Yes, they teased us with the RCs, NS (FI) and the SSs without an iota of an official hint about their launches but what is coming from them (or has already landed in dealerships) are two mass market products in the Discover series – new naked Discover 150S and faired Discover 150F.
This will take the tally of Discover offerings to about 9, until Bajaj axes one or more models in their lineup. So, with these 150cc Discovers, Bajaj has a product at each price (and cubic centimeter) point in the commuter segment. In a couple of exclusives, we have already revealed that both the motorcycles have reached dealerships and an official launch info is what we await. Amidst all the suspense, we got a chance to take out the yet to be ‘officially’ released Discover 150S for a short spin, that too in a crowded market place in Delhi to briefly test the bike in one of the key aspects it is supposed to be doing good – commuting in the city.
Let us quickly proceed to talk about the bike…
Design and build quality:
The bike looks very much like all the other smaller capacity Discovers, which does not come as any kind of a surprise. maintaining family identity is a very classic Bajaj act. Remember how difficult it is to differentiate the Pulsar 150 from the Pulsar 180. There is no need to go that far also, when was the last time you could tell the differences among the existing Discover line-up?
Talking about the new Discover 150S, the front has the same twin prong telescopic forks suspension. The front petal disc with black cover (for what, joy?) and ten spoke alloy wheels remain the same. The parts sharing business continues with the head lamp units, instrumentation cluster, fuel tank, rest of the body panels and indicators.
The rear LED tail lamps with three elements still looks fresh. The exhaust canister is shaped much like the regular Discover 125, a slight shift from the 125 ST. it also points a bit lower than the one on the ST. The grab rail continues to be a single unit but now comes in black.
The nitrox based rear mono suspension is carried over from 125ST and behaves very similarly. While we did not have the roads or allowance to do a high speed run, it tackled the city potholes (there are tons of them these days) fairly comfortably and without much discomfort.
On the labeling front, the Discover logo now gets raised decals like the ones in the Pulsar family. The older Discovers had normal 2D stickers. The rear has a clear demarcation of the engine displacement, with prominent ‘150 S’ and is the only visual differentiator. The overall design and build quality is just about as good or as bad as you and I have seen on the Discover 125ST!
Comfort & Convenience:
There is a change here! Seat is no longer the contoured, sharp cut shaped ‘sporty’ one like that of the 125 ST, but it is more like the regular Discover 125T. It is thinner than we would expect and may not be very comfortable on long rides. However, if needed, you can always get some more cushion as an after market add-on! There are no specific issues we encountered with respect to the shock absorbers.
The bike continues to feature electric-start in addition to the kick starter. Good thing is the presence of MRF Nylogrip tyres both at the front and rear. They are tubeless and are broader than the 125ST.
Engine and performance:
Bajaj is yet to officially reveal the power figures of the 150S as the bike is still a few days away from an official launch, but it should ideally be around the 14PS mark as is our guess. Bajaj already has a 125cc unit of the 125ST which produces 13PS of power and the Pulsar 150 which produces 15.06PS of power. In comparison, Bajaj had launched a 150cc variant of the Discover in 2010 which again had an output of 13PS.
The engine does feel powerful specially on the lighter body of Discover and doesn’t run out of steam easily. It performs pretty well and in fact has a broader rev band. This will help in quick maneuvers and instant overtaking. On higher revs, however, the bike did not sound very impressed, but then it is expected. A city bike Discover 150S is and it is tuned more for in-city rides.
The servicemen who was with us, says that the bike has a top speed in excess of 100 kmph which we believe will definitely be true. One of our reader informs us that he has taken delivery of his bike and Discover 150S can do around 110kmph with relative ease.
The new engine continues to have 4 valves (which the showroom executive continuously kept on calling as cylinders even after I corrected her again and again 😀 ) and 2 spark plugs. The 4 valves mean two intake valves and two exhaust valves, ensuring cleaner, faster and more efficient combustion. This has been a standard in the entire Disco family and no other manufacturer offers 4-valves in this segment.
The gearbox was, however, slightly stiff and had short gear ratios. It compelled me to change gears more frequently than what I would have liked when I was trying to rev the bike hard. This again is expected from a city commuter.
Handling & Braking:
The bike handles like a true blue commuter, nothing extraordinary and would snatch away all your confidence at a high speed turn. Inside cities, its pliant and confident. City commuting in a busy bazaar, with continues cuts, tested the handling meticulously but not once did the bike fail, even with a pillion passenger.
The good thing about Discover 150S (and almost all Discovers) is that the bike does not feel heavy and is relatively easier to ride even in very slow riding conditions. This will also help in providing it an interesting ‘power to weight’ ratio, possibly closer to Pulsar 150.
The bike has a good stopping power. The front petal discs (which are probably 200mm) along with the rear drum unit are good enough for any of your point A to B city commutes. There is a drum brakes-only variant as well which will be sold at lesser prices.
The exhaust note from the new 150cc engine is interestingly different and surprisingly better than Pulsar 150.
It is priced at about Rs 55,000 ex-showroom Delhi which translates into an on-road price of Rs 63,217 (Rs 66,600 on road in Vishakhapatnam) making it the cheapest 150cc available in the market and this is what Bajaj is trying to capitalize on. The drum brake variant is expected to be priced at under Rs 60,000 (on road in Delhi). At a price point of 125ccs you get more power, decent handling, similar fuel efficiency figures (though not known) and ultimately a ‘150cc’ bike. With the faired Discover 150F, Bajaj will also add the ‘sporty’ quotient to the equation.
So, in the nutshell, Discover 150S is just about an average motorcycle on almost all counts but as soon as we bring the price to the equation things start looking very interesting. We will know more about the motorcycle in a thorough test ride but for now we will call it a very VFM (Value for Money) offering, certainly one which you must consider if you are buying a 125cc.
Discover 150S Pic Gallery: