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New discovery

With its powerful yet frugal engine, Bajaj’s new 150 cc is the right choice for those looking for an affordable bike with extra zip.

autos Updated: May 27, 2010 00:34 IST

With its powerful yet frugal engine, Bajaj’s new 150 cc is the right choice for those looking for an affordable bike with extra zip.

Bajaj Auto has never shied away from taking the road less travelled. By constantly innovating and rethinking its models, the Pune-based manufacturer regularly shatters every product and segment stereotype.

The company is attempting another coup with its new Discover 150 DTS-i: a fully-loaded 150cc motorcycle at the price of a 125.

Looks
Buyers looking for a flashy bike might be disappointed with the Discover 150 DTS-i, which is rather conservatively styled. The 150 looks virtually identical to its smaller-capacity Discover brothers. The major differences are the absence of a disc brake, chunkier tyres and the ‘150’ monikers.

The Discover’s plastic front disc brake cover is a unique feature. The familiar headlamp is battery-powered and provides a good spread of bright light. An all-analogue twin-pod instrument console that is shrouded under its bikini fairing relays information from a rider-friendly speedometer.

The mirrors are wide, giving good rear view up to 70kph (beyond which they get fuzzy) and sit atop a chrome-finish handlebar with weights on both ends.

The Discover 150’s eight-litre fuel tank offers little support to a rider’s thighs and long-legged riders will find their knees often knocking on the ridges on the tank. But the rubber-covered gear and rear brake pedals are comfortable and offer excellent grip.

Engine
A maintenance-free (MF) battery helps the Discover 150 DTS-i button-start effortlessly every morning. This is a new twin spark-plug equipped four-stroke engine, not a clone of the Pulsar 150. The air-cooled, single-cylinder motor displaces 144.8 cc, with long-stroke proportions of 56 mm x 58.8 mm.

The carburettor-fed Discover 150 DTS-i engine draws upon Bajaj’s ExhausTEC system for good low and midrange power delivery. The bike’s 121 kg kerb weight is good for an Indian 150cc bike, that contributes to its peppy feel.

Handling
The new Bajaj leaps off the starter blocks with a light and zippy feel, its engine remaining smooth and completely knock-free all the way to its 10,000 rpm limit. All the five gear ratios are relatively short, further aiding the bike’s quick acceleration. While we enjoyed its well-weighted clutch and acceptable gearshifts, we would have preferred a one-down, four-up gearbox instead of its all-down shifting ’box.

A highlight to this engine is its tractable feel — the bike is able to chug away from speeds as low as 25 kph in fourth or fifth gear at a pinch.
It cracked the 100 kph barrier in an impressive 18.25 sec. Top speed in fifth gear is a respectable 108kph.

Ride
The Discover’s upright riding posture is comfy, easily accommodating all but a very tall rider. The riding saddle is nicely padded and comfortable even after a long ride. Ride quality is neither too firm nor overtly soft, and the Discover is easily able to soak up potholes.

The new Bajaj enjoys an appreciably light feel about town, with nimble handling that is a big boon for our city riding conditions.
While brake feel is reassuring under normal circumstances, the Eurogrip tyres do let out protesting yelps when coming down through the gears under emergency braking.

A low kerb weight and Bajaj’s DTS-i allow the Discover 150 to beat most of its 150cc rivals in the mileage stakes. Riding through Pune’s slow-moving traffic, the bike returned 53.4 km. On the highway, it returned 54.2 kpl.

Verdict
The latest Bajaj is eyeing commuters who want an affordable 150cc bike with some extra zip. Its strong-performing, yet smooth and frugal engine along with good ride and light handling are likely to lure buyers from smaller-displacement bikes.
Autocar India

Bajaj Discover 150 DTS-i

List price: Rs 46,000 (ex-showroom, Delhi)
Top speed: 108 kph
0-60 kph: 5.38 seconds
Kerb weight: 121 kg

ENGINE
Layout: Single-cylinder, air-cooled, four-stroke
Displacement: 144.8 cc
Max power: 13 bhp at 7500 rpm
Max torque: 1.3 kgm at 5500 rpm
Specific output: 89.8 bhp per litre
Power to weight: 107.4 bhp per tonne
GearboxType: 5-speed, 5-down
Primary reduction: 3.571
Secondary reduction: 3.071