2014 Bajaj Discover 150F and 150S Review: Evolved Commuting
We review the 2014 Bajaj Discover F and the 150 S models to find out what these premium commuter twins are all about.
Discovers in various avatars have swung by ever since Bajaj introduced them way back in 2004. Since then, Bajaj has been at it, tinkering the Discover over time to suit rapidly changing tastes of the commuting class. The new Discover 150 twins are Bajaj’s new jab at the premium commuter segment, and now form the flagship of the Discover lineup- the range now starts with the 100T and these new 150 twins top it off.
The Discover 150 comes in two flavors- a half-faired F and the more skimpily dressed S, which does away with the fairing.
What’s the difference?
The 150 F’s half-fairing shows a modicum of sporty intent, while the partly digital instrumentation and LED tail lamps add some more finesse. The 150 S gets a smaller bikini fairing, but retains the F’s headlamp cluster along with the pilot lamps, yet does away with the LED tail lamps. The S also gets a regular analog instrument cluster. Apart from that, both the bikes share the same cycle parts. Also, all that paraphernalia also makes the F 5 Kgs heavier than the S- that does very mildly reflect on the dynamics a tad, but more on that later.
Half fairing on the Bajaj Discover 150 F
Partly digital instrument cluster on the Bajaj Discover 150 F
Is it the same engine family that powers the smaller Discos?
Essentially yes, it doesn’t look that different from previous Discovers either, especially the 135. Here’s a gist of what’s new on the 2014 Bajaj Discover 150 F and 150 S:-
- The fairing is new and has a couple of cool, fake vents where it meets the tank, but it straightaway gives the bike a nose heavy look.The S, with its smaller cowl looks cleaner and is honest to its commuter underpinnings. The large, clear lens headlamps are common to both the bikes, and manage to give some identity to the front.
- The tanks are ten liter units, decently styled with generous knee recess, and now adorned with a new Discover badge, running a metal finish.The tank is retained from the 135, and the side panels continue to be the same as well.
- The seat is slightly redesigned, but comfort levels are great- although long distance comfort couldn’t be gauged due to the short ride plan.
Instrument cluster – Bajaj Discover 150 F
Instrument cluster – Bajaj Discover 150 S
- Digital instrumentation on the F includes a fuel gauge, trip meter/odometer and a clock, while the S‘s analogue setup features twin pods with yellow lettering over a black background. The F’s speedometer continues to be analogue, but is a slightly upmarket, chrome rimmed affair. Both the bikes miss out on a tachometer, driving home their commuting intents.
- Switch-gear offers great build quality, as well as a breeze to operate. It is the same for both bikes.
- There is also a newly designed, full chain cover.
- The seating position is rather upright, with low set foot pegs.
- All the oily bits have been finished in matte black including the suspension and the new alloy wheels, which get a ten spoke, snowflake design.
- Both the F and the S feature a front disc brake setup- which includes a petal type 240mm rotor with a single piston caliper. The S can be had with front drum brake option as well.
- The rear view mirrors look nice, and the rear suspension features a mono-shock setup.
- To top it all, there are the usual plethora of graphics and colors. New color shades for the 2014 Discover 150 include- Dark Blue, Wine Red, Ebony Black and dark Bottle Green.
The engine capacity now stands at 144.8 cc- a slightly inappropriate 150 moniker. It is a single cylinder, air-cooled, carburetor- equipped unit with an auto-choke function for those cold starts. Both kick starting and electric starting features are available. Besides, Bajaj’s patented DTS-i (Digital Twin Spark- injection) technology does duty here as well, along with a 4 valves per cylinder setup. Power is a healthy 14.3 bhp@8500rpm, while torque peaks at 1.3 Kgm from as low as 6500rpm- the main USP of the engine, as we’ll find out later. The transmission is a slick-shifting, refined 5-speed job. The all upshifting gearbox is a joy to use and is a far cry from the old, clunky Bajaj boxes. Paired with the light clutch, the bikes are a smooth operator in its natural habitat- the city.
How does it ride?
Bajaj Auto says suitable tweaks have been made to the drive-train to give it a premium commuter character, rather than a performance oriented screamer. We took a short ride to find out.
The performance isn’t a rush to the head, but the power is more linear. The engine isn’t too comfortable revving at its peak speed, but what’s more important here is what the torque does. One blast through the gears gives a fair idea of the riding credentials, which includes peppy bottom-end grunt coupled with some strong mid-range. The performance is a breeze till 90 kph, after which the motor has to make some effort. The lack of a punchy top end is there deliberately to make the most out of the low-end and mid-range to aid urban ride ability. Bajaj have also worked on improving the NVH levels and it shows on the Discover 150. Even in the furthest reaches of its top rev range, the bike threw up minimum vibrations and overall refinement definitely seems to have improved-although the engine did sound a tad gruff at times.
What about the handling, and braking?
The Discover 150 twins are no canyon carvers. Still, when pushed hard, those new MRF Zappers do provide decent grip and even a supple ride. The chassis and wheelbase are shared with the 100T and the now defunct 125 ST, hence the handling is predictable, although not the sharpest. Also, a commuter-centric riding position means low set foot pegs, which don’t encourage much lean. Handling city traffic is easy, and the 150 gets the job done.
Braking performance is adequate on both the bikes, considering the commuting intents. The 240 mm petal discs up front offer decent bite and confidence inspiring braking. The 130 mm drums at the back, however are less capable, and lock the rear wheel easily under hard braking. The base S variant can be had with a 130 mm drum brake option as well.
Kitna deti hai?
A brief ride wasn’t much conclusive regarding the efficiency figures, although the bikes have claimed figures of 72 kmpl under standard test conditions. Bajaj reckons it’ll deliver 55 kmpl under normal riding conditions.
How much do I get one for?
The top- end, fully loaded Discover F- with half- fairing, electric start, 10 spoke alloy wheels, front disc brake, tubeless tires, partly digital instrumentation and LED tail-lamps will set one back by Rs. 58,739*. The Discover S gets all of the above, except the half-fairing, digital instrumentation and LED tail lamps, and costs Rs. 54,725*. It can also be optioned without the front disc brake, which sees it with an even aggressive pricing of Rs. 51,720. It goes without saying that all the bikes are competitively priced and is more towards the 125 cc ballpark, especially the S.
To sum it up:
The bikes are typically Discover, blending comfort and tractable performance. OK, it’s no Pulsar, but that’s not the point here. Most aspects of the 150 are honed exhaustively to cater to the premium commuter segment, and it shines in that area. While the 150S sure does have a slight performance advantage thanks to its lesser weight, the F is the one for people who’d prefer something snazzier for their commute.
*all prices ex-showroom Pune
Engine type Single-cylinder, air-cooled, four-stroke
Power 14.3 bhp at 8500 rpm
Torque 1.3 kgm at 6500 rpm
Power to weight 108.3 bhp per tonne
Transmission Manual 5-speed gearbox, 5-up
Length 2038 mm
Width 714 mm
Height 1117 mm
Wheel base 1305 mm
Chassis & Body
Wheels 10-spoke 17-inch alloy
Tires 80/100×17 / 100/90×17
Front Telescopic forks
Rear Mono-shock, rectangle section swing-arm
Front 240 mm disc
Rear 130 mm drum
Head to the gallery below for more images of the 2014 Bajaj Discover 150 F and 150 S.