Bajaj has quietly launched the touted Bharat bike, Boxer BM 150 in the market which is aimed at the utilitarian market rather than the urban sporty bikes loving crowd.
The bike, to me, makes sense as it woud provide an option of ease of riding because of its bigger more powerful and more importantly more torque engine to the local rural guy whose main aim is to carry heavier luggage to different places.
I caught the bike at a local dealer in Pune and here are the main points which I noticed about the bike:
– The bike is powered by a 150cc engine sans DTSi ie with a conventional single spark plug. Engine head is black colored with the remaining engine silver in color – resembles the Discovers mill.
– According to Bajaj, Boxer is targeted towards the rural crowd who want a no-frills good torque laden transport two wheeler
– Very conventional looking bike
– Round headlamp with a big (and a little disproportionate) windshield, round-oval orange side blinkers, basic tank, leveled seat, metallic grab rail cum light load holders
– Rear looks similar to older generation Boxer with a similar tail light
– Covered chain, commuter seating posture, spoke wheels.
– One good thing about Boxer is that self starter comes as standard. Also provided is the all important kick starting provision.
– Drum brakes both at the front and rear to keep costs under control. Though discs might have been an added advantage in most cases but considering the usage and riding habits of the targeted crowd, this seems to be a sensible move.
– Instrument panel consists of a speedometer calibrated till 140 kmph (reddened from 120 kmph) – highly optimistic..I don’t think it would have any crazy acceleration or top speed, odometer and a fuel gauge along with the neutral gear, upper and side blinkers indicators. Notice the absence of any tripmeter.
– Weighs low
– Electricals are all conventional with the light dependent on engine race. Also it was a little dim and difficult to read speedo-odo readings.
– Switchgear is all basic- light On/off switch (no parking light), electric starter, horn, side blinkers indictor button, upper/lower button and Pass switch.
– Tires are pretty fat from the conventional. Rear is 100/90 – 17 and front is a meaty 3.00 – 17 where the general convention is 2.75. Both tires are tube type and belong to some unknown brand called ‘MahaGrip’ (It might be a sub brand to some known company, however I am hearing it for the first time).
– Front suspension are the regular tubular telescopic whereas the rear are the Bajaj’s trademark Spring in Spring (SNS) suspension.
– Bajaj has kept its name away from the motorcycle. The only place which makes you sure that this is a Bajaj production is the small Bajaj moniker at the engine. At the tank ‘BOXER’ and side panels ‘BM150’ decals galore.
– Engine note had a ‘power’ cry to it.
43,392 Ex showroom
350 Smart Card
48,155 On Road Pune
This price makes Boxer the cheapest 150cc in the market today. Ironically the next cheapest 150cc is also a Bajaj product – Discover 150 which is Rs 55,761 OTR Pune. At this price point, Boxer competes directly with Hero Moto Corps different Splendor models like the CD Dawn, CD Deluxe, Splendor Plus, Splendor NXG, Super Splendor: HMSI’s 125cc Shine, TVS Star City; Yamaha Crux, YBR 110/125 etc.
Bare basic in nature, Boxer’s USP would be its bigger engine which would promise much better load carrying capabilities, superior performance and similar mileages as compared to the competition. Any Tom can predict that this bike has to prove itself to be a tough product which can withstand the abuse of rougher terrains, more frequency of heavier loads and slightly lesser maintenance timelines. And if this bike excels in this department, only then Bajaj can hope to gain any amount of share in this segment from the market leaders- Hero Moto since ages, who would/might also suffer from brand dilution after the exit of Honda from the JV.
This product comes right at the time when Bajaj senses they can carve into Hero Motos absolutely unbreakable grip on the market as people might also plan to move away from the company. If Boxer succeeds as a product, it would definitely take Bajaj surge closer to the market leaders. Check out the photos and make your own opinions about the bike.
– Saad Khan