The commuter motorcycle market in India has always been a huge one, and there has never been a slowdown in this segment. Even though the performance biking segment in our country is picking up pace at a quick rate, the demand for mass-market commuter bikes has not slowed down, and by the looks of it, there would not be a slowdown in the near future too.
From what we have been observing over the past few months and even from the Auto Expo held earlier this year, there are more commuter bikes coming our way, and they are not the normal set of commuter bikes, because the world of commuter bikes too, is changing. Gone are the days where the commuter bikes had no sense of style at all, a low power output and very little or no features at all. The commuter bikes of the future are all going to be super-stylish and reasonably powerful. The biggest example one can give for this is the Bajaj Discover series.
The Bajaj Discover began its life way back in 2004, and till today, many variants of this commuter motorcycle were launched and they kept the sales going. A few months ago, Bajaj made a bold move by introducing segment-first features like Mono-shocks at the rear, and this has worked in favour of Bajaj and sales increased like never before, proving that the commuter segment too is ready to welcome new features and additions. And, now it looks like Bajaj Auto is at it again.
Bajaj has been testing the new Discover, which is aptly named the Discover F-150, and it has been snapped multiple times while undergoing camouflaged testing at various parts of India, but more frequently near the Bajaj factory at Chakan. There are many renderings which have found their way onto the web, but not all of them are very clear about the design, but the spy images do give us an out-line of the motorcycles design, and judging by the design, we can surely say that Bajaj is going out of their way on this one. The Discover F-150 will be the first commuter motorcycle to receive the semi-fairing treatment. The design seems like a mixture of the design of the outgoing Hero Karizma R and the Bajaj Pulsar 220, but the fairing looks a little odd on the Discover. This is the only major change on the exterior and also there are rumours of the rear wheel too getting a disc brake, though the test mule did not have the disc brake installed.
Other than the design change there will also be a change in the instrumentation, where the F-150 will get a fully digital console, with only the tachometer in analogue form. The suspension duties will be taken care of by telescopic forks at the front and a gas-charged mono-shock at the rear. Powering the Discover F-150 will be an air-cooled 150cc, single cylinder, with an expected maximum output of 14 PS, which is pretty good for a motorcycle in the commuter segment.
Bajaj is going all out in order to make the Discover F-150 a success, but with all these features on board they will find it difficult indeed to price the Discover within the commuter motorcycle price bracket. But, Bajaj is known as a pioneer, and they might make it work as well, so all we can do is, wait for the Discover F-150 to be launched, and then see how it fares.
Check out another spy picture, after a jump.