2018 Bajaj Discover 110 & 125 Launched
- Jan 10, 2018
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The Bajaj Discover 125 was launched back in 2003. I remember watching the first advert with Jackie Chan riding it. I also remember that I was just about to get my driving licence back then and this executive commuter certainly felt like an aspirational motorcycle.
Over the years the Discover family has gone through many iterations to find the right balance between being sensible yet appealing. First, we had the 125s, then the 135, the 100s and even the 150s. Now for 2018, we get the Bajaj Discover 110. So can it strike the right balance between affordable and aspirational?
Looks & Styling
In terms of styling, the Discover has seen many changes and as the years passed it started looking sleeker with a more masculine front end. However, research showed Bajaj that the styling cues seen on the 1st generation Discover 125 are still appreciated by people. So, after hitting the drawing board the designers at Bajaj decided to add some features that give the age-old design a modern touch. And, we like it.
To begin with, Bajaj has offered LED DRLs that are integrated into the headlight, and a semi-digital console with an analogue tachometer and digital readouts for speed, fuel meter, odometer and trip meter. The newly designed mirrors offer a clear view of the rear and the switchgear quality is at par with other 100cc offerings from Bajaj.
Bajaj wanted to make the Discover 110 look smart, not sporty. So the changes to the design are low key. As a result, the headlight cowling, the fuel tank and the rear panels remain unchanged. What’s changed though are the new set of graphics, the side panels finished in grey and the lightly restyled tail fairing, all of which comes together to make it look more modern. We also liked the newly designed, diamond-shaped alloy wheels finished in black.
Engine & Performance
While the Discover is branded as a 110, it is actually a 115cc, air-cooled, single-cylinder motorcycle that is mated to a slick-shifting 4-speed gearbox. This engine is related to the 125cc engine used in the V12. This too is a long-stroke motor and uses a smaller bore compared to the V12. It also uses new material for the clutch plate to improve smoothness.
The motor feels refined and the peak power output of 8.6PS is produced at 7000rpm. But the most interesting bit about this new engine is that 9.8Nm of peak torque, which is the highest in class, is produced at just 5000rpm. Bajaj claims there is ample of torque available from the start itself, allowing it to tackle the city with ease. On our first ride particularly liked the tractability of this motor as it could chug along in 3rd gear, with a pillion on board, without any hassle in the city.
The motor also feels peppy up to the 6000rpm mark, where it surges in a vibe-free manner. It can also comfortably cruise at around 65 kmph. But don’t expect it to feel at ease in high-speed commuting as beyond the 6000rpm mark the vibrations start building up on the handlebars, the footpegs and also in the seating area, which will tire you out eventually.
Ride and Handling
To start with, we felt that the seat is a tad on the softer side, and while that isn’t much of a worry, it will get tiresome if you plan to spend an hour or more on the Discover 110. That said, the seat is long enough to comfortably seat two. This is because the Discover 110 shares its chassis with the 125, offering it a wheelbase of 1305mm, the longest in its class.
Still, for my 6 feet height and size, it feels a bit too compact. That aside, the ergonomics are commuter-friendly and won't tire you on your daily runs. It is also nimble enough to wander around in city traffic without any hassle.
Another impressive bit about the motorcycle is its suspension. Bajaj has managed to tune up the front telescopic and the rear gas-charged suspension to offer a supple ride through the toughest of road patches. That said, the setup isn’t too soft either, allowing the rider to stay in control through most potholes and undulations on our roads. Bajaj also claims to have designed the suspension to provide maximum travel: 140mm on the front and 120mm at the rear, to be precise.
Unfortunately, Bajaj isn’t offering a front disc brake, even as an option. The front 110mm drum brakes fail to offer any kind of feedback while the 110mm rear brake feels decent enough under hard braking.
Priced at Rs 50,176 (ex-showroom, Delhi), the Discover 110 undercuts all its competition by thousands of rupees. And while this may not offer a disc brake, there is the Bajaj Discover 125 that offers one at a premium of around Rs 5000.
But speaking about the Discover 110, it comes across as a strong value proposition as it gets features like LED DRLs and a semi-digital instrument console, which is impressive at this price point.
And from a commuter standpoint, it does feel refined and offers a bit more pep to better tackle the city. But if it's highways you plan to take on, a 125cc would make more sense. Not only that, the impressive tractability on offer and the comfort provided over the worst of road conditions allows us to tick all the right boxes for an ideal commuter.
So, coming back to the main question of whether it offers the balance between affordability and aspirational value, we think the Discover 110 certainly does.
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