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The new model is basically unchanged from its predecessor, only with ABS. - NSTP/KHAIRUL AZHAR AHMAD

Cars Bikes and Trucks (CBT) recently got its hands on the newly launched Modenas Pulsar NS200 ABS.

DRB-Hicom Bhd and Modenas organised a short trip (around 160km) for CBT in the Port Dickson-Melaka environs together with other media. The NS200 ABS was launched earlier this month and now comes with the anti-lock braking system (ABS), which is a feature not seen on other bikes in its category.

For context, this is after having tested its earlier incarnation, the NS200 and RS200, on a grueling ride to Thailand’s 1000 Corners (search in our website for the story) and was well acquainted with the model.

The NS200 is the birth child of Modenas’ partnership with world renowned motorcycle manufacturer Bajaj Auto of India and it is also sold in South America, Russia and India. The motorcycle is selling well in Malaysia.

The vehicle was designed and built together with Austrian motorcycle and sports car manufacturer KTM, its other partner. The 200cc single DTS-i engine is built to rev and the sturdy chassis is light and agile.

The new model is unchanged from its predecessor, bar the ABS.

A single channel Bosch item, the ABS is only present on the front wheel with a provision to be added to the rear wheel in future. Modenas gave us a demonstration of the ABS’ functions and it works very well.

We were invited to ride the outrigger-equipped demonstrator on the sandy test course.

The short ride was a demonstration of the NS200 ABS’ ability to handle highway riding and trunk roads, but we were well aware of its capabilities. In short, it thrives on high revs and will nudge 150kph with the rev needle well into the redline.

The engine seems bulletproof and if you shift the gears often enough it will make excellent progress through town and country.

The chassis is eager with little effort needed to change direction.

The vehicle’s suspensions are firm but they are well suited to our terrain. The stock MRF tyres are specially formulated for our climate and stick well under duress, which we administered on the way back to the resort for durians. Our first impressions of the ABS is that it is not overly sensitive, and does not activate at any point during the spirited ride, which is good.

The NS200 ABS is priced at RM9,655 (basic price without road tax, insurance & registration), about RM400 more than last year. The slightly higher price tag is worth it as it is the best entry-level street bike for novices and experts alike.

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