The replacement to the outgoing Discover 125 is a reasonably powerful and comfortable offering in the 125cc segment

The Bajaj Discover 125 needs no introduction. Ever since the first Discover made its way to the Indian market, the motorcycle has evolved several times, receiving cosmetic and technical upgrades. The Discover family is offered in the ST, T and now M version — a new, third avatar. The 125ST and 125T variants run the same engine in a slightly more powerful guise than the 125M, with more goodies. The M variant, misses out on much additional kit, but still comes across as well sorted. Bajaj has achieved strong sales with the 100M, and aims to capture more ground while discarding the old Discover 125. We get astride to find out whether the Discover 125M can continue its younger sibling’s success story.

The new Discover 125M carries similar styling cues to other Discover bikes. Bajaj has provided ten-spoke alloy wheels in black, similar to the motorcycle’s engine, exhaust and chain shroud. A wide bikini fairing houses twin pilot lamps and a halogen-powered headlight that offers good night visibility. Embraced by a nicely creased black tinted visor, the instruments house a systematically arranged speedometer, odometer, fuel-gauge and other basic warning icons that are easily readable.

The switchgear quality feels good. New, soft palm grips provide nice comfort, while broad mirrors are neatly placed for clear rear vision. The bike’s masculine fuel tank gets smartly shaped knee recesses, while the fuel-tank slopes gently into a flat riding saddle. The bike’s side panels carry 125M logos, and blend into a Discover-typical tail-light, with clear-lens indicators. Overall, the 125M enjoys good paint lustre, build quality and fit-finish.

The company has powered this Discover with the ability to go that extra mile, as the 125M features a 124.6cc, four-stroke, single-cylinder, air-cooled and carburetted DTS-i engine, tuned for fuel-efficiency, while producing 11.3bhp at 8000rpm, with peak torque 1.10kgm made at 6000rpm. Despite a 1bhp drop in power compared to the 125T and 1.5bhp less than the 125ST, the Discover 125M is nippy for a 125, and quick enough for its class. Brought to life via an electric or kick-starter, the bike is refined with a nice and linear power delivery. Bajaj’s ExausTEC silencer allows good low and mid-range power delivery. The four-speed gearbox on the M shifts smoothly in an all up, heel-and-toe operated pattern with nicely spaced ratios. Clutch feel is adequate too. Wind the throttle open and the engine feels delightfully smooth, a touch happier when revs have climbed past the bottom end of the powerband.

During our test run, the Discover 125M returned respectable fuel efficiency, managing 55.6kpl as we rode around town in busy traffic conditions commonly experienced across India, whereas on the highway, it returned 57.8kpl, ridden at about 65-70kph.

The 125M provides an upright riding position, comfortable and typical of a commuter bike. A wide and fairly flat seat is offered. The M is built around a tubular steel frame. Telescopic front forks work with a pair of gas-charged rear shocks, working hand-in-hand to provide good ride quality over all surfaces. This new Discover manoeuvres with light feel, a boon in heavy city traffic scenarios. The 2.75 x 17 inch (front) and 3.00 x 17 inch (rear) TVS tyres on our test bike didn’t feel inspiring enough when cornering hard or pushing the bike, although the M offers good handling and braking. The 200mm front petal disc works with a 130mm rear drum brake.

The engine feels refined and well tuned, performing efficiently in city riding conditions too. Good ride quality and handling are also part of the new Bajaj.

The Discover 125M deserves to be on your shortlist if you’re interested in upgrading from a 100 to a 125, without much compromise on fuel-efficiency. The disc brake-equipped variant of the 125M comes home at Rs 50,499 (ex-showroom, Delhi), making for quite a good bargain.