Putting both these new models in motion is a 145cc, single cylinder engine. Featuring a four valve head, this bored out version of the 125ST’s engine develops 14.5bhp of power at 8,500 rpm and 12.7Nm of torque at 6,500rpm. Although there’s not much to get excited about with this four-stroke unit, it is interesting to note that this engine develops more power than the Yamaha FZ 2.0 and the Suzuki GS150R – two motorcycles that belong to a segment above the Discover and therefore are significantly more expensive.
Turn the key, thumb the starter button and this newly developed air-cooled engine comes to life without hesitation. There is still a tiny bit of engine vibration at idle, but unlike the Bajaj’s models from the distant past, it doesn’t feel like it's going to rattle itself apart. Once on the move, the engine expectedly is a bit slow to pick up revs but the power plant does a great job of delivering a jerk-free spread of power. The Discover will happily crawl along at walking pace, and twisting the throttle will give smooth progress right though the gears, all thanks to the impressive flexibility of its engine which has enough power in reserve to cruise capably at 80kmph. But once past 95kmph, the motor is spinning very close to the redline, at which point peg-tingling vibrations are inevitable. This is further pronounced in the 150F wherein the entire fairing assembly gets very buzzy at the upper end of the rev range.
I was easily able to coax both the 150F and the 150S up to triple digit speeds when tucked over the tank, however, by that point there is very little in terms of progress in acceleration. The Discover 150 is good for an indicated 110kmph, which will satisfy most riders stepping up from an 110cc or a 125cc commuter machine. More impressive is the 5-speed gearbox which works in a much smoother way compared to the ones found on previous generation Discover models. The shifts are really smooth with positive action in every gear. The short first and second gears make for quick getaways from stationary and overall, the 5-speed unit has a set of properly spread ratios to make the most of the 14 or so horsepower.
Over the engine sits a 10-litre fuel tank which is good enough for a 550-kilometre range with our observed fuel efficiency of around 55kmpl during the test. The claimed mileage, meanwhile, is rated at 72kmpl. Either way, overall running costs will certainly be quite low compared to other motorcycles from rival brands such as Yamaha and Suzuki.
Bajaj has kept the pricing really aggressive; making the Discover 150s apt for multiple segments. Its appeal, in fact, lies both in the 150cc segment and the entry-level commuter segment where we find featherweight 100cc and 125cc models. Now this can only work in favour of the Discover 150 which comes in at very little premium over the featherweight alternatives, and yet offers up plenty of performance for the money.