How i chose My Bike between Bajaj Pulsar 200 and Honda Unicorn.
This is my archived post on www.xbhp.com which got deleted in server crash, so am posting it again.
This post is purely based on my experience and observations, so please don't start brand-wars and try to keep it clean .
January 2008: I finally convinced my parents that i can ride a bike safe enough and started a tedious hunt for a good/reliable bike under 75k ( non-flexible ,which nullified heavyweights like ZMA and P220)
I was pretty much head-over-heels on P200 and was in no mood to compromise and go for any other bike, i closely followed P200 thread here on xBhp and was in touch with Sandeep K Ram ("Bike Advice Guru" as i like to call him, most of the seniors here know him very well. He "formerly" owned a P200, Now has a ZMA). After numerous chats with him, i was convinced to give some other bikes a try. I went to various showrooms and short-listed 3 bikes namely RTR 160 Carb, P200 (didn't consider P150/180 since P200 was the best amongst them and well within my budget) and Honda Unicorn.
The show-rooms were kind enough to lemme test-ride the bikes (especially TVS which allowed an extended ride )
Here is my feedback after Test-ride of all the three:
RTR: Revvy engine but at the same time vibrations are too much, was superb to flick around corners, a great track-bike but needed some refinement and above all ride postion was a great dissapointment (am 5'10).
P200: You can just keep looking her all-day and never get tired ( i rode a friends bike few times before), excellent throttle response, sofa-suspension, only drawback was heavy front-end handling (traffic flickability being an issue).
Unicorn: I never saw the newly launched 2G unicorn in flesh (only in mags and web), really caught my eye with tht beautiful monoshock and flow of curves. After riding both RTR and P200 was amazed to ride such an amazing silent/refined mill, was trying hard to find some flaws but could not except the "over-chrome" use and erratic Honda service guy as pillion.
Two things were quite clear from the test-rides:
1) Every person who is buying a new bike should compulsarily test-ride before making a decision.
2) RTR was out, and now i was searching for reviews and comparisons of P200 and Unicorn (until i found out that a friend has bought a Unicorn).
I quickly planned a ride to lonavla with both my friends on P200 and Unicorn. I rode both the bikes (P200 all the way till lonavla and Unicorn all the way back). This is what i came to conclude:
P200: Pros: Crowd Puller, Responsive Throttle, Pulsar-Grunt, VFM.
Cons: Vibrations, Not-so-Refined, Front Heavy.
Unicorn: Pros: Monoshock, Economical (though it didn't matter to me), Excellent Cruiser, Refinement, Its a Honda.
Cons: Chrome Patches, Could have done with a 6th Cog.
Notes: Both the bikes were few months old and just had their first services and run-in done. I had severe wrist-ache after riding the P200 and its electricals kept breaking down, also my friend had really bad experience with PBK Svc here in Mumbai. Brakes on Unicorn are Progressive and not spot-on as with P200 and took some time getting used to.
So finally i made a decision and bought a Red Honda Unicorn (Mar-08) and i dont regret it.
To sum-it-up: Pulsar is a Wild Stallion whereas Unicorn is a Race-Horse, and i'd prefer latter..everytime!