After a successful stint with the CT Boxer motorcycle which went on to become one of the best-selling products to roll out of the Bajaj factory, the Pune-based bike maker is back again into the commuter game with the new Boxer 150 which aims to lure the Splendor-crazy populace of rural India with its capacity hike and long-standing legacy of the Boxer brand. We got our hands on the latest offering from Bajaj Auto, the Boxer 150 and took it for spin around the countryside. Here is how comfortable it was and our first impression of the Boxer 150!
Practical and functional are the first words that come to the mind looking at the new Bajaj Boxer 150. No frills styling with a mishmash of the previous generation Boxer and the Splendor overtones are clearly visible on this new budget Bajaj. The large-ish fairing upfront keeps the air out of the rider’s way while the curvy tank is neatly drawn to accommodate short or lanky riders alike. The centre panel is bulbous yet does not look out of place flaunting the ‘BM 150’ moniker. The only eyesore that we found on the new Boxer was the chrome-doused rear carrier but then it certainly makes up with its utility for the lack of flamboyance. For the rural public the utility of the carrier is of significant value than the need for something that looks good but doesn’t serve much purpose. Although the round and neatly drawn indicators do add some sort of pizzazz to the simplicity of the Boxer 150 and so does the tastefully done saree-guard.
The raised commuter-friendly handlebars make no fuss and offer decent comfort and feel especially when riding over bad roads. As soon as you swing a leg over the bike, the striking bit on the Boxer 150 is the XXXL-sized saddle that can comfortably accommodate two large adults and still has room for a third one to fit on the seat before the fourth one spills over the steel cradle on the back. Not that we condone such law-breaking practices, it is just a indication of how spacious the Boxer’s saddle is. Also it is soft, cushy and suggests that spending hours on it won’t really transform into fatigue or exhaustion. Of the few days that we had a go with the Boxer 150 exploring the Indian countryside, it was quite a revelation to see how many village folk actually noticed and showed interest in the new motorcycle. No fancy tit-bits on this one to lure them but just a very approachable and familiar set of wheels that they have grown with and known for years.
The idea behind plonking a 150cc mill into a hardcore efficiency friendly commuter is to not only offer added value but also a better ride and power delivery thanks to increased capacity. And this is what sets apart the bigger Boxer from its competition of 100cc commuters. The 144.8cc motor borrowed from the Discover 150 comes minus the twin-sparkplug head unit and replaces it for a single spark plug setup. Pumping out 12.01PS of power at 7,500rpm and an impressive torque output of 12.26Nm peaking at 5,000rpm, the engine is mated to a conventional all-down shift-pattern 4-speed transmission which has been a favourite trend amongst the rural markets for generations.
The minimalist attitude of having least plastics and trashing all unnecessary junk around the bike has helped the maker to limit the weight of the Boxer to just 123kg, which transforms into a killer power-to-weight ratio of 97.64PS/Tonne. Lesser weight to lug around combined with added disposable torque from the 144.8cc motor means overall improvement in the vehicle’s performance with regards to fuel consumption as well as pick up. Also the increase in capacity and bumped up torque with 4-speed gearbox means torque is well-spread and freely available across the rev-range with the Boxer 150 effortlessly pulling from 20km/h in 4th gear. The 12PS of power and short gear ratios means the bike is quick off the line for good initial pick up but it certainly hampers its top-end performance, but then that is something not many of its target customers will really explore.
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