Review: Bajaj Discover 100T
Bringing performance into a segment where “average” rules. Bajaj seems to know something we don’t
It’s sound logic, I suppose.
If people like a 125cc motorcycle with fuel consumption closer to that of a 100cc bike, they’d also like a 100cc bike with power closer to that of a 125cc motorcycle. Depending on which end of the spectrum you’re approaching a Bajaj showroom from, either of your needs would be taken care of.
A novel approach, this – blur the edges of segments by creating new ones that borrow each others’ attributes. Then make it worse by making a bike that looks the same as its bigger sibling.
Bajaj is clear about its strategy – differentiate its products from its competitors and specialise in what it’s good at. Simple enough, although it doesn’t explain why the Discover 100T looks so similar to the Discover 125ST.
It’s not a bad thing, though, for a 100cc bike to be mistaken for a bigger bike. The ‘T’ in ‘100T’ stands for “touring – but in the commuter space” according to Bajaj. Iron Butt-types, stay away.
Anyway, the 100T looks quite good, bigger and more substantial than any 100cc bike I can remember. As I mentioned earlier, it looks like its bigger sibling, the 125ST. However, there are a few things that catch your attention. The rear tyre/tail section proportions are a bit off, although no one’s really going to care once they see that headlight and the tank. Overall, it’s quite a handsome looking bike.
However, even though the wheels’ design is one of the best in the country, the front tyre is a ribbed-pattern design (that’s the second one this month... and we’ve run out of “ribbed” jokes). That’s a bit too utilitarian, we think, and someone needs to tell manufacturers that it’s gone out of fashion. Then again, the looks are hardly what the Discover 100T is all about – it’s the motor.
The 102cc motor features a four-valve head – a first in the segment. The idea is to produce more power than any 100cc bike, but also offer fuel economy that 100cc miser-cycles are known for. We didn’t get to check the latter, but the former is very much true. At 10bhp and 9.2Nm, the Discover 100T certainly has more power than the regular 100s, and it’s apparent the moment you twist the throttle.
It’s a grunty little motor and pulls strongly – for a 100cc – all the way to its claimed top speed of 100kph. More importantly, thanks to its five-speed ’box, the 100T quickly settles into an 80kph cruise with more confidence than a 100cc bike ought to have. Refinement isn’t excellent, but it won’t leave your fingers numb either.
Handling and ride quality are the usual fare we’ve come to expect from Bajaj commuters – it’s light and flickable, and almost floats over rubbish roads. However, the front tyre doesn’t inspire much confidence on anything other than grippy tarmac. The front drum too ensures that you get your share of hair-raising moments, forcing you to stomp away on the rear brake. But that’s it, really.
What we have here is a very strong contender for the 100cc segment. Even though it’s priced at a slight premium over its rivals (Rs 50,500, ex-Delhi), the Discover 100T makes a strong case for itself. This is yet another no-nonsense commuter from Bajaj, with features that work in the real world, not gimmicks that you soon get bored of. Looks like another winner from Bajaj, then.
Single-cylinder, 102cc, 10bhp, 9.2Nm, 5M, 121kg, Rs 50,500 (ex-Delhi)
Bajaj enters the largest segment in India with a motorcycle that offers more power and equal fuel economy. Sounds like a plan.