Bajaj's Discover bike was launched India in 2004, and these stylish commuter bikes have only gained in popularity since. Over the years, the company has implemented changes and made improvements to the platform to cater to the changing requirements of the Indian bikers - a continually growing and evolving market. The bike maker has just introduced two new bikes to the family, the 150F and 150S. We gear up to find out if the new bikes still retain that practicality factor that this series has always been associated with.
Lean and smart looking, both the bikes look modern and retain the family's styling cues. The most striking asset on the 150F is its freshly designed front fairing that lends the new bike a premium touch. Meanwhile, the 150S features a familiar angular headlight and twin pilot lamps that sit within a neatly contoured bikini fairing. The 150F comes with an analogue speedometer, along with amber lit digital displays that include an odometer, trip meter, fuel-gauge, service reminder and an always useful clock. Whereas on the 150S, you get more standard instruments - an analogue speedometer, odometer and trip meter, with a prominently displayed fuel-gauge. Displays on both the bikes are easy to decipher. Likewise, both come with comfortable palm grips and top quality switchgear that works with a Bajaj-typical crisp feel. The rear view mirrors are smartly styled on these new motorcycles.
There’re similarly styled ten-litre fuel tanks that offer good inner thigh support. Well padded, lightly stepped and noticeably long, single saddles are in place. Large side panels flow smoothly into a sharp tail section, featuring a stepped LED tail-light.
The automaker has done well to equip the new bikes with ten-spoke alloys, black finished just like the motorcycle engine and exhaust. Overall build quality and fit-finish offered with both the bikes is good, and easily on par with the segment standard.
Both the 150F and S are brought to life with the help of an electric or kick-started, four-stroke, 144.8cc, single-cylinder, air-cooled and carburettor- equipped engine with an auto-choke to aid easy cold starts in any weather conditions. This is a twin spark (DTS-i technology) equipped engine with four valves per cylinder, producing a healthy 14.3bhp at 8,500rpm, while peak torque produced is 1.3kgm at 6,500rpm. Power is transmitted to the rear wheel via a five-speed gearbox, shifting seamlessly with the help of a heel-and-toe shift lever in the all five-up pattern. Clutch feel is just right for our crowded urban riding conditions, positive and light, never a strain to use in stop and go situations.
The new bikes accelerate willingly with brisk throttle response and excellent bottom end grunt. Open throttle, and the power delivery feels linear. The new engine, clearly a refined performer at all times, revs rising fast and the peppy powerplant never feels out of breath. Our acceleration tests confirm that the 150F and 150S are good enough for a 0-60kph sprint in 5.29 seconds, which positions the new bikes ahead of some rivals in the 150cc class. The 150F achieved a good true top speed of 112kph when pushed flat out on level surface. In city traffic, both bikes proved capable commuters, thanks to the engine that offers such a good torque spread that makes for stress free riding.
Held together by a semi-double cradle frame and a rectangular section swingarm, the 150F weighs in at 132kg, whereas the 150S has a kerb weight of 130kg. Telescopic forks are used in front, while the rear sees a gas-charged monoshock, both working effectively to offer good ride, soaking in poor roads and potholes nicely. As expected, commuter friendly riding ergonomics are the norm. The long, flattish seats offer good comfort.
Both bikes handle rather well, feeling light, yet confident always, a boon when riding through congested traffic. There’s a 240mm front petal disc, along with 130mm rear drum brake on both bikes, providing good stopping power.
The 150F and 150S are efficient bikes, proven in a good 45.3kpl returned when tested in real world city riding conditions. This went up to an impressive (for a 150cc bike) 49.2kpl when riding on relatively open highways, where both bikes feel relaxed cruising at high speeds of up to 80kph.
It’s clear that both the 150F and 150S are designed with practicality and efficiency foremost in mind, a Discover family hallmark from day one. That said, the company has left no stone unturned when it comes to performance - both bikes manage decent acceleration and score high on refinement and smoothness too.
The 150F looks more upmarket due to the front fairing, whereas the 150S looks a touch more conservative. The 150F and 150S have us impressed. If you’re looking for powerful commuter bikes to help you with your daily biking requirements, with good practicality, look no further. The 150F or 150S, both make a good choice of motorcycle.
First Published: Aug 18, 2014 12:01 IST