TVS enters the 125cc scooter segment with the NTorq, and it's not just a big motor that's at work here. TVS has equipped it with a raft of new features to woo youngsters. So, is the new scooter any good? We find out.
There's a thing about TVS that I don't quite get – they arrive late to parties. Whether it was the Apache RTR 200 or the recently launched TVS Apache RR 310, TVS has always entered these segments later than expected. However, their late arrival has its own advantage – it allows them the time to come well prepared every single time. You see, as soon as the company's products hit the showroom floors, they quickly go on to become the segment leaders.
Now, as you may have witnessed in the last few years, the 125cc scooter segment has been hotting up with new products coming in. TVS, however, entered this segment only a couple of days ago with the NTorq 125. On paper, the scooter sounds really impressive. Sure, TVS took its own sweet time to launch it, but then the company has packed it with some really smart features to compensate for the late arrival. The question is, has it really worked? To give us a concrete answer, TVS invited us to the company's private test track in Hosur and let us ride the NTorq for a whole day.
Made for Gen-Z
At the launch of the NTorq a couple of days ago, TVS kept harping on about the fact that this is a scooter that’s aimed at youngsters or, as the company likes to put it, the Gen-Z. Long story cut short, the NTorq is for college goers and young ladies – oldies/regular commuters have no business here! Having said that, the design of the Ntorq is not that outlandish at all. It’s a familiar shape, but, yes, there’re some clever design refinements that make it look quite stylish. Highlights of the front-end include a pointy front apron with Ntorq 125 decals, handlebar-mounted turn signals and an overall hunkered down look. The chunky exhaust, sharply-raked tail-section and 12-inch diamond cut alloys look sporty as well. The rear-section looks the most striking though – the Autobots-inspired T-shape tail-lamp and the afterburner-style rear vents are a really cool touch. The large all-digital instrument cluster – more on its features later – is another design element that stands out.
The most impressive bit here, however, is the quality and fit and finish. As we’ve come to see in all the recent TVS products, the attention to detail is really awesome. Little things like the matte paint finish, TVS Racing decals, subtle carbon-fibre lookalike panels and red-stitching on the seat stand out on comparison with its rivals. In the design department, there’s nothing that I don’t like about this scooter. But, yes, TVS could have equipped it with a full LED headlamp – instead of using a LED DRL and halogen setup – to further impress the millennials.
The NTorq comes loaded with some segment-first features. According to TVS, the NTorq is India’s first connected scooter, as it comes with Bluetooth connectivity or SmartXonnect feature. Basically, the system pairs your smartphone to the scooter via an app and allows you to use navigation. You’re also notified about calls and text messages while riding. The system also records trip data, top-speed, 0 – 60 time, and there’s a lap timer as well. During the test ride at the track, we experienced it briefly and it seemed to work flawlessly. I do want to see how it behaves in the real world though, especially the onboard navigation system. Apart from all these features, the NTorq also has a 22-litre under-seat storage, a USB charger, engine-kill switch, a trip-meter when riding in reserve, high-speed alert and an external fuel filler.
The NTorq is TVS’s first-ever 125cc scooter. It’s an air-cooled, single-cylinder 125cc engine that develops 9.2bhp and 10.5Nm of torque. Power transmission duties are carried out by a CVT. Barring the recently launched Aprilia SR125, the NTorq’s power figures are class leading – it conveniently beats the Honda Grazia and Suzuki Access. In fact, the TVS has more torque than the Aprilia and Suzuki. With Honda, it’s even – both scooters offer 10.5Nm.
The problem is – at least, on paper – that the TVS has a lot of weight to lug around. Tipping the scales at 116kg, it’s a lot heavier than the Grazia (107kg) and Access (102kg). Do those extra few kilos slow it down? Well, not really. Once you twist the throttle, you don’t really feel the extra weight. The engine is smooth, throttle response is crisp and it reaches 60km/h effortlessly. Beyond that, progress is slow though. TVS claims that you can hit a top speed of 95km/h. On the 600-metre stretch at the company's test track, I could actually see 96kmph on the speedo, but it did require a bit of an effort.
The main highlight of the NTorq is its ride and handling balance. You see, TVS says that this scooter has been honed by its racing team. And that’s quite evident in the way it rides. It comes with a telescopic front fork and gas-filled, hydraulic-type, coil-spring shock at the rear. And from what I can tell, the suspension's been tuned to perfection!
The TVS track doesn’t have many corners, but it’s not hard to realise that this thing can corner really well. The steering is light, the turn-in is quick and it feels super stable around corners. The front suspension feels rigid while the rear is a bit soft. Overall, the balance is spot-on, meaning the NTorq is an enjoyable scooter to ride. Yes, even at the track, it surprisingly felt confident.
What’s more, the ride quality hasn’t been compromised in favour of handling. The suspension soaks up bumps comfortably, and even the biggest of bumps do not unsettle the scooter. To top it all off, it doesn’t feel springy or bumpy over undulations, like some of its rivals. And thanks to its 220mm front disc brake, the braking performance is very strong.
Although we got to ride the NTorq only at the company’s test track, I have no doubts of it performing well in the real world. It does everything rather brilliantly, and there’s hardly anything to complain about. It looks stylish, comes loaded with pretty cool and functional features and rides and handles beautifully. And the icing on the cake is its pricing. TVS has done it again then – arrived late but well prepared!
- TVS NTorq 125
Engine: 125cc/ Single Cylinder/ Air Cooled/ OHC
Power: 9.2bhp@ 7500rpm
Torque: 10.5Nm @ 5500rpm
Performance: 0 – 60km/h in 9 seconds
Top Speed: 95km/h (claimed)
Price: Rs. 58,850 (ex-showroom, Delhi)