TVS Motor has been on a roll this year. Am sure you will agree with me on this count. Within the first four months of the year, they launched three new products. The Apache RTR 160, the Apache RR310 and the 2018 TVS Ntorq 125 scooter. It may be noted that while there was a widespread perception earlier that TVS is mainly into economical products and the sole offering in the performance sector is the RTR200. That has now changed and the aforementioned lot join the gang. While I have not sampled the RTR as well as the RR yet, I did get a taste of the all-new NTorq 125 scooter. So, how different is it from the other TVS scooters and from the rival offerings? Let’s find out
My brother-in-law has been mumbling something about Avengers and what not. When I finally decided to give him an ear, I realised that he is talking about the TVS. He couldn’t get it out of his mind that it looks so outlandish (in a good way). There definitely is truth in there. The TVS does command attention on the road. May be because its still a new product. I admit to having seen many NTorqs on the road. The buyers seem to have been taken by the never-seen before looks in the Indian scooter segment. According to TVS, this scooter has been inspired by a stealth fighter plane. The headlight sits on the front apron and not on the handle bar. I have heard many complain how they like that arrangement as it will help the handlebar to move along with the headlight or vice versa. May be these were the audience that TVS didn’t have in mind. The headlight itself is a halogen unit while TVS uses a bright LED DRL. One has to flick the light switch so that the halogen unit comes on. The LED is the all time on types. The blinkers are placed on the top of the handlebar. The yellow test scooter unit that I had with me had black stripes running from the top of the handlebar to the front fender.
The side profile of the TVS NTorq 125 looked similar to the Ray-ZR. There are some graphics added on the side and the NTorq emblem next to the pillion seat on both the sides looks nice. The seat has a contrast stitching to it, while the meters are all digital. TVS has also added an engine kill switch as well as a headlamp switch on the right hand bar and on the left there is the usual upper-dipper (pass light integrated), horn and the indicators. The indicator switch reminded me of the one from the Pulsar 200NS. Could be the same supplier. There is also a brake lock clamp for the rear drum.
TVS has given the rear the same design flourish as the front end. The tail lamp looks nice and is a LED unit. There are also faux diffusers on the side that do look good but aren’t functional. As is the norm with new TVS scooters, the fuel filler cap is at the rear and opens by the same slot where you will use the key to open the seat. The machined alloy foot rests too look neat and don’t interfere with the rider’s calf while paddling in traffic. TVS has given the NTorq split grab rails and these look handy enough for a pillion to hold on to. The 12-inch alloy wheels are claimed to be machined ones but truth be told, it was a bit hard to tell if they actually were.
Under the seat, TVS has added a USB charging port, a small light as well as have given 22 litres of storage. That the storage refuses to hold my ARAI is something you all have seen on the video on our Youtube channel .
The TVS’ party trick is the 5-inch digital console that not only tells you about the speed, fuel, tell tale lights but will also tell you if you are riding in economy or power mode (depends on how much you twist the throttle), reminder to wear a helmet, navigation, lap timer, 0-60kmph times, best lap, how many kilometres you covered in that trip, the time taken to cover, engine temperature, incoming calls and more. Most of these features can be accessed via the NTorq app available for the android operating system. It is fairly easy to use and but I am not so convinced about the navigation bit. The best part though is that you can even share these data with your friends over social media sites. TVS’ NTorq app also shows the fuel left in the scooter as well as the last parked location. It pairs with your phone through Bluetooth.
Engine and ride experience
TVS has used a new 124.8cc engine with a 3-valve layout and a single spark plug for the NTorq 125. This engine makes 9.4PS and 10.5Nm. The engine is a smooth operator but sounds a bit sporty at full clip. That being said, at idle, you do feel the thrum from the handlebar and to a small extent, even the mirrors. Twist the throttle and the NTorq doesn’t take off as much as its lithe frame will suggest. However, the scooter moves smartly once past the parking marker. Even with two on-board, it doesn’t seem to lose steam and remains refined too. I managed to clock a speedo-indicated 80kmph and the scooter still was pulling for more. All this with a pillion on board. Since it was raining, I couldn’t check the top speed claims of 95kmph by TVS.
The fuel efficiency was a mixed bag. I expected the scooter to give at least 45kmpl in the city, however, the maximum it gave was 38kmpl and that too with a pillion on all the time. The highway run was a tad better and the scooter returned 46kmpl. So overall, you’re looking at a 40kmpl thereabouts from this TVS.
Ride and handling
TVS has used the same underbone chassis from the Jupiter for the NTorq, but with certain changes in the interest of more stiffness. This all is marketing speak so let’s get the real deal. The TVS NTorq is very easy to handle in traffic. Lean on to a corner and the TVS is calm and poised. It cuts through traffic and gaps in the same fashion as any other scooter out there will. There are no spikes in the power delivery and hence you don’t have to modulate the throttle much. The scooter handled potholes well enough with two onboard. While I went out riding alone, I could feel that the suspension is set up on the stiffer side but not annoyingly so. The front wheel does tell you that you’ve just entered a pothole but there is no thud sound associated with this entire exercise – a good thing then. With a pillion behind, the NTorq handles most of the road aberrations well enough to not cause discomfort.
In spite of weighing 116kg, the NTorq feels light on its feet. If I didn’t tell you that the scooter is hefty, you will definitely not notice it. In fact, my wife said it feels lighter than even her Activa and that should be a good thing for all the women riders. Lighter equals easily manageable. TVS have given the NTorq Remora tyres and these didn’t lose traction even in the heavy downpour that I rode the scooter in.
The petal disc at the front has been tuned to be progressive and friendly for new riders. I found myself using the rear and front combined for effective braking. It is kind of strange to note that TVS haven’t given the NTorq Sync Braking system that effectively works like a Combi Braking mechanism.
The TVS NTorq is one fine product from TVS. Actually one that is not only good to look at but is also worth the Rs 62,300 ex-showrooom price you will pay for it. There is a single option – the fully loaded one as of now. For me, the TVS is more about looks and features. It doesn’t actually bring anything significant to the table as far as performance is concerned. Perhaps the Suzuki Access 125, the Aprilia SR125 or the Honda Grazia will also have a similar drivetrain performance. Why should you then buy the NTorq? You should buy it if you know that TVS has a very good reliability record, their spare parts are relatively more affordable and you get them almost everywhere and mainly because, with a healthy pillion there is still space for the rider to shuffle around as well as the fact that the scooter doesn’t struggle to gain momentum. This is also the testimony of the 5,000 unofficial voices who have bought the scooter till now.
Things we liked about the TVS NTorq
Looks, space for two, handlebar doesn’t nudge the knees of taller riders and features
Things we didn’t like about the NTorq
No need for a temperature gauge or lap timer, no Sync Braking, no side stand indicator
Trivia: A friend who has a Jupiter had once shared that the scooter doesn’t need you to open the fuel flap with a key. Just a light tug at the connecting wire inside is enough to get it to open. TVS claims to have fixed this with the subsequent Jupiter models. The same though doesn’t happen in the NTorq and it has been taken care of.
Images by Donald Dsouza