes with a 6-speed transmission. The R15 also features a slipper clutch which not only does its job but also makes the clutch lever pull and release a breeze to use. The exhaust note of the R15 is quite conventional. The overall riding experience could have been so much better if Yamaha would have done more R&D in the acoustics department.
Both the RS200 and the R15 are fully faired motorcycles. However, the design of the RS200 feels a bit overdone. There is so much going on just in the fairing that you get bored and tired by the time your eyes rest on the remaining portion of the bike. The rear of the RS200 is also not that appealing as its tail lights are quite ‘unique’. The instrument cluster here is similar to what we have seen in the NS200. It is not entirely digital, and we appreciate the fact that it has an analogue tachometer. As far as the build quality and fit and finish are concerned, the RS200 doesn’t excel in this area. The fairing tends to rattle at higher revs, and this is likely to increase over prolonged use.
Yamaha has done a fantastic job when it comes to the way the R15 looks. It is quite clear that the design of this little monster is inspired by the elder and much more powerful siblings like the R6 and R1. The sleek dual LED headlamp setup is refreshing and feels very modern. The fully digital instrument console has been nicely done and features a good amount of information. From the rear, the bike looks as good as from the front. However, the fit and finish, and the quality are not up to the mark as you would expect from a Yamaha. It is not poor but it definitely could have been better.
If you are not picky about the way your motorcycle looks, and you aren’t going to visit a race track every weekend, then the RS200 should be your choice. It is easy on your body, fast, and it can handle your daily commutes. Also, it comes with a single-channel ABS for the front wheel, so that is an added advantage over the R15 as Yamaha doesn’t even provide it as an option. Available at a price of RM 10,701, the RS200 comes in three color options - blue, red, and black.
The Yamaha here is made for people who don’t mind being in a saddle that demands a committed riding position. Riding the R15 daily isn’t going to be easy, especially for people who aren’t used to such a riding stance. However, with the way it looks, and the kind of performance it offers, it is quite easy to ignore the dedicated riding position of the R15 and enjoy the thrilling experience. It is available in three colors - blue, yellow, and black - and comes with a price tag of RM 11,988.