Heavyduty bikes were no strangers to Indian roads way back in the 1920s and Partha Sadhan Bose, a connoisseur of vintage and classic cars, has two Royal Enfield motorcycles from that period, fitted with hand gears and powered by 250cc engines. Traffic police sergeants used Harley Davidsons till the early 1950s and then there were also the Norton, BSA and Matchless.
Royal Enfield manufactured 350cc Bullets while Escorts produced 175cc bikes and went on, in collaboration with Yamaha, to make 350cc motorcycles. The Jawa and Yezdi had 250cc engines.
But it was Bajaj Auto that introduced 100cc motorcycles in the late 1980s, opening a new chapter in India&’s two-wheeler history. At the time, experts thought these light bikes wouldn’t last long and they were soon enough proved wrong. The big bike manufacturers slowly realised that India was headed to becoming a hub for two-wheelers and jumped into the fray with light, handy, fuel-efficient variants.
In fact, Bajaj forced other manufacturers to improve their R&D sections. It introduced the Kawasaki in the late 1980s and though driving comfort wasn’t all that good it still got you around. The shock absorbers were strong and it could be driven on rural roads.
The Discover 100M is the new addition to the Bajaj family. Very reasonably priced, it has all the features of a premium motorcycle. The gas-filled Nitrox suspension ensures safety and comfort and on bumpy roads there is no feeling of pain. Long drives are a pleasure and the electric start is another important feature that helps regular users, given how low back pain, shoulder pain and knee problems caused by kick starters creep in when a bike becomes old.
The Discover 100M is fitted with a four-valve DTS-I engine that is smooth and fuel-efficient. There is no overheating, even after going for six to seven hours at a stretch, and the mileage is 84 kmph in ideal situations — that is, if it is driven at 45 kmph in the top gear and if the cutch is not frequently used.
The bike is available in flame red, brilliant blue, midnight black with red and blue and olive decals. Bajaj is famous for its after sales service, but that said, the Discover 100M combines power and comfort and is very easy to maintain.