When it comes to the commuter bike segment in Bangladesh, I bet no other bike manufacturer has been nearly as successful as Bajaj in Bangladesh. With the Pulsar series dominating the 150cc commuter segment and the Discover series the 125cc and 110cc segment for over a decade now, the number of Bajaj bikes which can be seen on road is probably still the highest when compared to many other global manufacturers. This isn’t only because Bajaj, being an Indian bike manufacturer with an assembly plant in Bangladesh, makes cheaper and relatively affordable bikes. Bajaj bikes like the Discover 125 have also proved to be extremely reliable in almost any road conditions, be it the cold dry hilly terrains of Khagrachari,the coastal areas of Cox’s Bazar, or the busy streets of Dhaka city while being comparatively cheap to maintain at the same time.
After a first drive impression review of the Bajaj Discover 110 featured in the last issue of Turbine, for this issue we got our hands on the more powerful Bajaj Discover 125.
Design and Features
When it comes to facelifts, Bajaj has been one of the most reluctant of all Indian manufacturers. While many may perceive this as a sheer downside, the reluctance gets justified if one takes a look at the target group of people Bajaj is trying to sell their Discover bikes to- a group of people who require a 2 wheeler to go from point A to point B hassle free. Thus, the antiquated body panels make the Discover 125 one of the cheapest to maintain 2 wheeler in the country right now as body panels from even the 2010 model are identical to the current one. However, what the Indian manufacturer hasn't skipped much on was adding new features to the Discover 125 over the years. The Discover 125 now comes in four different colors, red, black-blue, black-green and a black-red variant and 3D badges which visually sets it apart from older models. The colour options are similar to the Discover 110 2021 we’ve featured on our last issue.
In the front, the headlight of the new Discover 125 has been redesigned to incorporate daytime running lights (DRL) which are LED although the original headlight is a halogen bulb exactly like the Discover 110. Although an LED headlight would just have been the cherry on top as the tail lamps of the new Discover 125 are nowLEDs too.
The Discover 125 comes with tubeless tires both in the front and the rear. The 17 inch diamond cut rims come with 100/80/17 tires both in the front and the rear.
One of the most noticeable design changes of the Discover 110 and 125 which sets it apart from the older version of the Discover 110 is its redesigned quilt stitched seat. Almost having a ‘caferacer’ like design, the seat now gives the Discover 110 and 125 almost a retro look and fits perfectly with the overall visuals of the two wheeler.
What doesn’t make the bike feel retro is it’s reprogrammed gauge cluster. The semi digital cluster might still look identical to the one from even 2010 but the new 2021 model surely packs a lot more features. For instance, the gauge cluster now comes with a very useful gear indicator, which even the flagship models of other bike manufacturers miss out at times.
Another notable feature along with the tubeless tires and the reconfigured gauge cluster mentioned above is the combined braking system (CBS) technology the disk brake only Discover 125 comes with. Called ‘Anti Skid Braking’ by Bajaj, this feature makes both brakes work together when either of the brakes are used and thus helps to avoid skidding during intense situations. Besides, the Discover 125 also comes with both a kickstarter as well as self start just like most modern 125cc bikes in 2021.
Performance and Driving Impression
The Bajaj Discover 125, as the name suggests, comes with a 124.5cc 4 stroke single cylinder, DTS-i engine with ExhausTEC. The engine produces a maximum power of about 11Ps at 7500 revs per minute(RPM) and also 11Nm torque at 5500rpm.
Unlike the Discover 110, the 125 has adequate power for both cities and short highway trips. The bike, being extremely lightweight, can be maneuvered through traffic rather easily. During our 3 lap Hatirjheel run, we were able to cruise quite smoothly at 60km/h both with and without pillion and I’m sure the bike can hold up easily till 75km/h or 80km/h as well.
The new redesigned quilt stitched seat along with the telescoping 140mm front suspension and the Nitrox 120mm rear suspension makes riding the Discover 125 in cities a truly blissful experience and I can assure that even a short ride on bumpy roads will lead to almost no back pain for both the rider and the pillion. The ground clearance of the bike at 165mm is also perfect for any terrain this bike can be ridden on all over Bangladesh.
When it comes to braking, the 240mm disk brake in the front and 110mm drum brake in the rear along with combined braking system (CBS) is adequate to bring the bike to rest at low speeds. However, one surely needs to have some practice applying the rear brake during rain as the 100mm width can lead to the rear tire losing its grip as the tires get older with use.
The Discover 125, priced at Tk 1,34,000 BDT, is a great package for its price. Bajaj might have not been able to ensure either the best performance, best braking system or the best ride quality in it’s class but as an overall package, the Discover 125 still holds up to it’s legacy of being a worthy option at the 125cc commuter bike market of Bangladesh. Besides, if the budget isn’t too tight and someone is confused between the Discover 110 and Discover 125, then I can definitely assure that the 15cc makes a great difference in the riding experience of the two bikes and the 125cc one is the one to get without any doubts.
Engine 124.5cc 4 stroke single cylinder, DTS-i engine with ExhausTEC
Power 11Ps at 7500 rpm
Torque 11Nm at 5500RPM
Fuel capacity 8L
0-60kmh 6.5 seconds
Top speed 100km/H
Frame Semi-double cradle