I've already shortlisted my bike based on strict conditions (and strong recommendations from my colleague)...
#1 - it has to be a street/naked bike (has to be upright)
#2 - it has to be brand new and looks good on me (I'm 5 foot 10 in and slim)
#3 - it should be 150cc to 200cc
#4 - it should cost between $12000 and $15000
My colleague, Joseph and I arrived at Jalan Bukit Merah at around 430pm. Joseph has a friend who runs a shop there so we dropped by the showroom to take a look at the bikes... actually, Joseph's friend is the distributor for Bajaj, a brand that I have never heard of until Joseph told me about it. All this while, I'm familiar with the Yamahas, Hondas, KTMs, and the usual European brands... so naturally, I was apprehensive about the Bajaj but after extensive research online, I've decided to give it a go. I've been eyeing on the KTM Duke 200 since day 1... I later discovered that it's built in one of Bajaj's factories so one of their newer models, the Bajaj Pulsar 200 NS and RS actually have similar engines to the KTMs! The biggest difference? The KTM Duke 200 costs almost $6000-$7000 more! As I intend to upgrade to a Class 2/2A bike, I decided to give the KTM a miss... furthermore, I tried the KTM and it felt a little small for me...
So I'm left with the Yamaha FZN 150 (version 2) and the Bajaj Pulsar NS 200. These two bikes were available at the showroom and the owner was kind enough to let me sit and try every bike, including 2 other bikes that caught my eye, the Bajaj Pulsar RS 200 and the Honda CBR 150.
Here's my take on each bike:
Yamaha FZN 150 - good riding posture. hard seat. good height. muscular and clean design.
Bajaj Pulsar NS 200 - large bike feel. good riding posture. good height.
Bajaj Pulsar RS 200 - most powerful bike out of the four... it is even larger than the NS! don't like the design... the stickers make the bike look too busy... handlebar looks strange too... it's a sports bike but has a more street bike riding posture... afterall, the RS is just a fully fairing version of the NS.
Honda CBR 150 - dunno why but I really love the looks of the Honda especially the red version... it has the same price as the Bajaj but not as powerful. The riding posture is not as low as I thought but... sigh... it's a sport bike and I'm not ready to ride on one as a newbie especially on Singapore roads... anyway... i hope to get the Kawasaki Ninja 400R once I get my 2A :)
In the end, I got the black Bajaj Pulsar 200 NS as it's the best value for money... the owner gave me a good deal, throwing in an engine guard, rain jacket and a centre stand for free. Also installed a Kappa 42 litres box. I paid the bike in full and will be able to collect on Wednesday!
I must say that choosing the Bajaj is based on me being sensible and the sum of all its parts. The 200 CC engine means that I have fully maxed out my licence... its horsepower and power to weight ratio is second only to the KTM Duke 200 which costs 50% more. It's also 60% more powerful than the Yamaha FZN which cost the same as the Bajaj. Looks wise, KTM is obviously the best looking bike IMO but way overpriced... 2nd would be the Yamaha and 3rd the Bajaj... the Pulsar doesn't look that bad and I hope it will grow on me eventually. I'm not too sure about the bike's reliability and maintenance. But Joseph has been going to the workshop for 20 years and the GM, Michael Tan, is a friendly bloke who also speaks good English. Sure that counts for something!
I really can't wait to try out the bike and would finally be able to put my GoPro Hero 4 to good use. I will provide more updates on my blog and YouTube channel soon! Stay tuned!
PM me if you want to know the price.