Jan 15, 2011

15 Bajaj Discover 100 DTS-Si: Review

Review of the Bajaj Discover 100 DTS-Si..

If one has kept a tab on the motorcycle industry of India for the last 2 years, or if one has noticed the kind of motorcycles that have appeared on our roads during the same period, it would be quite obvious that the Bajaj Discover has been a big success story.

Bajaj Discover 100 Review

When the Discover 100 was launched in July 2009, not many gave it much of a chance, stating that it’s probably another one of Rajiv Bajaj’s (MD Bajaj Auto) experiments. Some couldn’t digest the 135 cc Discover becoming a 100 cc. And later when a 150 cc avatar of the Discover was launched, naysayers again scoffed at the idea of a 150 cc Discover.

Positives:

+ Light weight
+ Smooth & Snatch free engine
+ Good handling
+ 5 Speed gearox, DC Lighting

Negatives

- Texture of the Plastic on speedometer
- Drum brakes

Only in hindsight can one comment on whether a strategy was right or wrong. After almost 2 years the ubiquitous sight of Discover models on our roads have proved that Mr. Bajaj has got the strategy with the Discover spot on. Not only did the success of the Discover mean the end of the sales slump that Bajaj had witnessed in 2008-2009 (which had started with the global recession), but in a very short span the Discover brand has become a formidable brand along with the world’s largest selling motorcycle brand, the Hero Honda Splendor..!!

The Discover 100 wasn’t/isn’t priced lower than the Splendor. In fact it is priced at par with the Splendor. Even then, the Discover 100 has been consistently selling like hot cakes. That only means one thing, that the Discover is selling on its merit and that it must be a good bike.

So how good and improved is the Discover 100 compared to the earlier 100 cc models (CT100, Caliber, Boxer, Platina) from Bajaj? I take a test ride to find out..



Back in early 2008 when I had taken the test ride of the Discover 135, I had felt that the Discover 135 was better off as a Commuter. The latest 100/150 cc avatars have just refined the Discover package into a truly Honest Commuter, by getting rid of any sporty pretensions and with a commuter friendly price tag to boot. Indians can’t resist a good deal and the Discover seems to have certainly struck the right cord with the commuter crowd.

Post the test ride, 3 things about the Discover 100 have stood out for me. All of which were NEVER used to be associated with older Bajaj products. Let me elaborate..


1. Light weight:

The Discover 100 (115 Kgs) has lost a whopping 18 Kgs compared to the older Discover 135 (133 Kgs)..!! But what’s the benefit of a lighter bike? Well, a lighter bike means less of unnecessary/dead weight, the bike feels zippy as the engine has to haul around lesser weight, plus better fuel efficiency. How did the Discover lose its weight? Because of a brand new engine and an all new chassis.

2. Smooth, snatch free engine:

If one has ridden the latest products from Bajaj (including the latest generation Pulsars and also the now discontinued XCD 135) one would definitely have noticed that the engines have become smoother compared to the older models.

The older 100 c.c Bajaj engines also used to feel snatchy (which most Indians erronuously tend to call as "knocking"). My younger brother used to have a Bajaj Caliber and right from day one, the engine of that bike had this snatchy feel to it. The XCD 125 was the first small capacity Bajaj engine to impress me as it's engine had no snatchy feel, pulled effortlessly and felt well made. Even the XCD 135 was the smoothest Bajaj engine that I have ridden till date.

I found the humble 100 cc engine as smooth and felt well made without any snatchiness to it. It is not surprising since the 100 cc, DTS-Si engine is based on the XCD 125’s engine platform.

3. Good handling:

Handling on a motorcycle depends mostly on its chassis design. The chassis of the Pulsar 150/180/220 are basically based on a decade old chassis design and although they have very good straight line stability, they don’t take spirited corners with ease.

This used to be true of most Bajaj bikes till I rode the Pulsar 135LS. The potent 135 cc bike has got a new chassis design, which is not only lighter in construction but also endows the baby Pulsar with sharp handling, making it the best handling Pulsar.

Even the Discover 100 has surprising good handling. The new Discover takes corners with more confidence and poise than the older models.

The chassis of the Discover 125/135 used to be a Twin Downtube, Double crade frame (like the ones found on the Pulsar 150/180/220). The new Discover 100/150 feature a Single Downtube, Double cradle frame.


Engine Performance

The engine of the Discover 100 feels smooth and well made compared to older models. But when revved hard, the engine does show some vibrations creeping in. Not very disturbing kind but definitely a hint.

The 100 cc engine doesn’t really have neck jerking acceleration, which is not expected from it either. But the engine does a decent job of pulling the rider and its pillion without much effort. The Discover 100 feels similar in performance like the benchmark i.e the Hero Honda Splendor/Passion duo. Nothing more, nothing less.

Clutch/Gearbox

The Discover 100 does get a brownie point over the 100 cc Hero Honda in the form of an extra 5’th gear. A 5’th gear might seem an over kill for a 7.7 Ps, 100 cc engine but the gear ratios on the Discover is so well matched that even at 5’th gear the engine continues to pull cleanly from slow speeds.

The 5’th gear also helps maintain a cruising speed without stressing the 100 cc engine, which should also help in getting good fuel efficiency as well as provide a smooth vibe free ride. The clutch on the Discover 100 is delightfully light for heavy traffic riding.

Ergonomics & Ride Comfort

The handlebar is tall and the foot pegs are naturally positioned at a foot forward commuter friendly position. Honest commuter, didn’t I say?

The seat is a bit narrow at the front (which has been carried on from the original Discover design) and could have been a bit wider. The seat foam/material used is of high order and will provide comfort over long distance use.

The rear suspension is of gas filled NitroX type, which apart from making the rear look chunky also endows the Discover a good balance between handling and ride comfort.

Looks and features

Styling/looks of the Discover 100 is being mentioned towards the end as the Discover has remained nearly the same over the years. The exposed frame around the battery/air box side cover remains a unique styling element of the Discover among Indian bikes. The Discover 100 does have a slightly redesigned front fairing, a LED tail lamp and redesigned graphics. The alloys wheels, engine and the chain cover are finished in black color.

DC Lighting: The Discover does get a very useful DC lighting feature. This feature is not available on any 100 cc bike in India. The headlights are connected to the battery due to which the headlights do not flicker and give a constant illumination irrespective of the engine speed. Like the Pulsars the Discover also gets a smart DC lighting which shuts off the headlights in case the engine is shut off, this saves the battery from getting drained accidentally.

Standard Alloy wheels: Alloy wheels are standard on the Discover 100 which looks the part on the Discover 100, unlike the Splendor which looks better in spoke wheels rather than in alloy wheels.

Self start: Self start is no longer a premium feature on Indian motorcycles and the Discover gets it too.

Analog Speedometer: The Digital Speedometer of the Discover 135 has been discarded for a more conservative and retro looking round analog twin pods. The texture of the plastic used for the speedo display could have been a bit better though.

Switchgear: The Discover 100 gets comprehensive switchgear with hi-beam/pass flasher. An engine kill switch is missed with a Ride Control Switch* taking its place.

[* Ride Control Switch: When activated provides slight resistance at a certain position in twisting the accelerator, this makes the rider aware not to twist the accelerator beyond a point for better fuel efficiency]


Colors:

[1] Black with Blue decals
[2] Black with Magenta decals
[3] Black with Green decals
[b] Flame Red

Fuel Efficiency: A 100 cc motorcycle in India normally returns around 60-65 kmpl under normal riding conditions.

I have heard many instances where Discover 100 customers have reported mileage numbers of 70-75 kmpl..!!


Price: For Self Start model: Rs. 43,000 (Ex-Showroom Delhi), Rs. 47,500 (On Road Delhi)



Verdict: A contemporary looking worthy alternative to the Hero Honda Splendor.








Discover 100 DTS-Si: Technical Specifications

Engine & Transmission

Engine Type : Single cylinder, 4 stroke, air cooled, DTS-Si
Displacement: 94.38 cc
Max net power: 7.7 ps @ 7500 rpm
Max net torque: 7.85 nm @ 5000 rpm
Starting system: Kick start/electric start
Gears: 5-Speed (all down pattern)

Chassis and body

Front Brake: Drum, 130 mm
Rear Brake: Drum, 110 mm

Tyres Front - 2.75 X 17" (Unidirectional) , Rear - 3.00 X 17" (Unidirectional)
Fuel Tank: 8 liter full (2.3 liter reserve)

Electricals: 12V, 5Ah

Dimensions

L x W x H: 2040 mm x 760 mm x 1087 mm
Wheel base: 1305 mm

Kerb weight: 115 kg





Discover 100 DTS-Si: Photos



Bajaj Discover 100Bajaj Discover 100Bajaj Discover 100Bajaj Discover 100







Related Posts





Disclaimer:

This is to remind that the Views or Opinions in the blog are entirely mine unless explicitly stated. The Views and Opinions published in this blog should in no way be related to any other person or organization associated -- directly or indirectly -- with me.






15 Comments:

Anonymous said...

Long and detailed review:-)

This discover has constant flickr free lights.I didnt knew that.!!

I have my discover 135 'O' Ring and it doesnt have that:-(

Apart from this,i think discover 100 has been hit in India as i can see atleast 3-4 bikes everytime on the roads..

The marketing scheme of Rajiv ji cannot be understood :-)

Also fifth gear on bike seems uneven (i will not support it as my bike dont have it and if i will see a 100 cc bike with 5 gears i will be :-( )..
-Saurabh

S.P - Biker Next Door said...

@Saurabh,

Your Discover 135 engine is based on the Pulsar platform and therefore is a potent package. The evolution of the Discover brand over the years is a natural business phenomenon called "repositioning".

Take the case of the Maruti Suzuki Alto, when it was intitially launched it had a sporty 4 cylinder, 1000 cc (or 1100 cc) engine and was a sort of pocket rocket. But later Maruti repositioned the Alto with a smaller 800 cc engine, made it a contemporary upgrade to the Maruti 800 and dropped the price. The rest is history, the Alto has become the largest selling car in India replacing the Maruti 800.

Also recently the Alto has again got a new three cylinder 1000 cc (K10) engine variant.

Anonymous said...

Thanks payeng for reviewing this.
I owned this bike for last 1 year getting mileage 75-80.
but now the chain sprocket is damaged so hv to spend 800
Bajaj should use high quality parts and stop harassing its customers.

Santosa

praveen said...

Exciting article, my first bike was Discover 125ES without alloys wheels(2005 model) it got a great performance equally positioned to the 150s especially Pulsar, but unfortunately i sold this bike due to iam passion about Yamaha fazer nearly five years of usage i didnt faced any major problems except minor engine problems.

Anonymous said...

What a detailed review! Thanks Bro.
I hope these standard models like Splendor, Discover confirms that 100 cc commuter bike segment is not easily wiped out. Also the increase in petrol pricing confirms it.
-Jagan

Anonymous said...

Thank you for further explanation bro.:-)

Whether my bike has that feature or not, the main thing is only that i LOVE my bike:-)
And also this blog(diary):-)

And also i will get my Bajaj Pulsar 220F in this June.:-)

I am dreaming for it.:-)
-Saurabh

Anonymous said...

And also i congratulate you for 4 MILLION + visitors on this blog(diary).
:-)
-Saurabh

S.P - Biker Next Door said...

@Saurabh thanks bro, so you noticed :-)


@Santosa, 75-80 kmpl..?? Cool

Anonymous said...

ya i am getting 75-80 KMPL
You may believe it or not but twice I got 93 while driving at highways.

SANTOSA

Anonymous said...

how will you compare it with passion pro.

Anonymous said...

if u want to go for a long drive of 250 km (around) at economy speed of 40-50kph discover is best bike which i prefer it has got good milage .and if u want to ride 250 km at a good speed of 80-120 kph i prefer pulsar but it has got a milage of only 40-47kmpl*. .......................................................................i bought a new discover 100 on 3 rd of february 2012. one of my friend has got a passion pro on comparing to it i feel discover 100 is more better on fuel consumption it has got a good milage of 75kmpl* or more.my friend is getting 68-70 kph* on passion pro.i am getting 70kmpl on discover 100 before its 1st service my retailer said that after 2 services you get a milage of 80kmpl or more as per ur ride.....................i think discover 125 and discover 150 are also good bikes discover 150 has got a milage of 55-65kmpl*



*as per ur ride

Anonymous said...

If u want to drive a fast of 50-55 then go for Discover 100 & if u want riding experience and speed of about 70-80 with mileage go for Yamaha ss125 really it is the best bike in 125cc and gives mileage of about 55kmpl.

Discover100Dts-si Owner said...

Pros:

1. Nitrox suspensions
2. exhaustec really boosts the torque
3. Superb mileage

Cons:
1.Super hard gearbox(rider is not so comfortable with)
2.Bajaj should really stop messing with the models since resale values will drop, not many know how many versions of discovers they released so far 100 , 115, 125, 135, 150.As far as i know there is more than one version in 135 cc and 125 cc.
Availabilty of parts for discontinued models will also be a problem in the long run .
Dts-si is changed into Dts-i please tell the difference Bajaj.

raj kumar said...

Bajaj Discover 100 is latest style sporting bike. It has digital twin spark ignition technology. This bike can generate a great power and mileage of 91kmpl in less pollution. This bike has all of the awesome features.
Bajaj Discover 100 Mileage

Mohamed Rafi said...

I own a bajaj discover 100 dtsi, motorcycle , of year 2010 make. it's a simple, decent , good-looking, worthy , efficient , features-rich bike . it has never given any troubles , be it riding on the hill sections or on the bad roads of the plains. thanks to the refined dtsi engine and to the nitrox suspension, which make it a pleasant bike to ride. the only cons i felt with discover 100 were thin Dunlop 3 x2.75 " tyres fitted in the factory , the ineffective "ride control ' switch , which snapped the throttle cables thrice unwittingly! and the hard seat , which was not quite comfortable. the bright oval- parabolic headlight, crisp tail lights , wide clear lens indicators , battery charge indicator in the speedo console , ergonomic grab rails and grips , click-shut petrol tank caps do come in handy , practical and very user friendly. the bike due to its dependable nature has become an essential part of my professional, recreational activities. it has never disappointed me anytime , with any glitches. it's almost six years , since i purchased my discover 100, yet i do not want to part with it.

Post a Comment


Your Comments are valuable as they keep the conversation alive..

But Please Comment Responsibly (for them to be published)