2015 Bajaj Discover 150S
Bajaj has ruled the chunk of 150cc segment for a very long time, thanks to the famous Pulsar 150. But given the increasing threat from other manufacturers in the same segment, the dated Pulsar is beginning to lose its sheen. In order to bring back the sales growth in the same segment, Bajaj came up with the 150cc range of Discover. This shot by Bajaj also included one more aim of defining the brand Discover by giving it one full fledged variant, for those who want the best of both the worlds of performance and fuel efficiency - a world of sports commuting. The 150cc versions of the Discover also came at a point when the sales of other motorcycles of the Discover lineup were dwindling.
Basically, there are two versions of the 150cc Discover – a semi-faired version termed Discover 150F and a naked version named as Discover 150S. Out of these two, the Discover 150S is the more affordable version. The Discover 150S is very different from its other 150cc stable mate, Pulsar 150, in every aspect - styling, engine, suspension, brakes, equipment and price. Positioned below the Pulsar 150, is the Discover 150S capable of electrifying the entry-level 150cc segment? Below is a comprehensive answer to this.
The Discover 150S is one very different product from the segment perspective. The overall design is a blend of sportiness as well as simplicity, as the design is actually based on the Discover line-up of premium 100/125cc commuters – a platform which is well renowned for fusing smart looks of big bikes and functionality of small commuters in one package.
As said, the front stance of the bike boasts of a smart looking headlamp, which has been borrowed from the rest of the new generation Discover lineup. It incorporates a neat-looking headlamp with pilot lamps on either side. Like the main headlamp unit, the side profile of the bike looks exactly similar to the other models of the new generation Discovers, like the 100M and 125M. The fuel tank as well as side and rear body panels on the Discover 150S are borrowed from the smaller capacity Discovers, which although being smart, lack the flair which a 150cc bike should possess. The center portion of the bike looks a bit different from the rest of the Discovers due to the hidden monoshock at the center, unlike the coil springs in both the sides. On viewed from rear, the familiar vertically stacked LED tail lights take the proud position.
As opposed to the otherwise modern but toned down design, the instrument console seems to be a bit overtly done, appeal of which is subjective to varying minds. The console is a comprehensive combination of an analog speedometer, odometer and fuel gauge, with a small rectangular portion for tell tale lamps. The fact that tachometer has been given a miss, despite of the Discover 150S being a 150cc motorcycle, leaves a bit too be desired.
Same goes with the switchgear as well, which is the same as that of the cheaper motorcycles from the stable of Bajaj. The back-lit switchgear of Pulsar series could have been fitted on the Discover 150F as well. Nevertheless, the overall build quality of switchgear and fit and finish of the motorcycle is decent enough for the segment. Though the Discover 150S looks a bit more premium than its younger versions, we wish it could have been more distinctively styled.
Unlike the Pulsar 150, the Discover 150S comes fitted with a different single-cylinder, air-cooled, 144.8cc engine. A bored out version of the Discover 125M’s mill, the engine on the Discover 150F may be short on cubic capacity as compared to its other rivals in the segment, but the same cannot be said about the output figures it pumps out.
This engine is healthy enough to produce 14.4 bhp of power and 12.7 Nm of torque. The engine is mated to a five-speed gearbox with an all-up shifting pattern, dissimilar to the one-down-four-up pattern of other 150cc motorcycles, including the Pulsar 150.
The engine is specifically tuned to churn out better in-city ride with a meatier mid-range grunt. The bike is effortless to commute upon in the city hassles and due to sufficient availability of top-end power as well, the bike is a joy to ride on empty stretches as well. The Discover 150S can squeeze out a fuel efficiency figure in the range of 50-54 km/l, making it one of the most fuel-efficient 150cc motorcycles on sale.
RIDE AND HANDLING
Unlike the Pulsar 150 as well as other Discovers, the Discover 150S is equipped with a gas-charged monoshock suspension at the rear. Though at front, the bike comes with the conventional telescopic forks. The Discover 150S also gets spider-web alloy wheels, which definitely give the bike an upper hand over other bikes in the segment.
The motorcycle manages to provide a supple ride quality and with monoshock on the block, the bike is poised around corners more than the other entry-level 150cc commuters. The bike comes with an optional 240mm petal disc brake at front and 130mm drum brake at rear, feedback from which is more than appropriate.
The Discovers have always been highly regarded in the past for the sheer value they provide at a reasonable price, which easily undercuts the competition. In the same fashion, the Discover 150S, even after appearing as a larger and more-feature packed motorcycle as compared to other bikes in its segment, is priced very competitively.
The Bajaj Discover 150S is available in two different variants – while the front drum brake variant will cost you Rs. 54,521, the disc brake variant is available at Rs. 57,630. The prices also include the standard equipment of electric start and alloy wheels.
Both the variants of the Discover 150S are available in five different colors, namely Black Gold, Dark Blue, Dark Bottle Green, Ebony Black and Wine Red.
While there are very few bikes in the segment to which the Discover 150S belongs, the closest competitor to it in terms of price and specifications is the Yamaha SZ-RR. Compared to the Bajaj Discover 150S, the Yamaha SZ-RR looks one segment above with its sharp big bike looks and additional features, which also include split pillion grab rails, engine kill switch and tachometer.
Also, the 153cc engine of the Yamaha SZ-RR is way more refined and stress-free than that of the Discover 150S, especially during the higher revs. Though the Discover 150S manages to outclass the Unicorn in terms of value for money quotient, which is the most crucial factor to consider in this segment.
The Bajaj Discover 150S perfectly manages to fill the fine gap between the premium 125cc commuters and entry-level 150cc motorcycles with its spot on pricing. The bike looks substantial for its class, the engine has nicely distributed torque across the rev range and the features you get in for the money you pay for it makes it one irresistible option to put up in your buying options. Sure, the ‘Discover’ genes famous for being frugal and efficient do not help the 150S to gain an outright sporty image, but the bike too doesn’t intends to do so. For that, Bajaj has the Pulsar 150 and the 200cc versions.
- * Performance
- * Ride Quality
- * Price
- * Design Too similar smaller Discover
- * Low rent Switchgear
- * Vibrations at higher revs