Some of the deciding factors for a commuter bike are ergonomics and comfort. And the CT checks these boxes. First, its handlebar is inclined towards the rider and the footpegs are centre-set. This duo provides a fairly upright and comfortable rider triangle. To put things into perspective, I’m 5’10, and the seat height of 800mm did not feel too tall and allowed me to rest my foot flat and with ease. Even the seat width contributes to it and is in no way uncomfortable. Moreover, the seat is flat and spacious for both the rider and the pillion. Even for taller riders, the CT shouldn't feel cramped or uncomfortable, given its overall size and how compact it looks.
With a kerb weight of 131.5kg, the Bajaj CT125X weighs about 6-7kg more than its rivals like the Super Splendor and Honda Shine. However, it still feels quite easy to move around, be it in a tight parking spot or when getting on/off the centre stand.
Talking about the performance, the CT accelerates in a very linear fashion as the motor builds up the revs gradually. The torque spread is also quite even throughout the range, and the engine is decently tractable when you ride it in a gear higher even at low speeds. Overall, the throttle feels decently responsive to the inputs.
Now, the bike rides comfortably at city speeds of 0-40kmph in third and fourth gear. And for flowing traffic, we found that the CT was smoother to ride in the second or third gear as the first one is quite short and the bike stays on the edge with constant on and off throttle transition.
Take it on the highway and the bike feels at home at about 70-75kmph, post which the vibrations creep in from the handlebar as well as the footpegs. That said, the vibes aren’t intense and don't affect your overall riding experience.
Although Bajaj claims a top speed of about 97kmph for the CT, the speedometer only displayed between 85-90kmph during our test ride. When ridden closer towards the top speed, the engine's rugged character is even more evident.
Being a commuter means the CT’s gearbox will see constant shifts throughout the cogs. And that’s what we did during our ride. While we found the upshifts to be borderline smooth, the downshifts were a tad rough. Moreover, the second and third gears specifically are a bit tricky to engage. So you’ll need a little extra effort there.
All of this is nestled in a frame that Bajaj claims to be much more robust and an aid in overall handling. Not to mention, tipping and turning this bike into the corners was fairly easily. And even with such a light structure, the CT is quite stable on the highways too.
With an inclination towards durability and long-distance commutes, the CT is likely to encounter both good and bad roads, thus demanding a supple ride quality. However, the CT’s rear suspension feels a bit stiff when ridden over undulated patches and sends minor jolts to your back. That said, if you have a pillion or some sort of added weight at the rear, we feel the rear springs would respond a bit differently and the ride would be a tad softer.
Last but not least, the braking. Our test bike was equipped with a front disc and rear drum brake. While the front brake had an adequate bite and the lever progression was also nice, the rear drum could do better with a tad more bite.