Bajaj Auto launched the 2018 Bajaj Discover 110 last month priced at INR 50,176 (ex-showroom, Delhi). With the new 2018 Bajaj Discover 110, the brand is targeting conservative buyers who want a no-nonsense commuter to take them from point A to B, without being too boring. The Discover range has always been one of the best choices for this kind of audience. Bajaj proactively experimented with the brand to see how they can improve, and also gain better insights into the customer’s requirement. After learning from bikes like Discover 100 T, 125 ST and 150 F, Bajaj realised that the customers prefer something with style and capable dynamics, but nothing overdone.
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They then went back to the drawing board and came up with the new Discover 110. Bajaj says that the customer feels the 110 cc market offers the best of both worlds - power of a 125 cc bike and the fuel-efficiency of a 100 cc commuter.
The 2018 Bajaj Discover 110’s styling is identical to the traditional Discover range, but look closer, and you’ll find quite a few tweaks to the design. The bulbous headlamp now features ‘inverted horns’ LED DRL. This eliminates the need to keep the main halogen headlamp switched on at all times, and adds a dash of style as well. They have revised the seat profile, which now comes with dual texture fabric and stitch-line. The brand has incorporated a newly designed visor, side panels and tail cowl. The rear gets a textured LED tail light. The indicators and the rear-view mirrors witness design changes for shraper looks, without compromising visibility. The alloy wheels come with a web-inspired design, which looks sporty.
The switchgear is pretty standard, with light switch and electric starter on the right; indicator, horn and pass beam switches on the left. The indicators don’t turn off with a pronounced ‘click’ resulting in the rider checking the cluster to make sure it is switched off. The choke is under the tank, on the right side. The analogue-digital combo cluster comes with tell-tale lights for low battery, indicators, neutral and high beam. The analogue tachometer is numbered with even digits. The digital inset houses a six-bar fuel gauge, speedometer, odometer and a trip meter. Bajaj could have included a clock for better practicality. A kick start lever is available too.
Bajaj has developed a new long-stroke engine for the 2018 Discover 110. Thumb the starter and wring the throttle and you’ll be surprised how crisp the throttle action is. The on-off throttle transitions are smooth as well. A peak torque of 9.81 Nm arrives at 5,000 rpm, where the bike cruises smoothly at 60 kmph. The engine is refined till 7,000 rpm, and as you gain speeds, vibrations will creep in on the footpegs. Interestingly, the peak power of 8.6 PS also comes in at the same rpm, while the bike touches 80 kmph. Safe to say, the motorcycle is good for speeds till 80 kmph, and going beyond that is recommended only for short overtaking manoeuvres.
Bajaj claims the bike has best-in-class torque, and it is indeed evident when pottering around town at low speeds. Thanks to the torque, the fourth gear pulls nicely right from 23 kmph and the paper based clutch helps in smooth shifting. The 4-speed gearbox has an all-up pattern. The gearbox gives a satisfying ‘click’ every time you slot into gear, and is precise enough. I did get a false neutral on a couple of occasions, though. The claimed ARAI fuel efficiency figure is 76.3 km/l. Expect a real-world figure of around 65 km/l, if not ridden aggressively. The bike gets a rather small 8-litre fuel tank.
What really stands out in the 2018 Bajaj Discover 110 is its ride quality. The telescopic front fork offers 140 mm of travel, and the twin Nitrox shock absorbers have a 120 mm travel. The damping is really smooth and the bike glides over potholes, bad to non-existent roads like it’s nobody’s business. It does so, without upsetting the balance, which is commendable. The riding position is upright and the pillion seat is roomy enough to keep the co-passenger comfortable.
The front 130 mm drum has the bite but needs to be more communicative. Bajaj says the target customers have a more rear-biased braking style, which is evident in the bike as the rear 110 mm drum is adequately sharp. However, I would suggest a 70:30 front:rear braking ratio for optimum braking control. The kerb weight of 118 kg (highest in class) does help in keeping the bike stable on the highway.
The motorcycle is available in a choice of three colours- Blue, Black and Red. With the new Discover 110, Bajaj hopes to improve the brand’s play in the segment. For FY’17, Bajaj sold 8,300 Discover motorcycles, and the new bike is a good sign of how the Pune-based brand can gain a better foothold in the highly competitive segment.
The 2018 Bajaj Discover 110 rivals TVS Star City, Splendor / Passion Pro, Honda Livo, TVS Victor 110 and Honda Dream Yuga. Clearly, the Indian commuter market is swamped with bikes, and each have their own perks. What Bajaj offers with the new Discover 110 is good performance tempered with very satisfying ride quality. If you want a bike that doesn’t hurt you back over bad roads, this is one of the best options available. The fuel economy is also on the healthy side (at least on paper), and the design is just what its target audience prefers. Overall, it is a pretty good value proposition for a customer who wants a reliable commuter.
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[Action shots by Smruti Gaimukhe]