Bajaj Discover 150 review: Feels less premium but most affordable

Written by Vikram Chaudhary | New Delhi | Updated: Oct 11 2014, 16:20pm hrs
Bajaj Discover 150Bajaj Discover 150 is priced at Rs 52,030 for 150S (drum), Rs 55,030 for 150S (disc) and Rs 59,034 for 150F (disc).
I first saw the Bajaj Discover in 2004 at a dealership in Patiala, Punjab. The owner introduced the motorcycle as the younger brother of the Pulsar. Indeed, it looked like onefrom the front fairing to the tank to even the multi-spoke wheels, it looked a mini-Pulsar of sorts, encompassing engine capacities from 100cc to 125cc, never touching the Pulsars 150cc (the Pulsar, though, has also been launched in a 135cc avatar).

So when I got to know about the Discover 150cc, the question that came to my mind was, has Bajaj simply planted the Pulsars 150cc engine into the Discover

The answer is no. The Discover 150 gets a new engine (actually, 144.8cc) that is more tuned towards fuel-efficiency than outright performance as is the case with the Pulsar 150. And not just the engine, the Discover 150 also gets various class-leading features, keeping in mind the character of the bikethat of a commuter, but now an evolved one.

The Discover 150 comes in three variants150S (drum brakes), 150S (front disc brakes)both with a standard fairing, and 150F (front disc brakes) with a large half fairing, which we rode. (The 150F is also the first half-faired bike in its segment.)

First, the looks. From the fairing, to colours and graphics, to overall fit-and-finish, everything about the Discover 150 appears to be thoughtfully put together. Further, the signature muscular tank with decals, spider-web alloy wheels, and an attractively-designed tail-lamp give this motorcycle a decent road presencethe 150F especially commands second glances from people riding other commuter bikes. What particularly sets the Discover 150 apart is the rear monoshock with gas-charged Nitrox suspension, which, to an extent, ensures that long rides on this motorcycle are relatively comfortable. What adds to that comfort is a long and firm seat, and an upright riding posture. The instrument panel gets an orange backlight that is clearly visible at night, and it also gets a digital clock, a very convenient feature. The Discover 150F gets ample safety features for its classlong wheelbase, wide tubeless tyres, petal disc brake and a headlamp with pilot lamps. However, for a two-wheeler plying on Indian roads, we believe audible turn indicators are a mustfour-wheelers, at times, just ignore a two-wheeler trying to take a turn, so sounding them off can prove to be safe. The Discover 150 doesnt get audible turn indicators.

Powered by the four-valve, DTS-i engine, which produces a maximum power of 14.3 bhp, the Discover 150 goes from 0-60 kmph in under 6 seconds, which is reasonably quick, but from there on it takes long to reach 100 kmph, before maxing out at 110 kmph. Clearly, Bajaj has focused more on low and mid-range punch. The all upshifting gearbox is a smooth operator, a welcome change from previous generation Discover bikes. The NVH levels, too, are contained and the Discover 150 doesnt vibrate much at higher RPMs. While Bajaj claims a fuel-efficiency of 72 kmpl, we got 55 kmpl when driving in peak office hours and 66 kmpl on the highway, which is commendable. A 10-litre fuel tank means an approximate range of 450-500 km.

While the Discover 150 doesnt come with an ABS (anti-lock braking system)it would anyway be asking too much from a commuter bikethe front disk brakes do their job well. Mention must be made of the MRF Zapper tyres the Discover 150 rides onthe grip levels are good and even while cornering the motorcycle remains stable. But keep in mind that this is no Pulsar, so riders have to use good sense as to what is the right speed to take that sharp turn!

For Rs 52,030 for 150S (drum), Rs 55,030 for 150S (disc) and Rs 59,034 for 150F (disc), the Discover is the most affordable 150cc bike in the market. So if you feel it is slightly less premium than most other 150cc motorcycles, keep in mind that it pinches a lot less on your pocket too. Add to that its good fuel-efficiency, and it just might be the premium commuter bike you are looking forward to.

Finally, if you have to buy the Discover 150, which one should you consider Of the two 150S variants, we suggest you buy the one with the front disc brakes, simply because it can turn out to be safer of the two under harsh braking conditions; it costs just Rs 3,000 extra. But which one to choose between the 150S and the 150F Now, thats tricky. The 150S is cheaper and lighter, but it looks a lot like the smaller Discover bikes. The 150F gets decent road presence and smarter instrumentation, but costs Rs 4,000 extra. Take your pick.