Bajaj Discover 100M Review
Bike Tested: 2013 Bajaj Discover 100M
Price OTR Mumbai: Rs. 54,900/-
The Discover 100M is the most potent 100cc commuter bike with a right blend of performance and features.
It is no secret that after the Pulsar, the Discover has been the best selling motorcycle for Bajaj Auto. Obviously, when you have two brands and one of them is in the commuter segment, which is a key market in India, it is bound to bring the company volumes. However, the Pulsar is butter, but they need the bread too, right? It is not easy for Bajaj Auto to break into the volume churning commuter segment where the market leader has 24 models while Bajaj Auto has a measly ten products to retaliate. Nevertheless, that does not stop the company from trying, does it? Bajaj has clearly mentioned a year ago that they have six new Discovers waiting to be launched and four of them are here. The 125 ST, 125T, 100T and now the fresh from Akrudi’s oven is the 100M. Yes, the M stands for mileage and internally for Bajaj, a brand new platform. This new platform is identical to the T variants (the one with dual side gas charged shocks at the rear and less horsepower) but not the same. When we rode the Discover 100M for a short time at the launch, our initial impressions were positive. After a brief time with the bike, we are here with the complete road test, how is the new Discover 100M? Let us find out!
Motor Quest: Bajaj launched the first Discover in 2004 which was powered by a 125cc engine. The first entry-level commuter variant of the Discover (112cc) was launched in 2005 with a mileage claim of 101 km/l.
Styling – The Bajaj Discover 100M is a replica of the Discover 100T. However the 100M gets Pulsar inspired aluminium side sets which are larger than the 100T. The chain guard has moulds outside to make it look more attractive and funky. The exhaust is much longer, looks sleeker and it gets a different heat shield. The headlight and tail light remain the same. The side panels are devoid of the fuel knob. The panels are now body painted and comes with graphics on it. Y-spoke alloy wheels as any other Discover variant are here as well and the dominant tank makes the motorcycle look swell in the eyes of a commuter. All this projects an image of a larger motorcycle than it actually is.
Instrument Cluster and Switch Gear – In terms of aesthetics, same cluster continues to be a part of the 100 M as well. There are quite of lot things skipped here. The chrome bits that surround both meters are gone. Battery warning indicator has been omitted. Yellow markings inside the speedometer don’t make it to the cluster either. The analog trip meter with reset button also has been dismissed from the 100 M. Solitary side indicators, always-illuminated Bajaj logo and high beam indicators are here. Switchgear is the same and pass light switch stays.
Ergonomics – The seating position of the Bajaj Discover 100M is upright. That means the footrests are not rear set, but are right below you, so that results in the rider sitting near to the tank. The narrow handlebar gives the rider confidence for tackling city traffic. The rear view mirrors give a good view of what is behind to almost any sized rider. The seats have superior cushioning and are wide too, offering excellent comfort to the pillion and the rider. The knee recesses on the tank are accommodating and make you feel attached to the motorcycle.
Performance and Gearbox – The Discover 100M is powered by a 102cc, DTS-i, 4-valve, under-square engine which produces a power output of 9.3 PS at 8000 RPM and torque output of 9.2 Nm at 6000 RPM. Changes are made to the CDI and valve train to achieve this slightly detuned state. However, if you notice the engine produces power and torque at lower RPM’s than the 100T which combined with lower weight puts it on par with its elder sibling. The power to weight ratio is only down by a measly 2.7 PS/tonne. A lightweight rider can match the acceleration time of the 100T effortlessly. The engine is smooth, throttle response is good and the motor responds swiftly to the rider’s inputs. Acceleration is brisk and low-end torque is excellent. Where this motor truly shines is the mid-range. Performance is surreal for a 100cc motorcycle, after 50 km/hr, the bike quickly reaches 80 km/hr. Progress to the top speed, which is 95 km/hr, is slow. The 4-speed gearbox is smooth and aided by positive shifts, it’s a great unit altogether. Taller gear ratios help to extract the best from this powerplant.
The 100cc engine revs up smoothly to the redline and NVH levels are fantastic and even better than the Discover 100T. Engine sounds throaty too with the new intake system. This is because the engineers have worked really hard on the NVH of the 100M. The motorcycle we had on test had done 300 odd kms, so it was not extremely buzzy like the bike we had ridden at the first ride event. This shows that a brand new engine is not happy and tends to vibrate slightly. Discover’s engine and gearbox feels better every time a new model comes in. Bajaj is definitely going up the ladder when it comes to refinement.
Riding Dynamics – The Discover 100M is lighter by 6 kgs thanks to every single dimension being shorter by a considerable margin. 500 ml of fuel space is also compromised within the tank to achieve the lightweight number. Seat height has come down by 15 mm. The alloy wheels and tyres are the same and the front suspension is lowered by 5 mm. The Discover 100M stays planted in the corners and there is good grip from the tyres too. The front fork geometry is tuned for manoeuvrability, rather than sporty crisp turn-in as this is what this segment requires. Damping is superior and mature. Superb balance of ride and handling feels very stable the moment you take a short spin. The rear suspension is on the softer side. However, since most riders don’t ride alone or carry some luggage most of the time, it’s an ideal setup for them indeed.
The u-turn radius is radically short. Ride quality is good and the motorcycle absorbs even big bumps which don’t upset the Discover 100M. Brake at the front was a disc (the bike comes with a drum at the front as standard) in our test bike and like the customer’s demand, it is devoid of initial bite and lacks feel. However the motorcycle does stop well in stop-go traffic. Rear brakes are drums and they do a good job of shedding speeds well. High speed stability is good and changing directions at speeds doesn’t upset the motorcycle’s balance.
Miscellaneous – Headlight illumination is top notch and the spread is excellent too. Paint quality and fit-finish is excellent all around. Electric start, alloy wheels, drum brakes, DC ignition come as standard on this motorcycle. Tail light is not a LED on the 100M. Fitment like engine guard, rear view mirrors and sari guard come as standard. Horn is puny and an upgrade is necessary in case you rely on it most of the time. We once complained that new colours should be introduced on the Discover series. The new 100M comes with olive green which already exists on the normal 2-valve brothers, we are not complaining though. Flap mechanism on the fuel filler cap is an excellent idea always, a rarity in other motorcycles from the same category. As always, an excellent move by Bajaj Auto by keeping corrugated fins on the Discover 100M for better cooling, just like the Discover family variants. Front disc is available as an option, hurray!
Verdict – As always, Bajaj Auto has nailed it with the value for money proposition it offers with the Discover 100M. We agree to the fact that this is the most expensive 100cc of the lot (100T aside) but the features on offer and the handsome styling makes it a fabulous package. This Discover should find homes much more easily than other Discovers in the rural market. Bajaj says this particular model has hopes attached with it when it comes to rural market share. It will not be easy to cut the cake here because this is where Hero MotoCorp has a blind following. However, Bajaj Auto is offering something different from the competition, which should work in their favour because we think this is what a commuter of the 21st century really needs.
The Discover 100M offers big bike appearance along with good performance, fantastic mileage and value for money in the entry-level commuter segment.
* Standard convenience equipment
* Value for money proposition
What’s Not So Cool
* Missing Tachometer
Bajaj Discover 100M Specifications
* Engine: 102cc, SOHC, Air-Cooled, 4-valve, 4-stroke
* Power: 9.3 PS @ 8000 RPM
* Torque: 9.02 Nm @ 6000 RPM
* Transmission: 4-speed manual
* Top Speed: 90 km/hr
* Fuel Consumption: 68 km/l (City), 75 km/l (Highway)
* Fuel Type: Petrol
* Frame Type: Semi Double Cradle Frame
* Suspension: Telescopic Fork (Front), Nitrox Dual Sided (Rear)
* Tyres: 2.75/17 (Front), 3.00/17 (Rear)
* Brakes: 200 mm disc (Front), 130 mm drum (Rear)
* Headlamp: HS1 35/35W
Bajaj Discover 100M Dimensions
* Length x Width x Height: 1986 mm x 678 mm x 1044 mm
* Wheelbase: 1255 mm
* Seat Height: 795 mm
* Ground Clearance: 165 mm
* Fuel Tank Capacity: 9.5-litres
* Kerb weight: 114 kgs
Pictures – Anannd Sampat