Discover 125 ST Test Ride Review
Bajaj Discover 125 ST – Click above for high resolution picture gallery

Bajaj Discover 125 ST Review

Bike tested: 2012 Bajaj Discover 125 ST

Price OTR Mumbai: Rs. 63,985/-

Bajaj Auto is on a launch spree this year, launching new motorcycles across various segments. While all the other offerings are targeted at the performance segment, the Bajaj Discover 125 ST is targeted towards commuters. On paper the Discover 125 ST looks promising by being the first 125cc bike to feature 4-valves, petal discs and a monoshock suspension. But is it enough to make the Discover 125 ST the best bike in its segment?

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Styling – The Discover 125 ST looks like a bigger Discover in pictures, but when you see it in flesh, you will realize that the tank is much more substantial. The motorcycle is very muscular (very Pulsarish) and it has the right curves and perfectly executed knee recesses on both sides. The rear fenders are much sleeker and have a bulge below, which extends all the way to the LED tail light, which itself is the most striking design to feature on any commuter motorcycle till date. The pointy turn indicators on the Discover 125 ST and the complete headlight assembly has an edgy design language and reminds one of the Pulsar 135 LS.

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The front mudguard is multi-colored rather than what is seen on the Discover’s Japanese rivals. The Y-Shaped spokes on the alloy wheels is something we really love and were surprised to see on this motorcycle and certainly it will be very imposing to the customers as well. This time, the rear end is executed well with the split mudguard and a traditional mudguard with number plate holder is present too. The curvy looking exhaust, the open chain case and the Pulsar derived aluminium foot pegs, though smaller in size is a welcome thought to the Discover 125 ST.

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Ergonomics – The seating position of the Bajaj Discover 125 ST is upright and the wide handle bar with an extremely supportable and comfortable seat gives a relaxed feeling. The rear view mirrors are excellent for people of almost any size. Seats have superior cushioning for pillion and the rider. The knee recess is big enough to hold any one and normal people will not be complaining of the fatigue. Overall, long journeys are very comfortable on the Discover ST.

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Instrument Cluster and Switch Gear – The instrument cluster of the Discover 125 ST looks appealing and has a logical layout to it. It has three dials. One shows the speedometer with integrated odometer and trip meter. The fonts used on the speedometer look very unique and add to the sportiness. There is a fuel gauge pod and a third digital screen showing shift light, high beam, turn indicator, battery indicator and a Bajaj logo which is illuminated both during the day and night. A tachometer is sorely missed on the bike. The switch gear is not illuminated and has a very odd pass light button. Engine kill switch has been omitted.

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Performance and Gearbox – The Discover ST is powered by a 125cc DTSi, 4-valve, 4-stroke, air-cooled engine with corrugated fins which pumps out 12.8 BHP of power at 9000 RPM and 10.78 Nm of torque at 7000 RPM. The engine is smooth, throttle response is linear, and motor has a very distinctive sound of any Bajaj motorcycle, which may be due to the new air intake system adopted by the company. The Discover 125 ST does feel stressed due to less displacement and more horse power being squeezed out from it, which results in vibrations. It reaches 85 km/h, after which progress is slow but it will reach a top speed of 105 km/h.

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Despite the commuter gearing, which we recently saw on the Honda Dream Yuga and Suzuki Hayate as well, the acceleration is brisk, considering the overall linear tuning of the Discover 125 ST. The 5-speed gearbox is a bit clunky but it’s a huge leap over the previous generation Discovers and Pulsars. The motor is best when it’s in third and the fifth gear, in which it pulls strongly. The Discover 125 ST is a very frugal bike. The motorcycle will return 55 km/l in the city and 60 km/l out on the highways, which is very good for a 125cc machine.

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Ride, Handling and Braking – The Discover 125 ST has 200 mm petal disc at the front and basic 130 mm drum brakes at the rear. Braking is good but could have been better with a better master cylinder and caliper. The Discover ST has 2.75 tyres at the front and 3.00 tyres at the rear backed by 17-inch wheels which are aided by telescopic forks at the front and gas filled piggyback monoshock at the rear. Dynamics of the Discover ST are mediocre; it’s no corner carver though due to softer suspension set up at the front and at the rear.

The single tube chassis is stiff and the setup uses engine as a part of the chassis. The ride quality is plush for the rider and the pillion on our broken roads. Maneuvering this bike in city traffic is effortless. The 170 mm ground clearance clears the biggest speed breakers with utmost ease with a pillion on-board. High speed stability is good, but there is wind blast.

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Miscellaneous – Fit and finish is good and the plastic quality as well as the price at which the product is being offered is on par with its rivals. Everything feels like it has been built to last. Headlight has an excellent spread at night. The missing tachometer is shocking. Paint-job is excellent and it’s being offered with very different color options as well. Corrugated fins are being used for the first time on a Bajaj motorcycle which improves air cooling by a good margin, hoping to see them on all future Bajaj motorcycles. The engine guard, horn, side-stand, electric starter and RVM come as factory fitment. Horn is puny and an upgrade is necessary for you in case you rely on it most of the time.

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Conclusion – The Bajaj Discover 125 ST is a very different commuter when it comes to styling and goodies, but deep down it is the same commuter which will make the average joe happy with slightly better acceleration, higher fuel economy and ease of use nature. But if you’re an enthusiast and if you want performance, this is not what you will like. If you want something around the same price bracket and displacement category, the Pulsar 135 is for you. However if you want a comfortable 125cc bike, which rides well and delivers excellent mileage, the Discover 125 ST is hard to beat.

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What’s Cool

* Styling
* Monoshock
* Fuel economy

What’s Not So Cool

* Vibrations
* Missing tachometer and engine kill switch
* Handling

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Bajaj Discover 125 ST Specifications

* Engine: 124.6cc, SOHC, Air-Cooled, 4-valve, 4-stroke engine
* Power: 12.8 BHP @ 9000 RPM
* Torque: 10.78 Nm @ 7000 RPM
* Transmission: 5-speed manual
* Top Speed: 105 km/h
* Fuel Consumption: 55 km/l (city), 60 km/l (highway)
* Fuel Type: Petrol
* Frame Type: Tubular frame
* Suspension: Telescopic Fork (Front), Nitrox Monoshock (Rear)
* Tyres: 2.75/17 (Front), 3.0/17 (Rear)
* Brakes: 200 mm disc (Front), 110 mm drum (Rear)
* Headlamp: HS1 35/35W

Bajaj Discover 125 ST Dimensions

* Wheelbase: 1305 mm
* Seat Height: 800 mm
* Ground Clearance: 170 mm
* Fuel Tank Capacity: 10-litres
* Kerb weight: 124.5 kgs