Bajaj Boxer Review
Affordable and PowerfulTuesday, October 22, 2013
Design and Style
The Bajaj Boxer BM150 is the successor to the highly successful Boxer 100cc model that first made its debut on the market many years ago. The original appeal of that vehicle was its remarkable value for money and efficiency, rather than sleek styling or state-of-the-art design. Bajaj India has sent shock waves among all bike manufacturers with the launch of New Boxer BM150. The company has revived the Boxer brand with this launch, and it has been priced very competitively at Rs. 43,000 (ex-showroom Pune). It is the cheapest 150cc bike available in India and also one of the most powerful bikes in its class. The New Boxer BM150 is powered by the same 144.8cc engine which powers the Discover 150 but without the DTS-i technology. It is a standard 150cc engine that is tuned to deliver more power and torque to carry more luggage/cargo.
Design and Style
The original Boxer 100cc was not an adventurous design: targeted at the lowest end of the market, where functionality always trumps form, the 100cc was basically styled, with an unfussy round headlamp and no additional features beyond its very functional steel rear grab-rail. The Bajaj Boxer BM150 is a major update of that model, with a more exciting and eye-catching design to attract the interest of the modern inner-city commuter. The old headlamp is present again, with a smaller and sleeker shroud than that of the original Boxer. Its tank is basic but solid-looking, and features quite minimal, understated Boxer graphics on either side. The wider seat is backed up by a sturdy grab rail made of steel that is heavily inspired by that of the original model.
Like the original Boxer 100cc model, the BM150 features a very basic instrument console: it includes a basic and unexciting two-pod unit, and includes just a fuel gauge and a speedometer – slightly disappointing when many of the bikes in this segment are offering numerous dials, and even digital displays.
Engine and Gearbox
Many reviewers of the Bajaj Boxer BM150 have made the comparison between this bike and the models released by Hero Motocorp, who, like Bajaj, have endeavoured to capture multiple market segments by releasing a variety of different performance motorcycles with the same engine displacement. As the third 150cc Bajaj motorcycle, the Boxer BM150 is a refined and well-designed model. Buyers will find that the bike features a radically stripped-down modification of the 150cc engine found on the Bajaj Discover 150. The engine is a 144.8cc, DTS-i, single-cylinder engine. The bike has only one spark plug, unlike the many recent models released by Bajaj featuring its twin spark-plug technology. It’s capable of 12 BHP of power at 7500 rpm, and a maximum torque of 12.26 Nm at 5000 rpm, making it slightly less powerful than the Discover 150. This engine is combined with a four-speed gearbox with short-ratios, rather than the five-speed found on the Discover.
Acceleration and Top Speed
The shorter ratios of the Boxer’s engine removes the need to keep changing gears frequently as you accelerate, and the Boxer demonstrates good performance, accelerating capably as soon as you open the throttle. It can get from 0 to 60 kmph in 6.9 seconds, and offers a max speed of 94.6 kmph. These are good numbers, considerably better than those offered by the 100cc and 125cc commuter motorcycles on the market – it’s almost certainly India’s fastest commuter bike at the entry level. However, the engine is tuned down to suit lower speeds, and there is a harsh sensation once you’ve moved beyond about 60 kmph.
The bike’s engine is powerful, and this is also a major issue because it compromises the fuel efficiency of a bike that aims to be very budget-friendly. For city driving, the bike will return an average consumption rate of 49 kmpl, while on highways you might get 58 kmpl – slightly more acceptable, but still slightly disappointing. Comfort While Driving Bajaj Boxer BM150 Even with a pillion aboard, the bike is a comfortable ride, due to strong, shock-absorbing suspension that takes care of impurities in the road surface. The bike’s seat is wider than that of the Boxer 100cc, and designed to be more ergonomically friendly.
While many of Bajaj’s motorcycles are aimed at the urban commuter who is carrying very little in the way of luggage, this vehicle is more targeted at the rural or semi-urban living commuter who may require storage space for a briefcase or groceries.
The Boxer BM150 is able to cope well with poor road conditions and disagreeable terrain, thanks to its strong suspension. Working in sync with the bike’s front forks, as well as its single down-tube chassis, the Boxer does a good job of soaking up potholes, cracks and bumps, and gives a solid, sturdy feel.
The bike’s shift pattern is one area that has attracted criticism, and it isn’t difficult to see why. Its all-down pattern is one that most manufacturers left behind some years ago, and many drivers will not have an intuitive feel for it after all this time. As the Boxer 150 is at the budget end of the spectrum, it has to make do with the more basic drum type brakes – 130mm drum front and rear. The brakes are solid and stable, bringing the bike to a stop from a speed of 60 kmph in 2.8 seconds, over a distance of 23 meters.
Ride and Handling
The Boxer is, overall, a pleasant, comfortable and able vehicle, with a few flaws. The engine’s down-tuning means that the bike is undoubtedly happier at lower speeds, with the result that there is some grinding and complaint at higher speeds. Aimed at drivers who want functionality rather than finesse, the bike’s dynamic limits are adequate: its front feels light and nimble, which is useful for city riding, but the tyres are a let-down. On corners the bike holds its line well, without urging the rider to push harder.
The Boxer 150’s tyres leave a lot to be desired. It sports 3.00 x 17, 45 P - 100/90 x 17, 55 P tyres. These sizes are suitable for a bike more oriented toward performance, such as Bajaj’s Pulsar 150 – whereas the Boxer is very much a budget vehicle, and so has had to compromise on the quality of its tyres. Opting for Mahagrip tyres, produced by a little-known manufacturer, the bike under-performs. While it’s acceptable on dry surfaces, the front tyre does not respond well on wet, and greatly undermines confidence in the bike’s handling.
The 150 comes in a single shade – black.
This budget-buy vehicle comes with very few additional extras, so buyers looking to add a personalized touch to the bike will have to pay out on top of the price.
There is a single standard variant of the Boxer 150 available to buy.
Reasons to Buy and Value for Money
The Boxer 150 is excellent value for money with a well performing engine, basic but inoffensive styling, sound suspension and adequate brakes. All of the cost-cutting measures in evidence on the bike add up to a major saving above its nearest rivals. Its ex-showroom price of Rs 43,000 is a steal – much less than the average 100cc vehicle.
This no-frills bike aimed at semi-urban and urban markets is nevertheless strong, sturdy and capable – able to take quite a lot of harsh treatment. While undeniably basic in hardware and fittings, its functionality is good and it is an excellent budget buy.