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Bajaj CT 125X first ride review

Christopher Chaves Updated: November 01, 2022, 09:52 AM IST

Bajaj Auto likes to cater to different riding styles and motorcycles out here in India. Especially in the lower displacement categories like the 125cc space for example. You have the Pulsar NS 125, the sporty bike, then you have the Pulsar 125, which was a more conservative sports motorcycle, and then up till 2020, we also had the Discover 125 – the proper commuter bike as an option. With the Discover being taken off the shelves since then, there was a gap in this 125cc commuter space, and it's this gap which the new Bajaj CT125X aims to fill in.

From afar, you'll think that the CT 125X looks like a copy of the smaller CT 110X, and to some extent you'd be right, because they have a lot in common – like the round headlamp with its LED unibrow which is a nod at the older Boxer CT and the slightly raised front mudguard that's built to take on battered rural roads. Then there's the pretty simple 11-litre tank with its tank grips, the flat ribbed seat, those sturdy crash guards and also the rack behind the grabrail. It's even got the same chassis suspension setup and twin-analogue instrumentation as the smaller displacement model. However there are some unique bits on this one – for instance the metal protector plate above the front brake lever that keeps the mechanical CBS components safe from physical damage. And in case you thought about it, 110X doesn't get CBS. Also the tyres on the 125X are now tubeless. All in all, it's not going to bag a prize at any beauty pageants, but although it is skinny and weighs just 130kg, it looks like a tough and durable commuter bike, for sure.

Now the CT 125X is built to function as a proper no-frills commuter motorcycle at its core, and in terms of features well let's just say that the list is far from extensive. Its headlamp, taillamp and indicators are all bulb units, the twin instrumentation clocks look dated and the switchgear is very basic but feels built to last. You do get a conveniently located USB charger socket to juice up your phone or some device on the go and the crash guards and tank grips are standard fit too. While most of the motorcycles and scooter that have a combined braking system use a hydraulic setup, the CT 125X employs a unique mechanical CBS system.

The major differentiating factor between the CT 110X and the CT 125X is as the numbers in its name suggest, the engine. The 124.4cc motor is the derivative of the now defunct Discover 125, and it's as you would expect, up on power and torque over the smaller displacement bike. This one makes around 11PS and 11Nm. Also the CT 125 X gets tubeless tyres and even a fifth gear, while the 110 just gets tubed tyres and a four-speed. So you have the same commuter styling and rugged design as the smaller cc bike with some more power thrown in. Now after riding the bike around the city, my only grouse with the motor is that it lacks a certain bit of refinement which I would have liked.

The CT 125 X is a hardcore commuter bike. It's built to be durable, rugged and comfortable as well. The riding position is straight forward, with the slightly forward set pegs, a nice flat handlebar which is well within reach. The seat is quite soft as well, and this should be good for about an hour in the saddle. You will feel the brunt of it the longer you ride which one. The CT 125 X isn't built for downright speed. The bike's rear suspension with its three spring rates is setup to absorb all the bumps you come across on the road, and the bike is easy to handle at the speeds it is capable of doing. The motor can take our o 100kmh, but it takes a lot of time, effort and gear changes to do so. The Bajaj feels best at around 60-65kmph with the engine on the boil nicely with just enough juice to get you ahead of the car in front.

The Bajaj CT 125 X is currently the most affordable 125cc commuter bike that you can get your hands on in the country. This variant, with the disc brake upfront costs around Rs 74,500 which should make it about six grand cheaper than the Honda Shine.

Now if you're looking into this segment for 125cc motorcycles, you're looking for one thing and one thing only – to get from A to B in the most frugal way possible and that's where the Honda Shine really stood out because although it's not packed with features, and is a rather basic motorcycle, it is low on maintenance and running costs which is a huge plus point in this category. And with that, there is no doubt that the Bajaj can match up to the Honda in certain aspects. Just the engine – it isn't as refined as the Honda's but it does have a certain uniqueness and feel to it that is very Bajaj.

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