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MouthShut Score

74%
3.48 

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Rs. 45,001 (Ex-Showroom)

Bajaj

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BAJAJ DISCOVER: One more *magician* from Bajaj
Sep 13, 2004 03:54 PM 86440 Views
(Updated Sep 26, 2005 09:32 AM)

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Appeal:

This could be the best compliment Bajaj might ever have got: According to BIKE magazine, Honda is going to equip twin-spark-plugs to all of their 100-125 cc engines worldwide. It increases power and fuel economy at the same time. Honda might go a step further but this itself is a BIG compliment and assertion that Bajaj (& not Hero Honda) is doing right things from a last few years.


Update(25-Oct-2004): Please check the comment: #1 & #3 for my first-ride experience.


Recent Update: August 05: All models now feature alloy-wheels, better graphics on tank and rear panel, modification to engine for better response, SNS suspension, rear wheels protector etc. These additions in response to Hero Honda Glamour only add to alredy popular Discover. I think Bajaj is turning into a world-class and a very proactive manufacturer.


Flush with the success of its Pulsar Twins & under the guidance of Mr. 'Brilliant' Abraham's Team; Bajaj is launching their new ambitious 125cc bike 'Discover' soon. The Wind125 though a very good bike in its own right was sort of a 'adjustment' model until Bajaj had a credible entry. Now Wind125 & Caliber will stop selling in India & would be marked for 'export only'. (According to the latest news)


Product Strategy: The Discover is designed to compete in the Executive segment where Bajaj was not that powerful against the likes of Splendor/Passion/Victor & so on. It also marks the start of the new era when the executive bikes will by default have 125cc engine versus the 100cc now. Discover promises to be as frugal as any executive bike(or more so), perform like heavier bikes but appear a little easy for the average height/size Indian (unlike Pulsar which can be a little intimidating for some bikers). It also promises easier maneuverability than Pulsars.


The fact that the work on this all new design started 2 years back shows the foresight Bajaj had about the market & where it was moving. 125 cc will be the highly competed section of the market that will also increase in wild numbers stealing sales both from Entry Executive & Premium market too. Some observers thought of the K60 project as a scaled down pulsar but they are not correct, the chassis of Discover though highly taut is not a scaled down piece but a fresh design.


Powered by the 124.xx cc engine & making 11.34 hp this bike is a fresh new & all-new-from-ground-up design. It has 'short-stroke' design which allows high-rpms but often affects the low-rpm power/torque. To remedy this Bajaj has made first 3 gears shorter to keep the revs in the meaty section of the power curve. The engine also uses the patented DTSi technology that Pulsars use & employs two spark-plus at each side of the cylinder of better combustion/charge distribution that aids both Fuel efficiency & performance. You can check the Power-curves of Wind125 (without DTSI) & Discover & you will find how it improves the power with the same engine. (The spark-plugs are synchronized by electronically with 32 bit controller chip.)


Also, the exhaust that looks similar to Pulsar is quite different where Bajaj has implemented ExhausTEC system (patent pending). This system improves the torque & makes peak torque available from as low as 3000 rpm. This is a very good news for daily drivers that have conjested streets, increasing the drivability at lower rpms/city speeds significantly. This makes you travel in congested-traffic without too many gear changes.


Styling The Discover continues the dramatic styling theme started by the Pulsar. The Discover with fairing also sports the twin street-hawk bulbs that is now becoming a permanent Bajaj fixture. It looks as good as on Pulsar & makes a quite a bit of impact from what I can see in the pictures. The head/taillights are supposed to be clear-lense units with attractive housings. The Pulsar 'Infinity' side panels also make it to this bike but appropriately tailored for this smaller bike.


Gear-box: The Transmission unlike Wind is supposed to be 4 speed--all down unit with closely speced ratios for better acceleration. Bajaj claims to have done special efforts to make sure it is as smooth & precise as the Pulsar. But to me it seems a 5 speed would have been better if just for the sake of marketing. They might add it a year after the launch to keep interest in the product.


Ride: The height/comfort of the bike is benchmarked against Honda Splendor so that typical Indian biker finds it easy to ride. The seat doesn't have a prominent slope & riders wouldn't find it intimidating like say Pulsar/CBZ.


The Tires are first-rate as on Pulsar 150 & are not been narrowed to squeeze every Km out of a liter of Petrol (like Centra/Splendor). The fuel economy despite the aggressive tires is expected to be phenomenal (60+ in the mixed driving) ==> Quite a match to even the executive 100cc bikes. Bajaj has played the trick of making the wheels size as 17 inch versus standard 18 so as to keep the optimum suspension calibrations & same time keeping the height in check. Sometimes 'lateral' thinking does help if you design a bike from grounds-up unlike designing it by comparison to other competing models. (Think of Graptor & you can't help but remember Pulsar!)


Handling The best in the increasing segment is what Bajaj promises & if we can trust Autocar & Overdrive magazines then it is going to the correct claim. Abraham's team has seem to have injected some soul in the handling of the bike. Will post my real life experience after a test ride at the friendly Bajaj dealership soon.


Model Lineup: The bike will be made available in 3 trims: Basic version without fairing/jump start & will start at 40-42K. The mid-level version has the fairing & Self-Start. The fully loaded version has a 'first-time-in-executive-segment Alloy-wheels that make it highly interesting, disc brake & also features a tachometer which is not on the mid-level version. With the top of the line model to be priced 46-48K the Discover seems to be set all for a successful run as widely as with the Pulsar twins in my opinion.


Dealerships: The difference in attitude between Bajaj & (Hero) Honda dealership must have cost quite a few sells in the past. Don't know why Honda dealership are such a pain when it comes to the buying process. You will be lucky to get a test ride without being asked several questions (are you really planning to buy; Why you need a test ride, it is a Honda!) at least in Pune.


Conclusion: I am sure the the new Bajaj is going to rule the market single handedly until Honda comes up with their 125 cc bike (it is in the pipeline). Hero Honda is also readying a 125cc bike which will be launched in Nov or so. Yamaha has already Fazer & TVS has Victor GLS 125 (VT-I) in the segment. This is going to be the most hotly competed segment & the only winner is going to be the consumer. Long live the competition & long live the capitalism (albit a little controlled at times!) :-). Who says Indian companies can't compete with the world giants. Bajaj/Tata & Mahindra have certainly proved they can give the global automakers run for their money.


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