India is a country where the commuter segment bikes rule the two wheeler market. Every manufacturer is constantly working towards having a larger chunk of the market. In this scenario, one of the most well known Indian two-wheeler manufacturer, Bajaj has yet again launched another ‘Discover’. This commuter segment motorcycle made its debut in India almost a decade ago. Since then the manufacturer has played successful innings under the name of the ‘Discover’.
The Pune based manufacturer has launched the Discover 125M with the tag line ‘ Jiyo Dana Dan’ and the letter ‘M’ signifies ‘mileage’. It is the one of the important attributes for a bike of this particular segment. With this launch there are now a total of seven Discover models in Bajaj’s stable. Yes, you may be wondering what are the differences between all these bikes. There are at least five or six differences amongst all the bikes, but we shall discuss these another time. Today, we have the Discover 125M for our road test, so let us focus on this particular model.
The manufacturer claims - a top speed of 100 km/h, seat crafted for long rides, high performance disc brake, flicker free headlamp and of course a fuel efficiency of 76 km/l. Are these claims right? Lets find out!
Looks, Design and Equipment:
The bike with dual tone decals certainly looks impressive for the commuter class segment. The bike follows nice and neat lines starting from the front till the rear with the angular front indicators to stepped taillight at the back. The bikini fairing of the bike gets subtle decals and very well placed grab-rails contribute to the overall aesthetics of the bike. The motorcycle’s design does not feature any major changes and follows the same design pattern as its 125cc counterparts, the 125T and 125ST.
The Discover 125M may share design and styling from the 125T but there are indeed some visual differences between the bikes. The most noticeable change that you may be able to spot is the side cowl. The 125M gets body colored cowl unlike the 125T which features a little sportier grey colored cowl. Also the bike gets conventional metallic ‘fuel knob’ unlike the ‘T’ or ‘ST’which have a plastic fuel knob housed in the grey colored cowl. The new bike gets more of a commuter oriented seat rather than a sporty unit fitted to premium versions. It also has a black exhaust tip unlike the T which is of silver colour and the fuel tank of the bike is slightly more compact too.
Sitting below the ST and T in terms of pricing clearly indicates the cost-cutting measures implemented on the bike. The bike misses out on rear mono-shock suspension which is present in the ST. Also the bike has a very basic instrument cluster featuring a fuel gauge meter, speedometer and tell tale lights indicating neutral, turn-signal indicators, high-beam and Bajaj’s logo which glows as soon as you turn the ignition on. Also the panel misses out on all the chrome highlighting present in the T and ST. Coming to the handlebars you will find basic controls like turn-signal, horn, high and low beam button, a self starter and slide button to switch on the light. The bike is not equipped with an engine kill switch but on the brighter side the company has provided it with the pass light (headlamp flasher) which does aid the rider. Further improving the neatness of the bike is the enclosed chain cover.
The tank though compact, looks sturdy and is provided with a hinged fuel-filler cap. It also gets the aluminium side sets like the 125T . The new Discover gets Y-shaped, 10 spoke (or rather what company states as the) spider web alloy wheel design. The company has omitted out the ‘Eurogrip’ tires by TVS which were used in earlier models and replaced it with tires from the Taiwan based company ‘Kenda’.
Discover 125M also comes with six very attractive paint schemes namely Charcoal (Green Silver), Charcoal (Magenta Silver), Electron Blue and Wine Red. Two colors which will probably attract the customers the most are Platinum Silver (Black Ice Blue) and Platinum silver (Black Gold).
Engine, gearbox and performance
The bike is powered by the same 124.6cc, single- cylinder, 4-valve, DTS-I engine which powers the other two bikes. However the engine of the bike is tuned for higher fuel efficiency. That said, the engine churns out a maximum power of 11.5 PS at 8000 rpm and maximum torque of 10.8 NM at 6000 rpm which is the same as other 125cc Discover models.
Switch on the ignition and engine comes alive in no time. The shift pattern of the motorcycle is upward for up-shifts starting from Neutral. Pull the clutch, engage the first gear and you are ready to roll. The clutch is light and hence easy to depress and the throttle action is smooth. Just twist your wrist slightly and the bike goes forward without hesitation.
The bike clocks 60 km/h effortlessly on the speedo in 4th gear, which is the top most gear in the bike. The engine is quite refined but Bajaj has still some way to go here. The up-shifts are smooth, however while downshifting the gearbox feels very clunky, you can even hear a loud noise as you downshift inside your well padded full face helmet.
Push the engine beyond 60 km/h, the vibrations come through the handlebars and saddle. However, with the 4-speed transmission unit the motorcycle touches 100 km/h on the speedo, which surely is impressive. Even though the Discover 125M reaches the top-speed of 100 km/h, the need for a 5th gear is felt as the engine gets throaty with higher vibrations setting in after crossing the speed of 65 km/h. A 5th gear would have been a suitable overdrive and would have helped in keeping the revs lower. Also the fifth gear would have helped to keep the vibes under control. In a short test ride, the only thing we couldn't test was the fuel efficiency but having said that we didn't notice the tank emptying quickly either over a period of 3 days. It could very well close up to the claims of the manufacturer and we certainly hope to get back on the saddle again to test it out on a longer duration.
Ride, suspensions and braking:
The bike comes with conventional 130mm telescopic front forks at the front and 110mm Nitrox Twin suspension at the rear. As we took the bike on some pretty bad roads, the suspension took it all with ease and with my weight of 120 kgs on it I was quite comfortable as there was enough padding on the seat and the suspension absorbed the undulations with ease. That said, after 25-30 kms of riding the saddle comfort wasn’t enough and caused me to shift a lot while riding. Bajaj claims to have crafted the seat for longer rides but it didn't seem to be the case during the test ride.
Discover 125M comes in two versions; either a Drum or a Disc brake for the front wheel. We had the disc brake version of the motorcycle and the 200mm petal disc does come in handy in the city as well as out on the highway, offering quick stopping power. The brakes, both front and rear were effective at high speeds as well. The front had a good bite and sufficient feedback through the lever.
It may not seem like it but the fact is that it has wheelbase of 1,255mm which is 50 mm shorter on the 125T. And that makes this motorcycle more compact and helps in the overall agility of the bike. As the bike is nimble and weighs around 118 kgs it handles very well in traffic as well as around corners. Discover 125M is built on a semi-double cradle frame which helps the bike remain planted and gives it satisfactory handling dynamics. The headlamp of the bike provides good visibility at night in low and high beam. However, the high beam of the bike was not very focused as the beam was tilted upwards slightly which hampered visibility. This could be attributed to a poor set up of the machine during assembly.
Discover 125M is priced from ₹48,000 for the standard drum version of the bike and the top variant Disc brake version is priced at ₹50,000. These prices are ex-showroom New Delhi.
Despite the bike lacking in certain areas, it comes out as a worthy commuter motorcycle at the end. As far as pricing is concerned, all manufacturers offer 110cc engines within this price range, so this might be one of the cheaper 125cc in the market. But Bajaj has the edge with this model over the other manufacturers as it offers a good amount of kit for the money it demands for it.
Another advantage of the Discover 125M is its 165mm of ground clearance which is the maximum ground clearance offered by any motorcycle in this segment. The warranty period is 2 years/30,000 kms (which ever is earlier). So, anyone looking for a good commuter motorcycle around the ₹50,000 price range your search ends at the Discover 125M. This is one of the better commuter motorcycles in the market, which not only serves your needs very well but it does all that and more while offering good value for your money.
Discover 125M Technical Specifications
Engine Type : Single cylinder, 4-valve, DTS-I with ExhausTEC
Capacity : 124.6 cc
Bore x Stroke (mm) : 54 x 54.4
Max. Power (Ps @ RPM) : 11.5 ps @ 8000 rpm
Max. Torque (Nm @ RPM) : 10.8 Nm @ 6000 rpm
Starting : Kick + Electric Starter
Top Speed : 100 Kmph
Carburetor : CV type
Transmission : 4 Gears
Frame : Semi-double cradle