Engine And Performance
The CB Shine’s 124.7-cc SOHC, two-valve engine is a refined unit producing 10.12 PS of peak power at 7,500 revolutions per minute and 10.54 Nm of torque at 5,500 RPM. It has a four-speed transmission with an all-up gear-shift pattern that propels it to a top speed of 100.4 km/h and the 0-60 km/h acceleration is achieved in 7.04 seconds. However, commuter bikes aren’t tuned for high performance. They are used for short rides in urban and rural surroundings where the mid-range performance is more important for overtaking manoeuvres. In the third gear, the CB Shine accelerates from 30 to 70 km/h in 8.37 seconds and takes 11.68 seconds when ridden in the fourth gear. The other most important aspect is fuel efficiency. The CB Shine returns a fuel efficiency of 84 km/l while cruising on the highway and in the city conditions it delivers 77 km per litre, bringing the average to 78.75 km/l and an impressive range of 866.25 km.
The Discover’s 124.6-cc twin-spark engine has four valves in the cylinder-head, operated by a single overhead camshaft, which should have improved the fuel efficiency. However, the Discover ST’s five-speed gearbox has short gear ratios, so it has to be revved higher and uses more fuel in the process. The Discover turned out to be the least fuel-efficient motorcycle of the three under consideration here, something very rare in a Bajaj motorcycle. The Discover’s highway run lasted for 70 km on a litre of fuel while in the city it was able to deliver only 55 km/l, which brings the average to 58.50 km/l and the range stands at 580 km. The engine produces 13 PS of power at 9,000 RPM, which is close to the performance of a few 150-cc bikes while the highest torque of 10.7 Nm is found at 7,000 RPM. The Discover has a strong mid-range as the 30-70 km acceleration was achieved in 7.6 seconds in the third gear, in 9.01 seconds in the fourth and in 14.30 seconds in the fifth. It has a top speed of 103.74 km/h and accelerates from 0 to 60 km/h almost a second faster than the CB Shine.
The Phoenix has a single spark-plug, which isolates it from the controversy that had engulfed the Flame. The 124.5-cc, SOHC, two-valve engine is mated to a four-speed gearbox with an all-up gear-shift patten. It produces 11 PS of power at 8,000 RPM and the maximum torque of 10.8 Nm is found at 6,000 revs. The Phoenix accelerates from 0 to 60 km/h in 7.52 seconds and we recorded a top speed of 96.64 km/h. The roll-on times suggest a performance similar to the CB Shine’s: 30-70 km/h in the third gear required 8.61 seconds while in the fourth gear it took 12.46 seconds for the same. The Phoenix rolled on for 72 km on one litre of fuel on the highway while in the city it managed 60 km/l. So the average fuel efficiency works out to 63 km/l and a range of 756 km.
Ride And Handling
The riding posture on the CB Shine is upright like a typical commuter motorcycle. Honda have been able to design the right shape for the seat, but the cushioning is a little hard. The Shine is plagued by high frequency vibrations at speeds above 60 km/h, which affect the ride quality, but when it comes to handling, it is still the best in its class. The CB Shine feels rock-steady in any situation in spite of the modest spring-aided twin-shock suspension at the rear.
When it comes to the rear suspension, the Discover ST is the final word in the 125-cc segment. Bajaj have provided a gas-charged mono-shock rear suspension adjustable for pre-load in nine steps, which is a feature not seen even on some of the Pulsars. It soaks up the shocks from the road very efficiently and body vibrations are restricted to the foot-pegs and the tank at high RPM. The Discover’s superb suspension and wide seat make it a good motorcycle for touring while still being a commuter bike.
The Phoenix has the squishiest seat among the three bikes. The handlebars are a bit higher, but other than that, the ride is comfortable and smooth. It has negligible body vibrations, an issue faced by all other TVS bikes. The phoenix has a five-step adjustable twin-shock suspension for the rear wheel, which is supported by a couple of springs with different ratings, placed one on the top of another with a separator in between. The system absorbs all the undulations on the road quite effectively, but it does suffer from a slight overlap of the springs which gives a bouncy ride on rough roads and affects the handling when the bike is tipped into a corner.
Considering all the above aspects, it can be clearly seen that all the three motorcycles have their own strengths. The CB Shine’s fundamentals are in the right place and it has an impressive fuel efficiency. The CB Shine has three variants within the price range of Rs 55,000-64,000 (OTR, Pune). The Discover has a low fuel efficiency, but it is better equipped and has the best in class performance in its favour. It has only one variant, which is priced at Rs 62,054 (OTR, Pune). As for the subject of this comparison, the TVS Phoenix is not an outstanding motorcycle, but, nevertheless, it manages to keep abreast of the competition and with a price-range of Rs 55-58,000 (OTR, Pune, approximate), it costs slightly less.
Story: Piyush Sonsale
Photography: Sanjay Raikar