A few years ago Rajiv Bajaj stunned everybody by declaring the exit from the most selling 100 cc segment, a segment that makes Hero Honda what it is currently and for the past many many years and concentrate on the higher segment. This had an immediate effect on the market dynamics where Bajaj lost out badly with sales dropping to as low as a meager 65000 bikes in December 2008 and Hero Honda taking complete advantage with sales sprawling to newer heights.
Understanding the fact that the Indian market is still not ready for upgrading to bigger segment, Bajaj recently launched a brand new 100 cc bike christening it on the premium Discover brand. We have got a lot of queries pertaining to this bike and here we are presenting before you a complete review of the bike. Read on to know how this bike performs to the claims of the company and does this bike packs in enough to give the even-stronger-now Hero Honda any bother!
ENGINE AND TRANSMISSION: Discover brand has seen it all, from a 112 cc engine to a 125 cc one, upgraded to 135 and now this latest 100 cc offering from Bajaj. Bajaj is promoting this bike as a sporty touring commuter and for that the bike needs to be good on more than many aspects. The bike is powered by a single cylinder, 4 stroke air cooled DTS-Si (Digital Twin Spark Swirl Induction) engine which has a displacement of 94.38 cc. Maximum power produced by the bike is 7.7 PS at an early 7500 rpm with the peak torque output of 7.85 Nm booming at 5000 rpm.
Bajaj has developed an advanced version of their famed DTSi technology and calls it version 2.0 wherin a turbulence is created in the air fuel mixture which ensures efficient combustion of fuel for optimum mileage and power. The pent roof combustion chamber has been specially designed which further helps in burning the fuel to the maximum while the Malycote Piston (reminiscent to the recently launched Pulsar 220 DTSi) has also been deployed to this bike which ensures lower friction between the cylinder walls and piston which in turn means better efficiency and longer life of the engine.
XCD 135 was the bike previously which we felt was by far the smoothest from Bajaj and this bike just takes the game ahead which clearly indicates the technical prowess Bajaj is heading to! The engine really feels butter smooth and unstressed returning positive feedback at all the regular city driving rpms. While the bike does run out of steam on long ways but that is understandable for the engine size it is, but let us make it very clear that this would probably be the best bike for commuting on highways if at all you plan to do on a 100cc! The bike also comes loaded with a programmed 8 bit microprocessor which takes care of the spark delivery.
The bike sports an all down gearing pattern and is the only 100cc bike currently in the market which sports 5 gears. Previously LML Adreno had 5 gears and we always loved it for this very fact. The gearing feel is pretty decent but not thoroughly outstanding. One thing we would like to convey to Bajaj is to make the Pulsar 220 DTSi’s clutch standard across all of its models, we simply love it. Not that we did not like Discover’s clutch but definitely has room for improvement.
CHASSIS DIMENSIONS and Styling: The engine is mounted on a Single Down tube frame which feels robust and sturdy and is fantastically designed. The bike sports telescopic shock ups up front with a maximum travel of 130 mm whereas the famed Nitrox Gas shock absorbers make way on this 100 cc at the rear which can travel a maximum of 110 mm and definitely are the best in this segment by far. The bike approaches the potholes with aplomb and carries the bike around corners with sheer ease and pleasure.
With an overall dimensions of 2040 * 760 * 1087 (Length * Width * Height) in mm and a wheelbase of 1305 mm this bike surely is a category above the rest and is bigger than the lot. It provides the user with a big bike advantage and the feel which is grossly missing in today’s 100ccs.
The bike comes loaded with some fantastic styling features such as an all black theme, alloy wheels and a typical Discover headlamp with twin pilot lamps. In an attempt to curb cannibalization from other Discover, Bajaj has kept only black color as the base with three different decals to offer variants on this bike. Three variants are Black with Blue, Red and Green decals. Paint and plastic quality has been Bajaj’s forte and there doesn’t seem to be any cost cutting on this front. Fit and finish is also pretty good considering its price.
PERFORMANCE, MILEAGE & BRAKING: This is where this bike surprises us with its sheer capabilities. The engine, though seems to be low on power on paper, performs faster than our older perceived notions. Zero to sixty KMPH on the speedo is achieved at a tad above 8 seconds and this is at least half a second faster to any other 100cc bike in production currently. These figures are almost at par with the Yamaha Libero G5 which we adore for being the quickest 100cc. That’s not all, the way this bike attains it is way better than most of the same segment bikes in the market. We managed to hit a top speed of 94 kmph on the speedo and for a bike of this capacity, these are pretty decent numbers.
The new age engine definitely is a lot more frugal and the bike returned an awesome mileage of 83 kmpl on a mix type of riding. On roads, for general people this bike must return anything in excess of 75kmpl and these figures are, by any standards, fantastic. A bike running the maximum on one liter of petrol is what India dreams about and here is the bike just for them which performs fantastically well and is probably the most fuel efficient machine in India. With a tank capacity of eight liters, the bike is capable of running close to 600 kilometers before asking you for more fuel with the reserve informing you more than 2 liters in advance.
Braking of the bike is also very good considering that both the tyres come equipped with Drum Brake setup (130 mm front and 110 mm rear), though we would have liked to have a Disc brake as an option at least. Stability is also aided by fatter 3.0 section tyres at the rear. Ground clearance of the bike is also decent enough to keep out speed breakers kissing your bikes bottom and helps in a plusher ride.
TIDBITS: The electrical setup is all DC which is a very first in the segment which ensures a constant supply of power to the horn and headlight at all rpms. The bike also has a 5 Ah Maintenance free battery for lesser hassles and that smooth one click self start and other operations. The tail lamp is beautifully crafted with LEDs which look fantastic, in turn saving power as well. Bajaj’s patented Exhasutec also find a way onto this bike from bigger siblings which increases the low end torque to a good degree which in turn enhances the city drivability experience. This bike also comes with the innovative Auto Choke from Bajaj which ensures automatic 100 percent choke operation on all cold morning starts and whenever the engine needs it, hence no pulling of the choke lever and a smooth first crank start in all weather conditions. This bike also comes equipped with a low battery/ battery malfunction indicator on the console to remind/ inform you of any issue. This bike also sees the introduction of the Ride Control Switch which enhances the riding experience of the rider.
VERDICT: Bajaj has come out with an out and out winner and the sale figures scream at the top of their voice wherin the bike has sold 50,000 units in just 50 days since its launch. With a kerb weight of only 115 Kg, this bike also ensures that it is not heavy for its looks. With an on road price of 44,000, Bajaj continues to play the pricing game with perfection and at such a tempting price tag and a whole bunch of goodies in offer along with a superb engine; this bike should sell like Hero Hondas!
BikeAdvice Rating: 8/10
– Saad Khan